Huawei Ascend P1 S and P1 hands-on (updated: video)

Huawei went ahead and made its new line of Ascend phones official at this morning's pre-CES event. The Ascend P1 S and P1 are near identical mobile twins, with 4.3-inch Super AMOLED 960 x 540 displays and are separated only by the former's skinnier profile. At 6.68mm, the P1 S is one millimeter thinner and packs a beefier 1800mAh battery, as compared to its sibling's lesser 1670mAh. Both devices will ship with Google's latest Android flagship Ice Cream Sandwich onboard and run atop a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 Cortex A9 with SGX 540 GPU. No pricing or carrier details have been announced, though the pair are set to launch in April of 2012. We had a chance to get some hands-on time with the phones, so follow on after the break for our initial thoughts.

It's immediately noticeable that Huawei's high-end Ascend P1 S is the snappier of the two. Navigation through the homescreens was immediate and fluid, with nary an instance of lag. This responsiveness is clearly a result of the dual-core TI OMAP4460 CPU powering the phones, clocked at 1.5GHz and complemented by 1GB RAM. The same couldn't be said of the P1, which chugged along noticeably in our brief time with it despite having the same internals. Surprisingly, Huawei hasn't loaded up either phone with a skinned version of Android 4.0, so that certainly should help real-world usage to remain speedy.

As we noted in our hands-on with Fujitsu's F-07D yesterday, super thin smartphones require a bit of flash to showcase their svelte design and the red accents on the P1 S do just that. Contrasted with its relatively fatter younger brother, the P1 S appears more premium, but definitely conveys a sense of cheapness, owing to its plasticky build. The smartphones are loaded with MHL-HDMI ports, tout dual mics for noise reduction, DLNA and T-Mobile friendly bands, as AWS is supported. Rather unfortunately, there's only 4GB of storage built-in, so you'll have to manage your media.

We played with the camera app a bit and it seems to be standard fare for an Android ICS handset, though it's apparent Huawei wants this duo to be a delight for photography. The phones are equipped with a 1.3MP HD front facing camera capable of 720p capture, in addition to an 8MP module on the back prepped for 1080p video. There's also a dual flash LED, along with HDR effect optimization.

As we mentioned earlier, Huawei hasn't outed any key specifics for the phones' availability, saying only to expect the Ascend P1 S and P1 this April. When they do hit the market, you'll see launches across China, Europe, North America, Australia, Middle East and Asia. Judging by today's reveal, it sure looks like Huawei's intent on cutting a more striking wireless product presence.