Channel 5

Huawei Ascend Y300

Monday 17 June 2013

G-Rating

Rating of 4

The basics

The Huawei Ascend Y300 is the latest weapon in the company’s arsenal: it’s locked in an epic battle with the likes of ZTE, Samsung and Nokia to craft the perfect low-price smartphone. Its latest effort is a strong contender too, packing a in a four-inch display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, all for just £60 when bought through Carphone Warehouse. Is it a bargain, or just plain cheap for a reason? We took one for a test drive to find out.

Vodafone Smart Mini: Android Jelly Bean for just £50

White Google Nexus 4 gets official!

The good

Huawei doesn’t stray far from its boxy black budget design with the Ascend Y300, but at least that means it holds few surprises. This is a solid handset with a sturdy frame, and a four-inch screen with a 480x800 resolution that’s crisp enough to read on or watch videos, and a few clever touches, including shortcuts to your most used apps on the lock screen.

Huawei’s steered clear of adding in too much bloatware though, and kept things to the core Google services on Android - and that’s just fine. Android 4.1’s suite of stock apps is nothing short of superb at this point, from the rock solid new Gmail app to Google Maps with free turn by turn navigation and the Chrome browser - and of course hundreds of thousands more apps are there to be had on the Google Play store. The Y300’s pretty nippy too: the 1GHz dual-core processor is enough to keep a fair few tabs going on Google Chrome, stream music from Spotify and even play a few games, though don’t expect all of the very latest 3D titles to be supported.

The bad

Forget about wafer thin technology - the Huawei Ascend Y300 is a bit of a brick, measuring a chunky 11.5mm deep. It’s also an ugly one, made up of smeary black plastic that keeps fingerprints under lock and key.

It’s hard to nitpick the hardware though when it costs so little, and is perfectly functional. More of a problem is the software - it’s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but Huawei’s broken it with its own absurd, Fisher-Price homescreen that lumps all your apps and widgets into one panel view, sort of like how iOS works. On top of that, the default on-screen keyboard is an unresponsive mess. Luckily these flaws are easily rectified with a new launcher and keyboard from the Google Play store - we suggest Apex Launcher and SwiftKey.

Read our full Huawei Ascend G510 review here

Nokia Lumia 520 review

The bottom line

There’s a lot to love about this spritely smartphone - especially the astonishingly low pricetag that makes even Nokia’s lovely Lumia 620 seem overpriced. It’s a pity the Chinese company’s botched the experience a tad with its strange, childish software overlay, but if you’re prepared to put in a little bit of elbow grease and remove it with the aid of a few apps, this is probably the best phone you can get for under £100 - unless you fancy Vodafone’s £50 Smart Mini, with a slightly smaller screen. Choices, choices.

Currys Top Products

Huawei Ascend Y300 is tagged with Huawei, ascend y300 and Android. Select a tag (Huawei, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (2)

Leave a comment

garethgp

well i didnt think that i would be swayed off samsung mobiles but this phone is grate

Report as inappropriate
Jo Reeves

After my daughter lost her Samsung S3 mini out of her back pocket she spent the last of her birthday money on a Y300. I was seriously impressed. I don't agree with it looking cheap and clunky. It was £50 from Carphone warehouse. A total bargain and no big loss if she loses it or smashes it.

Report as inappropriate

Join Channel 5

Creating an account is free, will only take a few moments and will allow you to enjoy the full benefits of 5FWD and Channel 5:

  • Create lists of your most wanted and owned products
  • Leave article comments without having to re-enter your login details
  • Get updated with all the latest gadget and car news

Leave a comment

Please note that we will not expose your email, but we might use it to email you back. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.
* mandatory field

  • Jawbone Up 24

    Jawbone - yep, the company behind all those mobile headsets - is getting in on the fitness space…

  • Meade Lightbridge 10-inch

    Astronomy journalist Will Gater is on hand to test out some of the best stargazing kit, including…

  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

    Jon’s got three of the best ultra portable laptops on test, but can Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro…

  • Asus Zenbook UX301

    Jon heads off to London to test off three of the best ultra portable laptops - but which one will…

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60

    Ortis heads to San Francisco to put the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 compact zoom camera to the test -…

  • Samsung Gear 2

    Samsung's back with its brand new Gear 2 smartwatch, the successor to the fatally flawed original…

  • LG 55EA980W

    Curved TVs are said to be the next big thing in television tech for your living room, but do they…

  • Bissell Vac & Steam 1132E

    Meet the Bissell Vac & Steam 1132E, the final contender in our steam mop showdown with an integrated…

  • Vax S86-SF-P

    The Vax S86-SF-P makes up the third choice in our steam mop showdown, but is it worthy of wearing…

  • Lakeland Steam Mop

    Which steam mop is the top choice for your spring cleaning? We put four to the test, including the…