November 16, 2012

Huawei Ascend P1 Review



Feature set summary for Huawei Ascend P1 LTE 4G

While the 4G service is still very new, having built-in support ensures that this 4G phone will stay current for a long time. Its feature-packed 8-megapixel camera produces sharp images, and there’s a 1.3-megapixel camera on the front for apps like Skype.

Style and handling summary for Huawei Ascend P1 LTE 4G

There’s nothing that stands out about the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE 4G’s design. But it is robust and definitely more durable than its predecessor.

Battery power summary for Huawei Ascend P1 LTE 4G

From just one charge we got an entire day use, and an impressive eight hours when using multimedia. This is a very portable 4G phone.

Performance summary for Huawei Ascend P1 LTE 4G

Apps and intensive tasks like streaming media are handled with easy by the dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM found in the Ascend P1 LTE 4G.

User friendliness summary Huawei Ascend P1 LTE 4G

We had no problems with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. The 4.3-inch screen on the Ascend P1 LTE 4G suits apps and web browsing. Huawei needs to simplify the virtual keyboard though.

Huawei Ascend P1 Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Battery Power
Overall Score grey star

Pros : supports 4G; more robust build; crisp gHD display; excellent 8-megapixel camera.

Cons : boring design; rapid drop-off of 4G signal on edges of hotspots; Huawei keyboard not easy to use.

Verdict :With 4G you get faster download speeds and the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE 4G makes the most of that. A tweaking to the design means it is more robust than the original Ascend P1. There’s the same, but still impressive, 8-megapixel camera, dual core-processor, and gHD screen.


Huawei Ascend P1 Review

 When EE launched at the beginning of this month, a number of companies bought out smartphone re-issues with included 4G support. HTC One XL was the first to market. Now Huawei has jumped in giving the Ascend P1 a 4G turbo boost. At the same time, Huawei has rectified a weakness, beefing up the design so the device is now more robust than the original.

A mixed design

The Ascend P1 LTE 4G looks like a cross between the Huawei Ascend P1 and the Huawei Honour. There’s more of the Honour in the chassis, with its rounded edges, and there’s no branding on the top of the display. But then you notice the lack of a search button underneath the display and realise it is a P1.

On the back, the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE 4G has another touch from the Honour. The mottled plastic plate is nearly the same, as is the camera lens just jutting out of the case. From the original Ascend P1 the handset gets its curved underside. We’ve still to figure out the purpose for this.

The build is far more sturdy than the original Ascend P1’s, even if the latter did have a nicely glossy finish. The Ascend P1 LTE 4G is solidly built, and feels robust enough to survive the odd waist-high drop. We’ve found 4G handsets to be heavier overall, and the Ascend P1 LTE 4G is no exception, although it’s not overly weightier than its predecessor. And despite being a little thicker, it still fit comfortably in the hand and in our pocket. It did rather bother us a little that the top of the phone juts out quite a bit over the screen.

On the left are the power and volume buttons, and behind the back plate you’ll find the batter, SIM card slot, and Micro SD memory card slot.

Compared to the original.

The Ascend P1 LTE 4G has more in common with the original Ascend P1 than the design. You also get the same Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and as previously we found this friendly and full of features. The OS runs smoothly on the dual-core 1.5GHz ARM processor, and this is supported by 1GB of RAM. There’s lots of customisation features, such as the usual widgets, app folders, shortcuts, and settings to change Android’s appearance. The processor had no problems at all with our apps and games. A quad-core device like the Samsung Galaxy S III or HTC One X might be tempting but there isn’t anything out now, or due out, that this dual-core won’t handle.

Games aren’t for everyone, and the Ascend P1 LTE 4G has more to offer if you like to catch up with TV shows and movies while you’re out and about. We were impressed with the superbly bright 2.3-inch gHD screen. Images remained clearly visible even when we were watching in bright sunshine. Not possibly that bit a problem in England, but it does happen. The display is sharp, and the viewing angles are really good. When the phone was tilted there were no distortions and very little loss of colour. It has a responsive touch screen, and this made web browsing and playing with apps very pleasurable.

The Ascend P1 LTE 4G is a veritable storehouse when it comes to power, matching the original P1. You’ll get 24 hours of normal use from a charge, even if that includes watching shows and taking photos. Streaming video reduces this to a still impressive eight hours. With really light use, such as text, email and the odd website, the battery lasted three days.

Fast 4G

There’s no denying though that the reason the Ascend P1 LTE 4G is here at all is 4G connectivity, providing super fast access to films, music and other media.

We tested this in central London, where a good 4G signal can regularly be found. Download speeds averaged 19-20Mbps, which is enough to stream HD movies without stuttering. Moving out of London saw speeds drop. By the time we got to zone 2 it was around 3Mbps. Still good, but more like the sort of result we get from 3G scores. When on 3G the phone managed 2-3Mbps in central London.

So, for those lucky enough to be in a 4G hot-zone, fast download speeds are possible on the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE 4G. Outside these areas, then it is best to wait until coverage increases.

A key issue

We didn’t like the Huawei virtual keyboard on the original Ascend P1. It felt cramped, and unnecessarily complicated, and we weren’t thrilled to find the same keyboard is also used on the Ascend P1 LTE 4G. Like us you will immediately want to switch back to the original Android keyboard, and you can do this at any time. What won’t change unfortunately is the poor auto-correction. On the phone we received the dictionary appeared to contain hardly any words. Auto-correction turned on meant that nearly every word typed on the phone was underlined with red.

Crisp camera

Sticking out a little bit from the back of the Ascend P1 LTE 4G, the camera made us think of the HTC One X. Shots looked fabulous. The Auto-focus snaps into action locking on to subjects, or with one tap on the screen you can switch to manual. There’s about half a second delay between tapping the virtual shutter button and the photo being taken. Which isn’t quite up to par with the shutter speed on the HTC One X and Samsung S III, but for a mid-range phone we’re happy.

Photos came out crisp, with faithful colour reproduction. Only a few photos came out a little murkier than we’d expect. Manual focus takes excellent macro shots. Photos can be edited or tweaked in lots of ways, and there’s filters too. For example, you could turn it into a mono sketch, or stretch a friend’s head to mutant proportions. The flash works well in darker interiors, so no worries about snapping drunken antics at the pub. The HD video is also good quality, although audio was a little faint. There’s a front facing 1.3-megapixel camera that is really good with Skype for video chats.

Our conclusion

At the end of the day, a tweak to its design doesn’t hide that Huawei’s Ascend P1 LTE 4G is simply the Ascend P1 made 4G compatible. Which is no bad thing as there’s nothing wrong with its excellent 8-megapixel camera, and sharp gHD screen. It is powerful enough too handling Android Ice Cream Sandwich and any app or game with ease thanks to the dual-core processor.


Huawei Ascend P1 Specification

Type of device Mobile phone
Operating System Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Dimensions 133 x 65 x 9.9mm
Weight 135g
Form factor Touchscreen
Input Touch Screen
Processor speed 1.5GHz dual-core
CPU 1.5GHz dual-core processor
Graphic chipset


Screen size 4.3 inches
Screen type Super AMOLED
Resolution 960×540
Display type 16 million colours


Internal storage 4GB
Memory card slot


Camera 8 megapixels
Secondary camera 1.3 megapixels
Special camera features Flash


3.5mm Jack
Music player MP3, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC, AAC+ and eAAC+
Audio recording
FM Radio description


Video recording
Video player Yes
Video calling
Video streaming

Additional Features

Browser Android
Games Google Play
Voice control
Voice dialling






Band Quad-band