Huawei Ascend Y550 4G LTE10,000
- Quad core processor
- Supports 4G LTE networks
- Plays up to 720HD videos
- Memory expandable to 32 GB
- Sleek design
- Poor UI
- Poor screen display
- Poor quality camera
- Low RAM and internal memory
- Plastic-like body
The Huawei Ascend Y550 is another attempt by the Chinese manufacturer to gain a firm grip on the budget smartphone market. Hot on the heels of the Y530, Huawei Y550 features a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 5MP back camera, and a 4.5-inch screen.
It runs on Android v4.4.2 KitKat, which shouldn’t wow you at a time when Android 6.0 is just rolling out. It’s a budget smartphone, so it helps that I’ll be a bit fair on some of the specs that would have been intolerable in highly priced smartphones.
The Huawei Ascend Y550 weighs only 153 grams, which isn’t too heavy nor too light for a smartphone of its size. On the front, it has a 4.5 inch screen that pretty much covers the whole space. The body is made of a plastic-like material, that’s similar to what most low-end Huawei smartphones have.
It feels smooth on the hand with its rounded corners playing a role in its nice design. However, the camera protrudes outward distracting what would have been a seamless look.
The power and volume up/down buttons on the sides, while the lower side has a microUSB port and upper side an earphone jack. There no fancy buttons, not even an instant camera button. The home button operates on touch functionality.
Although the device looks and feels cheap, it has quite a number of things to offer.
The Huawei Ascend Y550 comes with a 4.5 inch screen that has a 480 x854 pixels resolution that won’t provide the best HD experience. Yes, it can display HD 720p videos and images, but not without hurting your eyes.
The screen is an IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen. However, that shouldn’t get you smiling because the texts and icons seem pixelated. It isn’t a smartphone that would impressive you as far as display is concerned.
The device comes with Android v4.4.2 KitKat, that doesn’t feel like it because of the huge overlay that the manufacturers have given it in form of the Emotion UI. One standing feature you will notice is the lack of an app drawer, meaning that you have to access everything on the homescreens.
The app icons look forced in boxes with rounded edges which means that any app icons that don’t borrow a similar shape will leave ugly margins around it. The Emotion UI looks very simple and would impress the smartphone newbies who want everything kept simple. However, if you have ever used Android or love the feel of a UI that lets you experience its power, you wouldn’t find the Huawei Ascend Y550 impressive.
It has an option to switch to the ‘Simple UI theme’ which displays key apps in huge tiles, which is good for the elderly. However, not all apps are available in this format.
It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 64-bit processor, with 64-bit being more of a marketing stunt since it won’t help you in any way.
The Huawei Ascend Y550 promises 4G LTE, which offers speed that are higher than 3G but not as fast as 4G. You might squeeze out about 12Mbps in download speeds on the local Kenyan networks since 150Mbps –the maximum for 4G LTE networks –is unattainable in the real world. Your upload speeds will hit a maximum of 2Mbps.
It features the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, with hotspot capability. It also has a version 4.0 Bluetooth, and GPS capability.
The 5MP secondary camera on the Huawei Ascend Y550 isn’t one you can flaunt with. It has an LED flash and will take some basic pictures that’ll keep your precious memory or find their way on social media, but nothing fancy. It is the same camera used on most budget smartphones. The photos aren’t that clear.
The front camera is 2MP and will work fine for some selfies and maybe a skype chat when the phone is not lagging.
The Huawei Ascend Y550 is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A53 processor that’s used mostly by phones at the bottom end of the market. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 64-bit processor, with 64-bit being more of a marketing stunt since it won’t help you in any way.
This is because applications running on 64 bit processors are not yet to launch in the market and are only anticipated to begin rolling out in 2 or 3 years.
Being a budget smartphone, it’ll probably be dead or too worn out to run these apps then. Besides, it has other mediocre features like a poor display that won’t allow you to install or enjoy using the applications.
It has an Adreno 360 GPU, so it will play simple games that don’t have a lot of graphics. Installing quality games will only overwork it and reduce its lifespan.
This budget Huawei Y550 phone has a 1 GB RAM that again confirms its inability to run 64-bit applications. It features a 4GB internal memory which might be enough to store a few applications and files, so I wouldn’t advise for you to rely on it without installing a memory card. It is capable of a memory expansion of upto 32GB through a micoSD slot.
Availability and price
The Huawei Ascend Y550 is sold in either black or white. It is available in most electronic shops in the country and retails for Ksh9, 999 at the Safaricom Shop.
If you are looking for performance, better quality pictures, and impressive gaming functionalities, the Huawei Ascend Y550 is not your ideal phone. I wouldn’t advise you to get it.
However, if you need a budget phone that’ll do most of the work that a smartphone does, although with far less influence on performance metrics, you’ve got your ideal gadget.
Have you ever used this phone? Any suggestions that I left out on the review? I’d love to hear from you. Post your comments below.