Huawei Ascend P1 review
We review the Huawei Ascend P1 and see if this Android phone can compete with the Galaxy S3 or HTC One X
We review the Huawei Ascend P1 and see if Huawei has the design chops to match up with the Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X. Huawei may not be that well known in the United States, but the Chinese handset maker is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with and the P1 is one of its best devices yet.
The Huawei Ascend P1 is a good-looking device. At just 7.7mm thick, it's insanely skinny and light but it still feels substantial in the hand. It definitely looks and feels like a premium device.
The 4.3-inch display sports a 540 x 960 resolution and it looks pretty good. It's not quite as nice as the Retina Display on the iPhone or the 720p phones we see on other Android handsets, but that doesn’tidn't really bother me. The screen wais bright and, responsive and more than satisfiesd my needs.
The Ascend P1 is also packed with power: 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 1GB of RAM, multiple 2G and 3G band support (great for international travelers) and expandable storage via a microSD slot.
It puts that to good use, too, as the phone performs really well. I experienced very little lag, games were buttery smooth and was pleasantly surprised that the battery life could get me through a full day. During a recent test run [or something here that indicates timing] Tthe call quality on my Ascend P1 was excellent in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. [how long did you test it--was it one day, a week, etc.?]
The Ascend P1 comes with Android 4.0.3 and Huawei shows a light touch with its custom user interface. Actually, it layers on a heavy, 3D- carousel effect on your home screen, but the great thing is Huawei lets you toggle between that and the stock Android with a few taps (hit Menu on your home screen and choose 3D or 2D home).
Unless you're really into Huawei's services or like 3D, I'd suggest sticking with the stock 2D home screen. Huawei also added some neat little features to the 2D home screen;: I enjoy its weather widgets and think the quick -access controls on the pull-down menu is genius.
The Huawei Ascend P1 packs an 8-megapixel camera and it's pretty solid. It's not the best camera quality I've seen but it's more than enough to share a few pictures on social networks. Huawei has also built in a few neat filters, so who needs Instagram?
The Ascend P1 is an eye-catching smartphone that is packed with enough power to satisfy many users.
Huawei has come a long way in such a short time, but its Ascend P1 is not quite ready to rumble with devices like the Galaxy S3, One X or the LG Optimus 4X HD. It's definitely meant as more of a mid-range device and that does show sometimes.
As much as I like the look and slimness of the device, it's not that comfortable to hold. That's kind of a big deal when you're talking about a phone. I think the Ascend P1’s corners are has too sharp of corners and if these had been rounded just a little bit, it would have made a major difference.
Other small fit and finish things bug me about the Ascend P1. For example, I don't like the standard haptic feedback because I think it's a bit much (this can be changed, though). I also think the microSD slot and SIM slot feel a bit flimsy when opened.
I touched upon it a little earlier, but I don't like Huawei's major attempts at customizing Android. The 3D home screen interface really slows the device down and it doesn't seem to add too much to the experience. The camera interface is ok OK but it's nowhere near what Samsung and HTC are doing.
The good news is that all of my complaints about the Ascend P1 are relatively minor and it just shows how much Huawei has evolved in a short period of time.
The Final Take
The Huawei Ascend P1 blends a super-sleek form factor with powerful hardware and useful software. It's not quite the cream of the crop when it comes to Android but it's not too far behind. Huawei is showing some impressive things here and I can't wait to see what else it has in store.
We haven't heard of any U.S carriers picking up the Huawei Ascend P1 as of press time but the international version can be purchased unlocked for about $500 at various online retailers.