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Hands-on: Huawei Ascend P1 S and P1

Hands-on: Huawei Ascend P1 S and P1



Hands-on: Huawei Ascend P1 S and P1

Hand-on: Huawei Ascend P1 S and P1

Just a day before CES 2012 kicks off, Huawei announces its first dual-core smartphone, the Huawei Ascend P1 S.

Looking at the specifications, the Ascend P1 S comes off as pretty impressive. Though late into the market with dual-core smartphones, the Ascend P1 S comes in strong with a 1.5GHz variant from Texas Instrument. To complement its high speed processor, the unit will be loaded with a 1670mAh battery, which will also keep its 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 960 x 540 pixels powered up.

Thin smartphones are definitely the flavor of the year, evident from the thin profile of 6.68mm of the Ascend P1 S. As of now, this makes it even thinner than the Motorola Razr and the earlier reported Fujitsu Arrows ES IS12F. Of course, it isn't 6.68mm thin throughout the whole device.

We noticed that the Ascend P1 S shares a similar design concept to the Motorola Razr, with its 8-megapixel camera jutting out and breaking the thin profile. Incidentally, the Ascend P1 S will be utilizing a backside illuminated sensor with 1080p video recording capabilities, and a dual LED flash to support night shoots. A front-facing camera with a resolution of 1.3-megapixels is also included.

During our hands-on time with the device, the balanced weight distribution makes the handling experience easy on the hands. We also noticed a matte material for its rear, giving us a solid grip on the device. More importantly, this reduces the unsightly fingerprint smudges while we're using the device.

Since this is an early unit we're looking at, we won't be able to give a definitive verdict on its overall performance. From our initial impressions, the interface is exceedingly smooth, and it won't be too far of a stretch to attribute this to the Texas Instrument OMAP 4460 dual-core 1.5GHz processor and its SGX540 GPU within.

The Ascend P1 S will also be the Chinese company's first Android 4.0 device, but we did spot a slight oddity in its design. While Ice Cream Sandwich will bring full touch screen controls to smartphones, we noticed there are three touch-sensitive buttons, which are a staple for pre-Android 4.0 devices. Given that device roadmaps are planned at least a year ahead, the Ascend P1 S was probably designed to work with pre-Android 4.0 specs. The functions are somewhat similar such as a secondary menu, home and back button.

The Ascend P1 S will also come with pentaband support, adding the 1700MHz band to the usual 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz found on most smartphones. As such, you'll get more options when it comes to cellular roaming.

The other Huawei device announced today is the Huawei Ascend P1. This is essentially a thicker version of the Huawei Ascend P1 S, measuring 7.69mm with a bigger battery capacity of 1800mAh. Otherwise, you're looking at similar specifications for both devices, including the same processor, display technology and Android 4.0 software on the Ascend P1.

Both devices will be available in Asia Pacific from April 2012. According to Huawei, the pricing is estimated around the range of US$400. A wide variety of colors such as metallic black, ceramic white, cherry-blossom pink will be available to choose from, with more colors to come in the near future.

Highlights of Huawei Ascend P1 S / P1

 
Operating System
  • Google Android 4.0
  • Google Android 4.0
Processor
  • TI OMAP 4460 dual-core 1.5GHz
  • TI OMAP 4460 dual-core 1.5GHz
Memory
  • 1GB RAM / 4GB ROM
  • 1GB RAM / 4GB ROM
Display
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED / 960 x 540 pixels / Gorilla Glass
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED / 960 x 540 pixels / Gorilla Glass
Camera
  • 8-megapixel BSI sensor (rear)
     
  • 1.3-megpixel (front)
     
  • Dual LED flash
     
  • HDR 
     
  • 1080p video recording
  • 8-megapixel BSI sensor (rear)
     
  • 1.3-megpixel (front)
     
  • Dual LED flash
     
  • HDR
     
  • 1080p video recording
Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 3.0
     
  • WI-FI 802.11 b/g/n
     
  • DLNA support
  • Bluetooth 3.0
     
  • WI-FI 802.11 b/g/n
     
  • DLNA support
Battery
  • 1670mAh
  • 1800mAh
Dimensions
  • 129 x 64.8 x 6.68mm
  • 129 x 64.8 x 7.69mm