Huawei Ascend G520: The $225 quad core smartphone that’ll never land in America

by: ŠtefanJanuary 15, 2013

Huawei, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer that’s known for their budget Android devices in quite a few number of countries, has just launched a phone called the G520. We actually think it’ll be called the Ascend G520, but that’s not really important. What’s important here is the price tag: 1,399 Chinese yuan, which translates to roughly $225. For that amount of cash you get a quad core MediaTek processor, 4.5 inch screen of an unknown resolution, and a 5 megapixel camera. It’s going to launch later this month, the 21st, on China Mobile.

Will this thing ever land in the United States or Europe? We don’t even have to email Huawei to get an answer, because we know it’s no. Pretty much anything with a MediaTek chipset inside never leaves China, Russia, India, and a handful of other places. Why? We think it’s got something to do with intellectual property rights, better known as patent bickering.

Why are we even covering the G520 then? Because it’s a sign of things to come. If you’re a European, you should acknowledge the fact that you’re no longer living on the continent with the most advanced wireless networks on the face of the planet. That honor, thanks to 4G LTE, is now held by the Americans. On the same token, if you’re an American, you need to realize that you’re pretty soon not going to be considered a member of the world’s largest economy. China, with their 1.3 billion people, will take that title quite soon. And what kind of phones are the Chinese buying? Devices like the G520. We’d go so far as to call the G520 expensive since a majority of Chinese phones sold cost sub 1,000 RMB, which is about $160.

It’s weird for us to say this, but most of the interesting things that will happen in the smartphone space going forward will be in the midrange product tiers. It’s easy to make a decent 600 EUR device. It’s a lot harder to make a decent 120 EUR smartphone.

  • rsanchez1

    Will Stefan ever write an article without asking a stupid question?

  • BrainOfSweden

    Excuse me, but we have 4G LTE in Europe, at least in Sweden :( And as far as I understand, the way it works in the US, your carriers all have a different way of looking at 4G, and only one or a few carriers provide real 4G. I might be wrong though, I’ve always found your phone market very confusing.

    • yooyo

      I think LTE is just more mainstream in America. Also, the major carriers all have LTE, including verizon, at&t, sprint, metroPCS, us cellular, and tmobile is set to release LTE by the middle of the year (testing is underway). MVNOs also have access to LTE, namely the Sprint MVNOs such as Boost, Virgin, and Ting

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    Well, Europe has LTE, hell, even in Mexico we have LTE.

    Moreover, while China and its 1.3 billion people are important… China needs around a hundred years to reach American living standards, their GDP per capita is much lower, to put this in perspective, the GDP per capita of Ecuador is around 25% higher.

  • Jon

    As long as someone keeps producing very high end phones I don’t really care who is the biggest consumer market in this situation.

  • Max

    I have a hard time trying to figure out why you would claim to know anything about phones. If you did, you of all people would be aware that Mediatek dual cores power both the most recent Allview handsets (EUROPE, last time I checked) and their mirror twin Blu Vivo handsets (very much AMERICA) – not too surprising considering they (along with the Micrormax A90/S) are likely all GioNee (see 858) clones or some such. Yes, some phones do stay in the east, but that’s NOT the same thing, m’kay?

  • robert

    perhaps you wanna say that MediaTek chipset infringe some of Snapdragon LTE chip ?

    not really matter to me tho, even here in asia where I stay, which has lot of MTK-powered handset around, performance of phone using MTK mostly poor, even quad core one.

    but yes it’s cheap. think MTK depend on “dual-core” or “quad-core” term gimmick to sell.