Huawei Ascend G300 review

Reviews Paul Briden 13:02, 23 Apr 2012

We get to grips with Huawei's Ascend G300, a low-priced Android phone with something to prove

Rating: 
3.5
Pros: 
Solid build quality, Sharp screen, Good performance, Well optimised, Low price, Excellent keyboard, MicroSD card support
Cons: 
Somewhat bulky, Older Android build, Low internal storage capacity
Verdict: 
Excellent value for money

Announced in February this year ahead of a Spring launch, Huawei's Ascend G300 has been somewhat overshadowed by the company's bigger announcements including the Ascend P1 S and Ascend D Quad.

The G300 may not have the premium finish of those other models we mentioned but for the price of only £100 on pre-pay this is a very impressive offering from Huawei, which is trying to establish itself more firmly in the UK market.

Starting with the externals, this is probably the area where most has been sacrificed to keep costs down. For one thing, this is quite a chunky handset by current standards, the spec sheet says 10.5mm but by some accidental optical illusion its looking decidedly on the hefty side.

Fortunately, this doesn't translate into device weight, which is very light in the hand at around 140g. This is no doubt in part due to the materials used - the battery cover section of the back panel and the front bezel are both made of a silvery plastic with a reasonably good quality feel to them which, in truth, almost had us thinking it was aluminium at first.

But it doesn't stand up to the scratch test - gently scratching at the surface with a fingernail gives a distinctly plasticky feel and removing the battery cover shows that it is actually made of a fairly bendy piece of grey plastic with a metallic coating on the outside.

Overall we found the G300 had a very solid build quality with a sturdy feel in the hand.

Our review model was the white coloured version, which means that the small remaining sections of the back panel which aren't the silver battery cover look a bit weird, in our view. We didn't like the silver and white model but it also comes in a silver and black scheme which we think would look great. The coloured plastic appears to be of a similarly decent quality as the silver panels.

Minor details can often be some of the most pleasing parts of a phone's design and one feature we're fond of is the inclusion of a micro USB charging port at the bottom of the handset. This means it can stand upright on a charging dock and is much more convenient.

Likewise we appreciate that the G300 is fitted with capacitive touch buttons rather than physical keys as it's a much slicker way of doing things. However, we did notice that these could be rather temperamental when using the phone.

This may be a long-term problem with key sensitivity or it could just be a case of needing to get used to the placement of the sensors and where you actually need to press.

Moving on, we'll now talk about the internal hardware and the software it runs.

Huawei has opted for Google's Android platform and the G300 is using version 2.3 Gingerbread with its own interface overlay on top. This is being powered by a single core 1GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and performance is surprisingly good.

Specifications

Typical Price £100 pre-pay (+£10 top-up)/Free with 24 month £15.50pcm contract
UK Launch April 13 2012
Network Vodafone
Frequency GSM 850/900/1800/1900,HSDPA 900/2100
Phone Style Touchscreen
Thickness 10.5mm
Length 122.5mm
Width 63mm
Weight 140g
Built-in Memory 2.5GB, 512MB RAM
Additional Memory MicroSD up to 32GB
High-speed Data GPRS,EDGE,HSDPA,HSUPA
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n,Wi-Fi Direct,Wi-Fi Hotspot,Bluetooth,micro USB,GPS,3.5mm headphone jack
Screen Size 4-inches, 800x480 pixel WVGA (233ppi)
Screen Colours 16 million
Camera 5-megapixel
Camera Resolution 2592х1944 pixels
Zoom Yes
Flash LED
Ringtones Yes
Music Player Yes
Music Formats MP3/WAV/eAAC+
Song Storage Yes
Radio Yes
Speaker Yes
Video Calling No
Internet Yes
Browser HTML
Games Yes

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