Huawei Ascend P1

We’re all on the look out for a brand new phone every so often, and sometimes the internet can be clogged with reviews surrounding the technical specifications and how one handset is way faster than another handset because it’s got a processor in it that probably means nothing to you. That’s why I’m starting this feature. Every so often I’ll be replacing my own personal phone with another and put it through it’s paces for a week, partly because I love playing with new phones and partly because I’m looking to get a new phone myself.

Those of you who love technical specifications won’t be left out though, you’ll be able to find those at the end of this post!

As usual we’ll be splitting the review into four different parts, Photography, Gaming, Everyday Use, and Outdoors. So how did this phone do?

IMG_6939The Huawei Ascend P1 in short.

This is a fantastic little phone. It’s a complete unit with no removable back cover that comes in either white or black. It  has three dedicated capacitive keys in a similar layout to the Galaxy Series. The phone is fairly light which is a good point, but where it falls short is that due to the plastic surrounding it feels a little cheap. Unlike most other phone manufacturers Huawei have stuck with Vanilla Android as their main launcher – there are a few little tweaks here and there, but it’s overall appearance and performance is just like you’d expect from a Nexus device.

The screen feels fantastic and it’s very responsive over all, my only negative is the outer bezel is raised a little at the base of the phone and you’ll find that your thumb will often catch on it when pressing the Menu, Home, or Back keys. It’s super thin too which helps with navigating around the generous 4.3 inch screen.

IMG_6946Due to it being a complete unit, everything you’d need to access is located on either side as well as the top. There’s a MicroSD slot on the right hand side, and the SIM card slot is located at the top. I often mistook the MicroSD card slot’s cover for the power button due to it being slightly raised and that became pretty frustrating. And my SIM card was almost impossible to get out of the device once it was in, tweezers are definitely recommended. If you’ve got a micro-SIM card, it’s recommended that you don’t use it and acquire a full sized one from your service provider.


The Huawei Ascend P1 boasts a whopping 8MP camera with autofocus so I immediately expected to take some pretty awesome Instagram snaps with it. Unfortunately it didn’t. This is the most disappointing part of the phone overall. It’s fairly colourless, the autofocus is a hindrance, and the overall quality of the pictures are mediocre to say the least.


The camera performs best in the middle of the day, when the sun is out – sort of optimal conditions for taking photographs.. If you do manage to get a good snap, expect your picture to be a little too wide for Instagram with the camera’s default settings being a rather wide 3264×1836. Compared to my Galaxy Note that takes pictures at it’s default 8MP 3264×2448 the photo’s are fairly different not only in size, but in quality too.

Huawei Ascend P1

At optimal settings the camera performs okay, giving the image a more vivid colour than that on my Note. Low light however is when the Huawei Ascend P1 suffers as you can see above & right.

It also has a 1.3MP front facing camera, but it lacks quality.


Because the Huawei Ascend P1 runs on Android, there’s a huge catalogue of games that are available to download. The Ascend P1 performs really well with it’s 1.5Ghz processor and handles games lie Real Racing 2 and Shadowgun really well. Like most smartphones with the same size screen (4.3 inches) controlling games like Shadowgun is a little difficult, but that’s to be expected. I’m impressed with how responsive the screen is and how well it handles more power hungry games.

Everyday Use

I could easily replace my Galaxy Note with the Huawei Ascend P1, the battery life is incredible it lasted around 12+ hours of average every day use, and about 8-10+ hours of heavy gaming.

Huawei Ascend P1

Much like most other Android phones, once you’ve entered your Google credentials, everything that’s backed up to your account will be restored such as contacts, calendar dates, Emails, and YouTube subscriptions – to name a few. Also within the Play Store all of your apps that you’ve installed in previous phones will be there to re-install on this one. Essentially that’s all to do with your Google Account and doesn’t really reflect on the phone, so lets get back to the matter in hand.

The phone is just the right size for you to do everything with one hand comfortably, but without the “home” button that you often find with some Samsung devices or iPhones, it can be a little awkward to press the power button on the side in order to unlock the phone. compared to the textured back of the SII or the Note the Huawei Ascend P1 has a glossy back cover and I often felt like it was going to slip out of my hand at any moment, as I mentioned before it also feels quite cheap which is a real shame.

The Huawei Ascend P1 is loaded with all the Google Apps you’d expect, so finding a place to eat and getting directions to that place quickly can be easily done. As I mentioned before the Ascend P1 comes with a Vanilla Android-esque launcher, giving the appearance of a basic Android layout that some users have grown to love. The phone doesn’t come with too many pre-installed Huawei apps, and the ones that are installed are fairly useful like an “All Backup” app that’ll back up everything on your phone just in case something goes wrong. There’s also a DLNA app that’ll allow you to stream music, videos, and pictures across other various devices, and finally a Security Guard app for the security concious!


IMG_6947The Huawei Ascend P1 is a perfect phone to just pick-up check a text, reply, and put back in your pocket. It’s light, the perfect size for one hand use, and it’s very, very fast. Navigation is a doddle too especially with the ability to download certain areas on Google Maps for offline viewing.

As mentioned prior, in optimal conditions the Huawei Ascend P1 has a good camera, and with the ability to share the photo’s to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with just one single tap on the screen, it’s a clever phone.


Huawei doesn’t have too much of a following in the UK, I only really noticed the brand a few months ago whilst passing the mobile phone section in ASDA. That’s partly why I wanted to give this phone a try. It’s a great little phone that’s right up there with the Galaxy SII and the HTC One S and performs just as well as my Galaxy Note. Other than the slight disappointment with the camera and it’s default configuration I’d definitely recommend this phone to anyone.

Technical Specifications
Here’s the section for tech nerds.

The Huawei Ascend P1 comes with a 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED screen at 960 x 540 resolution. It boasts a huge 1.5Ghz dual core processor with 1GB RAM that makes gaming a breeze. It’s internal memory is a little disappointing at only 4GB’s but it supports MicroSD carts up to 32GB. The Music+ app enables the Dolby Mobile capabilities that gives out a much better sound. It runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

This phone was lent to us for our Week In My Pocket feature by Phones4u, the home of great Mobile Phones – Thanks!

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Hy. I’m interested buying the P1. But I also like the Htc One S. I want good battery life, but can’t decide between these two. I’m also considering the P1 XL with 2600 mAh. Please help, suggest if you can. Thanks. Tom


alo, good review. i just got a p1(two days ago 26/06/13) and i noticed some differences between your review and my phone. firstly, the micro sd cover on mine isn’t raised, so therefore isn’t even noticeable whilst feeling for the on/off button. also, the back of mine is a rubberised black finish and it feels sturdy. in fact the whole phone feels sturdy, with no flex, creaking or “cheap feel”. it actually feels like a quality phone. the back may well be made out of metal now; i just can’t tell. also, the camera is great in low light. i… Read more »


review not describes phone adequately. Camera!? What!? Huawei P1 has really great camera for this little sensor of 1/3.2 and it is way better than most of 8mpix phones on the market and even for me better than One X maybe in level with SGSIII.