Huawei is a Chinese company that excels at producing phones that sell for less than most of the competition. The Huawei Ascend G330 is a follow-up to the Ascend G300, a popular device that provides a solid Android experience, while doing the price limbo under the magic £100 pre-pay barrier.
This phone’s aim is much the same as its predecessor. The Huawei Ascend G330 simply nudges up a few of the phone’s specs, making the most of the tech improvements and component price reductions of the six months since the G300 arrived. Most notably, the processor has been bumped up from a single-core model to a dual-core Snapdragon chip. As with any low-cost phone, it isn’t perfect. But it is stunning value for money.
Value is the Huawei Ascend G330’s strongest suit, making the unremarkable design easier to forgive. At 11.2mm thick, the phone is chunky by current standards, and aside from the glass front, the rest of the handset is finished in plastic.
The Huawei Ascend G330's rear is topped with a soft-touch plastic battery cover, and the sides are glossy black. In other words, it's a largely generic-looking mid-range Android phone, but considering it will be available from just £100 on a pre-pay deal, this is no bad thing. The front soft keys don’t light up and there’s no thumb-friendly physical central button but it’s also refreshingly free of misguidedly stylised touches that might not translate too well between different countries.
Although it isn’t slim, the phone’s in-hand feel is great. The soft touch rear is smooth, lacking the slightly tacky vibe of glossy plastic, and the phone’s chunkiness and relatively weighty 130g girth lend it a sense of solidity.
There’s just one unfortunate construction niggle. The Huawei Ascend G330’s top edge has a creaky spot, where there’s an expanse of plastic cover that doesn’t secure itself to the phone’s frame. This bit tends to creak away when playing a game in landscape orientation.
We get to use phones of all sizes, and regularly too, and we’ve come to the conclusion that a 4-inch screen phone like the Huawei Ascend G330 offers a great balance between screen size and ergonomic ease. With the larger Samsung Galaxy S3, most people will struggle to reach the phone’s buttons with one hand in play. Here, most adults will easily be able to reach the phone’s power button up top and the volume rocker on the left edge with just the one hand involved. Bigger is often better, but not always.
There are just two connectors on the phone’s outer body. There’s the usual microUSB charging port on the bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack up top – no extra surprises here.
The Huawei Ascend G330 wins a flexibility point or two for what you’ll find under the plastic battery cover, though. There’s a microSD memory card slot here. It’s a necessity as there’s a relatively paltry 4GB of internal memory on-board – enough for a few apps and games, but woefully inadequate if you want to store music or films on your phone. The microSD slot lets you upgrade the memory by 32GB for under £15.