Huawei Ascend G 300 review

This £100 Android smartphone comes with meaty specifications including a 4in display, 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 512MB of RAM and 5-megapixel camera. Despite its budget nature, and the use of Android 2.3, Huawei hasn't compromised on performance or battery life.

SoftwareHigh-end Android handsets are now shipping with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, but the G 300 comes with the previous generation 2.3 Gingerbread OS. Basic features remain the same, but users will not be able to use apps built for ICS, such as Google Chrome for Android Beta.

Huawei has put on an unobtrusive overlay on top of the operating system. This goes by the name of the Huawei Android Platform (HAP). The customisable lockscreen is the main difference over stock Android with users able to swipe directly into an application, like you can with the HTC Sense interface.

Huawei Ascend G 300 - Lock Screen

The HAP overlay is simple and the lockscreen makes it easy to access apps quickly

Swiping up takes you to the phone dialer and a flick down opens the camera. A quick swipe left opens up the messaging app and swiping right takes you to the home screen. This can be customised to suit your needs.

In terms of business apps, the G 300 comes pre-loaded with Google apps, an email client and a free version of Docs to Go, so it is possible to view files out-of-the-box.

Documents display well on screen, with the text reformatting to fit the screen when you zoom in. However, you'll have to pay 9.49 to upgrade to the Pro version if you want to start editing files.

At the launch event Huawei told IT Pro the G 300 is upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), in theory. It remains to be seen whether the firm chooses to push this through to users as it may compromise performance.

ICS would allow users to track data usage and encrypt devices. However, features such as Face Unlock and Android Beam would be unusable as the G 300 does not have a front-facing camera or NFC connectivity.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.