Look and feel
For a mid-range mobile, the Huawei Ascend G330 is well put-together and feels good in the hand.
Ease of Use
The four-inch display offers good room for browsing the web, playing with apps or navigating around the excellent Android Ice Cream Sandwich interface.
A 5MP camera takes clear photos and is backed up by the Ascend G330’s VGA front-facing lens for video calls. You only get 4GB of storage included in the form of a micro SD card, but this can be replaced with anything up to 32GB.
The Ascend G330’s dual-core processor keeps everything running smoothly, whatever you’re up to.
You’ll need to charge up every day, as with most modern smartphones.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/19/2012 2:55:06 PM
Ease of use
Firm, good-looking build;
Spacious, bright screen;
Memory card slot to expand storage
Average battery life;
Only 4GB of storage included
When it comes to affordable smartphones, Huawei is king and the Huawei Ascend G330 is a shiny new gem in its crown. You get what you pay for when it comes to any midrange smartphone, but the likes of the HTC Desire X and the Sony Xperia J have proved that you can pick up a decent feature-packed Android for a good price, and the Ascend G330 is another highly competitive entry, boasting style and some great features for the price. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s certainly a worthy first smartphone.
When it comes to budget smartphones, many manufacturers opt to save money by cutting back spending on the screen. Sometimes we see low-resolution displays that make images look blocky, or screens that are dull and lifeless, but thankfully Huawei hasn’t resorted to that tactic. The Ascend G330’s 4-inch display is both bright and clear, while the 480 x 800-pixel resolution means photos and the rest are easy on the eye. It may not be quite as capable as the Sony Xperia S, but for the price it’s one of the best around.
The screen real estate you get for the price is also impressive. The display is roomy enough to make web browsing and other activities comfortable, and while it can’t match bigger screens such as the Samsung Galaxy S III’s for enjoying video and games, it more than does the job.
Another giveaway that costs have been cut on a smartphone is in the styling and build quality of a smartphone. A cheap plastic panel that creaks and flexes when prodded is always worrying, and chances are many phones of that ilk wouldn’t survive a tumble. But once again, the Ascend G330 not only feels solid, it also looks the part. A black-framed display gives way to silver edging and a back panel with white surround, giving this phone a clean and classic look.
The black matt case feels nice in the hand, while the rubbery backing helps you to keep a firm grip at all times. At 130g, it’s definitely one of the heavier mid-range mobiles we’ve handled lately, but we don’t mind the weight - it helps the Ascend G330 to feel like a quality product. And though the silver battery cover is slender plastic, the overall build quality is strong, so the whole thing holds together well and feels great.
The Ascend G330 packs a five-megapixel camera with LED flash and the overall picture quality is very good, although it won’t exactly blow you away. The very short shutter lag is impressive, so photos take quickly after you tap the button. Our daylight photos came out well although low-light efforts were a little dingy in general.
You get a full selection of manual controls and plenty of camera features, including the ability to take panoramic shots, plus lots of coloured filters to make your snaps unique, including negative, solarise, posterise and aqua. They are unlikely to be used much by anyone other than younger snappers, but still good fun for making your pics stand out. You can even tag your location, plus set a timer from two to 10 seconds. A secondary front-facing VGA camera can be used to Skype your mates.
The 1GHz dual-core processor works well alongside the 512MB of RAM, making the Ascend G330 a pleasure to use. At no point do you feel you are waiting for the handset to catch up and the device feels fast and smooth to operate. You get the option to extend the memory with a microSD card if you feel you need more than the 4GB of onboard storage provided.
Battery life is nothing to shout about, as you need to charge the device daily like most mid-range touchscreen smartphones. If you stream video using the bundled iPlayer app or the likes of YouTube, you’ll need to charge it more often. Thankfully both the call quality and the signal strength are strong, if you actually use your mobile phone to make calls...
The Ascend G330 runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, one of the very latest versions of this excellent customisable OS. The home screen icons are large and the interface is intuitive, making it easy to navigate around (helped by the spacious screen). As well as updating you on any new text messages, missed calls and so on, the notifications bar also allows you to toggle the phone’s Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, flight mode and GPS, among others. This is a handy for those who want to access the settings very quickly without trawling through menus.
The Ascend G330 has a typically easy-to-use keyboard, and like all Android smartphones, you can always download a new one from the Google Play store if you’re not happy with it. We had no trouble texting and emailing, again thanks to the spacious display.
The Huawei Ascend G330 is a solid, stylish smartphone crammed with plenty of decent features. The price is great for the the hardware that you get, and the phone doesn’t try to punch above its weight: it’s perfectly happy being a very good mid-range smartphone. Huawei have clearly got the balance right between hardware and styling, making this a strong choice for customers upgrading to their first smartphone.