Huawei Ascend Y300 Smartphone Review – Pros and Cons
Huawei's Y-series are budget smartphones primarily intended to be affordable. However, while budget smartphones are within reach of more people, they also tend to be have more drawbacks and less refined than the average smartphone.
This is understandable from the manufacturer's standpoint. When you need to lower costs, you have to cut back on types of materials used in smartphones, features incorporated and so on. It's unreasonable to expect too much from a low-cost smartphone.
You should therefore expect to put up with some things you may not like if you purchase a budget smartphone. To decide whether a budget smartphone is right for you, it's necessary that the good outweighs the bad. To see if that's the case with the Y300, it's necessary to look at the pros and cons of the Huawei.
Good: the Huawei Ascend Y300 comes with an excellent screen for a low-priced smartphone
The Huawei Y300 has a four inch LCD touchscreen, which is very good for this type of phone. The colors are not dull or washed out as is often the case with cheap phones. Colors stay consistent throughout, even at an angle. The screen is even resistant to scratching. The Y300 may be cheap, but the screen itself does not look like one.
While there are smartphones with bigger screens, a four inch screen is much bigger than what phones used to have. It's the same size as the iPhone 5 and bigger than previous iPhones for example. For people who are new to smartphones and used to the tiny screens that come with feature phones, the roomy screen of the Y300 will be a very welcome change.
Good: the Huawei Ascend Y300 is very affordable
The Y300 is meant to be affordable and that's exactly what you get. In the United States, the Huawei Y300 can be bought at online retailers for about $120 for a new and unlocked unit. If you're looking for a cheap smartphone, then the Y300 fits the bill. It's easily one of the cheapest smartphones around.
For that price, you get a fully functional smartphones. It's not some feature phone with some smartphone features. It can do everything that a smartphone is expected to. The main difference is that the Y300 cannot do some things as well as other smartphones that are more expensive.
Good: the Huawei Ascend Y300 offers lots of value for little money
Despite the low cost, the Huawei Y300 manages to squeeze a lot of value in a nice package. It's fairly smooth with a dual-core processor and 512 megabytes of RAM. It can easily handle most apps, including the ones that people tend to use the most often.
Although there's only one gigabyte available, you can expand the four gigabytes of total internal storage with the included MicroSD slot. Battery life is very good and most people should have no problem getting through the day without running out of battery power.
The Y300 is also a world phone, meaning that it supports all four GSM frequency bands to make it easy when traveling abroad. The phone also supports fast data transfer and Internet with 3G and Wi-Fi. There's also GPS and an integrated radio.
Good: for a budget phone, the Huawei Y300 does not skimp too much to keep the price low
For a cheap smartphone, it's to be expected that the manufacturer will skimp in certain areas in order to reduce costs. Especially when it comes to build quality. Fortunately, Huawei has kept that to a minimum and the Y300 actually offers a lot considering its low price.
The Y300 does not feel cheap, but well-made for a budget phone. In a lot of other phones, you can actually feel that it's a cheap phone. The plastic will bend easily if you press hard enough and you're always worried that something will crack if you're not careful enough.
Thankfully, the Y300 is not like that at all, even if it's still made of plastic like most phones. The parts fit perfect together and it does not look like it's crudely made. Instead, the phone look like it will last and hold up well over time.
Neutral: Huawei is at a disadvantage in terms of brand awareness
Even though Huawei is one of the five largest smartphone makers in terms of marketshare, the brand is not that well-known. A lot of other brands, such as BlackBerry, Motorola, Nokia and so on, are much better known, despite being smaller than Huawei.
This puts Huawei at a disadvantage because it's hard for people to trust something they're not familiar with. There's not much Huawei can do in the short run, except keep on raising brand awareness by promoting, advertising and other marketing efforts. As time goes by, the name Huawei should become more established.
In the meantime, people can take advantage of this situation. When new companies try to break into a market, they will very often try to do whatever it takes to get people to try their products. This can include pricing a product lower than it should, offering discounts and so on.
The Y300 fits into this strategy. It's priced lower than equivalent smartphones and it offers more than similar priced smartphones. That makes the Y300 a very good bargain for the consumer, which most likely would not have occurred if Huawei was a better known brand. It's up to people to take advantage.
Neutral: like all budget smartphones, the Huawei Y300 is limited in what it can do
The Y300 is a budget phone and as such, it's limited in what it can do. Budget smartphones are simply not equipped to handle tasks that only appeal to a niche segment. For instance, playing fancy 3D games is out of the question because of the lack of horsepower.
In fact, any app that requires a lot of storage space cannot be installed because there isn't enough room. All those games that require over two gigabytes of storage cannot be used. Taking top quality pictures such as those by professional cameras is also not possible.
However, the Y300 can handle all the basic tasks such as making phone calls, messaging, Internet browsing and so on. It can handle most apps such as Google Apps, Google Docs and Google Maps combined with GPS. Social media apps can also be used without any issues.
Anyone evaluating a budget smartphone should understand what it can and cannot do. If you're looking for more, you need to look at mid-range or high-end phones with better specs. The Y300 was not designed to do those things and therefore won't.
Bad: the front camera of the Y300 is no good
The Y300 comes with cameras in the front and back. Behind the phone, there's a five megapixel camera which is good for a budget phone. The photos are good enough for casual use such as for sharing on social media.
However, if you want pictures that are to be preserved for the future, you need to find a different smartphone and camera. Budget smartphones are not designed for those things.
At the front, there is another camera, but it's unlikely anyone will find much use for it. The quality is too poor for taking selfies or pictures of yourself. If you love taking those pictures to share on social media and so on, the Ascend Y300 is not the phone for you.
Summary and comparison of what's good or bad about the Huawei Ascend Y300
In my opinion, the Huawei Ascend Y300 is a very good smartphone. It offers a very attractive package of features at a very low price. It doesn't skimp anywhere with the possible exception of the camera in the front.
However, the Y300 may not be suitable for everyone. Power users who demand a lot from their phones need to look elsewhere. Some people may prefer a phone with a more recognizable brand. People who love to take pictures of themselves will not like the Y300.
On the other hand, people who are looking to get the most they can for their money will love the Y300. It's suitable for anyone on a limited budget such as teenagers who like to stay in contact. People who are new to smartphones or upgrading from feature phones and aren't sure of what they want, can take chance with the Y300.
Unlike more expensive phones, making the wrong choice with the Y300 doesn't have to be costly. The phone is therefore a good starter phone that people can upgrade from when they're more experienced or have more money and know exactly what they want.
The low price of the Huawei Y300 makes it a viable option to almost everyone. If you still don't have a smartphone and the cost of a good phone was holding you back, then the Ascend Y300 is the smartphone you've been waiting for.
- Very low cost
- Good battery life
- Nice screen for a budget phone
- Can handle all smartphone functions
- Excellent price / value ratio
- Front camera is not of much use
- Cannot handle more demanding apps such as high-end 3D games
- The brand Huawei may scare off some people
Huawei Ascend Y300 specifications
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Qualcomm® MSM8225™, 1.0 GHz Dual-core processor
Network bands (varies by version)
WCDMA: 850/1900/2100MHz (Y300-0151)
WCDMA: 900/2100MHz (Y300-0100)
GSM / EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900
Dimension (H X W X D)
124.5 mm x 63.8 mm x 11.2 mm
About 130 grams
4.0-inch Multi-Touch IPS LCD /w 16M colors & scratch-resistant
WVGA (800 X 480, 233 PPI)
5MP, auto focus
512 Megabytes (MB)
4 Gigabytes (GB)
Memory card slot
Included, up to 32GB MicroSD card
microUSB, USB 2.0, 3.5 headphone earjack
Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Accelerometer,, proximity, ambient light, GPS / A-GPS