The Ascend Y300 has two cameras. The rear camera uses a 5-megapixel sensor and the front one is an extremely basic VGA camera.
5-megapixel cameras can often produce pretty good shots, but the Y300’s one certainly can’t. It’s poor. Images are extremely soft, and frequently out of focus even without any significant movement on the shooter’s part. There is some shutter lag, with around 1.5-2 seconds between when you hit the virtual shutter button and the shot actually being taken.
Fine details are scrubbed out by the softness of the photos
It can’t cope well with strong light sources, frequently overexposing bright areas in images and suffering from inconsistent white balance management. And even in decent lighting, photos are fairly noisy. In short, the camera is rubbish. But at least it has a flash and autofocus.
The dodgy white balance in action - three shots, same position, same setting. Different results
You don’t get a great wealth of modes, either. There’s Panorama and a few basic filters like sepia and solarise, but no HDR mode (which could have helped to fix the exposure issues), no burst mode and none of the more frivolous modes top phones like the Galaxy S4 are starting to make popular.
Video capture is poor, too. The Ascend Y300 maxes out at VGA resolution video in both the front and rear cameras. Compared to the HD video you can capture with most mid-range phones, VGA looks terrible.
The Huawei Ascend Y300 has all the basic connections you’ll need in an Android phone. You get Wi-Fi, GPS and fairly speedy 3G mobile internet – and like virtually all phones these days, the charging connection is a microUSB port.
What the Ascend Y300 doesn’t have is the more advanced stuff – there’s no 4G, no NFC and (the most annoying in our book) no compass. The latter means that while you can see where you are in Google Maps, you can’t see which direction you’re facing.
File transfer rates are also a bit slow too (the CPU doesn’t support the full 480mbit transfer rate possible with USB 2.0), but this will only crop up with those who want to use the phone as a little media player. And you can always transfer the files to a microSD card beforehand anyway.
With a pretty dodgy camera, not enough memory or power to justice to Android’s top games, it’s clear that the Huawei Ascend Y300 is a phone aimed at those who aren’t going to challenge their phone too much. We’re glad to report, then, that both battery life and call quality are perfectly fine.
The earpiece speaker is reasonably good and the Ascend Y300 has two microphones to let it actively cancel-out some ambient noise during calls.
Its battery is a 1,750mAh unit, which is a good capacity for a 4-inch, relatively low-resolution phone. There’s also a battery-saving mode, which can boost stamina for light users to several days. It turns of things such as background data use and haptic feedback (vibration when using the soft keys). As with almost any Android phone, though, intensive users will have to charge every day.
We’ve been pretty down on several features of the Ascend Y300. Its camera isn’t great, its power reserves are limited and its interface takes some getting used to.
However, it remains a solid phone for the money, as its basic build quality, screen quality and the overall Android experience it provides are all sound. It won’t turn heads, and the lag requires a little patience, but for those who don’t want to fork out the extra for a better-known brands, this is a good solution.
We'd recommend taking a look a our list of the best cheap mobile phones before buying, however.
The Huawei Ascend Y300 is a solid budget phone that is good value for money. There is some lag, and the user interface is a little odd, but if you have a little patience it’s a decent buy.