Huawei’s trademark cloak for the Android platform, seen on smartphones like its highly acclaimed P6 and others in its line, is termed the Emotion user interface. Is it indeed the World’s Most Emotional System, as the advertising suggests? And what would that even mean, anyway? Emotion for Android version 4 purports to get in touch with your feelings by responding to exactly what it is that you need at all times. It does this in its own robotic way – it is, after all, still just a smart phone – by customizing what you see, what you do, and how you do it. The key features of Emotion 1.6, which fits on top of the Android background almost like a second skin, are its ability to toggle back and forth between different profiles or personalities, and its Me Widget, which evidently fulfills all of your emotional needs by placing everything you need in one simple place on your home screen.
Many smart phone owners find themselves constantly reaching for the settings button according to what they are doing in their day or where they are. For instance, you may notice that you must always silence your alerts and turn your phone on quiet during a meeting. Now there is a way to teach your phone to know where you are and have it change its settings based on those locations. Profiles such as driving, sleeping, meeting, outdoors and standard are preset on Emotion so that you can have your phone adjust its volume, set your notifications differently and dim its screen when you tell it you are switching to a certain area. The display will automatically amp up to counteract the bright sun when you are outside, and automatically go to silent if you tell it you are in a meeting. This is by far the best feature of Emotion, as it is useful, needed, and innovative among operating systems.
Control tasks and organization is a new deal with Emotion, as you can easily manage your applications by adding them in bulk to a new spot, and manage phone settings through the ability to switch between profiles. More customization is available through little bits like the Animated Weather Wallpaper that can appear on to show you, as well as tell you, whether its going to be rain or shine.
Finally, there is the help aspect of the operating system. No longer a dry and technical affair, assistance within Emotion 1.6 is located throughout the layout wherever you may most need it or call upon it, written in laymen’s terms rather than jargon, and it is chock full of graphics to aid you visually. These features come together to create Smart Tutorial, another reason why Emotion is kind to those who come into it unknowing, especially those who may be switching over from a different operating system and may have quite a learning curve to catch up on.
While Emotion does do a decent job at promoting ease, customization, and efficiency within the Android platform, to say that it’s the operating system that forms an emotional connection with its users is a stretch, considering simply the lack in quantity of features that it contains. While the ability to set different profiles according to place is handy, it’s hardly revolutionary. We look forward to versions beyond 1.6, where we could see more advanced customization, deeper features, and a more exciting way of tuning in with our Huawei phone. The developers may want to consider further integration with social media within Emotion – which means sharing with friends and family, where much emotion comes from, anyway – as well as more customizable home screen settings.