Top-end features at good price

BUDGET PHONE: Huawei hasn’t stinted on desirable features in G600 smartphone.
BUDGET PHONE: Huawei hasn’t stinted on desirable features in G600 smartphone.

When I first looked over the Huawei Ascend G600 smartphone I had to double-check that I'd got the price right.

"$399?" I said to myself. "Really? This is less than $400?"

But there it was, in black and white: $399. Clearly Huawei believes that people want top-end features without paying a top-end price. I applaud the company for that.

The G600 has a pretty plain design - it's nothing special - but the back has a nice textured surface, which I liked. If I had one gripe about the design, though, it was that the back panel was a little difficult to pry off: I'm one of those people who have stubby fingernails because I've bitten them too short and while there is a slight indent on one corner where you can grab some purchase it still took a lot of effort for me to pry the back off. I eventually got it using the stunted fingernail on my left thumb but surely I wasn't the only person to experience this? A nice feature is that the Ascend G600 uses a full-sized SIM card in an age where most smartphones are using micro-SIMs.

SIM installed and phone turned on, the Ascend G600 is powered by a dual core Snapdragon CPU - not common in this price bracket - running Android 4.0 (Ice cream sandwich) OS. It was fast and responsive and comes with 4Gb of inbuilt storage. There's a micro SD slot if you want to expand the storage space (up to 32Gb).

The 4 -inch screen (running at a resolution of 960 x 540 and protected by Corning's Gorilla Glass) is short of HD (and perhaps is a little big given the maximum resolution) but text was clear and colours bright. Call quality was good, but to be honest, I mainly used the phone for data-hungry applications (social media, web browsing, email, watching You Tube videos), which is probably what the target will use the G600 for as well.

The 8MP rear camera, too, took pretty good images, in a variety of lighting conditions (sunset, indoors, outdoor), considering, again, the phone is firmly in the budget bracket of smartphones.

The Ascend G600 comes preloaded with a lot of programs and has great battery life but for me the selling point is the price: you're getting a damn good phone, with a good-sized screen and top performance for less than $400. So if you don't want to break the bank when it comes to a smartphone, the G600 is well worth a look.

The Press