Huawei Ascend G7 hands-on: Full metal jacket

Huawei has announced the Ascend G7, a new smartphone with a metal body, looking to bring some of that HTC One love to those on a budget.

The handset has a metal body that's punctuated by two plastic segments in the rear, top and bottom. It reminds us of some of the unibody design we saw from HTC in that past - the HTC Legend for example - and we imagine this is to aid network connectivity.

It has a nice feel in the hand and we definitely like the cool effect of the metal compared to the company's normal plastic bodies.

It's the a little too squared at the edges however, and lacks the sort of sculpting that makes the HTC One really nice to hold. It's a little sharp on the Ascend G7, something you notice because it body is fairly large so it's a bit of a stretch to grip.

That comes down to the 5.5-inch display on the front, which sees this smartphone pushing towards phablet territory.

That display, however, isn't full HD, instead opting for 1280 x 720 pixels. That gives you a pixel density of 267, which isn't that high by current standards.

That's to be expected given that this is designed to be much more affordable than the latest flagship device. At around €249, we think we can accept that drop in resolution.

From the time we spent with the new Huawei device the display seemed to perform well enough, although the Android 4.4 and Emotion UI software wasn't the final release version, so we can't pass any performance judgements on it.

At the core of this phone is a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 (MSM 8916) chipset, the new budget-focused 64-bit hardware from Qualcomm. There's 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, with a microSD card slot for expansion. 

As we said, we didn't have the time to put this device through its paces, but it seemed fast enough. It won't compete with top-tier phones, but should complete daily tasks with ease and might make a good choice for those looking to watch movies or catch-up TV on the move.

There's a 3000mAh battery and cat 4 4G LTE support. There's a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, with a range of software niceties, like a selfie timer. We've been impressed with the camera performance on some of Huawei's recent devices, so we'd expect the G7 to be pretty good here too.

Available in gold, silver and grey, the Huawei Ascend G7 is expected to hit shelves in November 2014.



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