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Huawei Ascend W1 review

Who's ready for a cheap Windows Phone 8 thrill?

Our Verdict

You're not going to buy the Huawei Ascend W1 for power, you're going to buy it for practicality and value for money. When you consider the Huawei Ascend W1 will set you back just £120 it's difficult to fault, as you're getting a pretty good deal.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 4 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 10.50 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 800 x 480
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Cheap
  • Great battery life
  • MicroSD slot

Against

  • Average camera
  • Slow web browsing
  • No sat nav out of box

The Hauwei Ascend W1 comes with the usual internet connections - 3G and Wi-Fi - allowing you to easily hop online with the help of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

If Internet Explorer isn't your cup of tea, well, tough. It's the only choice of browser you get with Windows Phone, with no third party options knocking around in the Windows Phone store.

Huawei Ascend W1 review

There's nothing overly complicated when it comes to the browser on the Ascend W1, with the URL bar located at the base of the screen, but there are no back or next tab keys, just three dots which opens up the wider menu.

From this menu you can open multiple tabs, access and set favourites and jump into the deeper settings of the browser.

Huawei Ascend W1 review

It's not easy to tell how many tabs you have open, as you need to select the tabs option from the menu to get a thumbnail overview, which slows down the browsing experience - something we don't need to worry about on Android, iOS or BlackBerry 10.

As you may expect from a handset which is setting you back £120 internet performance is variable, with the lightning speeds of high-end handsets absent from this part of the market.

Huawei Ascend W1 review

We found the Ascend W1 was on par with the Nokia Lumia 620, loading mobile sites is a relatively quick 3-4 seconds.

Desktop sites are the handset's downfall though, with content heavy pages such as the world famous TechRadar.com taking over 20 seconds to fully load, although you could start moving around the site after about seven.

Browsing over 3G sees several extra seconds bolted onto the load times, depending on your signal strength, so you may want to leave those image rich sites for a Wi-Fi connection.

Content renders well enough to view, but there is a noticeable lack of sharpness and colour, with pages looking a little washed out.

Annoyingly there's no text reflow on the Ascend W1 which means you'll be scrolling sideways as well as down to ready large swaths of content.

You can conduct a web search from the URL bar at the bottom of the screen, but there doesn't appear to be a way to change the search provider off Microsoft's Bing - something which can be done on the likes of the Lumia 820.

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 TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyAscend W1
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlue
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameHuawei
Battery Talk Time10.50 Hour
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution800 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density233 ppi
Height124.5 mm
Width63.5 mm
Depth10.2 mm
Radio TunerNo
ManufacturerHuawei Technologies Co., Ltd
Product NameAscend W1 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon S4
Product LineAscend W1
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number51054944
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.huawei.com
Marketing Information

Long and Lasting

The Huawei Ascend W1 was designed to outlast and outperform. Our 4-inch screen benefits from our unique power saving technology that saves 30% power consumption. A high capacity 1950mAh battery keeps you charged up through days of staying in touch, staying informed, and staying entertained.

Power from within

Breath-taking speed from Qualcomm's Krait structured MSM823 dual core CPU with 1.2GHz achievable frequency; Jaw-dropping graphics with built-in Adreno 305 graphics processor, with 400MHz achievable frequency; download speed up to HSPA+ 21Mbps. Thanks to the 28nm processor, you'll enjoy videos and gaming at their best. All the fun and convenience of Windows Phone 8 comes together here, at an outstanding price too.