Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Huawei Ascend Y530 Review - Software and Performance Review


Huawei Ascend Y530: Software

The Huawei Ascend Y530 does not fare particularly well with its software. It uses Android 4.3, a rather old version of the system, and a custom Huawei interface known as the Emotion UI.

This software has caused problems again and again, because it’s quite different from basic Android in some respects, isn’t always completely intuitive and often causes performance issues. Some of these issues are present in the Ascend Y530.

Huawei Ascend Y530 17

The biggest alteration Emotion UI makes is to get rid of the separate apps menu you normally get in an Android phone. Most Android interfaces are split into homescreens and the apps menu – one is curated, the other largely managed for you (the apps menu).

In the Ascend Y530’s interface, you only get homescreens. And anything you download from the Android app store is dumped onto one of these homescreens. It’s up to you to then sort out where everything goes.

We find it’s not a great fit for beginners or those looking for an easy mobile life, as it demands more effort on your part. And there’s work to do from the start because unlike an iPhone – which takes a similar basic approach to the interface – the Huawei Ascend Y530 comes with quite a lot of preinstalled apps.

Huawei Ascend Y530
It’s not a great-looking UI, either. Emotion UI’s default these is a bit fusty. There are other themes you can apply, but only a paltry two extra, neither of which is exactly a masterpiece.

There are other Emotion UI themes you can download from the internet, but Huawei does not make this at all clear, or easy. In the Huawei Ascend Mate 7’s version of the software, this has been sorted out. We just wish it was here too.

Despite having been around for quite a while in a similar form, the Huawei Ascend Y530’s interface still seems half-baked.

Huawei Ascend Y530 13

There is one neat addition, though. You get a special simple mode that puts the phone’s basic features on-screen in a much simpler layout with lots of colour contrast for extra clarity. It’s not a bad option if the phone is going to be used by someone quite technophobic.

Huawei Ascend Y530: Apps and Performance

We had mixed experiences with the Huawei Ascend Y530’s performance. It’s improved over some earlier Huawei models, but it’s still rather slow among £100 phones.

You can flick through the interface quickly enough, but apps often take a while to load and on occasion we were left waiting while typing as the keyboard caught up with our taps.

Huawei Ascend Y530 9

We also had an awful lot of trouble running some of our normal performance tests. Games like Real Racing and Dead Trigger 2 will often give you a good idea if a phone can handle advanced games, but the very limited internal storage makes installing some of them very difficult.

Even when we got Dead Trigger 2 installed, we still experienced loads of glitches – we rarely have problems running this game. This is not a great gaming phone (fingers crossed Huawei will improve stability a bit in future updates).

Looking at the Huawei Ascend Y530’s specs, it’s no wonder that, given the somewhat under-optimised software, there are some issues. First, the phone only has 512MB RAM. We generally find that Android phones with less than 1GB RAM often have basic performance issues.

The CPU is low-end too. It’s a well known model – the dual-core variant of the Snapdragon 200 – but it’s at the very bottom end of Qualcomm’s mobile processors. Even getting our standard Geekbench 3 benchmark to work was a bit of a struggle as the Huawei Ascend Y530 kept on freezing mid-test. This phone does not feel as stable as the very solid Motorola Moto G.

After a few attempts, we got a score of 584 points. That’s similar to the Moto E, and around half of what the Moto G and EE Kestrel achieve. It’s not a great score.

We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main phone for the review period

Reviewed using respected industry benchmarks and real world testing

Always has a SIM card installed

Tested with phone calls, games and popular apps

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words