Notebookcheck

Huawei Y540 Smartphone Review

Michael Moser, Tanja Hinum (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 06/14/2015

Little dinosaur. A 4.5-inch IPS screen with 854x480 pixels, a weak MediaTek SoC, only 4 GB of flash memory - what sounded good in the former Y530 now seems to be a relic of the beginnings of smartphones, and everything but up-to-date. Huawei demands 100 Euros (~$111, RRP) for not more than a decent entry-level device.

For the original German review, see here.

Huawei's Y540 smartphone is available for less than 100 Euros (~$111). The buyer gets a 4.5-inch screen with 854x480 pixels and Android 4.4 KitKat for that. It is logical that cutbacks have been made in other places, such as in the SoC or internal memory. Huawei installs MediaTek's MT6572 dual-core SoC that clocks at 1.3 GHz. The graphics solution is the integrated ARM Mali-400 MP. In contrast to the former Huawei Ascend Y530, the model name "Ascend" has now been omitted and the working memory has been doubled to 1 GB. The 4 GB of flash storage that can be expanded via a micro-SD card is the same. Our in-depth test report reveals whether the austerity measures have a noticeable impact.

The number of contenders in this price range is increasing steadily. We use Motorola's Moto E 2015LG's Leon and the company siblings Microsoft Lumia 435 and Microsoft Lumia 532 for the direct comparison.

Huawei Y540 (Y Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
4.5 inch 16:9, 854 x 480 pixel, capacitive, TN LED, glossy: yes
Storage
4 GB Flash, 4 GB 
, 2.11 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: micro-SD (max. 64 GB), Sensors: GPS/AGPS, light sensor, accelerometer, proximity sensor, dual-SIM
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), UMTS dual-band (900/2100 MHz); network standards: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+; bandwidth (download/upload): 21 MBps / 5.76 MBps (UMTS); UMTS with SIM 1 only
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 10.3 x 134.2 x 67 ( = 0.41 x 5.28 x 2.64 in)
Battery
6 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 1730 mAh, 3.7 V, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 5 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 4 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 300 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: 0.3 MP; primary camera: 5.0 MP, LED flash, videos @720p
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, cell phone (incl. battery), power supply, USB cable, quick start guide, EMUI 3.0 lite; browser, data backup, music player, Google bundle, 12 Months Warranty, DLNA; FM radio; audio formats: MP3, MIDI, AMR, AAC, AAC+; video formats: encoding MP4, 3GP / decoding MP4, H.264, H.263
Weight
150 g ( = 5.29 oz / 0.33 pounds), Power Supply: 78 g ( = 2.75 oz / 0.17 pounds)
Price
99 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The design of Huawei's Y540 is basic, and it is quite pleasant to hold thanks to its rounded edges and corners. However, visual uniqueness is sooner a rare thing in this price range. Among the contenders, Microsoft's colorful Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 particularly stand out from the masses here. Huawei wants to at least keep up in terms of colors and offers its Y540 in gray like our review sample, pink and blue in addition to classic black and white. The somewhat slippery high-gloss finish of our review sample was noticed adversely.

The Y540 weighs considerably more than its rivals at approximately 150 grams. Solely Motorola's Moto E 2015 (145 g) is in the same weight class. However, the review sample's height of 10.3 mm is slightly lower than that of the others, which all feature an overall more compact build.

The build quality is moderate, and the casing is relatively stiff. Warping attempts barely had an effect, but they produced a cracking noise in the area of the battery cover. The gaps are throughout smooth and even, which is not a matter of course in this price range.

134.2 mm / 5.28 inch 67 mm / 2.64 inch 10.3 mm / 0.4055 inch 150 g0.3307 lbs129.9 mm / 5.11 inch 66.8 mm / 2.63 inch 12.3 mm / 0.4843 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs129.9 mm / 5.11 inch 64.9 mm / 2.56 inch 10.99 mm / 0.4327 inch 120 g0.2646 lbs118.9 mm / 4.68 inch 65.5 mm / 2.58 inch 11.6 mm / 0.4567 inch 136 g0.2998 lbs118.1 mm / 4.65 inch 64.7 mm / 2.55 inch 11.7 mm / 0.4606 inch 134 g0.2954 lbs

Connectivity

Huawei's Y540 is powered by MediaTek's MT6572 dual-core SoC that clocks at 1.3 GHz and integrates an ARM Mali-400 MP graphics card. The 1 GB of working memory is up-to-date. However, the incorporated 4 GB of internal storage is tight especially when considering that only 2.11 GB is available and that App2SD is only supported to a limited extent - not all apps can be moved to the SD card. At least a micro-SD slot is present for multimedia files, which functioned with 64 GB cards as opposed to the manufacturer's specification of 32 GB. The review sample features dual-SIM functionality and an exchangeable battery under the removable back cover.

The physical buttons, such as power and volume, have been placed conveniently on the casing's right. The position of the micro-USB port at the upper edge is a bit unusual.

Upper edge: 3.5 mm jack, USB port
Upper edge: 3.5 mm jack, USB port
Right: volume rocker, power button
Right: volume rocker, power button
Lower edge: no interfaces
Lower edge: no interfaces
Left: no interfaces
Left: no interfaces
Android 4.4.2
Android 4.4.2

Software

The Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system is installed. Huawei covers it with its intuitively designed EMUI 3.0 Lite user interface, which only involves minor modifications to the stock Android OS, for example in the keyboard. In addition to the usual Google bundle, apps like an FM radio, Twitter and the Kingsoft Office Suite are preloaded.

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GPS Test indoors
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors

Communication & GPS 

Huawei's Y540 can gain some ground here and enables connections via GSM quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and UMTS dual-band (900/2100 MHz) almost everywhere. However, only SIM slot 1 supports UMTS. Mobile browsing is possible with up to 21 MBps in download and 5.76 MBps in upload in the UMTS network. Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 are installed for short-range communication. NFC is not installed. The Wi-Fi connection presented a relatively low yet stable reception quality with satisfactory website opening speeds in the test.

The GPS module presented a swift and accurate localization even indoors, which increased gradually outdoors in the GPS Test app. Huawei's Y540 was not as accurate in our acid test on a bike and in a direct comparison with the Garmin GPSMap 64s navigation system, and it reduced the test route by 360 meters. The review sample took clear shortcuts particularly in the difficult bridge and railway crossing areas.

Huawei Y540
Huawei Y540
Huawei Y540
Huawei Y540
Huawei Y540
Huawei Y540
Garmin GPSMap 64s
Garmin GPSMap 64s
Garmin GPSMap 64s
Garmin GPSMap 64s
Garmin GPSMap 64s
Garmin GPSMap 64s
Phone app
Phone app
Huawei Y540 front-facing camera
Huawei Y540 front-facing camera
Huawei Y540 primary camera
Huawei Y540 primary camera

Telephone & Voice Quality

The phone app corresponds to Google's stock application and provides all important features such as call lists, favorites and groups. Additionally, the dual-SIM functionality has been incorporated nicely and always allows easy switching between both SIM cards. Unfortunately, only SIM slot 1 can be used in the UMTS network; the second slot only functions in GSM networks.

The voice quality was a bit disappointing in the test. Our contact also confirmed a slightly noisy sound. However, the maximum volume was decent. The hands-free mode suffered under low volume and poor sound over the lousy speaker.

Cameras & Multimedia

Photo enthusiasts will find a front-facing camera with only 0.3 megapixels and a primary camera with 5 megapixels besides an LED flash in Huawei's Y540. The latter only shoots pictures in a maximum resolution of 2560x1920 pixels (4:3). The resolution drops to 3 megapixels in the 16:9 format (2560x1440 pixels). Videos can be recorded with a lag-free 30 frames per second in Full HD.

While the VGA resolution of the front-facing camera is barely suitable for popular selfies or groupies and only produces faded pictures, the primary camera can take quite acceptable photos in good light. The low image focus and slightly distorted color reproduction is particularly noticed in a direct comparison. However, pictures exhibit massive image noise as soon as they are shot in dimmer indoor rooms. The low-light performance is abysmal, and photos almost look like VGA. In total, Huawei's Y540 does not do well in this aspect.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories

The box of Huawei's Y540 contains the battery, quick-start guide, charger, USB cable, and a cheap-looking stereo headset besides the device itself.

Warranty

A warranty period of 24 months is included on the phone. The battery is only covered for 6 months and the headset for only 3 months.

Input Devices & Handling

Virtually everything described in the review of the former Huawei Ascend Y530 is also true here. Huawei has slightly modified the virtual stock Android keyboard, which contains some useful features. For example, the number keys are always available in the first letter row, and the space bar enables directly accessing the useful word suggestion feature. The smiley button has been axed, but it is still possible to directly switch between the German and English keyboard layouts.

The sluggish implementation of commands will regularly slow down savvy typists. Otherwise, the 4.5-inch screen responds quite accurately up into its corners. However, the sleekness could be a bit better but is still satisfactory.

Keyboard: landscape mode
Keyboard: landscape mode
Keyboard: portrait mode
Keyboard: portrait mode
Huawei's Y540 also...
Huawei's Y540 also...
...provides useful...
...provides useful...
...keyboard options.
...keyboard options.

Display

Huawei's Y540 features a 4.5-inch screen with a resolution of 854x480 pixels. In view of the size, that is simply too little and sometimes leads to a slightly grainy reproduction. The measured rates of the screen sound good, though. A maximum of 496 cd/m² at an impressive average rate of 463.8 cd/m² is twice as bright as the screen in Motorola's Moto E 2015. The other contenders cannot compete with that, either. Unfortunately, the screen is not very homogeneous with an illumination of 83%. Only Microsoft's Lumia 435 and Microsoft's Lumia 53 can offer a higher homogeneity. The high black level of 0.76 cd/m² and the resulting contrast of 637:1 are disappointing. LG's Leon and Motorola's Moto E 2015 achieve considerably better rates here.

481
cd/m²
478
cd/m²
426
cd/m²
490
cd/m²
484
cd/m²
413
cd/m²
496
cd/m²
484
cd/m²
422
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 496 cd/m² Average: 463.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 484 cd/m²
Contrast: 637:1 (Black: 0.76 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 11.06 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 11.88 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.33
Huawei Y540
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
LG Leon LGH340N
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 532
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 435
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
21%
3%
5%
26%
Brightness middle
484
326
-33%
301
-38%
284
-41%
217
-55%
Brightness
464
323
-30%
302
-35%
282
-39%
204
-56%
Brightness Distribution
83
81
-2%
93
12%
92
11%
55
-34%
Black Level *
0.76
0.36
53%
0.58
24%
0.56
26%
0.15
80%
Contrast
637
906
42%
519
-19%
507
-20%
1447
127%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
11.06
4.81
57%
6.36
42%
5.64
49%
4.12
63%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.88
4.82
59%
7.49
37%
5.69
52%
4.87
59%
Gamma
2.33 94%
2.03 108%
2.58 85%
2.11 104%
2.38 92%
CCT
12908 50%
7288 89%
9135 71%
7817 83%
6019 108%

* ... smaller is better

Our detailed measurements using CalMAN software and X-Rite iPro2 colorimeter reveal a visible bluish cast caused by a much too cool color temperature of 12908 Kelvin - the ideal rate would be 6500 K. The color shifts in ColorChecker and Grayscale are also too high with a DeltaE of 11.06 and 11.88, respectively. This is very visible in the grayscale gradient with a bluish discoloration in the dark area. Generally, the color reproduction is far remote from the norm, and the close to standard gamma of 2.33 cannot save anything, either.

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Colorspace
Colorspace
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps

The high brightness makes outdoor use possible, but the highly reflective screen limits that. However, outdoor use is unconditionally possible when direct light does not shine on the screen.

Huawei states an IPS screen in the spec sheet of its Y540. However, we would presume that it is a low-cost TN LED screen due to rapid color inverting particularly in impractical acute angles over the screen's upper edge.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Highly reflective screen surface
Highly reflective screen surface
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex with implausible rates
GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex with implausible rates

Huawei's Y540 is based on MediaTek's MT6572 dual-core SoC clocked at 1.3 GHz. The SoC integrates an ARM Mali-400 MP graphics chip. Huawei treats the SoC to 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of flash memory. The review sample's performance is almost always worse than that of the contenders based on stronger equipment. It can only outperform Microsoft's Lumia 435 somewhat in the Linpack benchmark but is clearly inferior in all other tests.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
581 Points ∼2%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1464 Points ∼5% +152%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
325 Points ∼7%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
481 Points ∼10% +48%
Smartbench 2012 - Productivity Index (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
2401 points ∼13%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
4147 points ∼22% +73%
LG Leon LGH340N
4266 points ∼23% +78%
Linpack Android / IOS - Multi Thread (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
149.395 MFLOPS ∼5%
Microsoft Lumia 532
233.9 MFLOPS ∼8% +57%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
231.685 MFLOPS ∼8% +55%
LG Leon LGH340N
0 MFLOPS ∼0% -100%
Microsoft Lumia 435
109.3 MFLOPS ∼4% -27%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
12567 Points ∼13%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
22125 Points ∼22% +76%
LG Leon LGH340N
22186 Points ∼22% +77%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
9 Points ∼0%
Microsoft Lumia 532
381 Points ∼19% +4133%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
580 Points ∼29% +6344%
LG Leon LGH340N
625 Points ∼31% +6844%
Microsoft Lumia 435
340 Points ∼17% +3678%
Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
69 Points ∼0%
Microsoft Lumia 532
190 Points ∼1% +175%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
312 Points ∼1% +352%
LG Leon LGH340N
313 Points ∼1% +354%
Microsoft Lumia 435
189 Points ∼1% +174%
Memory (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
154 Points ∼2%
Microsoft Lumia 532
676 Points ∼11% +339%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
369 Points ∼6% +140%
LG Leon LGH340N
21 Points ∼0% -86%
Microsoft Lumia 435
550 Points ∼9% +257%
System (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
564 Points ∼3%
Microsoft Lumia 532
621 Points ∼4% +10%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1053 Points ∼6% +87%
LG Leon LGH340N
1023 Points ∼6% +81%
Microsoft Lumia 435
369 Points ∼2% -35%
Overall (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
86 Points ∼1%
Microsoft Lumia 532
418 Points ∼5% +386%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
515 Points ∼6% +499%
LG Leon LGH340N
457 Points ∼5% +431%
Microsoft Lumia 435
338 Points ∼4% +293%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
4320 Points ∼5%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
9440 Points ∼11% +119%
LG Leon LGH340N
9536 Points ∼11% +121%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
1690 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
3969 Points ∼1% +135%
LG Leon LGH340N
3993 Points ∼1% +136%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
1954 Points ∼1%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
4556 Points ∼2% +133%
LG Leon LGH340N
4585 Points ∼2% +135%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
4138 Points ∼5%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
8548 Points ∼10% +107%
LG Leon LGH340N
8760 Points ∼10% +112%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
980 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2091 Points ∼0% +113%
LG Leon LGH340N
2206 Points ∼0% +125%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
1180 Points ∼1%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2513 Points ∼1% +113%
LG Leon LGH340N
2646 Points ∼1% +124%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
4134 Points ∼3%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
8718 Points ∼6% +111%
LG Leon LGH340N
8436 Points ∼5% +104%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
2045 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
4847 Points ∼1% +137%
LG Leon LGH340N
4915 Points ∼1% +140%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
2304 Points ∼0%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
5378 Points ∼0% +133%
LG Leon LGH340N
5417 Points ∼0% +135%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
1.9 fps ∼0%
Microsoft Lumia 532
3.3 fps ∼0% +74%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
5.3 fps ∼0% +179%
LG Leon LGH340N
5.3 fps ∼0% +179%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
5.9 fps ∼0%
Microsoft Lumia 532
9.4 fps ∼0% +59%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
12 fps ∼0% +103%
LG Leon LGH340N
15 fps ∼0% +154%

Legend

 
Huawei Y540 MediaTek MT6572, ARM Mali-400 MP, 4 GB Flash
 
Microsoft Lumia 532 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8212, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG Leon LGH340N Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Microsoft Lumia 435 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8210, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 8 GB eMMC Flash

The review sample scored worse in all browser-based benchmarks than LG's Leon and Motorola's Moto E 2015. At least Huawei's Y540 could outrun both Microsoft's Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 smartphones in the Google v8, Octane v2.0 and Kraken 1.1 tests.

Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
1780 Points ∼9%
Microsoft Lumia 532
1059 Points ∼5% -41%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2580 Points ∼13% +45%
LG Leon LGH340N
2882 Points ∼15% +62%
Microsoft Lumia 435
1119 Points ∼6% -37%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
1703.8 ms * ∼19%
Microsoft Lumia 532
1255 ms * ∼14% +26%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1305.4 ms * ∼14% +23%
LG Leon LGH340N
1509.3 ms * ∼17% +11%
Microsoft Lumia 435
1322 ms * ∼14% +22%
Vellamo 3.x
Metal (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
595 Points ∼16%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
772 Points ∼21% +30%
LG Leon LGH340N
720 Points ∼19% +21%
Multicore Beta (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
644 Points ∼14%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1115 Points ∼25% +73%
LG Leon LGH340N
1164 Points ∼26% +81%
Browser (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
1326 Points ∼18%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2005 Points ∼26% +51%
LG Leon LGH340N
1994 Points ∼26% +50%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
1858 Points ∼4%
Microsoft Lumia 532
1233 Points ∼2% -34%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
2804 Points ∼6% +51%
LG Leon LGH340N
2901 Points ∼6% +56%
Microsoft Lumia 435
1166 Points ∼2% -37%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
18280 ms * ∼31%
Microsoft Lumia 532
27089 ms * ∼46% -48%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
14002.3 ms * ∼24% +23%
LG Leon LGH340N
13697.6 ms * ∼23% +25%
Microsoft Lumia 435
28910 ms * ∼49% -58%

* ... smaller is better

The flash memory has a decent performance according to the Androbench 3.0 benchmark. However, both Motorola's Moto E 2015 and LG's Leon usually score better here.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
0.43 MB/s ∼0%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
1.67 MB/s ∼1% +288%
LG Leon LGH340N
1.08 MB/s ∼0% +151%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
12.66 MB/s ∼7%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
12.08 MB/s ∼7% -5%
LG Leon LGH340N
8.65 MB/s ∼5% -32%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
11.1 MB/s ∼4%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
20.03 MB/s ∼8% +80%
LG Leon LGH340N
7.04 MB/s ∼3% -37%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei Y540
79.27 MB/s ∼9%
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
100 MB/s ∼11% +26%
LG Leon LGH340N
97.12 MB/s ∼11% +23%

Games

The integrated ARM Mali-400 MP graphics card is a bit weak and no longer quite up-to-date. While games like Trials Frontier run properly, Huawei's Y540 exhibits minor stutters in more demanding games, such as Modern Combat 5. The screen's low resolution is obvious in Angry Birds Transformers. However, the touchscreen, position sensor and accelerometer function impeccably and accurately.

Angry Birds Transformers
Angry Birds Transformers
Modern Combat 5
Modern Combat 5
Trials Frontier
Trials Frontier

Emissions

Temperature

Huawei's Y540 does not show any irregularities here. The measured surface temperatures never protrude into an unpleasant range. Admittedly, the smartphone presented temperatures of up to 41.1 °C in some spots on the front during permanent full load, but only 36.9 °C was reached on the more important back. The device was barely lukewarm during practical use with an average of 31.3 °C. The power supply also always remained within an uncritical range.

The battery test of GFXBenchmark 3.0 clearly proves that the review sample does not throttle at all and consequently that it does not heat up excessively.

GFX Bench 3.0 battery test
GFX Bench 3.0 battery test
Max. Load
 37.1 °C
99 F
40.8 °C
105 F
41.4 °C
107 F
 
 38.2 °C
101 F
40.8 °C
105 F
41 °C
106 F
 
 37.5 °C
100 F
38.2 °C
101 F
37.8 °C
100 F
 
Maximum: 41.4 °C = 107 F
Average: 39.2 °C = 103 F
39.3 °C
103 F
39.6 °C
103 F
36.1 °C
97 F
39.3 °C
103 F
37.9 °C
100 F
35.8 °C
96 F
35.2 °C
95 F
35.4 °C
96 F
33.3 °C
92 F
Maximum: 39.6 °C = 103 F
Average: 36.9 °C = 98 F
Power Supply (max.)  34.9 °C = 95 F | Room Temperature 22.5 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39.2 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41.4 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.6 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 32.1 °C / 90 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speaker

The mono speaker, untypically located directly beside the camera module, is not suitable for either listening to music or for other multimedia applications. The treble-heavy sound without bass support and the low maximum volume is no fun. However, the 3.5 mm jack does not give reason for complaint with the low base noise and decent maximum volume.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Unfortunately, we could not ascertain any feasible data in the power consumption tests. We had some doubts about the manufacturer's battery life specifications in view of the bright screen, especially since the 6.4 Wh (1730 mAh) lithium-polymer battery is even a bit smaller than that in the former Huawei Ascend Y530Motorola's Moto E 2015 (2390 mAh) and LG's Leon (7.2 Wh, 1900 mAh) both have a higher capacity, and Microsoft's Lumia 532 and Microsoft's Lumia 435 both have somewhat less with 5.8 Wh (1560 mAh) each.

With approximately three hours, Huawei's Y540 was depleted faster than Motorola's Moto E 2015 (four hours 20 minutes) and LG's Leon (three-and-a-half hours) under full system load and maximum brightness. Wi-Fi browsing using a screen brightness set to 150 cd/m² (20%) allows the review sample to outrun both LG's Leon and Microsoft's Lumia 532, but Motorola's Moto E 2015 manages a considerably longer runtime. Full HD videos can also be enjoyed for 360 minutes longer on Motorola's Moto E 2015 and 422 minutes more on Microsoft's Lumia 435.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 21min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
6h 37min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 32min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 04min
Huawei Y540
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
Motorola Moto E 2. Gen 2015
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
LG Leon LGH340N
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 435
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 532
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
33%
7%
14%
-25%
H.264
272
360
32%
422
55%
WiFi v1.3
397
506
27%
381
-4%
298
-25%
Load
184
260
41%
215
17%
132
-28%
WiFi
410
376

Pros

+ Bright, big screen
+ Decently swift internal storage
+ Dual-SIM
+ Good battery life
+ Removable battery

Cons

- Too low resolution
- Poor color reproduction
- Below average performance
- Abysmal speaker
- Lousy camera modules
In review: Huawei Y540. Review sample courtesy of
In review: Huawei Y540. Review sample courtesy of

"Mediocrity" could be the slogan for Huawei's Y540. Although it does not display any unreasonable weaknesses, it does not stand out from the mass in almost any aspect. The review sample offers a 4.5-inch screen with high brightness for approximately 100 Euros (~$111). One of the two SIM slots also supports UMTS, and the battery is removable. The latter is not as weighty owing to the decent battery life. The communication modules do a good job without major slips.

The speaker and the awful camera modules disappointed us. Besides that, not all apps can be moved to the micro-SD despite the much too small internal storage. USB OTG is not supported, either. It is logical that the performance division of this price range will not cause any excitement, but routine use could be a bit faster anyway. The stronger contenders all show how to do this better.

Other manufacturers simply have more to offer, and thus we cannot give Huawei's Y540 an unconditional purchase recommendation. Potential buyers should definitely look at one of the two Microsoft Lumia models beforehand, providing that Windows Phone 8 is not a determent.

Huawei Y540 - 06/09/2015 v4(old)
Michael Moser

Chassis
57%
Keyboard
57 / 75 → 76%
Pointing Device
72%
Connectivity
44 / 60 → 73%
Weight
92%
Battery
89%
Display
74%
Games Performance
51 / 63 → 81%
Application Performance
17 / 70 → 24%
Temperature
87%
Noise
100%
Audio
35 / 91 → 38%
Camera
39%
Average
63%
72%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Huawei Y540 Smartphone Review
Michael Moser, 2015-06-14 (Update: 2018-05-15)