08-11-2012 00:41 - edited 22-11-2012 18:04
I've been on giffgaff since January 2012. The Vodafone Huawei Ascend G300 (U8815) caught my eye last month, so I bought one, unlocked it and tried it on giffgaff with the stock Android Gingerbread 2.3.6 software it shipped with. Fantastic! But I wanted to get on the band wagon with the latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 upgrade everybody is talking about.
Now, I'm not a modder - I only used the OFFICIAL Vodafone OTA (Over The Air) updates to upgrade. It was simple to do. Here are my findings. Hopefully it will help you decide before taking the plunge. Read on: there is a surprising twist!
Huawei G300 – Upgrading from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich (OFFICIAL route)
I bought a Huawei Ascend G300 one month ago from Sainsbury’s for £99 with view to getting it up and running on ICS, but having read lots of forums of people bricking their handsets trying to get a custom ICS ROM on it before Vodafone rolled out the official upgrade, I decided to hold off and wait for Vodafone to push the updates out OTA. In the meantime I unlocked my G300 with an IMEI unlock code off eBay for £5.
Straight out of the box, it was running Gingerbread 2.3.6 on ROM U8815V100R001C02B885.
Within minutes of switching it on, an OTA update came through, upgrading it to ROM U8815V100R001C02B892. (Some users of the G300 reported incredibly low ringer volumes on their handsets out of the box which was a firmware error. The low ringer volume issue is now fixed with this update). I've happily been using that version for a few weeks on giffgaff.
Last weekend (3rd November 2012) a new OTA update came through to my handset saying that firmware U8815V100R001C02B895 was available, which gives you new Huawei All Backup software in preparation for migration from Gingerbread 2.3.6 to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3. I did the 22mb firmware update and it worked 100%. The Huawei All Backup us a very good bit of software.
I then checked manually for new firmware from the handset and a 609Mb file (UPDATE.APP) U8815_VODAFONE_B936_F came down automatically via Wi-Fi which was the official Android 4.0.3 ICS upgrade package from Vodafone UK. Great! All installed 100% without any errors. I'm now running U8815V100R001C02B936. First impressions, ICS is nicer to look at and easier to use compared to Gingerbread.
A couple of things to note though:
- Memory usage is very high, so ICS is more demading on the phone = less free RAM available.
- Camera software is vastly superior to the Gingerbread camera app in every way.
- Video sound is stunning. (Gingerbread gave aweful sound reproduction on recorded videos).
- The dictionary is not working for texting and emails, although using the TouchPal keyboard instead of teh Android keyboard goes some way towards fixing this issue.
- The voicemail number is still hard locked to 905 (Tesco) so the answerphone button (press and hold 1) when dialled from the dialler will not connect to your answerphone. giffgaff users must dial 443 manually to retrieve thier voicemail.
- The Huawei boot logo has been replaced by a (nasty) animated Vodafone logo. Same for the shut down logo.
- Vodafone bloatware is back, but most of the useless Vodafone apps can be disabled and hidden from within ICS without rooting or 3rd party app removal software.
- Apps are installed directly onto the phone storage rather than microSD card. Even if you select microSD it defaults back to built in storage after rebooting.
I've not rooted it or messed with any custom ROMS, boot loaders, fiddled with partitions or anything else at all. Having read some of the horror stories on forums about bricked G300's by trying to get non-official firmwares on them, I figured Vodafone would release the official update when they were good and ready and was prepared to wait for it. It just goes to show that good things come to those who wait!
Or so I thought..........................
Huawei G300 - Downgrading from Ice Cream Sandwich to Gingerbread (OFFICIAL route)
I ran ICS B936 for a few days. Yes its easier to use and much prettier to look at for sure, but it's also got problems I just can't live with, such as heavy RAM usage and broken dictionaries for text and e-mail, both of which affect the useability of the phone. Ice Cream Sandwich slows the G300 down too much. Such a disappointment as ICS has been hughly anticipated on the G300 for many months. I really wanted to like it but I just couldn't live with it on a day-to-day basis.
OK, so I made the decision to take Ice Cream Sandwich off and get the original stock Vodafone Gingerbread firmware back on it, and I didn't want to faff about with modding, rooting or custom ROM'ing. I wanted an easy option.
It is possible with official Vodafone software. I have now successfully downgraded my Huawei G300 from Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 back to Gingerbread 2.3.6 using this official Huawei method.
Just to recap, my fresh-out-of-the-box phone came running GB on B885.
An OTA update came through the same day upgrading me to B892.
I did an OTA update last weekend from B892 to B895.
B895 then allowed me to officially update to ICS (B936) via the OTA update.
Now I want to uninstall B936 and go back to B895 Gingerbread.
I used this link to get the official Huawei G300 ICS to GB downgrade package.
It worked first time with no errors. I used a spare freshly formatted 2 gig microSD card. Now back on good old Gingerbread 2.3.6. The G300 is so much happier running Gingerbread. It really is.
No messing about with custom / unofficial ROM's needed or ClockWorkMod etc. for me! Stick to the official Vodafone upgrades / downgrades only and you won't go far wrong.
on 09-11-2012 11:36
Easy to do in Gingerbread (and in Ice Cream Sandwich). I've done it in both.
Here's what you do in Gingerbread 2.3.6 which is the ROM the G300 ships with:
Press: Menu > Settings > Wireless & network settings > Tethering & protable hotspot then tick Portable Wi-Fi hotspot.
Then press Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings then touch Configure Wi-Fi hotspot. Tick Show password to see the Wi-Fi key that your G300 is pumping out.
On your tablet (or laptop) search for new Wi-Fi networks, and AnrdoidAP should be visible as a Wi-Fi network.
Click it to log on and enter the Wi-Fi key that your G300 shows.
on 10-11-2012 11:43
on 13-11-2012 11:35
Anyone else has any feedback on icecream sandwich on the g300?
I'm reading from a few websites around it makes this phone slow., so I'm sticking to gingerbread for now.
on 13-11-2012 12:51
i want to downgrade from ICS but everytime I turn phone on now the touchscreen or buttons dont work. I did a factory reset so it wiped it all, now it's on the START screen to setup but again nothing works so i can't proceed.
16-11-2012 23:16 - edited 16-11-2012 23:25
Can isuggest you ask the question on modaco.com
i am sure someone will have a solution,
Seems ics has not been a happy place for some, I use a modified ics rom (stock+ based on 944) and cannot think of any problems, battery, dictionary, ram, sound is all good, correct voicemail number. Handset works as you would expect.
There are some very good guides and the best help for G300 owners.