Huawei Ascend P7 vs Ascend P6: What's the difference?

If you're looking for an affordable device, but want a premium specification such as a large display and a quad-core processor, then a company like Huawei may well have the answer for you.

The Huawei Ascend P7 has just been announced at its global launch in Paris, the successor to 2013's Ascend P6. Is this just an incremental change, or is this new device something to get excited about? 

We've run down the key specs of the two devices to show you exactly what the difference is.

More glass, more millimeters

The design of the Ascend P7 is the same as the P6. Visually, you can see that the two Ascend P devices are part of the same family.

However, there are differences in build materials, as well as the size. The new Ascend P7 has Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and back of the handset, whereas the P6 has a brushed metal back. 

The Ascend P7 is fatter too: it measures 139.8 x 86.8 x 6.5mm compared to the 132.65 x 65.5 x 6.18mm of the P6. That's down to the increase in screen size, moving from a 4.7-inch to 5-inch panel.

There isn't a huge difference in weight however: the Huawei Ascend P6 was 120g, the P7 is 124g, which sounds a little like witchcraft given the shift in size.

Competitive display

The P7 houses a 5-inch panel with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution - that's 441ppi - compared to the 4.7-inch, 1280 x 720 pixel (312ppi) panel of the Ascend P6. That's a huge difference in the display department, with more space and more detail packed into it, giving a much better experience to rival the top devices.

Both displays are colourful and bright, however the step-up to flagship specs in the P7 make this a really eye-catching device, in many cases without the bulk and weight of mainstream rivals such as the Sony Xperia Z2.

More power

The Huawei Ascend P7 comes with a quad-core HiSilicon Kirin 910T 1.8GHz chipset and 2GB of RAM. The P6 offers a quad-core HiSilicon K2V2E 1.5GHz chipset with 2GB of RAM.

The P7 will be faster, making for a better day-to-day experience. There's a bonus of 16GB of internal storage - up from 8GB on the P6 - but both phones also offer microSD card expansion.

Sitting in the heart of the Ascend P7 is a 2500mAh battery, a fair bump over the 2000mAh of the P6. The new device should last longer thanks to its more capacious battery, although with more pixels to power and a more heavyweight processor we won't know that until we test the device in full.

The P7 also now has a low power mode, stripping the phone back to basic functions and turning the display mono for extra long-lasting life.

More camera pixels, front and back

Huawei have drawn a lot of attention to the camera experience of its Ascend devices and rightly so. The Ascend P7 has a Sony-manufactured 13-megapixel BSI sensor on the rear, with f/2.0 aperture and five-piece lens.

On the front of the P7 is an 8-megapixel camera. Yes, you read that right. The front camera is as resolute as many competitors' rear camera sensors.

The P6, by comparison, had an 8-megapixel sensor on the rear camera, and a 5-megapixels front-facing camera. Both want to go big on selfies, but the P7 has gone to crazy town with it. And we like the idea.

There are plenty of photo modes, including an interesting selfie panorama option, beauty modes, audio photo, HDR and more.

Faster data

One of the huge changes from P6 to P7 is the inclusion of 4G LTE. 

The 2013 device launched just as 4G networks were rolling out in the UK, so had something of a hole in its spec sheet - especially when coming from a company that's involved with much of the global 4G infrastructure.

Fear not, the Ascend P7 has cat 4 LTE support, so you'll get fast data on the move.

More Emotion (UI)

The Ascend P7 launches on the latest version of Android - 4.4 KitKat - skinned with Huawei's Emotion UI, now at version 2.3. The new version of Emotion UI looks more colourful and engaging than the past, but offers many of the same features.

The Ascend P6 offers Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with Emotion UI over the top, so the P7 has the edge in offering more, both from Google's perspective and from Huawei's own developments.

Conclusions

The Huawei Ascend P7 isn't just an incremental step up over the P6, it's a very different device. It lifts this Ascend flagship into that space to compete with large-screened rivals from the likes of Samsung and Sony.

It's larger than the P6, but it offers more: more display, more battery, more power, as well as an uprating of those cameras.

Of course, we'll have to wait and see exactly how this all hangs together in real-world performance when we get the phone in for a full review. Until then, make sure you read our hands-on first impressions. 

READ: Huawei Ascend P7 first impressions