Can Huawei ascend the smartphone market with its latest handset?
Launched at a special event in Paris on Wednesday, the Ascend P7 is the best-looking, highest quality and most capable phone the Chinese company has ever produced and one that can compete with the best that other Android phone makers have to offer.gadgets Updated: May 08, 2014 11:33 IST
Launched at a special event in Paris on Wednesday, the Ascend P7 is the best-looking, highest quality and most capable phone the Chinese company has ever produced and one that can compete with the best that other Android phone makers have to offer.
The handset draws inspiration from Apple and Sony in order to challenge Samsung. It looks like an iPhone 4S from the side and a Sony Xperia Z2 from the front and uses aluminum and polycarbonates in its construction.
Protected front and rear by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the phone boasts a 445ppi HD display that measures a whole 5-inches but thanks to a tiny 3mm bezel, the handset isn't overly large and, thanks to the fact that the whole thing's less than 7mm thick, it should just about fit comfortably in one hand.
Inside it boasts a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage as standard (expandable via SD card) and the latest version of Android to boot.
It means that it can just about go toe to toe in terms of specs as well as looks and build quality with the latest and greatest from Samsung and HTC. But as well as components, it also has a couple of nifty features: for example, lifting the phone to your ear is enough to accept a call, and turning the phone over so that it's sitting on a table face down will automatically mute the device.
And then there are the cameras. The speculation turned out to be true -- the front-facing camera is an 8-megapixel unit, taking selfies to a new level, and the main camera on the back boasts an equally impressive 13 megapixels.
Best of all, Huawei has sourced its camera modules form Sony so the performance is excellent and, of course it is supported by a host of apps, filters and other features. Perhaps coolest of all in this respect is a voice-activated shutter for simplifying selfies. Tell it to take the shot and it will.
During the launch event, Huawei executives were fast to point to the phone's capabilities in terms of performance and attention to detail and how they would help the phone stand out against the competition, particularly in quickly saturating consumer markets like Europe.
"Huawei's relentless commitment to developing premium quality smartphones over the past three years has paid off. We are now ranked number three globally in terms of smartphone shipments, and our brand recognition is growing steadily in key regions such as China and Western Europe," said, Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group (BG).
But as good as the handset is, it will also have to be priced attractively if it wants to offer a true alternative to the established premium handsets already out there. And, with a recommended retail price of €449 the Ascend P7 stands a very good chance of breaking into the premium phone mainstream.