Huawei is going pretty big on the smartphone and tablet front, announcing six brand new devices at IFA in Berlin. Of the lot, the Ascend D1 Quad XL is by far the most exciting. Packing an almost vanilla version of Ice Cream Sandwich, a big battery and decent design to boot, this could be quite an arrow in Huawei's quiver.
The phone is certainly snappy, with virtually no lag on its touch inputs, although it isn't up to the standards of Jelly Bean yet. The camera app, for example, boots up very fast and snapping shots is instantaneous. Huawei has done a good job keeping Android just the right side of vanilla, incorporating its own little UI touches like a customisable phone app and high resolution backgrounds.
What really dominates the entire phone however, is the large 4.5-inch IPS+ screen. IPS is the sort of tech Apple uses in its the new iPad and it really shows in the Huawei. This is a display that looks nice from every angle and has deep and balanced colours, unlike the blown-out reds and blues found on OLED displays.
In terms of design, Huawei has gone for a clean and simple look, with a textured back that makes the phone nice to hold in the hand. You can remove the back of the handset, but its not possible to take out the battery. We particularly like the HTC style red ring around the camera at the back of the phone, it looks great.
In fact that battery is rather special, being 2,600 mAh, significantly larger than found on some other handsets, like the Galaxy S3. Huawei has also written some clever battery saving software which apparently can, in ideal situations, translate to 500 hours of standby time.
With a 1.2GHz quad-core chip inside, IPS screen and 8GB of internal storage, expandable by microSD naturally, this seems to tick all the boxes. Better still, its looking like the Huawei phone will be £400 from new - relatively cheap for a phone with a spec sheet like this.
Things like 1080p video and a pair of front and back cameras, the rear 8-megapixel and the front 1.3, this is quite a package. We haven't spent enough time to truly make a judgement around the Quad XL, but given the way the Ascend P1 performed, this could be a nice little surprise.