Huawei’s 7.7mm thin $499 Ascend P1 reviewed


What can just short of half a grand outright get you in the world of mobile phones? That’s the question Huawei has posed with the Ascend P1, a premium phone sporting a dual-core processor, 4.3 inch screen, and a thickness normally left for devices in the high-end.

Aesthetically, we’re reminded of the Samsung Galaxy S2 with a slightly curved back and a small chin on the rear in pretty much the same place as Samsung’s older handset.

Switching it on, the Ascend P1 is a sprightly little thing, going from off to ready and working in ten to fifteen seconds.

The benchmarks tells us that it’s not as fast as the dual-core HTC handsets from this year, the One XL and One S, but it still manages to prove itself to be a speedy little phone when using apps, browsing the menus, and sliding between homescreens.

In fact, we encountered very little lag when using the device altogether, and even found Huawei’s Android overlay to be a nice and simple 3D rotating cube system that also lets you switch to Google’s stock Ice Cream Sandwich layout, identical to what can be seen in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone from late last year.

Huawei's choice of Android overlay looks like stock Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and we're fine with that.

Huawei’s on-screen keyboard could do with a bit of work, as it lacks responsiveness and some of the keys feel like they’re in the wrong places, including a disappearing spacebar replaced with a “.com” when you’re typing searches in the browser URL bar.

That said, you can get around this quickly by switching to the default Android keyboard, or by downloading one of the many keyboard replacements from the Google Play Store.

There isn’t much built-in memory for you to work with here, with just under 2GB of space to install things to. At least there’s a microSD slot for you to upgrade your phone easily.

Battery and system performance are both pretty decent.

Battery life is a lot like the performance: surprisingly decent. We managed around a day and a half from the 1670mAh battery inside with making calls, social networking, browsing the web, and downloading apps from Google’s Play Store.