Huawei Ascend Y100 Android phone
The Ascend Y100 has a tiny screen, a mediocre camera and average performance but for under $100, can you really complain?
- Value for money
- Some nice UI touches
- Decent battery life
- Tiny screen
- Poor default keyboard
- Can be sluggish at times
The Huawei Ascend Y100 has a tiny screen, a mediocre camera and average performance. However, it's all about the price in this instance. At under $100, we can't fault the Ascend Y100 too much. If you're patient and can live with a cramped screen, then this is a fully featured Android phone for a great price.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
What kind of smartphone can you buy with $99? That's the question Huawei has answered with the Ascend Y100, a fully featured Android phone exclusively sold in Australia through Vodafone. The Ascend Y100 may have a tiny screen, a mediocre camera and average performance but for under $100, can you really complain?
Tiny phone, tiny display
The Huawei Ascend Y100 is one of the smallest smartphones we've come across in recent years. It fits almost perfectly into the palm of your hand, so it's comfortable to hold and easy to pocket. There's nothing at all remarkable about the design, which is to be expected from a device that retails for less than $100. We do like the smooth, rounded corners though, and the chrome strip that runs around the edge of the phone is a nice touch.
Build quality is about what you would expect at this price. The Ascend Y100 doesn't feel like a premium phone, but it doesn't really feel flimsy, either. We like the matte black finish, which Huawei says is an anti-fingerprint surface, though the screen and surrounding gloss black bezel is a messy fingerprint magnet.
On the top of the Ascend Y100 is a tiny power button and a standard micro-USB port for charging, while the right houses volume controls. The buttons and ports are well positioned but right handed users will be annoyed that the power button is towards the left. This means you'll have to stretch your finger to press it when unlocking and locking the screen.
The Ascend Y100's screen is the weakest aspect of the phone.
The Huawei Ascend Y100's screen is arguably the weakest aspect of the phone. The low resolution isn't a huge issue considering the price, but the tiny size of the screen (2.8in), makes everyday tasks a cramped affair. Messaging is a hugely time consuming process due to the small size of the keys, while even basic tasks like swiping through home screens feel claustrophobic. The touchscreen itself is responsive but it has poor viewing angles, is hard to see in direct sunlight and its low resolution means text can be hard to read unless zoomed in really close. This is especially evident in apps like the browser.
Below the screen are three capacitive shortcut buttons, back, menu and search. A physical home button with a chrome strip around it sits below these keys. We like the home button but the shortcut keys aren't the most responsive and often require a couple of extra taps to register. They aren't backlit either, so they can be hard to see in low light.
Great bang for buck, provided you don't expect the world
We love some of Huawei's UI changes, particularly on the lock screen.
The Huawei Ascend Y100 runs the Gingerbread 2.3 version of Google's Android platform. Despite its low price it offers all the features of most other Android phones — Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, full access to the Google Play Store for third party applications, a Web browser and the flexibility and customisation that the Android platform provides. The screen size can be limiting in some apps, like Facebook, but on the whole, we installed most of our regular Android apps and used them without too many issues.
Huawei has skinned the standard Android interface on the Ascend Y100 with its own UI. It's not the best looking skin around, but we love some of the changes, particularly on the lock screen. It can be unlocked directly into the call log by swiping up, will take you straight into messages by swiping left, can open the camera by swiping down and will simply unlock into the home screen by swiping right. You can't customise any of these shortcuts, but we like the missed call count and message indicators that display with any new activity, a feature often neglected on many Android skins.
There's also five toggles at the top of the Ascend Y100's notifications pull-down screen for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, data switch and screen rotation. Again, we would have liked the ability to customise these but we can't blame Huawei for trying to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible, especially at this price. The good news is that basic tasks like swiping through home screens and opening and closing apps don't exhibit too much lag. In fact, the Ascend Y100's home screen are smoother to swipe through than some rival Android devices that command hundreds of dollars more.
The Ascend Y100 offers incredible value for money.
When you take all this into account for $99, the Ascend Y100 certainly offers incredible value. There's always compromises you have to deal with on a smartphone at this price, though, and these are mostly centered around the user experience. We've already mentioned that messaging is a chore due to the small screen and reading or browsing the Web is far from the most intuitive experience. Huawei's default keyboard doesn't help things and the standard Android offering is hardly better with this sized screen, either.
There's a number of other issues. The browser is choppy to scroll and there is notable lag when pinching the screen to zoom in on web pages. There's also a delay when switching the screen orientation from portrait to landscape (or vice versa) and sometimes apps take a second or two longer to open than you expect. At the end of the day, we suggest a little patience given that this is a $99 phone. The fact it can do these tasks at all is an achievement in itself.
Mediocre camera but a bundled microSD card
The Huawei Ascend Y100 has a 3-megapixel rear camera but the quality of images it captured is poor at best. Photos we took lacked detail, have washed out colours and a lot of image noise. We hardly expected much better at this price, but if you were planning to use the Ascend Y100's camera extensively, you'll be left disappointed.
The Ascend Y100 has a very limited amount of internal memory to install apps, less than 20MB. Thankfully, Huawei bundles a 2GB microSD card in the Australian sales package.
Battery life is very reasonable for an Android phone: the Huawei Ascend Y100 will easily get through a full day of use, and this may even stretch up to a day and a half depending on your usage patterns.
The Huawei Ascend Y100 is available now exclusively through Vodafone and is locked to the network.
• Huawei bolsters pre-paid range with Vodafone
• Huawei Ascend G300 review
• Huawei Ascend P1 arrives late, gets no telco love
• Huawei on the up with Ascend P1 Android phone
• Huawei Ascend P1 S preview
• Huawei Vision review
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google wants to solve the Android update problem once and for all with Project Treble
- Intel concerned about name of John McAfee’s privacy phone
- Low-cost Android phones to get iPhone features with new Qualcomm chips
- Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4 is coming in phones midyear
- Apple's next iPhones may cut corners on memory due to price squeeze
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- FTTest LeadACT
- FTEnterprise Architect - BusinessQLD
- CCSQL Server Database Specialist l Bathurst LocationNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerSA
- FTTeam LeaderSA
- FTNetwork Engineer - IP routing & switchingNSW
- CCSQL Server Database Specialist l Bathurst LocationNSW
- FTLooking for Software TestersACT
- FTPHP DeveloperWA
- FTData Analyst | $51 p/hrVIC
- FTIT Command Centre Support EngineerVIC
- CCVDI EngineerACT
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- TPWeb Developer - Front End focusQLD
- CCGun Java/ Full Stack Developer wanted...VIC
- CCJava DeveloperACT
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - WintelVIC
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTSAP HANA ConsultantNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Learning & Teaching environmentVIC
- FTCustomer Support Team LeadNSW
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- CCJunior to Mid-level Project Manager- TelcoVIC