CHINESE TELECOM VENDOR Huawei has signalled its intention to muscle into the high-end smartphone market with the launch of its Ascend range.
The Huawei PS 1 is set to be the firm's flagship smartphone in 2012, and initial impressions are very positive considering that Huawei has traditionally been known for making budget handsets.
Huawei is playing up the fact that the PS 1 is the thinnest smartphone to date, and at just 6.68mm thin it looks sleek and is comfortable to hold.
In an effort to be taken seriously as a high-end smartphone provider Huawei has used premium components. Construction appears solid, with a metallic frame running around the edge of the device. The chassis mounts a 4.3in Super AMOLED Gorilla Glass display that delivers a sharp, clear picture and might force Samsung to up its game.
The firm has chosen to go with a 1.5GHz dual-core Texas Instruments processor rather than an Nvidia-based chip, but the processor inside the PS 1 is based on the familiar ARM Cortex A9 design. With 1GB of RAM also included, we found that the device delivered a smooth experience. The handset also benefits from having a stock version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so there is no overlay software to drain the battery and slow the device down.
We liked the addition of HDMI ports and the 8MP rear camera with HD 1080p recording and facial recognition capabilities.
Another area where Huawei is confident it will be able to differentiate its device is battery performance. It claims that the 1670mAh battery will give 30 per cent better performance than other high-end devices and it will be interesting to see how long the handset lasts when compared to other smartphones with similar specifications.
The only real disappointing feature appears to be just 4GB of built in storage and we're also disappointed by the lack of pricing details. The latter could be a sticking point especially as Huawei is largely unknown to UK consumers and has no pedigree in the high-end market. However, if the firm is looking to make an impact in western markets we expect it to launch the device with a competitive price when it starts shipping in April. µ