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What's the best smartphone for secondary school?


If you'd come in early to my session at BritMums Live, you might've seen me taking snaps of the audience from the stage. So this is what it looks like to be faced with a hall of bloggers:



Actually, what I was doing there was multi-tasking. Since I was there to talk about reviews, I figured I might as well get on with a bit of reviewing. And so the phone I was using to take the pics was indeed one we'd been sent to try out.

Huawei is one of those brands that seems to have come from nowhere, and suddenly it's Teenagers-smartphone everywhere. Though it's already well-established in China, it came to prominence recently in the UK when it was featured on BBC news launching the world's thinnest smartphone.

It's also pioneered budget-priced smartphones aimed at teens and, well, anyone after a bargain smartphone. I've been trying this one out recently with my daughter and you can read her verdict over here.

This is the second Windows phone we've had in our grubby mits recently - first of all we were loaned a Nokia Lumia to try out.

The Nokia is a much more expensive phone than the Huawei so it's very interesting to compare the two.

The Nokia case had a smooth metallic feel to it, wheras the Huawei is softer, more texturised and plasticy to the touch.

But other than that the differences are fairly negligible. Until you check out the difference in price:

  • The Nokia Lumia 920 is currently available from 02 to buy at £449.99
  • The Huawei Ascend is currently available from 02 to buy at £99.99

So that's a £350 difference (although both phones are available from free on monthly contract). oof!

And whilst I suspected that the lack of a recognisable brand name might put off the teen audience that the Huawei Ascend is aimed at, this seems less of an issue amongst my daughter's friends. Windows phones have been heavily advertised on TV, and this is what they recognise and want.

Both phones are incredibly easy to set up and connect to your gmail account. And though it's very different to the iPhone, once you get used to it the Windows tile display on the homepage is fun to use.



The thing that lets it down, which lets down all Windows phones in fact, is the lack of apps. This phone needs more apps! But surely, they will follow as more of us stop biting the Apple and start opening the Window.

All in all we definitely give this one a thumbs up for anyone looking for a phone to keep their kid connected. If your child is about to move up to secondary school and you're looking for a well-priced way to keep in touch, this could be it.

One feature I like about the Huawei Ascend is the long battery life. This is very useful when your child forgets to charge their phone and has gone awol at a friend's house. Alas this is not foolproof when your child leaves their phone in their bag and runs off to plot mischief with their friends. No app exists to solve that one yet.

We were given the Huawei Ascend smartphone for the purposes of review. You can find out more about this phone from 02.

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