The Huawei Ascend G330 has two cameras. There’s a video chat sensor on the front, of VGA resolution, and a 5-megapixel main snapper.
Although the video chat camera is poor, as is to be expected of such a low-resolution sensor, the rear camera is a little better. It has an LED flash for low-light conditions and in the right lighting conditions can produce fairly detailed shots – for a 5-megapixel phone camera.
As is the standard for mobile cameras, though, it struggles in moderate-to-poor lighting. The autofocus’s limited macro abilities fall to pieces, producing blurry shots even though the camera app reports the subject is in-focus.
The usability of the camera is severely hampered by shutter lag too. Autofocus is speedy enough, but each shot takes around two seconds to complete. Move the camera mid-shot and you'll end up with a blurry mess. As these shots show, though, with a bit of patience you can produce some decent shots.
Video performance is genuinely poor, though. Maximum resolution is capped at 480p, when plenty of 5-megapixel phone cameras can produce 720p vids.
With a 1,500 mAh battery the stamina of the Huawei Ascend G330 is nothing to get too excited about. Using the phone for a couple of weeks, we found that the phone can survive through a day and a bit, but it’s a way off supplying two-day battery life without turning 3G off.
Battery life isn’t a particular focus of this phone, though. The 4-inch Huawei Honor is battery-obsessed and uses a much larger 1,900 mAh unit – but sold for a good deal more money.
Consistent with its style of lopping off additional bells and whistles to grind the price into the ground, the Huawei Ascend G330 misses out on a couple of connectivity bits. Most notably, it doesn’t have NFC, Near-Field Communication. This is used in several high street retailers as a mobile payments standard, and can used in phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 to transfer files over short distances.
There’s also limited Bluetooth support – it uses version 2.0 rather than 4.0. Most other connectivity basics are here, though. There’s Wi-Fi n with hotspot creation, letting you share your mobile data allowance with other devices. Fast HSPA internet is, as is standard in Android phones, supported too.
The Huawei Ascend G330 will be available from TalkTalk on a tariff of £10 a month, and following a period of exclusivity is expected to sell for around £100 on pre-pay deals. This means it level-pegs with its predecessor the Ascend G300, and is around half the price of similarly-specced phones from other companies, including the HTC Desire X, and smaller-screen Sony Xperia U.
This is not a phone without compromise, and both the HTC Desire X and slightly higher-spec Sony Xperia P are better 4-inch phones if you can afford the additional outlay. However, when most rivals demand 50-100 percent extra outlay, they may have similar specs but we’re talking about a completely different class of device. Like the Huawei Ascend G300, the G330 offers excellent value, in spite of its flaws.
Huawei has gained a phone-loving fan base for a reason – it’s because it produces phones at prices few others can really compete with, giving the impression that every penny has gone into offering as much phone for as little cash as possible. The Huawei Ascend G330 is no exception, offering decent specs, a fairly good screen and solidly workmanlike design at an excellent price. Performance is bettered by similarly specced phones from better-known names, but compared to phones at the same price, the Ascend G330 comes out shining.