The Huawei Ascend G300. This smartphone carries a brand name very few average consumers will recognize in the UK (Huawei, pronounced Whah-Way) and the products name, ‘Ascend G300’, isn’t all too inspiring.
On top of the above, all of the press and marketing in consumers faces currently surround the HTC One series of smartphones, Samsung’s Mobile Unpacked event where the Galaxy S3 will be unveiled and the iPhone 4S. So if you have never heard of the Huawei Ascend G300 smartphone, we don’t really blame you, but this very product marks a first for Asian manufacturer Huawei because this is their first ever smartphone to be brought to the UK in the name of their Ascend series.
Anyway, we got our hands on one of these rather interesting devices and decided to give you the goods as to whether it is an able smartphone, a pocketable friend and most of all up to date enough to compete with the well known UK smartphone brands competing for your money. Read on. Editors note: All product images will be added shortly.
If the price is right
Okay we are going to jump away from the norm in our reviews and give you a little bit of essential information straight way. The Huawei Ascend G300 is exclusive to the Vodafone network and will cost you, wait for it… £100 on PAYG. Yep, that is just 1000 pennies and for that you get some serious specifications including a large 4-inch display, a 5-Megapixel camera and powerful single-core 1GHz processor.
Taking in to account the above, the Huawei Ascend G300 is a budget smartphone which unlike many others packs fantastic specifications whilst undercutting the competition. In our eyes, the price is right with this product, and you can not go wrong if you decide to buy one.
Let’s get this one out of the way; the Huawei Ascend G300 smartphone is of a solid, durable build with the case of it being made from plastics whilst the screen is covered in Gorilla Glass. This however isn’t a problem bearing in mind some top tier smartphones also rock this build (Samsung’s Galaxy series, as an example). In shape the Huawei G300 is sort of slabbish however hand friendly with thanks to nice rounded edges and a mildly curved back, and the phone doesn’t suffer from any creaks or noises when gripped with force.
On the front of the Huawei Ascend G300 are three capacitive controls of which are for ‘home’, ‘back’ and ‘menu’ much like the majority of Android powered handsets on the market. Towards the top of the handset you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack the power on button and on the left of the handset is the volume rocker. At the bottom of the handset is a micro-USB port for charging.
Huawei has integrated the battery, SIM card and microSD slots towards the back of the handset, and to access these you need to remove the back cover plate which is easy to remove unlike alot of handsets which almost break your finger nails.
All in all the design of the Huawei Ascend G300 is excellent, and it could easily pass for a much more expensive smartphone to anybody not clued in to the product.
The display on the Huawei Ascend G300 is excellent. It has a pixel density of 480×800, that’s 233ppi, and whilst that isn’t Galaxy Note or iPhone 4S quality the G300 produces hugely vibrant colours, deep blacks and produces images and video with excellent detail.
The screen itself is of the LCD variety, which means that outside we found that the Ascend G300 does suffer a little bit when there is a lot of sunlight. Happily, this isn’t too much of an issue, and browsing the internet and playing a few games proves perfectly possible.
Now whilst the pixel density on the G300 is passable and the colours it reproduces are nothing short of spectacular for the price the handset ships at, we have found that screen sensitivity isn’t the best on the G300, with it occasionally deciding not to register accurately where we clicked on a web page and sometimes even deciding to take a very split second to register input.
The above however should not stir you away from the G300. Sat next to the competition such as the Wildfire S and Galaxy Ace, the G300 is a far superior handset when it comes to display quality.
The Huawei Ascend G300 ships with a 1GHz single-core Qualcomm processor which was never going to set the world alight in a performance frenzy, however this is one of the cut backs that had to be made by Huawei in order for the G300 to be sold at the price that makes it so tempting. The incorporation of a dual-core processor, for example, would have bumped up the price of the handset considerably.
Cutting to the chase, and we do have to say that although the G300 only makes do with a 1GHz single-core processor, it never feels like it needs any extra oomph during everyday usage. Browsing the web, checking e-mails, flinging some birds at structures and swiping along widget rich home screens for example prove easily handled by the G300, adding to the desirability of what looks and feels like a very premium smartphone.
If you sit a HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Note beside the G300, though, you can tell that the latter two handsets have much more under the bonnet than Huawei’s budget handset. You will still be laughing though at the fact that the handset cost you a mere £100, up to 5 times less than premium handset options.
Overall the performance of G300 is both passable and surprising in places, easily handling every day tasks which smartphone users will become accustomed to.
The Huawei Ascend G300 runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread along with a custom skin. There isn’t much to say really on the software front, other than Android Gingerbread is a highly intuitive mobile interface however it isn’t the latest version of Google’s software. Android Ice Cream Sandwich should be available to download on to the G300 this summer however.
Users will be treated to the usual stuff Android has to offer; a great e-mail client, a great keyboard and access to thousands of exciting and productive apps.
I don’t know of any people that get excited about smartphone camera’s unless they are marketed as uber amazing such as Apple recently did, and it makes sense that Huawei didn’t take any marketing strategy with the camera on the G300, because it isn’t going to replace your point and shoot. That doesn’t mean it is a bad smartphone camera though.
The problem starts at what most photo viewers notice first; detail. The camera on the G300 lacks any detail within its photo’s which hasn’t gone unnoticed on other review websites.
Overall, the camera is fine for quick Facebook uploads however.
Being a phone
Call quality on the G300 is good, with solid noise isolation and no vibration or distortion from the earpiece.
All recipients from calls made from our G300 had no complaints as to sound quality, and the phone also has good volume allowing for clear conversations even in busy environments.
One issue we have found with the G300 is that the external speaker is very quiet in certain circumstances, especially when there is an incoming call. In cases, our smartphone was ringing in the next room and we never heard it at all. This could be a software issue or a hardware issue, however we hope Huawei create an update for it soon as to stamp out this problem.
So the Ascend G300 has a great build quality, an excellent screen, snappy performance for a budget handset and ships with a super low price tag. Is there a catch?
Well not a catch as such, however the Huawei Ascend G300 only has 2.5GB of on board storage, which is nowhere near enough for storing any form of video or songs in any quantity. Happily, there is a microSD slot in the phone, which allows you to expand on the on board storage to 32GB.
For just £100 you can have a smartphone featuring a 4-inch LCD display, a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, a 5 megapixel camera and no tie in contract. If I were to say all of this to you this time last year, you’d be convinced I was barking mad. The reality however is that Huawei have brought out a budget smartphone practically perfect in every way for the UK consumer.
Okay so the handset only has 2.5GB of on board storage, the camera isn’t perfect by any means and the external speaker simply isn’t loud enough, but for a new smartphone consumer or anybody who’s looking for a second smartphone, the Huawei Ascend G300 is hard to miss.
About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is the founder of Technology Blogged. 25, with a love for good writing, you'll find Jakk playing 'Drag Racing' on his Nexus 5 and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to his feed for unique editorials. View author profile.