Some of the most interesting tussles in the mobile market occur at the lower end of the price scale, not the top. And this year Nokia has struck a blow against its bargain basement rivals with the Lumia 520, which somehow manages to combine affordability with impressive functionality.
But how does this model stack up against some of the best entry level smartphones out there at the moment? To give you a taste of what’s on offer we’ve compared the Huawei Ascend Y300 vs Nokia Lumia 520 to determine which of these cheap and cheerful phones is a cut-price champion.
Looks can kill
On the outside, the Lumia 520 range is a breath of fresh air thanks to the rainbow of colour options that are available. It is a phone that looks chunky and fun without being overly bulky and there’s always a black model for those boring people who do not want a bit of colour in their lives.
The Ascend Y300 is a little bit more sedate in its design, with a piano black chassis and super-slim lines giving it a premium finish that disguises its value-oriented origins. Each of these phones will probably appeal to a different audience from a design perspective, although there is a good level of build quality available no matter which you pick.
Pixel for pixel
In the display department each of these handsets is equipped with an almost identical four inch screen with a resolution of 480×800. The displays are also nicely responsive, although your experience here is more down to the internal hardware and how well the software has been optimised.
Cheap as chips
The chip powering the Lumia 520 is a dual core 1GHz processor that teams up with half a gig of RAM for fun and frolics while you are on the move. The Ascend Y300 matches it pound for pound with its own dual core chip and 512MB RAM allocation.
Nokia’s phone has 8GB of storage as standard, while the Huawei device offers just 4GB. Since both handsets have memory card slots you can always expand the storage if you need more room.
Android or Windows Phone 8?
The biggest difference between the Lumia 520 and the Ascend Y300 comes down to the software platforms they use. It is really a battle of Android Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8, with Huawei supporting the former while Nokia dukes it out using the latter.
Android is intrinsically more flexible than Windows Phone, so you get multiple customisable home screens and lots of downloadable content packs that can be use to personalise the phone.
Conversely, the more regimented nature of Windows Phone means that everything runs incredibly fluidly and the Live Tile-based home screen is great for keeping you up to date with content from apps without having to launch them.
Windows Phone is arguably a better choice on a budget phone just because it will offer comparable performance to what you’d get on a device twice the price. The same cannot be said for Android.
Best camera phone?
Both phones have a built-in primary camera with a five megapixel sensor, but purchasing the Ascend Y300 offers an LED flash to make the phone a bit more versatile for the purposes of photography. The Ascend Y300 also has a front-facing secondary camera that you can use to make video calls, which is not preset on the Lumia 520. At the high end of the market, there are also a great range of camera smartphones worthy of your attention.
Best Value for Money Smartphone?
So which of these duelling handsets should you buy and which should you give the cold shoulder?
The Nokia Lumia 520 is a quirky, well-built phone that performs admirably and gives you class-leading consistency at the lower end of the market.
The Huawei Ascend Y300 looks business-like and has a better camera setup than its rival, with the flexible Android software appealing to techies. The choice, as they say, is yours.
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