The Huawei Ascend G300 is built around a single core 1GHz processor and has 512MB of RAM. There's also 4GB of ROM, although only around 2.4GB of this is available for storing apps and your own data such as photos and videos. Nevertheless, it does have a microSD card slot that accepts cards of up to 32GB in size, so for a fairly modest additional outlay you can have quite a lot of storage space to hand.
On the whole the phone performs pretty well. It's obviously not as speedy as today's high-end dual and quad-core phones, but apps load relatively quickly, scrolling is smooth and on most sites the browser feel reasonably nippy. That said, it does take a while to render more complicated websites and scrolling can become choppy on image-heavy sites.
Also, 3D games tend to tax its hardware to the limits and although standard definition video plays fine, it struggles with 720p HD video files. These issues were reflected in its benchmark results. In BrowserMark it posted a score of 66424, while in SunSpider it managed to reach 3270 - a fair bit behind the likes of the iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus, but at the same time way ahead of the Orange San Francisco II.
The limits of the single-core processor showed though in the Linpack test where it posted a score of 9.57 miliseconds and in the GL Benchmark standard Egyptian test, which is a good indicator of 3D gaming performance, it only managed 20frames per second. Nevertheless, for a phone that costs £100, these results are still very impressive and put it at the head of the budget smartphone pack.
Undoubtedly the best thing about the Huawei G300 is its screen. At 4in it's nice and large, but also has a decent resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, so text, graphics, videos and snaps still look very sharp and detailed. It produces vivid, yet natural colours, and while it could have a touch more brightness – especially when you're using it outdoors – it's still miles better than most of the screens we've seen on most budget Android phones.
On the operating system side, the G300 comes loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Huawei has added its own skin over the top, but the changes are relatively minor, which is no bad thing in our book. There are five homescreens by default, on to which you can add widgets and shortcuts.
There's also a customisable shortcut bar at the bottom of the screen. This has one immovable icon that takes you to the apps drawer, with the other three set to take you to the SMS, dialer and browser, although you can edit these last three to launch pretty much anything you choose.
Huawei has changed the lock screen too. It has a circle in the middle with four functions dotted around it for unlock, SMS, camera and call log. You drag the lock button to one of these icons to launch that function. It's a pretty neat and useful feature and similar to the lock screen on the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) version of Android. Speaking of which, Huawei says that it will release an update to ICS for the phone later in the summer.
Early versions of this phone had a bug in the firmware that caused the volume to stick at a very low level. However, Huawei has now fixed this and we didn’t experience any problems with it. It's not the best phone we've ever used in terms of call quality, as the earpiece could do with a tad more clarity, but it's far from the worst either and we don’t think most people will have a big problem with it.
The Huawei G300 relies on a removable 1,500mAh battery for its power and its battery life actually isn't bad. It'll easily last a day before needing a recharge, which is more than can be said for a lot of budget Android handsets.
The Huawei G300 is an easy phone to like. It has a smart and robust design, good battery life, a great screen and punches above its weight in the budget phone performance stake. In short, we think that at £100 on PAYG it represents a total bargain and is even better value for money than the likes of the Orange San Francisco II.