Huawei Ascend P1 Review


Huawei Ascend P1
Huawei Ascend P1
Huawei Ascend P1

Feature set summary for HuaWei Ascend P1

The eight-megapixel camera sharp rich images. Its location on the front, and 1.3-megapixel lens, make it perfect for Skype calls.


Style and handling summary for HuaWei Ascend P1

Not an especially attractive handset, the HuaWei Ascend P1 has a glossy body to show up every fingerprint that’s further marred by the jutting camera lens. However, it has a sturdier build than you’d think, and is nicely thin.


Battery power summary for HuaWei Ascend P1

You’ll get days of use out of the HuaWei Ascend P1, if used for texts and emails, and visiting the odd website. Throw in listening to music, watching movies and playing games, and you can expect a full day’s use. 


Performance summary for HuaWei Ascend P1

A solid, reliable performance from the 1.5GHz dual-core processor meant apps, games and streaming media ran smoothly. The Ascend P1 has staying power.


User friendliness summary for HuaWei Ascend P1

Browsing online is so easy with the responsive 4.3-inch touch-screen, and Android Jelly Bean can’t be faulted. Desperately needs a much better auto-correct though.  

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Huawei Ascend P1 Review Scoring Summary

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


Pros : Crisp eight-megapixel camera, fast dual-core processor, great screen


Cons : Lacks style, feels plasticky, protruding camera lens, auto-correct is useless


Verdict: What the Huawei Ascend P1 lacks in an attractive appearance, it makes up for with a solid performance, and excellent features. An ideal compromise if you don’t have the budget for a top of the line phone.

Full Review and Specification for the Huawei Ascend P1

Huawei is a Chinese manufacturer that has gradually been making itself known in the UK. Winning ‘Best Value Phone’ awards with its Ascend G300, the next launch from the company, the Huawei Honour has generated some excitement. The Huawei Ascend P1 is inching out of the budget bracket and towards the top end priced as it is at over £350 (£26 per month on contract). For that money though you’ll get lots of good features and an excellent performance.


A slender fit

Slim and thin best describes the build of the Ascend P1. It measures 7.69mm, but is hefty enough to get a good grip on it. You might not expect the handset to be robust, given the thinness, and the plasticky, glossy finish doesn’t inspire confidence either. However, in use it felt solid and sturdy. SIM cards and microSD cards slide into slots down the side of the phone. With Micro USB and earphone ports, plus the usual power plug and volume controls, you might expect the case to feel crowded. Surprisingly, everything is spaced out enough that it doesn’t. The Ascend P1 in black is standard, and while it definitely isn’t a looker, it’s not the most unattractive phone we’ve seen either.


There’s a notifications light on the Ascend P1, located at the top of the screen. This light flashes to let you know if you receive a text or email. Not something we see on many phones nowadays. A nice touch, but we’d rather have got some backlit buttons for Manu, Home and Back functions. Trying to find the markings for these buttons in the dark is challenging. Button sensitivity is good, but that little bit close to the screen making it easy to hit a button while you’re emailing. We found we had to slow down, and be more careful. 



There’s a decent virtual keyboard on the Huawai Ascend P1. However it isn’t at user friendly as the Android keyboard. There’s quick access to a whole range of emoticons. There’s a language button but we’re not sure why it was squeezed in there, crowding the space bar as it does. A swipe across the keyboard brings up the numeric keyboard. Fancy but curious feature given numbers are a button press away anyway.


Switching from the Huawei’s keyboard to the Android one isn’t difficult to do. Unfortunately, doing this doesn’t help with one of the bigger problems the Ascend P1 has, which is the auto-correct facility. Used with both keyboards, this is still pretty pathetic. It isn’t the prediction that’s the problem. Type in the first letters of a word and a bar of possible words appears. Just tap to select. Misspell a word though, and the one you want won’t appear. You have to delete and try again. We tried looking at all the settings, downloading fresh dictionaries, and still a misspelt word just wasn’t recognised.





The dual-core 1.5GHz ARM processor smoothly handles Android Ice Cream Sandwich. All the usual widgets, app folders and shortcuts are available. Using the settings, you’ll be able to completely customise Android’s appearance. The dual-core processor worked with ease when it came to other apps and games. Trying to choose between dual-core, or a quad-core, such as the Samsung Galaxy S III or HTC One X doesn’t need to be based on speed alone. The Ascend P1 will cope with everything that comes out for quite some time to come. 


Aside from game playing, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, this smartphone also works its magic when it comes to watching TV shows or movies. Its 4.3-inch qHD screen is exceptionally bright, making images perfectly visible in bright sunshine (something we seem to be seeing less and less of in the UK). Pictures are sharp, with rich colours. There’s no response issues with the touch-screen, and it is simply lovely to operate, speeding through web pages or games.


The battery on this smartphone can last up to four days, if you’re just emailing, texting, and maybe looking at the odd web page. However, with full use – TV, games, apps, photos – you’ll still get a full day out of it before the battery dies.




The Ascend P1, like the HTC One X, has a jutting camera. The rectangular camera protrudes from the back of the case. Not the best look. But it did well in tests, producing quality results. Both the auto-focus and the face detection are very quick to snap on to subjects. There’s only half a second lag between tipping the virtual shutter button and the photo being taken. Images taken were, in the main, sharp with good colour depth.  




When using the automatic setting, the white balance didn’t set properly. Our interior shots came out yellowish. It is worth noting you’ll need to fiddle with the manual settings to correct this. There are lots of ways to tweak the photos you take, or add filters such as a black and white sketch. There’s a flash for shooting indoors where lighting is dim, such as a pub. The HD video wasn’t bad, although the sound didn’t pick up particularly well. The lens at the front for the 1.3-megapixel camera is just what you need for Skype calls.



Our conclusion


Huawei’s Ascend P1 is stuffed full of good features. There’s the excellent bright qHD screen, lots of power from the dual-core processor, and the eight-megapixel camera. There’s no real wow factor here. It isn’t desirable like the Galaxy S III or HTC’s One X, but it will do the job just as well and without the premium added to the price tag.


Huawei Ascend P1 Specification


Type of device


Operating System

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich





Form factor



Touch Screen

Processor speed

1.5GHz dual-core


ARM Cortex A-9

Graphic chipset





Screen size

4.3 inches

Screen type




Display type

16 million colours




Internal storage


Memory card slot




8 megapixels

Secondary camera

1.3 megapixels

Special camera features

Flash, auto-focus


3.5mm Jack


Music player


Audio recording




FM Radio description



Video recording


Video player

H.263, H.264, MPEG-4, VP8

Video calling


Video streaming


Additional Features




Downloadable from Google Play

Voice control


Voice dailing




































Colors (Standard)


Handsfree speaker phone


Customisable ringtones


What's in the box








Battery life multimedia


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By Simon Thomas on 26th July, 2012

Tags: HuaweiHuawei Ascend P1

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