Huawei IDEOS X3 hands-on (video)

Yesterday at MWC we got our hands on the Huawei IDEOS X3, an Android 2.3 phone slotted right between the IDEOS / Comet we reviewed recently and the X5 we saw at CES. While the original IDEOS took Android significantly downmarket, and the X5 is looking to bring high-end features to the mid-end, the X3 is aimed squarely at bread-and-butter devices like the LG Optimus T. Spec-wise, you'll find a 3.2-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen, Qualcomm MSM7227 CPU (likely 600 MHz), 256MB of RAM, 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera, front-facing camera, WiFi b / g / n, and dualband HSPA plus quadband EDGE radios, all powered by a 1200mAh battery. Contrary to its siblings, the X3 is not a Google Experience device, and runs a custom skin on top of Gingerbread. See our pictures in the gallery below and jump the break for our first impressions and hands-on video.

We were rather impressed with the X3. It's light, thin, small, and looks surprisingly attractive. Build quality was top notch on the pre-production unit we handled, despite the materials not being completely final. The back is made of a pleasant black soft-touch plastic, and the display glass curves seamlessly into the silver-accented sides of the phone. Huawei chose to adorn Android 2.3 with a custom skin that blatantly copies LG's S-Class UI and Samsung's TouchWiz application tray. The X3 feels quite snappy considering it's powered by a humble MSM7227. Likewise, loading Engadget was drama free, complete with Flash support. We presume this stems from optimizations in Gingerbread. The X3 will be launching in Japan in March for $200 unsubsidized, with other markets to follow. No word yet on a North American variant with the appropriate 3G bands.