Huawei’s 7.7mm thin $499 Ascend P1 reviewed

Handset maker Huawei has long been known for its budget phones, many of which manage to pack in plenty of features for under the hundred dollar mark.

So what is a $500 phone like for the company, and can it compete with the top-tier devices put out by the likes of HTC and Samsung?


With a $499 price tag, the Huawei Ascend P1 is a phone that occupies a spot in the middle of the range, and yet is loaded with the sort of features one would normally associate with a reasonably high priced phone.

Let’s start with the screen, and with a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED screen covered in Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, Huawei has made sure to avoid the low-end gear it normally throws into the sub-$200 handsets we see from the company.

The resolution isn’t as high as some of the premium phones we’re seeing this year, sporting the quarterHD resolution of 960×540 and a value of 256 pixels per inch, not quite the same 329ppi value known as “Retina” seen on the iPhone 4S, but still nothing to sneeze at.

Huawei has built the phone out of an all plastic chassis, with a minimum thickness of 7.7mm and a weight of 110 grams.

Under the hood, there’s a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, PowerVR dedicated graphics chip, 1GB RAM, and roughly 2GB of usable on-board storage, with room to move in the microSD expansion slot on the side of the handset.

Android is the operating system of choice, an while it’s not the very latest release, it is this year’s version of choice for manufacturers – 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

Multimedia is taken care of in the form of an 8 megapixel camera with autofocus, dual-LED flash, and 1080p full HD video capture. A front camera is also here with a 1.3 megapixel module, useful if you plan on snapping some self portraits or enjoying a video chat.

Connectivity is pretty standard here, with 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, and a microUSB port at the top of the phone for charging and moving data to and from the handset.

As is pretty much the norm these days, there are few physical buttons to speak of, with a power button on the right and a volume rocker on the left. Three soft buttons sit on the front, offering access to menu options, Android’s home screen, and a back button.

A 3.5mm headset jack can be found on the top left of the device, next to the microUSB port and SIM card slot.

The 1670mAh battery is built into the phone and isn’t replaceable.