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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Huawei's better phones

Huawei Ascend P2

Huawei Ascend Mate

Huawei Ascend D2

Huawei Ascend W1

In the U.S. at least, Huawei is known for inexpensive and cheaply built smartphones, but that certainly isn't the case worldwide. Consider this roundup a window into the Chinese phone maker's higher aim.

The newest of the bunch, Huawei's Ascend P6 is a shockingly slim Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean device with an unprecedented 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Other specs place it in the upper midrange sector, especially since it lacks 4G.

Caption by / Photo by Luke Westaway/CNET
First spied at Mobile World Congress this past February, the Ascend P2 is a pretty specimen with a classy tuxedo look: glossy black on the front, white on the back. With a supersensitive 4.7-inch, 720p HD display; a 1.5GHz quad-core processor; and a 13-megapixel camera, the P2 serves up top-tier specs. Now we just need to see how this Android Jelly Bean slinger performs in real life.
Caption by / Photo by CNET
The Huawei Ascend Mate's 6.1-inch screen feels ridiculously large for a smartphone, and pushing the envelope for a phablet. First introduced at CES this past January, the Mate has an 8-megapixel camera, a huge 4,050mAh battery to feed that power-hungry screen, and Huawei's new Emotion UI.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Packed with features when it was first announced at CES, the Huawei Ascend D2 is still Huawei's premier phone, though another one we have yet to get our hands on.

It stars a 5-inch screen with a 1080p HD resolution, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and 13-megapixel camera to go along with Android Jelly Bean. Its 3,000mAh battery and specs line it up to compete with Samsung's Galaxy S4, at least on paper. The P2 also uses Huawei's new Emotion skin.

Caption by / Photo by CNET
I know, I know. Huawei's Ascend W1 (or W1 in some regions) is decidedly entry-level, but I included it in this roundup because the W1 is the company's first Windows 8 phone.

It comes in a trio of colors and a squared-off shape that looks strikingly like HTC's Windows Phone 8X, and by extension, the Nokia Lumia 920 line. Similarities end here. The W1 sports a 4-inch display, a dual-core processor, and a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video.

Caption by / Photo by CNET
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