The Huawei Ascend G330 is a nice phone for the money. It's a little boring in terms of design, so you won't be impressing anyone with its appearance, but there's more than enough power internally to make it a good performer and solid choice considering its budget price tag.

We liked

Huawei offers a selection of themes and its own user interface skins, but the default Android 4.0 look is by far the best.

A few dodgy Huawei widgets and a custom lock screen are Huawei's only changes to Google's Ice Cream Sandwich code. It's great to find a relatively untouched version of the OS on a cheaper phone.

Battery life was surprisingly good for a modern smartphone. The smaller 4-inch display and Huawei's own set of power-saving tools combine well here to keep you up and running through a working day and well into bedtime Twitter mode on one charge.

The display's great for a budget model. It's bright, sensitive to the touch and feels nice and solid. There's a pretty slim bezel on the G330 too, making it feel like modest little thing despite its 4-inch screen.

We disliked

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It does creak and groan quite a bit when you're pressing the volume and power buttons, making us slightly suspect of the build quality.

It's probably just the plastic back not fitting that tightly, but it does make you worry that it's not the sturdiest of devices.

The camera app's a bit on the basic side, more so when capturing video. Video quality's not great either, with the clips maxing out at 864x480 resolution - and there's also quite a lot of digital noise on clips.

Media playback isn't that impressive either. The G330 couldn't handle any of the AVI files we threw at it, so you'll be needing to convert stuff or download an alternative app if you have stacks of old videos you want to watch.

Verdict

The Ascend G330 is a solid performer. It's smooth in use, has the power to run even the most demanding apps very well, and although not hugely exciting to look at and hold, the display's clear and bright enough to elevate it above some of the tattier budget models.

And it's definitely more capable than the old Ascend G300, with hardly any glitches when downloading/updating apps and navigating the phone at the same time.

Currently only available through TalkTalk on contracts starting at £10 a month with a paltry amount of minutes and data (100 mins and 200MB), it's a good choice for those after a decent amount of power on a budget.

The Ascend G330 isn't quite the storming winner the original Ascend G300 was at its £99 price point, but it's still one of the more capable budget Android models out there today.

It delivers a great smartphone experience for the money with hardly any obvious compromises.