The Ascend G600 isn't particularly stylish. It's plain - not something you'd glance at twice. But if you can get past your initial impression, the G600 is a very good smartphone that's worth at least an extra $100 more than Huawei's charging.
The G600 is well-built. It feels like it could stand a few knocks - not that we were throwing it around - and everything fits together nicely, both inside and out. That in itself is an astonishing feat in a smartphone costing around $400.
Also virtually unheard of in this price range: dual-core processors. The G600 has one with a 1.2GHz spec, and it's helped along by 768MB RAM. and it makes the G600 a pleasure to use - snappy, responsive, and capable of doing just about anything you could ask of it. When we benchmarked the device, however, the Galaxy S II, which costs an extra $100, soundly beat the G600, which is more on par with LG's Optimus 2X or Optimus 3D phones.
The 4.5-inch screen isn't stunning, but it is nice. Colours are lovely and bright, including reds and pinks, which we find can often appear washed out on smartphones. The resolution is 540 by 960 pixels - good but not great, especially when compared to the rest of the phone's specs. There's quite a big gap between the glass front of the device and the actual screen below, which makes the display look more distant than on many other devices.
Battery life on the G600 is excellent, thanks to its reasonably large 1930mAh battery. We've tested Huawei phones in the past, and some of those phones' batteries have lasted less than a day, but fortunately the G600 lasts about three with medium usage. Most smartphones will manage two days, if you're lucky.
Sound quality is fine - perhaps a bit echoey at times, but definitely not a dealbreaker.
The G600 has an 8MP camera, and photos are sharp and bright. However, in incadescent lighting images tend to have a bit of a yellow tint to them - whites were yellow, and reds were tinged orange. The colour accuracy was fine in natural light, but as usual with smartphone cameras, low lighting and graininess went hand-in-hand.
One thing the G600 has that the S II lacks is near field communications, which isn't particularly useful right now, as it's not one of Snapper's approved Touch2Pay phones - you can use some features but not any of the good ones, according to Snapper's website
- but could be useful in the future.
I only have two minor problems with the G600: the first is the lack of pinch-zoom in the default browser. When I would load an image that was too big for my phone's screen, I couldn't zoom out to look at the picture as a whole. The second issue I had was with the ringer - even on the quietest setting, the phone is very loud.
The G600 is functional, practical, and a bargain. Getting a phone with a dual-core processor for $400 is great enough, but when you add a 4.5-inch screen and a long-lasting battery, you've got yourself a winner. If you can't see the point in spending big on a smartphone, the G600 comes highly recommended.