It's not an easy job making an affordable smartphone that stands up to scrutiny and holds up well against competition. Which demographic to target? What features to include? What should be the focus of the device, a single standout feature or a balanced if average spec sheet?
Indeed, while a flagship is meant to have everything, handpicking hardware for a particular budget is a tough juggle.
Good for the P Smart, Huawei managed to balance things up bundling a high-resolution wide screen and advanced imaging experience. They gave up on the metal unibody and some camera resolution but kept the price within reasonable limits.
Xiaomi's Mi A1 is a metal-clad Android One smartphone with a 5.5" 1080p screen, an efficient Snapdragon 625 chipset and a dual-camera at the back. It will give you faster updates and better graphics for the same price, but isn't as good at advanced imaging and creative effects.
The Galaxy A5 (2017) by Samsung has a Super AMOLED screen to show off and a water-tight body. Tempting, we know. It lacks a dual-camera and can't do bokeh but makes up for that with a high-res 16MP sensor with bright apertures each side. The A5 costs some €50 more than the P Smart but it's probably Huawei's most fierce competitor.
The LG Q6 offers a 5.5" tall screen of 1080p resolution but trails behind almost everywhere else - performance, camera, software and battery backup. The Q6 is about €20 cheaper though.
Finally, the Moto G5S Plus fails to offer a trendy screen aspect ratio but has faster performance and better camera quality, along with 4K video recording. The G5S Plus costs about the same as the P Smart, so it's a solid alternative to consider.
Just a month ago, we thought Huawei has hit the sweet spot with the Honor 7X, with pretty much unmatched value for money on a global scale, not confined to Southeast Asia. But the leading Chinese maker has outdone itself with the P Smart. Thoughtful trimming in the right places made it possible to keep the package up to par and drive the price down a little more.
We had very few niggles with the Huawei P Smart. It certainly lacks some connectivity options but makes up for that with a great all-round package with a wide screen, balanced performance and advanced camera skills. And for the price of around €200, we think the P Smart did well to tick the right checkboxes and even went beyond.