Just ahead of Huawei's press event, we were treated to an early viewing of its new 8.4mm-thick smartphone, the Ascend P2. With Android 4.1, a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 13-megapixel camera and a 720p, 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass 2 Infinity Edge Display, it joins the likes of the Ascend Mate and D2 in forming the Chinese manufacturer's smartphone family in 2013. And boy, it's a slender, feather-light phone with a glossy backing that come sin both black and white. Design-wise, like those leaks, it looks an awful lot like those P1 phones we first saw at CES 2012.
Its notable feature is the highest-speed LTE connection seen so far in a smartphone, up to 150 Mbps with support for LTE Cat4. We also got to play with Huawei's Emotion UI again, which can draw on the 1GB of RAM housed inside. There's plenty of storage, with 16GB ready to accept your photos and music. The right side houses a volume switch and a physical camera button -- these were a bit plasticky, but has a nice matte finish. The other side is where the power button belongs, with both the headphone and micro-USB charging port found there. Huawei's focusing on battery life here as well, with a 2,420mAh cell powering the Android phone and the promise of consuming 20 percent less power, thanks to the handset's display technology.
With the aforementioned Emotion UI, there's the same clipboard animation across homescreen transitions, matching those other Ascend models. Getting into screen performance, it reflected a fair bit of ambient light. It's perhaps not the best display we've seen from Huawei -- there seems to be a space between the surface of the glass and the display itself. The hardware feels light, but feels like we were often unable to keep hold of it. The buttons have the right amount of bite, although it would have been nice to see some premium materials used for these minor details. The design also reminds us a fair bit of Panasonic's Eluga smartphone. Perhaps due to the lack of exotic color options, the phone wasn't quite as appealing as when we first got our hands on its predecessors.
We'll have a hands-on video up soon. If you're in Europe, you can pick this up in Q2 for €399 ($526).
Update: The video now lives after the break!
Huawei Ascend P2 hands-on
Huawei Reveals the World's Fastest 4G LTE Smartphone
HUAWEI Ascend P2 breaks all records with its 150 Mbps download speed
Barcelona, Spain, February 24, 2013: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today introduced the HUAWEI Ascend P2, the world's fastest smartphone, at the 2013 Mobile World Congress (MWC). The Ascend P2 features a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and LTE Cat 4 providing an ultrafast web experience with download speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Continuing the fashion legacy of the Ascend P-series, it is only 8.4mm slim with an infinity edge 4.7-inch IPS HD in-cell touch display with second-generation Corning® Gorilla® Glass, and will be available in black and white.
"Ascend P2 is the perfect combination of elegance and power, and further proof that there's no need to compromise when desiring a perfect smartphone. It is evidence of the outstanding smartphone experiences and great technology that we are committed to bringing to consumers globally," said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group.
The HUAWEI Ascend P2 will be on sale in France through Orange in June 2013.
"We're pleased to be working with Huawei again to enable our customers to have easier and faster access to all their favorite content," said Yves Maitre, Senior Vice President, Mobile Multimedia & Devices, Orange. "We are impressed by the design and look forward to putting the Ascend P2 into the hands of consumers as soon as possible."
"The technological capabilities of the HUAWEI Ascend P2 will enable our customers to have the fastest access to all their content, with speeds up to 150 Mbps on our brand new 4G network," said Florence Paour, Device Marketing Director, Orange France.
The HUAWEI Ascend P2 runs on the Android 4.1 operating system, with Huawei's own Emotion UI 1.5. Powered by a 2420 mAh battery and 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, the Ascend P2 downloads HD movies in minutes, and loads online videos, web pages, songs or e-Books in seconds. Huawei's proprietary 'swift sharing' supports uploads and downloads two to three times faster than other smartphones in a Wi-Fi environment. With its NFC module*, Ascend P2 enables e-payments and can act as an electronic ticket. Huawei's unique Quick Power Control (QPC) and Automated Discontinuous Reception (ADRX) power-saving technologies, reduces power consumption by 30% and charging time by more than 25% compared to other smartphones.
Continuing the fashion focus of Huawei's Ascend P smartphones, HUAWEI Ascend P2 evokes the image of an infinity pool with its seamless, elegant design and curvy contours. Using in-cell technology, its LCD 4.7-inch IPS HD touchscreen is an impressive 8.4mm slim. Its 'magic touch' feature provides enhanced screen responsiveness even with gloves, and instant keyword translation and Wikipedia searches can now be done on a single window with 'smart reading'. The screen also calibrates its brightness automatically under any light conditions, allowing users to perform any function, under any light.
The HUAWEI Ascend P2 provides optimal photo and video features including a 13 MP BSI rear-facing camera with HDR, and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera to support self-portrait and video shooting. A dedicated camera key on the side of the phone also allows instant access to picture taking, click once for the camera to be activated and another time to take the shot. With Huawei's advanced camera algorithm, high-definition images can be captured even in backlit conditions. Auto adjustment modes further enable Ascend P2 to produce photos that rival professional cameras.
The Huawei Emotion UI*, available on the Ascend P2 is easy to use and customize. The UniHome function combines home panels with the main menu, while Huawei's patent-pending Me Widget better utilizes screen real-estate by combining all the information and functions you need in a single, customizable widget. Emotion UI is also pre-installed with a smartphone housekeeper function to support real-time data traffic tracking, automatic blacklisting and blocking, periodical system cleaning, and spontaneous exiting of idle programs and cache cleanup, in addition to anti-virus, energy saving, privacy protection, software management, and more.
The Ascend P2 will also be available globally around the second quarter of 2013.
*This function is available in selected markets only.
About Huawei Device
As at the end of 2012, Huawei's products and services are deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world's population. Huawei has also set up more than 20 R&D centers around the world in countries such as the United States, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India, and China. Consumer business is one of Huawei's three business groups offering a range of products that include mobile phones, mobile broadband devices, home devices, clouds, and consumer chipsets. With more than 20 years of rich business expertise in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, an extensive global network, vast global business operations and partners, Huawei Consumer Business Group, through Huawei Device, is dedicated to bringing the latest technology to consumers, offering a world of possibilities and creating extraordinary experiences for people everywhere.
For more information, visit Huawei Device online: www.huaweidevice.com