news Chinese manufacturer Huawei this morning confirmed that it had started selling its high-end Android smartphone, the Ascend P1, in Australia, with the model being on sale outright through retailer Dick Smith for $499.
The Ascend’s 4.3 inch Super AMOLED 960 x 540 touchscreen comes with Corning Gorilla Glass, and the phone is based on a dual-core 1.5GHz Cortext-A9 processor and the Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system. It features an eight megapixel camera which can shoot 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second, and integrated Dolby Mobile 3.0 Plus technology delivers what Huawei described as 5.1 surround sound to the phone.
“The Ascend P1 is not only a highly capable smartphone packing powerful technology; it offers users something that is beautifully designed and crafted,” commented Mark Treadwell, Head of Marketing, Huawei. “The launch of this flagship mobile in Australia is further proof Huawei is a disruptive player in the competitive smartphone industry. We are committed to providing Australian consumers with high-quality mobiles combined with honest pricing.”
According to its specifications on GSMArena, the phone comes with a microSD card slot, allowing expansion up to 32GB of storage space, and it comes with 1GB of RAM. Its front-facing camera for video calling is a 1.3 megapixel model. Its dimensions are 127.4mm by 64.8mm by 7.7mm, and the P1 weighs 110g.
In its review of the P1, US technology site The Verge wrote: “Huawei’s Ascend P1 isn’t a universal success, but its failings are few: in almost every way, it’s well above average, and I’m positively enamored of the way Huawei makes its custom skin an opt-in / opt-out proposition.” Huawei has made its Emotion custom user interface optional; unlike with rival manufacturers such as HTC, buyers of the Ascend P1 are able to use the default Android interface if they so choose.
Engadget wrote in its own review: “The Ascend P1 was a top-notch phone — in January. Five months later, the landscape has changed drastically: Huawei’s “Platinum device” will be released in a world in which the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III are available as alternative options. The P1 is a good phone, but it’s not in the same league as those big guns.”
In my opinion, the Huawei Ascend P1 looks like a pretty decent high-end Android smartphone at a pretty decent price. It’s got most of the features of rival models from Samsung and HTC, but it’s cheaper. I would bet that in a little while this will turn out to be one of those Android phones which a lot of people will buy on the cheap to install CyanogenMOD (base Google Android install) on. The usual caveats apply here about no 4G speeds in Australia, however — be aware that you’ll be stuck on the slower 3G networks. We’ve been trying to get Huawei to send us a review model of this baby forever. Hopefully they’ll get their act together soon ;)
Image credit: Huawei