- Sensible design
- Decent performance
- Small, low resolution screen
- …causing limited games support
- Poor camera
- Review Price: £79.99
- Qualcomm MSM7225A 800MHz CPU
- Adreno 200 GPU
- 2.8in 240 x 320 pixel screen
- Android 2.3 OS
- 3.2MP camera
The Huawei Y 100 is an example of what Huawei does best. It’s a highly affordable Android phone designed to get give late smartphone adopters a chance to get on the ladder that leads to the iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S3s of this world. It sells for £79.99, and is quite cute and very small. But in spite of its accessibility, it makes compromises that undo some of its best efforts.
Huawei isn’t a company that’s thought of as having a massive ego. Most of its devices have had other companies’ names slapped on them, and while it’s going out on its own with phones like the Huawei Y 100, some of that humble flavour remains in the design.
Made of soft touch matt black plastic with some unobtrusive silver trim bits, the Y 100 is a mostly-tasteful, unassuming phone. Using a petite 2.8in screen lets it stay small, a light year away from the envelope-pushing budget handsets like the 4.3in Orange Monte Carlo, produced by Huawei arch-rival ZTE. It’s light, it’s kinda cute, and while it’s not going to convince anyone it costs much more than £100, we appreciate its sensible looks.
As is common among 4:3 aspect 2.8in screens, though, there’s a large area of empty black bezel – a reminder of quite how small the screen is here. The Huawei Y 100 uses the standard trio of Android nav buttons, which are touch sensitive and sit just below the screen.
Further below sit the square home button and the pinhole microphone. Its design has a less recognisable look than the larger – but similarly-priced – Huawei Blaze, but uses a glass front rather than hard plastic. Although more prone to cracking when dropped, it’s less prone to scratches with normal use.
Not super-slim, not fat either
Like every Android phone, the Huawei Y 100 offers high-speed HSPA mobile internet, letting you browse the net while you’re out and about. Don’t have mobile internet as part of your package? Wi-Fi n is on-hand too.
On the hardware front, the Huawei Y 100 packs a limited number of connections, but it’s an array perfectly suited to a budget phone like this. Up top we have a microUSB slot, to charge the phone and give access to its internal memory, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Under the battery cover, which makes up the entire back, there’s also a microSD slot. Without plugging one in – and there isn’t one supplied – the phone is very limited as there’s just 160MB of internal memory.
A glance down the Huawei Y 100’s spec list reads like an archetype budget phone. The 2.8in screen is small, the 3.2-megapixel camera low-rent and simple plastic body the norm. Just one part sticks out. It uses an 800MHz Qualcomm processor, where other bottom-end Androids often have 600MHz chips. Does it make a difference? We’ll find out later.