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Huawei Ascend Y550 review

 Review: January 2015  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Huawei Ascend Y550 is probably the cheapest 4G phone available. For very little money, you get an Android KitKat phone with a quadcore processor, a large screen, and strong battery life. The main compromise is the small amount of storage, but a microSD card slot compensates for this. It's definitely worth a look!

Best buy: Huawei Ascend Y550 UK SIM-Fr ... from Amazon (£74.95)



 

Introduction

While Apple is busy finding out just how high a price people are willing to pay for a premium smartphone, Huawei is exploring how much value it can deliver for hardly any money at all. The Chinese company doesn't have the high profile of the likes of Apple, but if it keeps turning out phones like the Ascend Y550, it deserves to become a lot better known.

Big screen - low cost

The Y550 is positioned just above the Huawei Y330, right at the bottom of the entry-level smartphone market, and costs very little. Yet it's a good-looking, unpretentious phone with a solid plastic construction and sleek lines. We'd go as far as saying that the Y550 is an attractive phone, not unlike Nokia's Lumia range. It's available in a choice of Black or White.

The Y550 is a fair bit larger and heavier than the Y330, but it's slimmer too, and is a nice size to handle. The screen is a large 4.5 inch IPS display - very welcome for watching videos, viewing photos and websites, and playing games. It isn't the finest display in existence, but for an entry-level model it's perfectly good. 

Android KitKat - Huawei style

The Y550 comes with Android KitKat 4.4.4, plus version 2.3 of Huawei's Emotion user interface. KitKat is a fairly refined version of Android, and Emotion doesn't add a lot, but we're not going to make any complaints about it either.

Respectable hardware

The internal hardware of the Huawei is on a par with pricier models such as the Motorola Moto G and Sony Xperia E3. Central to the phone's performance is the quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that flies along at a quick 1.2GHz. The system comes with a decent 1GB of RAM, which is enough to avoid hiccups in performance. Load times for memory-intensive apps may be longer than on high-end phones, but day-to-day operations work smoothly.

The built-in storage is limited to just 4GB, of which half is used by the system, but there's a microSD card slot, so you can extend the memory by up to 32GB for a few quid. The small memory does rule out some of the more memory-hungry 3D games.

Autofocus camera

The rear-facing camera is perfectly reasonable for a phone of this type. It uses a 5 megapixel sensor and includes autofocus, a flash and HD video recording. The camera works very well in good light, but flounders indoors and in the dark, with grainy pictures. But this is no different from most entry-level phones, and some mid-rangers too.

A front-facing camera is provided for selfies and video, although this is a basic 2 megapixel fixed-focus camera with no flash.

4G connectivity

The Y550 is probably the cheapest 4G phone currently available. On a 4G LTE network, it will give you broadband internet speeds, and can switch to 3G HSPA and 2G networks as required. It also offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and a headphone jack.

Battery life

The battery life of the Y550 is excellent. It's equipped with a heavy-duty 2000mAh battery and should be good for a couple of days use between charging. Light users will probably get even more.

Conclusion - super value

The Huawei Y550 wears its budget smartphone credentials with pride, packing in as much usability as possible, while avoiding unnecessary features that would add to the cost. All plastic it may be, but it's solidly built and not at all shabby in look and feel. The screen is a generous size, and the quadcore CPU keeps everything responsive and ticking along nicely. Connectivity is excellent and battery life is strong too.

On the downside, the cameras lack low-light capability and the built-in memory is low, but when you consider the price, these are compromises we're happy to accept.

Despite its low price, the phone even comes supplied with a headset, charger and a USB cable.

Overall, this is an excellent budget smartphone and one that shouldn't be overlooked just because the Huawei name is less familiar than others. Also check out the new Huawei Y360.


Huawei Ascend Y550 features include:

Best buys
£74.95
Huawei Ascend Y550 UK SIM-Fr ...
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Huawei Ascend Y550 user reviews

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Average rating from 5 reviews:

Reviewed by Parkes from UK on 24th May 2016
My Huawei Ascend Y550 Smart Phones developed a fault, people I phone are telling me that they cannot hear, which by the looks of things would suggest that the microphones gone faulty, I have tried all the Huawei web sites to try and get it repaired but to no avail, there is a site that requires the exact date of purchase so that you can send them an email, as I can only remember the month and the year it won't let me send the email, I've even tried typing in a random day but exact month and year and still it wont work, I've now got to resort to using a standby phone while I decide what to do with this heap of junk, This will be the last Huawei smart phone that I will ever buy or own, I should have stuck to Samsung Smart Phone which I never had any trouble with.
Rating:

Reviewed by aris from greek on 8th Jun 2015
5 stars
Rating:

Reviewed by Amayzingone from Australia on 25th Apr 2015
By far the best budget phone on the planet Earth. Does everything without a glitch. Screen is clear with vibrant colours. Performs very well. Covers all the popular 3G and 4G bands. What more could you ask for? It just needs a memory card to expand memory. Can't agree with the critics. They have no idea really. Just looking to rubbish this phone because its cheap. For me its much better than a Samsung Galaxy S2 and almost on par with an S3 but for a fraction of the price.
Rating:

Reviewed by AMJ from UK on 3rd Apr 2015
This phone was only announced in Sep 14 so the previous reviewer must be on about a different phone ! My experience is that it is very good. Strong battery and processor. The display is fine. Needs a memory card to get the best from it. Sound is good if you use decent headphones.
Rating:

Reviewed by mr Steve Sparkes from England on 31st Jan 2015
I purchased this model in May 2014 after I had a good experience with the Y300 Model. Unfortunately, I have had nothing but trouble with it despite having returned it THREE times for repair. It will not repeat play music downloaded on my phone, and it continuously would repeat sent texts 3 times. I threw the phone in the bin in November 2014, and would now never purchase Huawei products again. Do not buy
Rating:


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