Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Huawei Ascend Y550 Review – Pros and Cons

Huawei has updated the Y5xx series of entry-level or budget smartphones with the introduction of the Ascend Y550. This model replaces the Ascend Y530, which in turn was a replacement for the Ascend Y511. So how does the new Huawei Y550 stack up against other phones? Continue reading this article to find out.

What's new in the Huawei Ascend Y550?

The Ascend Y550 is, like all other phone models in the Y-series, an entry-level smartphone for the budget user. However, the Y5xx phones can be considered the premium models within the entry-level category in contrast to say the Y3xx series.

The Y5xx phones are meant for those people that want a entry-level smartphone, but have the budget to spend a little more than the average budget user. In return, you get a smartphone with a number of additional features or extras compared to most entry-level smartphones.

The Y550 has several different versions, Y550-L01, Y550-L02 and Y550-L03. The only difference between them is that they support a slightly different set of cellular frequencies and are intended to be used in different geographical areas that use those cellular frequencies.

Like its predecessors, the Ascend Y511 and Y530, the Y550 comes with a 4.5-inch LCD touchscreen. Despite the slight differences in terms of size and weight, all three phones physically resemble one another as there isn't much difference from the outside. The improvements in the Y550 can be found within the phone itself.

Compared to the previous model, the notable differences between the Ascend Y530 and Y550 are:
  • While the screen remains the same in terms of size and resolution, the Y550 display is better in terms of picture quality compared to the Y530 and is comparable to the Y511. The difference is especially noticeable when viewing the screen from an angle.
  • To keep up with the times, the Y550 now supports 4G cellular connections. As a result, the Y550 is capable of much faster data transfer than the Y511 and Y530, which were both limited to slower 3G connections.
  • The Y550 also supports more radio frequencies than did its predecessors. As a result, the phone is certain to work everywhere unlike other phones that may not because they do not support a certain frequency that is used in a specific area.
  • The Y550 comes with the same 5-megapixel camera found in the Y530, but you now have a 2-megapixel, HD-capable camera in the front. Unlike the Y530 with its low-resolution camera that was useless for taking selfies or pictures of yourself, the Y550 is absolutely capable when it comes to taking selfies.
  • The Y550 replaces the 1.2 GHz dual-core processor in the Y530 with a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor. In other words, you now have twice the number of cores for better processing power. The amount of random access memory has also doubled from 512 megabytes to one gigabyte.
  • The battery capacity has also been increased. The Y550 now has a 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery in comparison to the Y530 which had a smaller 1750 mAh battery.
There are a few other minor differences such as the software that comes pre-installed. However, the software can be upgraded at your discretion to the latest version, which should make this a non-issue.

By author

Comparison between the Huawei Ascend Y550, Ascend Y530 and Ascend Y511

While the Ascend Y530 was supposed to replace the Y511, it also took a step backward in my opinion. The screen display of the Y530 is worse than the one on the Y511. Since people have to look at the screen as it's the gateway through which you interact with a phone, that's a big problem.

Thankfully, Huawei has gone back to using the original display with the Y550 and the Y550 is as good as the Y511 in terms of display. Due to it's inferior screen in comparison to the Y550 and Y511, the Ascend Y530 would be my last choice if I had to pick between the three models.

Compared to the Y511, the Y550 is better in almost all areas. Both of the cameras are much better, it's faster, lasts longer, supports faster downloads and uploads and costs the same at around $100 to $110. Therefore, there is no reason to pick the Huawei Y511 if the Y550 is available. The Ascend Y550 is the best and should be picked first, followed by the Y511 and the Y530 comes in last.

Overall evaluation of whats' good or bad about the Huawei Ascend Y550

In my opinion, the Huawei Y550 is a very good choice if you're in the market for an entry-level smartphone. It can handle all the common tasks that the average person expects from his or her smartphone. Whether it's communicating, taking pictures, listening to radio or music or browsing the Internet, the Y550 can handle it.

It's just that the Y550 cannot run these tasks as fast as more powerful smartphones that are also more expensive. For most people, the Y550 will be more than sufficiently powerful. Nothing fancy, but more than good enough for the basics.

The Y550 has enough horsepower to run all the popular software apps that people like to install on their smartphone. Google Apps/Maps and social media apps such as Facebook, Whatsapp or WeChat run without any difficulties.

True, the Y550 is more expensive than the cheapest smartphones out there which go for as little as $60 or so, but you also get more for your money. The Y550 is actually closer to being a mid-range smartphone, while still being priced as an entry-level smartphone.

Not only is the display larger than one most budget smartphones, it's also faster, has a bigger battery, comes with better cameras and supports more radio frequencies. The Y550 really is a premium-model budget smartphone.

For people who absolutely need to spend as little as possible on a new smartphone, the Huawei Y550 is not suitable. For everyone else, who can afford a bit more than the bare minimum, the Y550 should be under consideration as it offers lots of value in a well-rounded package

  • Large screen for an entry-level phone
  • Has better features included than the average entry-level smartphone
  • Both cameras are good for a budget phone
  • Build quality is more than adequate
  • Lasts longer than most entry-level smartphones
  • Supports most frequences to ensure that the phone will work everywhere
  • Fair price

  • Screen resolution is low, but acceptable for an entry-level phone
  • Costs more than most entry-level smartphones

Huawei Ascend Y550
Reviewed by Gadget Revue on December 2 2014
Rating: 4

Comparison of Huawei Ascend Y530 and Y550 specifications

Name Ascend Y530 Ascend Y550
Brand Huawei Huawei
Type Smartphone Smartphone
Style Bar Bar
Color Black/white/red/yellow Black/white
Size (H x W x D) 132.65 x 67 x 9.3 mm 133 x 68 x 9.5 mm
Weight 145 grams 153 grams
Operating System Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Android 4.4 Kit Kat
Skin Emotion UI 2.0 Emotion UI 2.3
4G LTE (L01) - 800/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz
Y550-L02 - 850/1800/2100/2600 MHz
Y550-L03 - 1700/1900/2100/2600 MHz
3G HSDPA (L01) 850/1900/2100 MHz 900/2100 MHz
Y550-L02 900/2100 MHz 850/900/2100 MHz
Y550-L03 - 850/1700/1900/2100 MHz
GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CPU Qualcomm® MSM8210™ Qualcomm® MSM8916™
- 1.2 GHz dual-core Cortex-A7 1.2 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53
GPU Adreno 302 Adreno 306
RAM 512 megabytes (MB) 1 gigabytes (GB)
Internal storage 4 GB 4 GB
MicroSD Included, 32 GB max Included, 32 GB max
Screen type 4.5 Inch 4.5 Inch
Type TFT, capacitive, multitouch IPS, capacitive, multitouch
Colors 16M colors 16M colors
Resolution FWVGA (854 x 480, 218 PPI) FWVGA (854 x 480, 218 PPI)
Rear camera 5.0 megapixels, LED flash 5.0 megapixels, LED flash
- 480p@30fps video 720p@30fps video
Front camera 0.3 megapixels 2.0 megapixels
Wireless Connectivity WiFi 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth 4.0
Connectors microUSB (USB 2.0) microUSB (USB 2.0)
- 3.5 headphone earjack 3.5 headphone earjack
Sensors Accelerometer Accelerometer
- Proximity Proximity
- Ambient light Ambient light
- - Compass
FM radio Included Included
Battery Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion
- 1750 mAh 2000 mAh
Special features - -
- - -

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