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HolidayBuyer's Guide

You won't find the Huawei Ascend P1 here

Camera

Up front

MicroSD card slot

Lines and angles

Top view

Camera test

180

Orange bang

All wrong

Color fail

Tea for 10

Fountain of youth

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.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
I like that there's a front-facing camera as well.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
You can add and remove expandable memory without futzing with the back cover, which is good since it's unremovable.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
I love the phone's sculpted curves and angles.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The charger, SIM card slot, and 3.5mm headset jack are all up top.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Sunlight clearly threw off the Ascend P1's abilities with this koi pond. Just note the blown-out rock at the right.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
The Ascend P1 equally disappointed when capturing this lifecycle moment during a bride and groom's Chinese tea ceremony.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
The P1 did better with this hilarious carbonated paean to lucha libre wrestlers.
Caption by / Photo by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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