Huawei Ascend Y550 hands-on: The 4G phone for all

Huawei has announced the Ascend Y550, a new budget device that it hopes will make it easier for everyone to get on to 4G.

The budget end of the smartphone ladder has been really interesting of late: devices like the Moto E and Moto G have really impressed, as have sub-£100 phones like the EE Kestrel.

READ: EE Kestrel review

The EE Kestrel is a Huawei-manufactured device and by all accounts, it's selling rather well. Huawei hopes that the Y550 will be the device to repeat the act for other networks.

In the hand the Ascend Y550 feels much as it looks. It's an affordable device with a plastic shell, but it feels solid enough. There's a nice shape to it and we like the soft curves around the edges.

It's a 4.5-inch device so it competes with the likes of the Moto G, but the resolution of that display doesn't step up to the plate. It's 960 x 540 pixels - 245ppi - meaning it won't be as sharp as some more expensive rivals. That's acceptable at this price point, however, even if we're wishing it was a little higher resolution.

Sitting at the core of this phone is the brand new 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM 8916) clocked at 1.2GHz. From the time we spent with the new phone it seemed fast enough, although it's too soon to make any passing judgements.

If there's one area that's likely to let you down it's in the internal storage. There's only 4GB of storage, but you can expand this with microSD up to 32GB.

The Huawei Ascend Y550 launches on Android 4.4 KitKat with Emotion UI over to the top and from what we've seen, the experience is close to other Huawei devices that have launched recently. 

There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back and a 2-megapixel camera on the front.

When we reviewed the predecessor to this devices, the Ascend Y530, we criticised a number of areas. Its spec sheet didn't match its price when compared the likes of the Moto G.

The Y550, however, bumps the resolution a little, gives you the latest quad-core chipset and a design that's reasonable. 

Expected to hit shelves in early October, the Huawei Ascend Y550 could be the cheapest way to get yourself a 4G handset.



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