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CES: Huawei Ascend P1 S hands on review

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LAS VEGAS: Huawei has shown that it will be aggressively pushing into the high-end smartphone market with the launch of its Ascend range.

The PS 1 is set to be the firm's flagship smartphone in 2012, and initial impressions were very positive considering that Huawei has traditionally been known for making budget handsets.

Huawei is playing up the fact that the PS 1 is the thinnest smartphone to date, and with a thickness of 6.68mm it looks sleek and is comfortable to hold.

Huawei Ascend P1 S smartphone thickness

In an effort to be taken seriously as a high-end handset provider Huawei has used a number of premium components. Construction appears solid - with a metallic frame running around the edge of the device. The chassis also packs in a 4.3in Super Amoled Gorilla Glass display that delivers a sharp, clear picture and will no doubt force Samsung to up its game.

The firm has chosen to go with a 1.5GHz dual-core Texas Instruments processor rather than an Nvidia-based chip, but the processor inside the PS 1 is based on the familiar ARM Cortex A9 design. With 1GB of RAM also included, we found the device delivered an extremely smooth experience. The handset also benefits from having a stock version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and so there is no overlay to drain battery and slow the device down.

Huawei Ascend P1 S smartphone Android 4.0

We liked the addition of the HDMI ports and the 8-megapixel rear camera with 1080p recording and facial recognition capabilities.

Another area that Huawei is confident it will be able to differentiate in its device is the battery performance. The 1670 mAh battery is touted to give 30 per cent better performance than other high-end devices and it will be interesting to see just how long the handset lasts when compared to other handsets with similar specifications.

The only real disappointing features appear to be the 4GB of built in storage and the lack of pricing details. The latter could be a sticking point especially as Huawei is largely unknown to UK consumers and has no pedigree in the high-end market. However, if the firm is looking to make an impact in western markets we expect it to launch devices with a competitive price when it starts shipping in April.

09 Jan 2012

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