Huawei Y300 Review : Take Two

huawei y300My last post on this phone has been the most viewed one on this site, so I figured revisiting after a year using the phone in the real world may be as well received. To quickly summarise the Huawei phone, here are the brief specs: Android Jelly Bean 4.1, dual-core 1GHz processor, 4.0” WVGA (480×800) display, 4GB onboard memory, expandable to 32GB, 5MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash, secondary VGA front camera, 1730mAh Li-ion battery, Bluetooth 2.1, MicroUSB 2.0, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Hotspot, DLNA. (most of the above may be double-dutch to you, but in simple terms it has mid to high range specs and capabilities for a ‘cheap’ phone).

So, how does all this translate into the everyday performance of the phone? In a word – it’s great. Start up of apps and general running speed is fine, ability to run apps is excellent – I would have had only 3 or 4 that failed to work and of course this may be the fault of the apps not the phone.

My previous comment about not being able to install apps on the external SD card due to the Jelly Bean system was incorrect of course – this I discovered after being frustrated with having to uninstall some to make the room to test new apps. All you need to do is to go to Settings : Manage Apps : then swipe to the left to change the heading from Downloaded to ‘On SD Card’. Select the app you want to move and tap ‘Move to SD card’ – simple and I don’t know how I missed it before! As a rule of thumb, I move non-critical apps only to SD, I wouldn’t move CoPilot GPS for example using the reasoning that it is a complex app that needs fast access to memory to run well and SD memory is slower than the built-in memory. The same reasoning applies to some games of course too.

Another tip is to occasionally tap the ‘Clear cache’ button at the top of the SD card screen too – cache is a temporary storage area that apps use to store ‘stuff’ (not important files) and this can grow like topsy over time. Seeing over 100Mb cache size isn’t unusual and anything to save space and speed up the phone a little is worth doing.

What else? My comments about the screen still stand – it is very hard to see in bright sunlight and forget seeing what you are pointing at in the camera when outside on a sunny day (you soon get used to guessing what you are pointing at and taking a few at a time to be sure of getting a decent shot) – but once you get used to it the Huawei can take some very good shots for a phone at this price. If you turn on ‘auto backup’ in Google+ your photos get saved in the ‘cloud’ for Mr Google to work some magic and subtly enhance them to make them even better, but more on Google+ photo backup in a later post!

Battery life is still very good, I frequently plug it into the charger at night with still 60% charge still left after running all day -even after making a few calls. However, leaving the GPS turned on and in use within an app does quickly deplete the battery so a car charger is definitely needed for all but the shortest trips. As previously mentioned, the GPS speed and reception is very good and we have used the phone many times and for many miles as the primary GPS – the poor old TomTom with it’s 2007 maps sits lonely in the bottom drawer now.

In summary then, I have to say that the Huawei is the best Android phone I have used – and I’ve used a few in my time, including devices from the likes of more well known brands as HTC and Samsung. My next phone will most likely be another Huawei, I’m checking out the G526 4G (LTE) 4.5″ model that can be bought for around $150 here in Australia unlocked which is a bargain considering the specs. If and when I take the plunge I’ll write another review!

Andy


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Andy
About the Author : Andy describes himself as "an older geek" and has been assisting seniors with understanding technology for many years. He is involved with his local seniors computer club and believes that seniors appreciate assistance from those of a similar age group.

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Thanks, Andy

6 Comments on Huawei Y300 Review : Take Two

Andy said : administrator Report 11 months ago

Hi Martin thanks for the feedback. Now we have returned our 'big lap' trip I'll be able to resume the regular posts. The apps are greyed out cannot be moved (for various reasons often have a widget) unfortunately. Andy

martin said : Guest Report 11 months ago

Hi Andy "Stumbled" on to your blog and enjoying it very much. Thanks, and keep up the good work. I've been using the Huawei Y320-U151 for over 3 years now. Great phone, but as you mentioned, storage can be a problem. Your instructions "On SD Card. Select the app you want to move and tap ‘Move to SD". In my Apps menu I've only got 4 apps (no idea why they are there ...) that are in the SD card screen. I've pressed each one to "Move to SD Card". That's OK. But what about all the others that are still in "Downloaded" menu? The "Move to SD Card" button is greyed out there. I've also changed the phone storage from Phone storage to SD card in the Storage menu, but this doesn't do anything. Should it? Cheers

andy said : administrator Report one year ago

The phone just uses any standard USB charger. I use a variety of 12V cigarette lighter ones that all work fine and have also bought a 240V USB one that also works. I'd say that if you need to hold the lead at the phone end to get it to work that the problem is the USB socket on the phone which can't be fixed as far as I know. Sorry about that.

bc said : Guest Report one year ago

Does anyone know the recommended or universal external charger? Bought 2 replacement batteries but now totaly dead. Also the cable no longer charges and had to have lots of towels to press down on it, (it sounds like B2Nmaybe) it used to be on eBay but can't buy anymore.

andy said : administrator Report 3 years ago

Thanks for the feedback Barry - have you tried moving some of your apps to SD card (assuming you have one installed) to free up some space? This allowed me to install plenty more! Remember to, that cheaper phones are usually always 'locked' to a particular phone company and it can often cost you a high fee to unlock them!

Barry Ward said : Guest Report 3 years ago

Yes - I have enjoyed using this phone for the past year - although I don't really use it as a phone (if somebody called me now I doubt that I would know how to answer the call) . I use it mainly as a "pocket sized computer" - it goes everywhere with me ( I am a runner so it talks to me and coaches me while running) , while travelling (excellent GPS and free offline worldwide maps using Osmand) , Internet and email (of course), a pocket Translator, a cruiseship and aircraft position finder, an Ereader ( Kindle for MOBI books and Aldiko for Epubs), camera and photo editor, an instant heart rate monitor. I LOVE IT!! I paid $99 for mine - but they were selling for $79 later -- I understand that they are hard to find lately. Their biggest weakness for me ( but not a real bad problem) was only 512K operating memory and only 4 gigabyte RAM ( which really means that you only have around 1 Gig to install Apps to.) In the early days of my ownership, I dropped the phone from waist height onto a marble floor - and it just "bounced" - not a scratch on it. . I will definitely buy another Huawei - but they seem a bit reluctant to send many of their devices to Australia. I have been told that Target have been selling the G526 for only $79 recently - but they also have been hard to come by.

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