The Huawei Ascend Y100 is a pleasant surprise. It's incredibly cheap at $179, so we expected it to be laggy and slow, and the screen quality to be awful. None of that is true.
The major feature of the Y100 is its 800MHz processor, which is virtually unheard of in this sub-$200 price bracket. Because of the relatively speedy CPU, everything functions surprisingly smoothly. You can flick through menus and apps, play Angry Birds
, multitask, and browse the web seamlessly. Frankly, the Y100 is quicker than some higher-end phones.
It also comes running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which is one of the latest versions of Android - the newest is Android 4.1 (Jellybean) which is currently on only a few devices worldwide. Android 2.3 is faster than the operating systems that came before it, so is likely adding to the Y100's performance.
The screen isn't going to make you fawn about its gorgeousness to all your buddies, but it's pretty solid-looking for a phone in the price range nonetheless. However, at 2.8 inches, it's difficult to type on, and this is the Y100's biggest flaw. The buttons on the QWERTY keyboard are tiny, even when the phone is turned into landscape mode. We couldn't find a setting to switch typing to a predictive numeric keypad, but it is possible to make the keyboard larger. However, doing this means it takes up a huge chunk of your screen, making it difficult to see what you've previously typed.
The device also has very limited storage space, so you'll have to purchase a microSD card. But there's only so much you can ask for in a phone that's so cheap, and overall the Huawei Ascend Y100 is impressive. It's not too bad looking, either.