Huawei Ascend D2: 5-inch Android 1080p smartphone announced, we go hands-on

Huawei has officially launched the anticipated Huawei Ascend D2 smartphone and it looks like an impressive handset.

The 5-inch IPS display gives you a full-HD 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, resulting in a sharp 443ppi. It's protected by Corning Gorilla glass, so should be safe from scratches, but the phone also carries an IPX 5/4 rating, so it's also dust and water resistant.

Huawei poured loads of water over the phone in front of us and it had no issues; they also threw it at the ground and it survived quite a bash. Nice to know then that the butter-fingers among you won't struggle with the D2.

That 1080p display is very, very nice. As you would expect, something with such a high pixel density is extremely sharp and the fact that it is IPS gives it really good viewing angles. Cranking the brightness up to full, the screen also seemed that it might deal with direct sunlight nicely.

Internally there's Huawei's K3V2 1.5GHz quad-core processor and sitting inside the 9.9mm frame is a 3000mAh battery, which has us tingling with excitement: it might just make it through the day. The phone weighs 170g, which is a touch on the heavy side.

That processor is combined with Huawei's Emotion UI, which essentially is intent on simplifying Android, iOS style, to deliver a cleaner and easier to understand experience. We haven't had long enough yet to really be sure if this is the case, but what is certainly true is that it still feels like Android. The Emotion UI seems more about twists than fundamental changes. Zooming on text, for example, or the lack of an apps drawer are order of the day.

If it's cameras that tickle your fancy, the Huawei Ascend D2 has a 13-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor (we'd guess from Sony). There's a front-facing camera, but we don't know what the resolution of that is. We tested the rear camera in a dimly lit room in Las Vegas and it did well enough, although we need more time to quantify results. What is for sure, viewing snaps on the 1080p screen is a good thing.

Talking up the photography experience, Huawei claims the manual colour temperature adjustment feature will "provide a professional-level photography experience". We'll take that with a pinch of salt.

And guess what. The Huawei Ascend D2 will also be available with a 4.7-inch display if you can't quite handle the size. It will also ship in a dark blue or a white. We definitely prefer the look of the black up close, particularly with it offset against the phone's silver wraparound.

The whole handset package is sturdy and feels like a proper premium product. Keeping design detail to a minimum and a simple volume rocker and headphone jack also helps the whole package look nice and sharp.

Availability is initially slated for China and Japan. The phone will be launching globally some time in March.



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