Huawei Ascend Y220 is a great deal at $70

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As part of its “Unbelievable Christmas Deals” promotion, Econet is advertising the Huawei Ascend Y200 for just $70 and the package includes 50MB of data for six months and a free Huawei T-shirt. Released in May 2013, The Huawei Ascend Y220 is an upgrade of the Huawei Ascend Y200. The Huawei Ascend Y220’s main upgrades from its predecessor come in the form of an improved 1GHz Dual Core processor but ironically the rear camera is a downgrade from a 3.15MP to a 1.2 MP. Everything else is more or less the same including the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, battery capacity, memory and screen.


We have definitely seen bigger and wider entry level smartphones but not from a reputable brand at $70. The Huawei Ascend Y220 weighs 130 grams, 10 grams more than its predecessor (Ascend Y200). Although the phone’s images in the Econet adverts give the impression that the phone is a dual-SIM the size of a Samsung Galaxy Ace, it is significantly smaller and carries one SIM card. The power button is located at the top-right, far away from the volume controls on the top-left-side of the phone. This still works well in small phones like these that fit in the palm of your hands and are easy to control with the index finger.

The phone’s three control buttons that are laid out in an uncharacteristic fashion with the home button at the center between the return button to its right and the menu button to its right.

Huawei top side elevation

Huawei Ascend Y220 top side elevation


Huawei Ascend Y220 top side elevation

Huawei Ascend Y220 top side elevation

Screen, Display and Camera.

Aided by a dual core processor, the 3.5 inch HVGA full touch screen is quite responsive and it has the standard 320 x 480 resolution you would expect from an entry level device. There is however little real estate to navigate typing but the process seems easier by using the Huawei’s custom keyboard (called the Huawei Input Method) over the Default Android Keyboard.

It's a bit difficult to type on the default Android keypad on the Huawei Y220

It’s a bit difficult to type on the default Android keypad on the Huawei Ascend Y220

The Huawei input method offers more button space

The Huawei input method offers more button space

Thank goodness browsing is not a nightmare as I thought it would be on such a small screen. However, the default browser on the Ascend Y220 renders web pages quite fast and on mobile enabled pages, there is no need to zoom in to view text properly. Trouble comes with web pages not optimised for mobile meaning the best view comes from tilting the phone horizontally.

There is not much to talk about the 1.2 megapixel (1280X960) camera on the Huawei Ascend Y220. The quality of images is below par whether it’s day or night. But then again, who buys an entry level phone looking for a fancy camera?


The key upgrade on the Ascend Y220 from the Ascend Y200 is the processor. The 800 MHz Cortex-A5 on the Ascend Y200 makes way for the Dual core 1GHz processor, MTK MT6572 reported to be the first entry level focused system-on-a-chip (SoC) that integrates WiFi, fm, GPS and Bluetooth. The Ascend Y220 is indeed quite fast and can process apps up to 40MB in size including games like Temple Run 2, which, in our experience, failed to load on similar entry-level devices.

Processor is good enough for a few decent games

Processor is good enough for a few decent games


Carrying a 256 MB RAM, the Huawei Ascend Y220 is low on memory and there is little room to install additional apps without adding an SD card. Since Econet is not selling the phone with an SD Card, we had to add an 8GB memory card to be able to “watsura” and tweet on it.


The Huawei Ascend Y220 has a low to mid-range capacity battery at 1350mAh which gives 200 hours on standby and 4 hours of talk time. Granted, the rather small phone inspires little gaming activity, but regular use gives you 24 hours of battery life with little hassle.

Huawei Ascend Y220 battery

Huawei Ascend Y220 battery

What the Benchmarks say

Because of the low memory spec, we just used the AnTuTu benchmark on the Ascend Y220 and it has a “not too bad” score of 9025. Its 256 MB Ram speed scores a low 588, approximately 5 times slower than the highest ranking Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Huawei Ascend Y220: AnTuTu benchmark overall score

Huawei Ascend Y220: AnTuTu benchmark overall score


The Huawei Ascend has impressive processing power and at $70 plus a few add-ons, the Ascend Y220 as sold at Econet is probably undervalued. Econet even claims they are selling the device at cost with the motivation to bring smartphones to the masses and have more people using their broadband services. The memory leaves a lot to be desired but adding a memory card (which can cost about $3 for 8GB) solves the problem.

Huawei is already amongst the leading global smartphone makers and their entry level devices can be trusted ahead of no-name imitations that have flooded the Zimbabwean market.

We would recommend it if you are totally new to Android and on a shoe string budget. For seasoned Android users, at $70 the Huawei Ascend Y220 can be a good “stop gap” device in the event that you lose your better phone and can’t replace it immediately.


  1. knox says:

    good phone

  2. pee says:

    ok is it a one off payment

  3. Digital Native says:

    i have heard good reviews about it but i doubt if econet are selling it at cost considering that in SA the retail price is about R450 which converts to $42.36. Do the math and you will see that there’s some profit there considering there’s no duty charged on mobile phones, etc

  4. prudy says:

    its a good phone i need a battery urgrntley for HUAWEI Y200 DESPERATE.IM BORED WITH OUT IT IN FRONT OF MEwhere can i get one

    1. Prudence says:

      im still waiting fora reply please help me find a battery for my cell phne

  5. EXCELL MIKIYA says:

    The Ascena0d Y220 is indeed a good phone, considering the specs. They are worthy of the price. I’m impressed with its camera resolution and processor. Only the internal memory is a little bit tricky.

  6. Big tee says:

    I just want to ask some questions,some friend of mine said that it has a free memory of 2GB

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fair enough

  8. Isaac Enock says:

    I need this phone how much

  9. Isaac Enock says:

    how much in tshs

  10. Teanashe mudzami says:

    When the promotion ends ?

  11. Prudence says:

    please do me that favour

  12. sindujan says:

    how much this is

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  14. maita says:

    This piece of phone is just nuts. I have changed 3 sd carsd all coming damged sd card after only a week of use. Without the sd card you don’t have whatssapp. I have learnt to hate it with a passion only I am broke could have bought a better phone.

  15. Anonymous says:

    mine can’t upload photos in whatsapp

  16. Tam says:

    I Can Play Dead Trigger On It With Un Noticible Lag.

  17. Mordz Wilde says:

    i love the phone but is there any way i can increase it’s internal storage

  18. Tawanda says:

    guys these specs can not be modified the package is worth the price if u need better specs go for an expensive one

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