Our Review – Vodafone’s $99 4G capable Huawei Smartphone – EFTM

Our Review – Vodafone’s $99 4G capable Huawei Smartphone

These days Smartphones are in everyone’s pockets, but geez they are expensive.  If you’re a parent thinking about getting a phone for your children or you’re someone more senior...

These days Smartphones are in everyone’s pockets, but geez they are expensive.  If you’re a parent thinking about getting a phone for your children or you’re someone more senior who doesn’t want to jump straight into the fire with a top-end smartphone – Vodafone might have cracked a price bracket for you with a $99 smartphone.

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This new entry-level smartphone from Huawei is available for outright purchase to new Vodafone prepaid customers and in fact the cost is more like $25 considering what you get for your $99.

Walk into a Vodafone store and ask for this phone, you’ll get the phone itself, plus a $40 credit for your first month’s usage which includes 2GB of data and $750 of credit.

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Plus, as part of Vodafone’s new deal with Spotify there’s also a 3 month subscription to Spotify – at $11.99 per month – that’s $35.70 of value.  So when you take those two inclusions into account you’re only paying $24.30 for the phone itself!  That’s insane.

Huawei’s Ascend Y550 is world-renowned as an entry level phone offering 4G speeds.  It’s compatible with Vodafone’s 4G networks meaning even with this basic phone you can get the fast data speeds for your browsing, email or social media.

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I tested it with all the social networks, it’s not as responsive as the flagship phones, however, it does the job without question.

As always with lower end phones, you compromise in two key areas.

Screen

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While it’s easy to read, and very responsive, there’s no question the 4.5 inch screen is not as bright and clear as more expensive phones.  You’ll notice this in bright conditions but for the average user it won’t be an issue.

Camera

Again, head to head – it will struggle.

But on Social Media – will you notice?

Here’s how the camera stacks up:

Taken on the Huawei $99 phone

Taken on the Huawei $99 phone

And then to something more flagship:

Taken on an iPhone 6

Taken on an iPhone 6

For my mind Huawei has the winning feature with its SIMPLE home screen mode.  Switch to this and you’ll find a really simple set of icons – not dissimilar to Windows Phone, and for new users this could be the best way to get started with a smartphone.

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Oh, and for the techies wondering about speeds and operating system – Vodafone’s Director of Sales sets that stright

“One of the biggest attractions of the Huawei Ascend Y550, aside from its price tag, is that it runs Android KitKat and supports up to LTE Cat 4 speeds. Most importantly, it has the same operating system and data capability found in smartphones two or three times the price, said Ben McIntosh, Director of Sales at Vodafone.

He’s pretty confident they’re onto a winner too!

“This is the biggest deal we’ve done this year and we expect the Huawei Ascend Y550 will sell like hot cakes.”

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I’ve got to agree. For parents in particular, this could be the perfect first phone.

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Vodafone $99 Prepaid Huawei Smartphone
Date Published: 11/10/2014
Cheap, Cheerful. Lacking the camera and screen of the big boys, but ample and capable for first time or low usage users.
4 / 5 stars
Categories
Tech

Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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