Huawei Ascend Y300 – Review, Unboxing and Hands-on

This year at CES Huawei introduced many new Android devices as well as a Windows Phone smartphone. We are excited to tell you that most of them will be launching in Pakistan, including the gigantic Ascend Mate.

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The first device made available in Pakistan is a low end android smartphone Ascend Y300 (Single SIM version) and here we are with brief review of this device.

Hardware Specifications:

  • 4″ Capacitive TFT Touch Screen
  • Qualcomm MSM8x25 Snapdragon 1 GHz dual core processor
  • 512MB Ram and Adreno 203 GPU
  • 5 MP camera with auto-focus and 0.3 MP secondary camera
  • 4 GB internal storage, up to 32 GB microSD card support

 

Design:

All the devices introduced by Huawei this year, nearly have the same generic smartphone design. Y300 is no different, I has slightly rounded corners, a plastic body with a rubbery feel and a circle around the primary camera. The phone dimensions are 124 x 63.8 x 11.2 mm. This phone weighs around 130 grams and the rubber material allows you a comfortable hold.

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Y300 is equipped with a 4 inch 16M colors TFT capacitive touchscreen, having a resolution of 480×800 pixels. The screen is vivid and highly responsive but it is prone to smudges & scratches, so using a screen protector is recommended. Above the screen there is Battery indicator, ear speakers, light sensors and 0.3MP front facing camera. Below the screen we have three touch sensitive keys; back, home and menu.

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On the top left there is the power/lock key, which is a quite odd place and in the top center we have a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right side we have the volume rocker, which is again quite odd because mostly the volume rocker is on the left, which has the microUSB port in this phone. The microphone is located on the bottom.

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The backside of this phone has a 5MP Camera with LED flash light and an arc shape speaker just outside the Camera circle. On the bottom we have the Huawei logo embedded in the rubber material. Under the cover there are slots for Mini SIM, Battery and microSD card.

backside

I have accidentally dropped this phone while taking it out of my pocket and surprisingly it didn’t take a single scratch, thanks to the rubberized plastic, also the back cover won’t take any scratches so there is no need to add a protective case. Overall I am very satisfied with the build quality of this phone.

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Operating System and UI:

The phone comes with Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 out of box and on top of it runs a newer version of Emotion UI, Huawei’s Proprietary User Interface which was first seen on Ascend P1 in Pakistan. This UI provides an easy functionality for the new Android users.

In Emotion UI there is no app drawer, and everything is on your homescreen, you can arrange the apps by putting them in folders or can create new. You can still add the widgets by pressing and holding the screen.  Huawei has also included some of its own, like the “Me widget” which is a collection of different widgets where you can put your contacts, clock, music, weather and gallery widgets.

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Emotion UI comes with different themes and you can also download new ones. The notification area is also customized and there are many toggle buttons included for quick actions like turning on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Screenshot. This UI also has a profile app, which allows you to select or create profiles with different sound, brightness and data settings.

By default there is no stock launcher present and the Emotion UI is your only choice, but you can use any other launcher like Nova or Apex if you don’t like the UI, still you can’t get rid of some of the features of Emotional UI because it’s integrated with the OS.

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Keeping in view the Huawei’s tradition of releasing OS updates, there a very few chances that this device can get a Jelly Bean 4.2 upgrade.

Performance:

The phone is powered with a Dual Core 1GHz processor,  512MB of RAM and Adreno 203 GPU. Most of the devices running Jelly Bean these days have at least 1GB of RAM, but surprisingly the device works very smooth, there is no visible lag. Games like Temple Run 2, Battle Monkeys 3D Multiplayer run fine on this phone. You can’t compare it with phones having Quad core CPUs with whopping 2GB Ram and better GPU – It is a lower end phone, The browsing is also very smooth and fluid. Have a look some of the benchmark results:

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Camera and Video:

Ascend Y300 has a 5MP auto focus camera with a single LED flash light. The sample unit we got has a yellow LED that causes strong yellow tones in the close up images, but the overall experience is satisfactory. The images turn out bright and vivid. Sadly there is no physical button for Camera, so you have to be extra careful while taking pictures. The Camera app is very basic and there are not much settings to play with, also you can’t mute the camera sound. The secondary camera can be used for video calling, which is quite sluggish.

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The Camera only offers a VGA resolution for recording videos, most of the phones available in market at least offer a 720p video recording. Other than that there are even less settings for video. You can turn on the LED light to record videos in the dark. There is also a standalone Torch app which uses the LED.

Have a look at some of the images taken with Ascend Y300 in different lightening conditions:

 

Battery:

The phone packs a 1730mAh battery, which lasts 1.5 days for an average user, but for users who love to browse over Wi-Fi, play games and multimedia, it shrinks to a single day or less – but it’s quite normal. The Battery saving mode allows you to extend the life, by disabling Wi-Fi and turning off animations and haptic feedback.

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Price & Availability:

This phone is available all over Pakistan, for a price of Rs. 13,000/- with one year warranty of Airlink Communication. Currently the phone is available only in Black color but from next week the white version will also hit the stores.

Final Words:

Ascend Y300 is the best option in this price range, it has a durable design and delivers a satisfactory performance. Sharp screen and Android Jelly Bean operating system makes the deal even more attractive. Unlike the “Rebranded” cheap smartphones Huawei is an International brand and was one of the top 3 vendors of smartphones in Q4 2012.

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Huawei is trying its best to grab the market share from companies like QMobile, HTC and even Samsung by introducing low end smartphones as well as affordable feature phones. They just need to focus on attractive advertisement campaigns, also as we mentioned earlier adding Urdu language support, localized apps and variants of these phones with dual SIM option will attract even more customers.

Have a look at the unboxing and hands-on video:

  • http://yahoo.ca Khalil

    Looks nice, Does it come with other warranty like Teletec?

  • TechnologiX

    Awesoooooommeeeeee. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

  • MAK

    Looks great feature phone in an incredible price. Pls to know about the performance of Skype (video) calls and similar apps like tango, nimbuzz performances. Let us know if u performed the test as well. Thanks & Regards.

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Performance is good, viber have some issues with this phone, I have talked with the Huawei team it will be soon resolved.

      • nabeel

        does viber issue resolver

      • nabeel

        does viber issue resolved??? & what about skype video call

      • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

        Skype calls works just fine (audio & video) , I haven't tested Viber again but no patch has been rolled out yet, but don't worry it will be available soon.

  • Shakir

    Hi is it a good idea to replace my HTC Desire S with Huawei Y300? Help me out guys

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      If you need jellybean, yes!

  • salim

    excellent review, and beautifully made unboxing video. everything covered, Huawei should hire you as their marketing guy :) would ve been great if the review had a test of screen visibility performance in outdoors, you know in Pakistan we have strong sunlight in outdoors.

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Hahaha! Thanks for your appreciation but I don't think they are going to hire me. I am planning to make a comparison video of Y300 and G510 in which the performance and screen angles will be covered.

      • Salim

        I had a chance of hands on with Y300. Tried Fruit Ninja, good multiple touch response but when played a 720p mkv video on mx player it lagged,,, didnt play smoothly. Surprisingly U8800pro played the same video with no problem. in conclusion i think dual core or quad core wont help unless Huawei also increase the size of the RAM.

      • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

        Yes, the only drawback of this phone is the low RAM, I have tested a couple of 720p videos using MX player, which works almost fine (sometimes image is stuck). But yes the 1080p experience is horrible.

  • Faiz

    First of all this is very good review with every detail possible.

    i just want to know if Y300 supports android app market i am a bit confuse about that.

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Yes it has Google Play store and all other google apps pre-installed.

  • http://www.hashimkhan.com Hashim

    Does it have wifi hotspot feature?

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Yes Hashim, it has the tethering option. You can use your 3G/GPRS internet on other devices.

  • Taha

    hey guys. please tell me should I replace my Sony Ericsson live with this.

  • Taha

    hey. please help me. should I replace my Sony Ericsson live with this set

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      If you want the JellyBean awesomeness then Yes.

  • http://samsunggalaxyy M.Hussain

    hii zohair plz upload some gaming videos

  • Hussain

    hey.what is the gaming performance in this phone ???

  • Hussain

    hey.does youtube.com works fine on this phone ???

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Yes it works, but YouTube is banned in Pakistan, so you have to use VPN in order to open YouTube

  • Kazim

    Hey Zohair, Can you pl tell me about how much is the internal memory of this phone? Like in my Qmobile A6, it has a 4GB ROM but the memory for apps is 500MB and then there's 2GB of other memory for media files.

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      1 gig for apps and 1 gig for other media.

  • http://google.com salman sajid

    hey what is its price now?

    i have 14500/- should i bought it or suggest any other.

  • Salman Nisar

    Now dat u are using it from over a month, can u share hows multitasking experiencing , like using browser and messenger together , will 512mb ram enough for jelly bean >? i guess phone is new so its performing fast enough but as it will get filled with apps 512 ram may make it lag alot, ur thoughts on it ?

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Multitasking is good if you use only 3-4 apps, don't just load every app on the phone at the same time. Also killing the background apps free a lots of RAM.

  • Joby

    How much RAM we will get after pre installed apps. I meaned in default condition?

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      RAM or Storage?

  • bacx

    Hi there! Is Real Racing 3 smooth in this unit? I am torn between s3 mini and this one. If this can do almost the same as what s3 mini can (taking into account that you can buy two to three y300 for the price of an s3 mini), then I should be having this one. By the way, I am not really concerned about the camera and video. All I want to know is if it can play Real Racing 3 (and maybe other games of the same graphic quality). Thank you, sir! Please respond to my email. By the way, how is the Viber issue going?

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      I haven't tried Real Racing 3 on this phone, but played it on G510 and its playable, so I guess Y300 can also run this game smoothly.

  • salim

    we are waiting for the comparison of y300 and g510…

  • aina

    i got huwaei y 300 but viber is not working on my mobile

  • Kazim

    Viber issue has been fixed. I saw an image posted by someone which showed a 35MB update from Huawei which included the Viber fix. I don't own it so can't be 100% sure but looks like it has been fixed.

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      yes you are right.

  • http://google.com salman sajid

    hey what is the battery timing?

    I have heard that viber issue is resolved by an update is it true?how to update it.

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Battery timing is average, yes you can use the update app on the phone to download the patch file, which fixes the Viber voice issue and some other minor bug fixes.

  • http://google.com salman sajid

    how can i update the phone.how much time does it take?

  • http://google.com salman sajid

    how to update it and how much does it take?

  • Mathew T.

    Hey,

    Is it possible to multitask skype – I mean voice calling (on skype) and web browsing at the same time ?

    I appreciate a quick REPLY :) THANK YOU

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Yes Mathew it works that way. You can minimize the Skype app do other things like browsing, texting and Facebook etc.

  • Mathew T.

    "Skype calls works just fine (audio & video) , I haven’t tested Viber again but no patch has been rolled out yet, but don’t worry it will be available soon"

    thanks but can you minimalize skype (voice call) and browse the internet at the same time ? Thanks a lot !!

  • Marcel

    Since the new google search update the Offline voice recognition is not available anymore. But it only happens when you do a factory reset of your phone and you will see that google deactivated the download option for voice recognition. There are already some posts in the internet releated to that topic but google didnt answer or tried to fix it. Some were assuming it is because of low performance of Huawei y300 that causes problems when the voice detection is used offline. I used it before and I need it every day. But since 1 week I cannot use it anymore because I did the fault to do factory reset :-(. Anyone knows a solution??

  • jicu

    does it support skype vedio call

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Yes, via both Cameras.

  • http://www.mail.yahoo.com junerey besinga

    Hi in from philppines.. but until now why is it viber issue still not work on my phone..like the mic.. how should i fix this…pls help..

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Have you tried updating the Software via System Update application?

  • http://www.mail.yahoo.com junerey besinga

    Hi im from philippines… why is it .. that my viber problem still cant hear me.. pls help me.. they cant hear me..

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  • Nasr

    j'ai acheter un smartphone huawei Y 300 mais j'ai un problème avec viber j’entends super bien les gens qui m’appelle mais eux ils arrivent pas a m’entendre c quoi vraiment le problème et comment le résoudre merci d'avance

  • Naqi

    how to kill the apps on standby in this phone………..

  • Craig Goslan

    Eh, how do you turn off haptic feedback, I contacted Huawei and they were no help.

    • Muhammad Zohair Chohanan

      Go to sound settings.

      • Craig

        Thanks Muhamed, but that doesn't work.

  • Craig Goslan

    Nope, doesn't work, still getting haptic feedback no matter what I do. I contacted Huawei UK and they said "whaaaa"

  • Rashid

    hi this is my first touch screen phone….i am not able to get it back on through screen touch after it goes to sleep mode…..i always have to press the boot button at the top …….

  • Derek

    Any update on the mic not working for voice calls

  • Hamish

    Why is my Huawei y300 not the same. the icons are different on my Huawei y300 is it something to do with a theme?

  • preeti

    hi i cant record any video n voice recording.my skype and viber also are not working properly. i cannot answer any call or make any call.please help thank you

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