A very cheap Android phone with no major flaws, but there are now better deals around
Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean), 4.0in 800×480 display
The Y300 is a bargain-bucket Android 4.1 smartphone which, unusually for such a cheap handset, has a dual-core processor. It also has a 480×800 resolution display and a useful 2GB of free internal storage, so is in danger of being a bit of a bargain.
It’s an inoffensive-looking handset that’s in no danger of setting the world alight, but it feels tough. The Y300 is also reasonably comfortable to hold, thanks to its rubberised sides and back.
The 4in display has 480×800 pixels, which is the minimum we like to see on an Android phone. This resolution means that text is sharp, and is reasonably useful for web browsing; you may not be able to read text at full zoom, but you can at least read headlines to help you pick the right place to zoom in.
As budget screens go, this is a pretty good one. Whites are pure with no sign of a colour cast and, unlike the similarly-priced Vodafone Smart III‘s display, there’s no sign of a grainy texture. Blacks are very slightly grey, but we weren’t expecting Samsung Galaxy S4 levels of contrast.
The Y300 runs Android 4.1.1, but the operating system is heavily customised. The Emotion UI is the most radical departure from stock Android there is, with the possible exception of HTC’s latest Sense interface.
If you’re used to Android, the Emotion UI will seem confusing at first. Whereas a normal Android installation is split between the homescreens, where you put widgets and shortcut icons to your favourite apps, and the main app tray, the Emotion interface does without the app tray entirely. All your apps and widgets live together on six homescreens, and making a pinch gesture shows you all your homescreens on one screen, to help you locate a certain app.
There is also a shortcut bar at the bottom of the screen that remains in place whichever homescreen you are on, with room for up to five apps. You can also drag apps onto each other to make folders. The end result is an interface which feels like a cross between Android and iOS, and while we found it frustrating at first, we soon got used to it once we’d shifted some of our icons around.
There are other useful features, such as the ability to customise which shortcuts appear when you drag down the notification bar, from a list including commonly-accessed shortcuts such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Flight Mode. The Emotion UI may upset Android purists, and it does leave less room for widgets than a standard Android installation, but those new to smartphones or coming from an iOS device should pick it up pretty quickly.
However, unlike the Smart III, the phone did manage to complete the 3DMark benchmark, with a score of 2,451. This is still far off the 10,000 we see from top-spec quad-core Android phones, but does at least show that the Y300 can handle some 3D gaming. Performance overall is similar to that of the Y300’s bigger brother, the G510, despite the G510’s faster 1.2GHz processor.
|Main display size
|CCD effective megapixels
|Memory card support
|Memory card included
|GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
|Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean)
|Microsoft Office compatibility
|Word, Excel, PowerPoint
|headphones, data cable, charger
|Price on contract