Channel 5

Huawei Ascend Y300

Monday 17 June 2013


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.

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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.

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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 (3)

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

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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.

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Jaden Palmer

I have a huawei and i must agree the default keyboard is unresponsive but I do not agree about it being like a brick. It's a mobile, adults have big hands so they need a big phone. The huawei is a £50 Iphone. Its epic.

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