When dealing with a 2.8in screen like the Huawei Y 100’s, you don’t expect much in terms of video playback. We were pleasantly surprised to find that it can handle a fairly wide array of file types including DivX and Xvid. SD content plays back reasonably smoothly.
However, it refused to play all our MKV clips and HD-resolution files. It’s no great shame, though, as the video viewing experience here is pretty dismal. The screen is simply too small, and the limitations of the low-res, low-grade display all too evident. Thumbnails for videos also refused to appear in the “Gallery” media player too, making video selection an annoying case of trial and error.
Thankfully, music isn’t similarly affected by the poor screen. The Huawei Y 100 uses the standard Android music player, which offers decent iPod-like navigation of your music.
Sound quality and volume output are – predictably – nothing special, but paired-up with a large microSD memory card the Y 100 can double-up as an MP3 player easily enough. Beyond the MP3 basics, it doesn’t support lossless FLAC files, but there is an FM radio app, using the headphone cable as the aerial.
There is just a single camera on this phone, so you get no video chat here. It has 3.2 megapixels to work with, no flash and no autofocus. Phone cameras do get worse than this, but not without trying pretty hard.
There’s no customisation of the most basic version of the Android camera app pre-installed. You have a few scene modes to pick from, or a fistful of basic effects like mono and sepia, but that’s about it.
Not having a flash or autofocus to play with makes it useless for anything but the most casual throwaway shots. The results aren’t great, either. On a bright – if not entirely sunny – afternoon, the Huawei Y 100 made the London skyline look glum and dusk-like, and detail captured is not a patch on a decent autofocus-enabled 5MP camera. Keep your expectations low and you won’t be (too) disappointed.
Shot on a fairly bright afternoon, but you wouldn’t know it
Call quality and battery life
Both call quality and battery life of the Huawei Y 100 are fairly unremarkable. The loudspeaker on the back is fairly clear and forthright, but the phone lacks the active noise cancellation of more expensive phones. Its battery is a 1050mAh model, which will get you a day and change’s use with 3G enabled, or up to three days with light Wi-Fi-only usage.
The Huawei Y 100 gets several of the basics right. Its 800MHz processor offers decent performance and the custom UI doesn’t ruin Android. However, it gets several core elements a bit wrong, too. The screen is small and low-res, which not only stymies overall enjoyment but makes the phone incompatible with many of the games and apps its target audience of younger and less experienced smartphone-wielders would enjoy.
A year ago, the low price and decent touchscreen quality would have been enough to justify the Y 100 entirely. However, now that great phones like the Orange San Francisco, Huawei Blaze and Orange Monte Carlo have raised the bar, at £80 the Huawei Y 100 doesn’t quite fit comfortably. Once it drops below £50, it’ll make a much more sensible buy.
The Huawei Y 100 is one of the cheapest Android phones around. And thanks to its 800MHz processor, it performs well among its rivals. However, the small, low-res screen has just too many drawbacks to make it seem like a bargain at £80. Typing feels cramped, text looks blocky and games support is severely reduced. There are a few too many capable alternatives around the same price.
Score in detail
Screen Quality 5