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Huawei Ascend P1 review

Budget phone maker attempts to blag an upgrade to business class

Our Verdict

If you can live with its lightweight feel, the Ascend P1 is a seriously enjoyable and powerful phone.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 4 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Screen Resolution : 540 x 960
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Pure Android 4.0 option
  • Smooth and fast
  • Responsive, bright display
  • Good battery life

Against

  • Creaky, lightweight body
  • Only 4GB of onboard storage
  • Poor keyboard spellcheck
  • No NFC

The Ascend P1 is built around Android 4.0.3 with the great news that Huawei has given us the option of using an untouched version of Google's OS if we so wish.

Huawei Ascend P1 review

This means you get five home screens to edit and fill with your icons and live widgets, a floating dock of four constant icons for easy access, plus the pull-down notifications menu as your little communications hub.

App shortcuts can be grouped together in folders simply by long-pressing on one and dropping it on another, which automatically generates a folder.

Widgets are installed in the new Android 4.0 way, which is by pressing the central icon on the floating dock, then scrolling through the visual previews and dragging any you like the look of to the home screen.

Huawei Ascend P1 review

Huawei has also pre-loaded several skins of its own, with some alternate Home launchers available if, for some odd reason, you don't want to use the untouched Android 4.0 option.

These look pretty awful, especially the "3D" option, which is not 3D at all, and simply offers weird isometric widgets that fake a bit of depth.

We're so very glad that unskinned Android is an option here. It's big selling point, in fact.

One change Huawei's made to Android 4.0's usual features is in ignoring the multitasking button.

Huawei's copied HTC's approach here, in asking users to long-press on the 'Home' key in order to pull up the nice little list of previously used apps and menu screens.

This means some users will probably never know it exists.

Huawei Ascend P1 review

Huawei's done quite a job on customising the lock screen, which comes supplied with four icon slots sitting around the edges of a circle.

A setting within the phone's security menu lets you edit three of these four icons, adding in shortcuts to any app you'd like to be able to quickly access from the lock screen.

You also have the option of changing the lock screen itself, with Huawei adding in a 3D version, plus, of course, Google's standard face unlock feature is in here, using the Ascend P1's front-facing camera to recognise your face and open it up within a second or so of having your likeness analysed.

Or you can use the usual PIN/password options to keep your sexy texts safe and secure.

The other key Android accessibility feature is the Notifications pane, which you slide down from the top of the screen to access your hotlist of recent updates.

Android 4.0 introduced the ability to slide out individual messages and leave only the important ones up there, creating your own mini to-do list of unread messages to action later.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory4 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyAscend P1
Cellular Generation3.9G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHuawei
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution540 x 960
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)110 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerTexas Instruments
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density256 ppi
Height129 mm
Width64.8 mm
Depth7.7 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerHuawei Technologies Co., Ltd
Product NameAscend P1 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Product LineAscend P1
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number0003402620
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.huawei.com
Marketing Information

7.69mm slim body

Huawei unique molding&casting technology makes P1 smart as well as fashion.

64.8mm Narrow frame Design

64.8mm narrow frame offers you the most comfortable handle. can easily play it with single hand.

Dual core 1.5GHz CPU

A dual core 1.5GHz cpu, together with optimal software makes P1 the fastest model in class, capable to handle 3D games effectively.

Super AMOLED High definition screen

4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD (960 x 540) screen with Auto rotate feature powered by G-sensor. These features provide you with a better viewing experience.