Huawei Ascend P2 pictures and hands-on

Huawei has unveiled what it is calling the "world’s fastest 4G LTE smartphone", the Ascend P2, at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona on Sunday. Pocket-lint had the chance to lay hands on the new 8.4mm-thick smartphone to quickly bring you our first impressions - and yes, it really is that thin.

The big sell of the Huawei Ascend P2 is obviously the LTE Cat 4 modem, supporting theoretical downloads at up to 150Mbps, if your network supports those speeds.

Orange France has confirmed that it will, but that’s something we couldn’t test in our time with the phone on the showfloor, and something that UK operators have yet to confirm.

It’s a big device, with the 4.7-inch display putting it on a par with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Nexus 4, so although this is a flagship device, in some ways it’s reminiscent of last year’s flagship models from Huawei - slightly sub par compared to the competition.

In the hands the Huawei Ascend P2 feels lightweight, wih the plastic finish is some way removed from the glassy luxuriance of the Sony Xperia Z or the aluminium of the HTC One, but then we expect you won’t be paying those sorts of prices for this big-screened Android device. It's still very pocketable.

Around the back there is a 13.1-megapixel camera with HDR support and this seemed quick and responsive in our brief play at the press event. Those who want to video call can do so, although the front-facing camera, at 1.3-megapixels, isn't very wide so don't expect to get much in apart from your ugly mug.

But where the P2 shines is the screen. It's a 4.7-inch 315ppi display with a 1000:1 contrast and 500 nits brightness. What that means is that you get a really clean, crisp-looking screen that looks great with 720p video playback.

Sitting at the heart of the phone is a quad-core 1.5GHz processor made by Huawei itself, with 1GB of RAM (disappointingly not more), meaning that it was slick and fast to navigate around Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the handset.

The battery is a 2420mAh cell so you should be able to get some way through the day before needing to charge.

Huawei’s Emotion UI 1.5 skin is sitting on the top of Android, but we can’t say we’re taken with it, as it doesn't come with the glamour of HTC Sense, for example. Given the sophistication of raw Android these days, Huawei’s skinning doesn’t seem to add much other than to make it look rather cheap. 

Ultimately you are getting a respectably specced flagship phone, but without the usual flagship price. One to look out for, but there are bigger, better models out there from other manufacturers.

The Huawei Ascend P2 will be available in Q2 2013, with a street price in Europe of €399 (£349).



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