Huawei Ascend G300 budget Android
The best low-cost smartie you can buy?
The Ice Cream cometh?
Qualcomm’s MSM7227A processor is not exactly cutting edge, even by single-core standards – let alone today’s dual and quad-core chips – but it gets the job done and returns a decent enough AnTuTu score of just under 3,000.
AnTuTu score and actual storage capacity
Despite the aged Adreno 200 GPU, 3D games like Shadowgun run a treat and the UI experience is impressively slick and noticeably more fluid than that of the Orange San Francisco 2. For HD entertainment, 720p MP4 videos will play but only just and only through third party video players. According to Vodafone the G300 has 2.5GB of storage. Actually there’s a bit more. You get 2.1GB for files and 756MB for apps. If you want more space there’s support for microSD cards up to 32GB.
The camera isn’t half bad for the price. The 5Mp main unit has an LED lamp, quick autofocus and produces decent images in good natural light. Video recording is less impressive though, restricted to a maximum of 800 x 480. Like most hacks I believed the original spec sheet when it said the G300 had a webcam. It doesn’t. Skype video calls can be made using the main camera but I’m not sure how much use that is unless you stand in front of a mirror.
5Mp snapper but just widescreen VGA video capture
Currently, the G300 runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread but according to Huawei it is upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich and at the UK press launch told our man Caleb that an update is due in the summer. Thankfully, Android here has only been lightly and attractively skinned.
Battery life is nothing remarkable. Despite the 1500mAh rating heavy use will see you looking for the charger every 24 hours. Call quality is good thanks to some dual-mic noise cancellation tech but the loud speaker is very quiet. Even at full volume, speakerphone conversations are only audible in a quiet room.
Low cost doesn't have to mean low expectations
What about the competition? Well, the obvious alternative is the Orange San Francisco, also yours for £100 on pay-as-you-go, but the G300 blows it out of the water thanks to a more powerful CPU, larger screen and more storage space for your apps. Like the SF2, the G300 is easily rooted if you want to tinker under the hood.
I’d suggest this is the first budget Android phone that doesn’t require the user to sacrifice anything vital in the name of impecunity. The G300 does everything the majority of smartphone users will want, does them well, and is as cheap as chips. At £100 it’s the bargain of the year. ®
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