Huawei might be not be a household name in the smartphone world but that has not deterred the Chinese telecom giant from grabbing a significant chunk of the smartphone market by releasing decent budget and mid-range devices.
One of such phones is Ascend G600, which was launched in India in January 2013. I recently spent a few days with phone and was quite impressed with it. It might not the best mid-range device out there in the market, but it does offer a decent experience for those of you planning not to spend too much money on your smartphone purchase. More in the review below.
First, have a look at the specifications of the phone:
1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8225
RAM: 768 MB
Adreno 203 GPU
4.5 inch 960×540 pixel, capacitive IPS display
4 GB Flash memory
3.5 mm audio jack, MicroSD slot
Sensors: Position sensor, accelerometer, light sensor, proximity sensor,
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
1930 mAh battery
Front camera: 0.3 MP
Rear camera: 8 MP
Available in Mysterious Black and Pure White colours
Huawei Ascend G600 is your normal looking slab like phone, which hardly shows any spark. Boring design aside, the phone features a very decent build quality and feels sturdy in hand. Available in Black and White colour options only, the phone is not a head turner.
Coming to the specifics, the front of the phone is largely taken by the display, which is accompanied by the front camera on the top along with ear-piece and sensors. The capacitive touch buttons are present below the screen.
Huawei has put the power button and volume rocker on the right of the phone, while the microUSB port has been placed on the left. Top and bottom of the Ascend G600 are pretty much clean apart from the 3.5mm jack placed on the top and microphone on the bottom. The rear of the phone has been made of polycarbonate material and houses the 8MP rear camera, LED Flash and speakers.
Overall design-wise, Huawei Ascend G600 is not going to set your world on fire, but it still provides you a decent looking and nicely built smartphone.
Huawei has included a 4.5-inch qHD (960x540p) IPS display on the phone, which is covered by Gorilla Glass that should help you with occasional scratches. The display quality is good and viewing angles are average and so is under-sun visibility, however I found the display to be very reflective thus creating problems in watching content on the phone many times.
The touch sensitivity of the phone is good and quite responsive. The touchscreen supports a maximum of five-finger touch input.
The colour output is fine and overall apart from the reflective nature of the display, I did not have any other issue with the phone display.
Huawei Ascend G600 runs on Android 4.0.4 out of the box along with company’s Emotion UI. The user interface is very close to stock, although Huawei has included some tweaks like quick toggles in notification shade to help the users on the phone. Company has also put its own directional lock-screen on the phone, which opens an app depending on the direction of swipe to open the lock.
Thanks to the stock-ish interface, the experience is good, however I would like to see the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update on the phone, which should make the experience even better thanks to Project Butter and Google Now.
Huawei has pre-loaded quite some applications on the G600 like All Backup, which allows you to backup almost everything on the phone including app data and is a very nifty addition and it would be great if all the Android manufacturers put such apps on their devices. Other pre-loaded apps include Documents to Go office suite pro version, which also supports editing of the Office files, Huawei Cloud+, File Manager with support for Cloud storage, and Flashlight app.
Huawei has also included Indian language support on Ascend G600, so you can read Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Telugu, Punjabi, Kannada, and Gujarati without any issues. You can also download Hindu Input tool from Google or other third party language input tools to write Indian languages on the phone.
See more of Ascend G600 software in the following screenshots.
Huawei Ascend G600 packs 8MP rear camera and 0.3MP front camera. The rear camera comes with BSI sensor and the outdoor images taken from the camera are good and colours are quite accurate although they are washed out sometimes. The indoor shots taken from G600 are also fine as long as they are taken in well-lit areas, however low-light shots include some noise and the LED flash also does not help with that.
The front camera quality is below average, which is expected considering the low resolution support.
The camera app is different from the stock Android version. Huawei has included HDR support, ability to select scene type, white balance, filters and panorama support.
Performance/ Battery Life
Thanks to the 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Play processor and 768MB RAM, the performance of the phone is quite snappy, although I did find some lag occasionally. The processor is powerful enough for almost everything that you can throw at it during your normal daily usage.
On the gaming front, I was slightly disappointed as I was expecting the Ascend G600 to be able to play many of graphic intensive games, but in almost every graphic intensive game, I found the screen-flickering and graphic getting jumbled probably because of some GPU issue (probably). It might be something related specifically to my unit, but it is fair that I warn you about it. Casual games work perfectly and there is no problem as long as you are a Temple Run, Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja fan.
The Ascend G600 is also capable of playing full HD video files without any issue. The calling experience is good on the phone, and company has included a secondary MIC to help with the noise-cancellation, but that does not seem to work that good.
There speaker performance is surprisingly very good, but given the fact that they are present on the rear of the phone, the sound gets miffed as soon as put the phone on a desk or something.
GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi also work as expected. The Ascend G600 can even share content on DLNA compatible devices thanks to the included support.
Coming to battery life, Huawei Ascend G600 packs a 1930 mAh battery, which lasts a day with normal usage. Advanced users will have to keep charging the phone every 12-14 hours.
Huawei Ascend G600 has been priced at INR 14,990, thus competes in the mid-range segment. The phone packs some quite decent features like sturdy build quality, good performance and more than average battery life. There are some issues, which I have already talked about in the review. So, if you can live with those, the phone is certainly worthy of consideration.
Price: INR 14,990
Pros: Good performance, Stock-ish UI with good add-ons
Cons: Issues with graphic intensive games, unimpressive design, reflective display