7 months ago, I purchased the Huawei Ascend Y330 smartphone. That was a long time ago in smartphone years, but a 7 month review is as reliable and definitive as they get. When I first saw the Ascend Y330, I thought that it had to be a dirt cheap phone. It only cost $56 at the time, but it was an opportunity to get my first Android phone, as well as my first phone with a touch screen. I had to look at it.
I momentarily tried it out in the store, and found that it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be. It actually had a somewhat solid (but not impressive) feel to it. I swiped through the menus and saw what you would expect to see on most Android phones — Exactly the same thing. What sets this phone apart from its high-end counterparts is the hardware. Android doesn’t vary too much across the smartphone spectrum, so it has virtually every feature you would want from Android 4.2.
Now for the hardware — The reason it was affordable. Like every other phone in its price range, it has a coarse screen (don’t worry, the perks of this phone are mentioned at the end). By coarse, I don’t mean bumpy or poorly made. For a plastic screen, it is very smooth, but you won’t get that silky-smooth experience that you would get from an iPhone 5s, BlackBerry Z30, or Samsung Galaxy S5, both of which have glass screens.
This may sound insignificant, but the issue actually intensified over time. The screen starts out smooth enough when it’s clean, and then it quickly picks up dirt from the surrounding air, your fingers, etc, and it becomes very uncomfortable. This means that you will have to wipe this phone’s screen multiple times per day. In addition to that, it scratches easily (once again, it is plastic, and plastic is inherently prone to scratches).
The other catches are sluggish performance and the lack of a front-facing camera. The performance is caused by the fact that is has only 512MB of RAM, which is well below the 2GB that higher end, albeit more expensive smartphones are often equipped with, but it has a dual-core 1.3GHZ CPU that helps compensate for that. It also comes with only 4GB of storage, but that isn’t an issue, as that can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD card, which is affordable.
Feature-wise, it is well-equipped for the price with GPS capability, a 4-inch screen, and a rear-facing camera which can take HD photos (2048 x 1536 pixels, 3.5 MP), and 480p videos (not HD). Bear in mind that HD photos are not necessarily high quality. HD photos are just 1280 x 720p and upwards. A sample photo taken with the Huawei Ascend Y330.
The screen is 480 x 800, which is not HD, unfortunately. You will find yourself jealous of your friends’ smartphone screens, which will be higher quality overall, but you would have saved a great deal of money by purchasing this phone. Finally, it comes with the user-friendly HiSuite desktop software which can sync your music and the rest of your data easily. It even allows you to quickly turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot for your tablet or laptop.