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Huawei Ascend G300 review

The best £100 Android phone yet
Thu May 03 2012, 17:27

Product Huawei Ascend G300
Specifications 1.2GHz processor, 4in 480x800 TFT LCD display, 5MP autofocus camera with HD 720p video, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, 1320mAh battery, GPS, Stereo FM with RDS, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 122.5x63x10.5mm, 140g
Price £100 on Vodafone pay as you go

CHINESE PHONE MAKER Huawei's Ascend G300 packs a 4in screen, a 1.2GHz processor and will soon be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, yet it retails in the UK for a mere £100. Throughout our hands-on review the handset proved that Huawei didn't cut corners to keep the price low, making this one of the best budget Android phones we've had the pleasure of testing.

Catwalk design, charity shop price
Huawei hasn't scrimped on the design to keep the price low. The Ascend G300 has the build quality of a much more expensive phone, with its silver and white colour scheme reminiscent of the £400 HTC Sensation XL.

The faux metal back panel can, after a good five minutes of struggle, be prised off to reveal the phone's SIM slot, microSD card slot and 1350mAh battery.

Huawei Ascend G300 design

The device is nice and compact too, measuring 122.5x63x10.5mm, and its 140g weight makes it feel nice and sturdy without weighing down your pocket.

On the front of the phone there are three capacitive buttons underneath the screen. Huawei has discarded the Search button, keeping only the Menu, Home and Back buttons. There's a small LED light above the screen as well that flashes when you get a message and lights up when the phone is on charge.

Screen star
The screen on the Huawei Ascend G300 is fantastic for a budget smartphone. Don't go expecting Iphone levels of brightness, but the 4in 480x800 resolution screen offers a decent level of detail and colours look great.

As with most LCD screens though, brightness struggled when the device was used outdoors, even when set to maximum. However we feel we shouldn't complain given the phone's price tag, as this is an issue with most touchscreen smartphones.

Huawei Ascend G300

Good interface will get better
Android 2.3 Gingerbread is the Ascend G300 operating system (OS), which is perfectly reasonable for a phone with this price tag. Huawei has also promised that the phone will be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future, which will no doubt make this the cheapest Android 4.0 handset to date.

Fans of Google's mobile OS will be pleased to hear that Huawei has kept the customisations to a minimum, despite the addition of its custom colour scheme and a modified launcher design. You'll find the usual array of widgets and apps, which can be added to the handset's five home screens.

Our favourite feature of the interface was a ridiculously simple one - once you've reached the last home screen the phone will take you back to the first, saving you from having to scroll backwards though them. It might sound trivial, but this is a feature that you won't find on many Android phones.

Huawei has graced the Ascend G300 with its own snazzy lock screen, which lets you set four shortcuts. While some users will no doubt find this a nice addition to the handset, we found it an absolute nuisance, as we ended up firing up the camera app when we were simply trying to unlock the phone.


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