Huawei Ascend Y300 review:

The Huawei Ascend Y300 is unbelievably good value

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The Good Super cheap price; Decent screen; Recent version of Android.

The Bad Less than 1GB of storage for apps; Dull design; Unimpressive performance; Annoying Huawei software tweaks.

The Bottom Line The Huawei Ascend Y300 might have a plain design and its processor isn't going to win any races, but it's saved by a decent screen and ridiculously cheap price. If you're looking for a slice of Android on the cheap, the Y300 should be first on your list.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.3 Overall

At one time, buying an affordable Android phone meant suffering with a horrific screen, awful design and an outdated version of Android that almost certainly won't get any updates.

The design problem hasn't seen much improvement, but the Huawei Ascend Y300 is a breath of fresh air for the budget market. It has a 4-inch display, a 1GHz dual-core processor and runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Those specs would make most budget phones feel not a little jealous.

Best of all though, it's available on pay as you go for a ridiculous £60, making it a great option if you need an emergency phone you don't mind losing.

Should I buy the Huawei Ascend Y300?

If you crave a stylish phone with the best specs around then the Y300 isn't going to keep you at all happy. You'd best pop over to our review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the all-glass Sony Xperia Z.

The Y300 boasts a decent 4-inch screen, a dual-core processor (not single-core, as per the video review) and a recent version of Android and comes with a ridiculously cheap pay as you go price of £60. If you're looking for your first smart phone, or just want a phone that you don't mind losing at a festival, the Y300 is an excellent choice.

Alternatively, take a look at the Nokia Lumia 520. It's a 4-inch phone with similar specs. It's a little more expensive, but its processor gives a much smoother experience and the various preloaded Nokia apps are great additions.

Design and build quality

To look at, there's no escaping the fact the Y300 is a budget phone. It has the same plain black, chunky aesthetic that its brother, the G510 has. It has also been given a textured pattern though, which does make it a little more interesting. Even so, the best you can really say about its design is that it's functional.

It measures 124mm long, 64mm wide and is 11mm at its fattest point. That's unquestionably rather on the portly side -- particularly when you compare it to more svelte phones like the iPhone 5 or even Huawei's own Ascend P2.

The Y300 is smaller than most phones, but it's also a little more thickset around the waist.

It's far smaller than phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. While that does mean you have less screen space for videos and Web browsing, it makes it perfectly comfortable to hold in one hand. You also don't need to stretch your thumbs too far to hit icons on the far side of the screen. If you find your hands are too teeny tiny for the 5-inch blowers, the Y300 might be more suitable.

Build quality seems generally fine. The plastic back cover is pretty flimsy, but you can argue the same about the Galaxy S3, and it's certainly no worse than that. At least the yawn-inducing design might prevent scratches and scuffs showing up quite as much as its more expensive, glossy counterparts. The screen isn't made from tough Gorilla Glass though, so it's likely to be more susceptible to scratches from keys in your pocket.

Around the edges you'll find the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB port and power and volume buttons. The Y300 comes with only 2GB of usable internal storage, of which just under 1GB has been reserved just for apps -- meaning you can't install apps on the other 1GB. I really don't know why Huawei has intentionally split the storage as you could easily only save photos to an SD card, leaving the already pitiful space free for apps.

Titles like N.O.V.A 3 are way too big to install on the phone. Smaller games like Angry Birds will fit, but you'll need to be mindful of what you download.


The 4-inch display has an 800x480-pixel resolution. That's a far cry from the Full HD displays of the HTC One or Galaxy S4, but it's perfectly reasonable for a budget phone. By comparison, the LG L3 II has a much lower-resolution screen, which makes even basic tasks unpleasant and it's more expensive than the Y300.

You get a decent screen for your money with the Y300.

The Y300's screen is good for the money with acceptably sharp icons, decent brightness and colours that will do a good job of Web browsing and tweeting. If you really want the most crisp screen in the business then you should look towards the Full HD phones, but you will be paying a massive chunk of extra cash for the privilege.

Viewing angles are reasonable, but not brilliant. You can still see a fairly accurate view of the screen when looking off-centre -- perfectly decent enough for people on either side of you to see a YouTube clip well. It's leaps and bounds above the Samsung Galaxy Fame, which see its 3.5-inch screen becoming distorted if you don't look at it head on.

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