It may not be as thin as the Oppo Finder, current record holder of the thinnest smartphone title. Heck, it’s not even the thinnest in Huawei’s stable (the Huawei Ascend P1 S measures a cracker-thin 6.7mm on the side). But man, is the Huawei Ascend P1 a gutsy, ultra-thin Android phone running Ice Cream Sandwich.
And despite being asked not to write about it yet nearly two months ago, we’re green-lighting this post now, seeing that the wraps are well off the Chinese hardware maker’s upcoming dual-core machine.
The model we saw got a two-tone number in ceramic black/white and was made mostly of shiny plastic. We’re not too keen on the liberal application of gloss on the phone’s surface, but we, nevertheless, welcome its 7.7mm-thin profile and manageable heft. Combined with the slight bulge on the bottom rear, which makes the device more handy above all else, the Huawei Ascend P1 is a joy to hold (granted you don’t own a small pair of hands).
Measuring a generous 4.3 inches diagonally, the screen adopts the qHD Super AMOLED technology. A layer of Gorilla Glass tops the 540 x 960 panel and protects it from dings and scratches. Despite the fact that the Ascend P1′s face, like the Huawei Ascend Y200‘s, lacks physical navigation buttons, we’re not missing them one bit. In fact, we believe it’s high time manufacturers do away with physical keys because of their higher wear-and-tear risks.
Characteristically, the Super AMOLED display is as bright as ever, showing great color representation while at the same time maintaining decent legibility under direct sunlight. It’s a bit oversaturated, yes, but we like going over the median in this respect.
Behind the screen is where the Huawei Ascend P1 really sizzles. Specs-wise, the China-made smartphone is basically in the same vein as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but with a slightly better clock rate (1.5GHz versus the Galaxy Nexus’ 1.2GHz).
At its heart is a TI OMAP 4460 chipset paired with a dual-core Cortex-A9 processor and a PowerVR SGX540 graphics chip. It also has 1GB of RAM and 4GB built-in storage, plus room for more via a microSD expansion slot. The rear is characterized by an 8-megapixel camera, a dual-LED flash, and a loudspeaker grill, which should deliver respectable noise courtesy of the Dolby Mobile sound enhancement.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to put the phone through its paces when we saw it the first time, so we don’t have an idea how it fares in synthetic benchmarks. We’ll tell you this much, though: Based on our fleeting encounter, the Huawei Ascend P1 is a fast performer, soldiering through multitasking and a mix of apps and functions handily.
It bears noting that Google’s up-to-date Ice Cream Sandwich platform and Huawei’s light but oh-so-pretty Emotion UI [user interface] probably add to the phone’s briskness. Needless to say, it’s really “so far, so good” here.
According to Huawei, we can expect the Ascend P1 to land on Philippine shores between August and September with a tag price of just a few thousand pesos more than the P13,999 Huawei Honor.
Excited? We are, too.
Huawei Ascend P1 specs
- TI OMAP 4460 chipset
- 1.5GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU
- PowerVR SGX540 GPU
- 4GB internal storage with microSD card expansion slot up to 32GB
- 1GB RAM
- 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED screen
- 8-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus, 1080p video recording, dual-LED flash
- 1.3-megapixel front camera
- 127.4 x 64.8 x 7.7mm
- 110 grams
- 1,670mAh battery
- Android Ice Cream Sandwich
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