No microSD means less ports are available, and as such, you’ll only find the microSIM slot on the very right, while the microUSB charge and data transfer port sit up top next to the 3.5mm headset jack.

A 2420mAh battery sits inside the Ascend P2, but it’s not replaceable.

Performance

The last time we checked out a Huawei handset, it was all about the design. This time, it’s more about the mobile broadband on offer, as the Huawei Ascend P2 is the company’s – and Australia’s – first handset capable of jumping on Category 4 networks. The current Category 3 networks are also supported, so in essence, this is the first future-proofed Android smartphone, at least as far as Australian 4G goes for the next year or two.

Huawei’s P2 makes this happen in a simple design, with black plastic dominating the back, and a large 4.7 inch screen on the front, supporting the 1280×720 HD resolution.

Sure, it’s not as fancy as the Full HD resolutions we’re seeing on handsets by Samsung and HTC, but the pixel density is still strong enough to get close to Apple’s iPhone 5 Retina screen, with roughly 312 pixels per inch (ppi).

In the flesh, the screen is relatively bright and quite nice to look at, but still very glossy. We’re reminded of the screen in the P6, and suspect there isn’t much separating them, but overall, it’s not a bad looker, and has decent viewing angles.

Aesthetically, the P2 won’t win any awards for design, with a simple look, edges that slope into soft curves, fitting in the palm of the hand nicely.

The buttons on the right side are easy to grip with the fingers, making it easy to switch the phone on, though the high position of the volume button may not make it as simple to change levels quickly.

Huawei’s Emotion UI is the Android overlay here, sitting atop the slightly older version of Android “Jelly Bean,” version 4.1.2. In this incarnation, however, Emotion is very different from what we’ve previously seen from the phone manufacturer.

While previous efforts have been based around making the interface more simple and closer to the multiple screen based system of Apple’s iOS, the version of Emotion used in the Ascend P2 is closer to stock Android than anything else.

For instance, there’s still an application menu (something that’s normally missing in Huawei’s Emotion UI), the applications menu follows Google’s design with tabs up top separating apps and widgets, and there’s even Google’s Android stock keyboard with its excellent Swype-like gesture keyboard.

All up, it’s not the version of Emotion UI we’ve come to expect from Huawei, and Android people will probably be thankful for this, as it’s simple to adjust to.

The regular Droid staples are here, too, such as the drop down notification system, a settings controller for all your main hardware options to be switched on and off, home screen re-ordering, and widgets. Yes, it’s still Android.