We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Android smartphones Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Huawei Ascend Y300 review: no-frills value Android smartphone

£100 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Huawei

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Huawei Ascend Y300 is a no-frills budget Android smartphone that does the basics well. Read our Huawei Ascend Y300 review to find out more.

Huawei Ascend Y300

Huawei's latest entry to the budget end of the smartphone market is the Ascend Y300. Read our Huawei Ascend Y300 review to find out if we think this handset can deliver despite its cheap price.Updated on 15/07/13.

See The 13 best Android phones: What's the best Android phone you can buy in 2013?

If you’re looking for cheap then the Huawei Ascend Y300 certainly delivers. You can get it from The Carphone Warehouse for £129 SIM-free. Or just £69 on pay-as-you-go plus a top-up. Take a look at our Sony Xperia SP review too.

It sounds like incredible value for money but this will only be the case if the smartphone can deliver in key areas. Visit: The 8 best smartphones: What's the best phone you can buy in 2013?

There's little to say about the design of the Ascend Y300 because the device is so plain looking. It's not an ugly phone but it's definitely taking a no-frills approach. You're not going to get this handset out of your pocket to wow your mates. But equally they're unlikely to grimace at the sight of it. Take a look at Google Android 4.3 Jelly Bean release date and features.

This oblong block of black plastic and glass looks like the textbook template of a basic smartphone.

Build quality is good, which is important for any phone. The Y300 feels solid and well built. Yes, there's a removable rear cover which is made of thin bendy plastic but we didn't really expect any more than this.

Huawei Ascend Y300: Video review

Huawei Ascend Y300: Hardware and performance

The Ascend Y300 is the first budget smartphone we've reviewed that includes Google’s Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system, and a dual-core processor - a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon to be precise.

Although performance isn't super slick, the Y300 doesn't have the kind of inescapable lag which is such a problem with budget Android smartphones.

Yes, it can feel slow but only occasionally when you first boot or unlock the phone, after which it tends to settle down. It also takes its time coming out of an app back to the homescreen sometimes.

Huawei Ascend Y300 review

We saw a result of 485 points in GeekBench 2, not a bad result considering there is only 512 MB of memory. A framerate of just 9 fps in GLBenchmark show it’s not cut out for games, and a time of 2496ms in SunSpider is slow but average for a cheap Android device.

Like the Ascend G330, the Y300 has a 4in screen with a 480 x 800-pixel resolution. A pixel density of 233 ppi is a good for a budget phone but viewing angle aren't great and we did find the screen difficult to use outdoors.

Storage is very limited. There's 4 GB inside but only half actually available for use. There is a microSDHC card slot for adding up to 32 GB but Google still won’t let you store your apps there. You're not going to fit many of the larger apps on the Y300.

Update: As pointed out by a PCA reader, Huawei has allowed some downloaded apps to be moved to the SD card.

There's nothing to get excited about in terms of cameras. However, the 5 Mp rear camera with an LED flash is better than you might expect considering the basement price. The camera is slow and won't take decent shots unless you're shooting in good light.

The front-facing 0.3 Mp camera provides an acceptable image but the refresh rate is poor.

Huawei Ascend Y300: Software

Huawei has done a good job in the software department on the Y300. On top of Android 4.1 is Huawei's own Emotion UI.

The first thing of note is the absence of any app menu. This is quite strange for Android and actually makes the interface more similar to the iPhone – especially when you have four docked apps at the bottom of the screen.

All apps are simply placed on the homescreen panels; the only difference to iOS is that you can also keep widgets there too.

We weren’t so keen on this layout but it's something you can easily adapt to.

Other tweaks are of a more orthodox nature such as adding a number of quick settings in the notifications bar. In this case, the list is customisable so you can make sure the ones you need the most are displayed.

Customisation is a plus point of Huawei's user interface. There are plenty of different lockscreens, themes and even screen transitions to choose, so you can customise Android to your taste.

Furthermore, profiles mean you can quickly change the Y300's settings for different situations. For example, night time, meetings, car or whatever you want. We also like the Me Widget which is like the Inception of the widget world, offering several widgets – time, weather, contacts etc - within one widget.

Huawei Ascend Y300: Battery life

Budget phones don't tend to offer good battery life. However, this was a strong point of the Ascend Y300. After more than 24 hours of (fairly light) use we had only used a third of the 6.4 Wh battery's juice. This was without using a power-saving mode which switches off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, screen animations, background data and haptic feedback.

This will be a two-day smartphone for most users while heavier users will need to, like most smartphone, charge it every night.

Huawei Ascend Y300 Expert Verdict »

Huawei Ascend Y300 reviews verified by Reevoo

Huawei Ascend Y300Scores 8.4 out of 10 based on 237 reviews
1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor
4in screen (480x800) LCD
Google Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean)
512 MB RAM
4 GB internal storage (2 GB user available)
microSDHC card slot (up to 32 GB)
5 Mp rear camera with LED flash
0.3 Mp front camera
Bluetooth 2.1
GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
HSDPA 900/2100 MHz
6.4 Wh removable battery
64 x 125 x 11.4 mm
134 g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 7 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The Huawei Ascend Y300 is a no-frills smartphone with little to get excited about in dazzling new features. However, it does the basics well with Android 4.1 software with usable battery life at an incredibly low price. For the money, it's one of the best budget smartphone choices around.

  • Huawei Ascend P2 review - decent Android smartphone has above average camera

    Huawei Ascend P2 - decent Android smartphone has above average camera

    Chinese smartphone brand Huawei claims it has the world's fastest 4G LTE smartphone. Huawei is referring to its Category 4 LTE capability, but read our review of the Huawei Ascend P2 to find out what that means.

  • Huawei Ascend Y100 review

    Huawei Ascend Y100

    The Ascend Y100 has a tiny screen, a mediocre camera and average performance but for under £100, can you really complain? Read our full review to find out more.

  • Huawei Ascend D Quad preview

    Huawei Ascend D Quad preview

    The Huawei Ascend D Quad boasts some class leading specifications including a powerful quad-core processor.

  • Huawei Ascend G330 review

    Huawei Ascend G330

    The Huawei Ascend G330 adds a faster processor and new features to Huawei's already tempting budget Android phone, offering a mix of low price and usable performance. Here's PC Advisor's Huawei Ascend G330 review.

  • Huawei Ascend P6 review: world's thinnest iPhone?

    Huawei Ascend P6: world's thinnest iPhone?

    Huawei latest effort in the smartphone market is its flagship Ascend P6. Read our Huawei Ascend P6 to see if this iPhone lookalike is all it's cracked up to be.

IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features UK: Staggered release with PCs coming first this summer -...

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

MacBook Pro 15in preview: better battery life, faster storage and a new discrete graphics chip may...