Vodafone wants to make 4G more accessible to a wider audience with its network due to offer 95% metropolitan coverage by the end of the year, so bringing out handsets at affordable prices that can use the network is an important step. The Ascend Y550 popped up over in the UK where it’s been going for ~$160, so the $99 Australian price point is welcome. To sweeten the deal, Vodafone’s offering 3 months of Spotify Premium, a $40 starter pack (SIM, 2GB data, $750 Cap credit and infinite text) and a 2-year warranty on the handsets.
While the price is pretty special – it undercuts Motorola’s Moto G, Kogan’s Agora 4G and Samsung’s Galaxy Ace by a significant margin – in terms of hardware the phone might be a little less special. When you take the price into account though, none of the trade-offs are too surprising.
The 4.5″ screen offers a resolution of just 480 x 854 (that’s 218 ppi), powered by a quad-core 1.2Ghz CPU and 1GB of RAM. Storage is limited at just 4GB, but there’s a Micro SD slot that supports up to 32GB of extra storage space. There’s a 5MP rear shooter, and a 2MP front, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n and there’s a generous 2,000mAh battery inside, which should see you clear through a whole day’s use on the phone given that it’s not pushing HD graphics – there’s also a power saving mode built into the phone’s software.
Speaking of software, it’s all running Android KitKat – although it’s running 4.4.2, not 4.4.4. We’re not holding our breath for software updates, though.
Unsurprisingly, it’s network-locked when purchased so it won’t come as a shock to find that the phone doesn’t support other carriers’ 700Mhz LTE networks, nor Optus’ 4G Plus, but it’ll handle just about everything else that’s in common use here. It’s also a Category 4 LTE device, so should offer some pretty decent speeds on Vodafone’s network.
The Ascend Y550 is available from Vodafone starting today at $99. Click here to find out more about the device from Huawei (the local model is the Y550-L02).
Will you be picking up an Ascend Y550 – for yourself, or for someone else? Tell us in the comments!