At the CES 2013, the Chinese telecoms company Huawei, has unveiled its first ever Windows 8 Smartphone in the form of the Ascend W1. The Huawei Ascend W1, however, is not a mobile phone that you can include in the high-end category. Instead, it sits beside the Nokia Lumia 520, the ZTE Blade 3, and the Orange San Diego.
While the Ascend W1 will not appeal much to those who are looking for stunning and great-looking smartphones, it still features a few qualities that you may be interested in. In this review, you will learn more about this new release from the Chinese telecoms company and whether or not it is as valuable as the more established telecom platforms, such as the RingCentral business phone.
Design and Build Quality
The Huawei Ascend W1, which is constructed mostly of plastic, comes in four different colors – Electric Pink, Electric Blue, Black, and White. One of the first things that you will immediately notice is that the bottom part of the phone feels bezel-heavy, largely due to the chassis that peeks out below. It is not too much of a problem though, as its overall weight, which is at 120 grams, and its measurements, which is at 124.5 mm by 63.7 mm, is still manageable. All in all, with its 4-inch display, the Smartphone is still easy to carry around and comfortable to hold.
The Ascend W1 comes equipped with two different cameras, which is commonplace in most of the latest smartphones available in the market today. The back camera, which is the primary one, features a resolution of 5 megapixels. It also has an LED flash system. The sensor produces photos that are accurate and consistent in terms of clarity and color. However, the colors are not as sharp and as vivid as those that more high-end smartphones are known to produce. The front camera is only VGA, but it still works nicely for self shots and video chats despite of its low resolution.
Hardware and Performance
Under the hood of the Huawei Ascend W1 is a 1.2 GHz dual core Krait CPU. This dual core processor is an ARM-based technology. This takes care of most of the smartphone’s leg work, but the rest of its parts still fare quite decently. The Ascend W1 also comes equipped with a built in storage capacity of 4 GB, an expandable memory capacity of up to 32 GB (through the phone’s MicroSD slot), and Adreno 305 graphics. So what is the result? The overall performance of the phone is quite fluid and smooth. Launching apps take just a few seconds and delays are not that long when it comes to task switching.
Here is a brief rundown of the Ascend W1’s pros:
- Affordable, especially when compared to most of the other smartphones featuring the new Windows 8
- Better smudge and fingerprint handling compared to other mobile handsets
- Nicely placed shutter key – providing ease of access
- Fluid and smooth performance
- Bright display
- Long battery life – longer than many other smartphones of the same category
The phone has a few drawbacks, including the following:
- Despite of the 5-megapixel resolution of the phone’s rear snapper, colors and vividness are not that great
- Incompatible with a lot of the great games available on the Windows Phone Marketplace, mainly due to the fact that the phone only sports a RAM of 512 MB
All in all, with the Huawei Ascend W1’s affordability, relatively long battery life, bright display, and smooth performance, make it a quite decent phone. If all you need is a Smartphone for basic uses and functions, the Ascend W1 is a good option.