Huawei Ascend P1 review

A decent specification and fine screen make this a worthy mid-range contender

Mike Jennings
14 Feb 2013
Price when reviewed 

Huawei is a big name in China, but it’s only just beginning to make waves along European shores. Its Ascend P1 makes a good first impression: the 8.9mm-thick handset feels sturdy, and its no-nonsense design is on the right side of the divide between stylish and nondescript.

The screen shares the 540 x 960 resolution used by its mid-range rivals, such as the HTC One S and Motorola Razr i. The 4.3in diagonal is the same too. It’s a good-looking device, thanks to the sleek design, and its 110g weight makes it one of the lightest phones around, even undercutting the Apple iPhone 5 by 2g.

Huawei Ascend P1

The Super AMOLED screen is crisp, with perfect black levels, and a vibrant display that peaks at 214cd/m2 for brightness.

Huawei has turned its back on Qualcomm-made chips for the Ascend P1, instead choosing a TI OMAP 4460, and it’s in the middle of the pack with scores of 1,888ms in SunSpider and 3,540 in Quadrant. That’s slower than both the HTC One S and Motorola Razr i, which scored 4,855 and 3,784 respectively in Quadrant, but it isn’t enough to prevent Android and games from feeling smooth under the finger. The biggest problem with the P1 is that it comes with only 4GB of built-in storage.

Huawei Ascend P1

Battery life is belting: the Huawei’s 70% result in our 24-hour test is excellent for an Android handset, and not far behind the longest-lasting handsets - the Samsung Galaxy Note II had 80% of its capacity left after the same test.

Despite the middling performance, then, the Huawei P1 is a great-value phone. It doesn’t quite have the build or pocketability of the Razr i, but its high-quality screen and durable battery compensate for this, and its low SIM-free price makes it a cracking buy for pay-as-you-go enthusiasts.

Price when reviewed 
240(£200 exc VAT)


Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £15.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider


Dimensions 127 x 7.7 x 65mm (WDH)
Weight 110g
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard On-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 1MB
Camera megapixel rating 8.0mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes


Screen size 4.3in
Resolution 540 x 960
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes


OS family Android

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