Huawei Ascend P1 Review: First Impressions

We first went hands-on with the Huawei Ascend P1 at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, the event that the company used to announce the Android 4.0 smartphone. Overall, we came away pretty impressed after we some time with the phone on the showroom floor.

However. now it’s time to dive deep into the Huawei Ascend P1 and check out whether Huawei’s Ascend P1 is a worthy competitor to some of the big name phones that have launched over the last couple of months.

Before I get into my first impressions of the device, let’s divulge some background. The Huawei Ascend P1 sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED  qHD  display. That means that it has 960 x 540 resolution.

It measures in at a slim 7.7mm, nearly as slim as the Motorola Droid RAZR. It also totes a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera, a 1.3MP front-facing camera, 4GB of internal storage, and a 1,670mAh battery.

The Huawei Ascend P1 is a HSPA+ phone, running on HSPA+ 21Mbps. Sadly, it’s not a 4G LTE device.

Now that we’ve gotten a little bit of the background out of the way, let’s dive into some of my first impressions of the Huawei Ascend P1, which is currently only available to U.S. customers unlocked. No carrier has picked it up. Yet.

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China-based Huawei is hoping to make a splash with customers in the United States so it’s no surprise that they have taken a page out of Apple’s book with the design of the Ascend P1′s packaging.

The box is very reminiscent of the box that Apple uses for the iPhone. Of course, there aren’t many ways that companies can box up their devices but it’s an interesting note nonetheless.

Included with the Ascend P1 are the usual suspects. USB charger, instruction manual and a little note that welcomes the user to Huawai. Well, thank you, Huawei. I’m glad to be here.

The device itself is pretty impressive. It’s extremely thin, feels nice to hold and features a two-tone design with black in front and white in back. It has three nicely positioned navigation keys on the front bezel and it has a volume rocker in the top left of the device, and power button and microSD slot in the upper right.

Huawei Ascend P1 Review: First Impressions

The  Ascend P1′s 3.5mm headphone jack rests on the left hand side of the top of the device.

One thing that I don’t like is how plastiky the phone is. There is only minimal metal to be found. The rest of the phone is encased in metal.

As for the rest of the phone, the processor and RAM seem to handle Android 4.0 very well. Thus far, I have experienced very minimal slow down and browsing the web and opening, closing and running apps has worked flawlessly.

The screen isn’t as good as the display found on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus but it’s decent enough and offers vibrant colors and easy to read text. The camera appears to be pretty impressive as well although I’ll reserve judgement until I am able to spend some more time with it.

Huawei has placed a skin over Android 4.0, but it’s definitely not as intrusive as say a HTC Sense or a Samsung TouchWiz. It does offer some different functions like quick access points from the lockscreen. The UI can also be disabled leaving the device with a vanilla version of Android 4.0. I really like that option and I think many Android enthusiasts will as well.

All in all, the Huawei Ascend P1 looks to be a pretty solid entry into the Android world. Keep an eye out for a full review in the near future here at Gotta Be Mobile.

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