Vodafone and Huawei this morning announced the availability of the Huawei Ascend Y550, a 4G LTE phone at a budget-friendly price of $99.

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!


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Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!
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Yusuf I S

Very good phone. Bought this for my son. Even at $169 it’s a great by. Excellent value for money


So Vodafone is pushing a phone that doesn’t support its 4G 850MHz network? Perhaps it should push the Moto G 4G, which does both 4G 1800MHz and 850MHz.


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Jason Murray

Phone does support 850 Mhz 4G – we’re getting Y550-L02.