The Huawei G300 is offered at an extremely attractive in price. With Android smartphone prices dropping through the floor recently, with some handsets available for as little as £40 on Pay as You Go it's sometimes hard to gauge why one is better than another. However, these cheaper android phones often have very low resolution screens or wheezing processors that lead to sluggish performance. The Huawei G300 is an altogether better compromise. It's still very affordable, but has a large 4in screen and a decent 1GHz processor. Currently this phone is available exclusively on Vodafone for £100, plus a £10 top up, or for £199.99 Sim Free, so can it challenge the likes of the Orange San Francisco II as the budget smartphone to beat?
The Huawei G300 manages to avoid some of the pitfalls of a lot of budget phones. Firstly its build quality is actually quite good and sturdy. It doesn't feel like a cheap handset, but rather gives off quite a solid and robust impression when you hold it.
Secondly, the design avoids looking dated and is quite easy on the eye. Although the case initially appears to be made from metal, it turns out that this is just plastic with a metallic coating. Nevertheless, it looks convincing and contrasts quite nicely with the glossy white plastic edges at the top and bottom of the handset. The corners are rounded too, which helps it sit more comfortably in your hand than phones that have more angular styling, such as the iPhone 4S.
Naturally the front of the Huawei G300 is mostly taken up by the large-ish 4in screen, but at the bottom there are also touch buttons for the option, home and back functions. These are backlit too, which is handy when you're using the phone at night. Hardware buttons have been kept to a minimum – there's just a power/lock switch at the top as well as a volume rocker button on the left hand edge – and the placement of the headphone jack at the top and microUSB port at the bottom may be pretty traditional, but it's just how we like it. Thankfully, there's a removable battery that sits behind the snap off cover on the rear and when the cover is removed you can also easily get at the microUSB card slot.
The rear of the phone is also home to the 5-megapixel camera. There's no front facing camera either, so you can’t use the handset for video calling in apps like Skype, which is a bit of a shame, but understandable given its modest asking price. There's relatively little shutter lag when firing off snaps and the autofocus is pretty quick too. Snaps in good lighting conditions tend to look better than you might expect from a budget blower, as they have strong levels of detail and sharp edges.
However as light decreases so does its performance, with a lot of noise creeping into shots. It also doesn't handle shadow detail very well. You can call the LED flash in to play to help it out when you're shooting in low light, to help improve things.