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Huawei Ascend P1 has a striking silhouette, iffy camera (pictures)

The unlocked Huawei Ascend P1 smartphone has runway-ready looks and some specs to match.

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Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 13 Josh Miller/CNET

You won't find the Huawei Ascend P1 here

The unlocked Huawei Ascend P1 is part of Huawei's platinum line of smartphones. First announced at CES, the ultrathin Android 4.0 smartphone looks tuxedo-sharp in black and white.
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2 of 13 Josh Miller/CNET

Camera

The 8-megapixel camera with autofocus, flash, and support for 1080p HD video capture sometimes took spot-on shots, but didn't quite live up to its promise.
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3 of 13 Josh Miller/CNET

Up front

I like that there's a front-facing camera as well.
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4 of 13 Josh Miller/CNET

MicroSD card slot

You can add and remove expandable memory without futzing with the back cover, which is good since it's unremovable.
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5 of 13 Josh Miller/CNET

Lines and angles

I love the phone's sculpted curves and angles.
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6 of 13 Josh Miller/CNET

Top view

The charger, SIM card slot, and 3.5mm headset jack are all up top.
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7 of 13 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Camera test

I took numerous photos in all sorts of lighting situations using the Ascend P1's default settings. Photos have been cropped and resized, but are otherwise untouched. This grainy, disappointing shot was taken indoors in rather low, artificial lighting.
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8 of 13 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

180

The camera was clearly inspired by the beauty of this confection, taken indoors with plenty of natural and some artificial lighting at San Diego's Extraordinary Desserts.
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9 of 13 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Orange bang

Neither of these two unwitting models has such brown-orange complexions in real life. I'd also expect less of a soft-focus at such a close range.
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10 of 13 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

All wrong

Sunlight clearly threw off the Ascend P1's abilities with this koi pond. Just note the blown-out rock at the right.
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11 of 13 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Color fail

This is the third time I photographed the still leaves, hoping to get brighter colors and more-defined edges if I refocused and bided my time. No luck. The flat, muddied colors are low on contrast and much flatter than their real-world counterparts.
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12 of 13 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Tea for 10

The Ascend P1 equally disappointed when capturing this lifecycle moment during a bride and groom's Chinese tea ceremony.
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13 of 13 Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Fountain of youth

The P1 did better with this hilarious carbonated paean to lucha libre wrestlers.

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