The Good The snappily designed Huawei Ascend P1 has Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and full HD video support.
The Bad The Ascend P1's camera and call quality fail to live up to their promise.
The Bottom Line Huawei's Ascend P1 takes a step in the premium direction with great specs and a striking design, but it ultimately falls short of its potential.
Huawei Ascend P1 (unlocked)
The Huawei Ascend P1 turned a few heads when it first. We CNET editors nodded in approval at the high-contrast black-and-white design; the sharp angles and stylized curves; andthe Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich software, which was seen less than expected at the January electronics show. Huawei also imbued its P-for-Platinum-level smartphone with enviable specs that include a speedy dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and support for HSPA+ speeds.
While the Ascend P1 certainly has the check boxes marked, not everything lived up to expectations, like the camera. For between $500 and $800 and zero optimization for a U.S. carrier, the Ascend P1 is an unrealistic choice for most U.S. consumers; however, I love seeing Huawei take design risks -- and succeed in that respect.
Sharp edges. Stark black-on-white contrast. A deep, unexpected curve. Looking at the Ascend P1 reminds me of a celebrity's very designer, very minimalist tuxedo. There's the glossy black front that stretches across the phone's face and plunges over the top and bottom in a plastic waterfall. The Ascend P1's spines and back are equally shiny white plastic with interesting contours that are designed to keep it to a seriously slim 0.3-inch waistline while still giving the camera module space.
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