The Huawei Ascend P7 is great value for money, offering users quad-core performance and an above-average rear camera. However, it is let down by pointless software additions that hamper, rather than aid, its user experience.
Decent display, lightweight design, above-average cameras
Pointless software additions, unintuitive user interface, slightly buggy
Processor: Quad core 1.8GHz HiSilicon Kirin 910T chip
Display: 5in 1920x1080, 441ppi
Storage: 16GB upgradable via microSD, 2GB RAM
Camera: 13MP rear, 8MP front
Connectivity: Bluetooth, WiFi, 4G LTE
Operating system: Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Emotion skin
Huawei's been working hard to cement its presence in the European smartphone market by releasing a steady stream of smartphones that are designed to offer users the same performance as top-end Samsung and Apple devices, but for half the price.
The Huawei Ascend P7 continues this strategy and aims to deliver the kind of experience you get with a £500-plus iPhone 5S or Galaxy S5, but on a device that retails for a more reasonable €450 (about £370).
Design and build
The Ascend P7's design isn't terribly original – looking a little too much like a cross between an iPhone and Sony Xperia handset for our liking – but it is lighter and thinner than competing 5in smartphones.
Measuring 140x69x6.5mm and weighing 124g, the Ascend P7 is one of the lightest Android smartphones available, and is positively waif-like compared with the 145g Galaxy S5 and 160g HTC One M8. The P7's light weight means the phone is comfortable to hold, despite having fairly sharp edges.
The Ascend P7 is also fairly well built, with its metal sides and Gorilla Glass front and back faces proving to be reasonably scratch and drop resistant in our tests.
The Ascend P7 is also pretty well-endowed when it comes to port and connectivity options, featuring two nano SIM card slots on its right-hand side that can also take a microSD card.
The P7 has a 5in 1920x1080, 441ppi screen that performed well in our tests. Using the device in regular light we were impressed with how vivid colours were and found icons and text to be always crisp and legible. The display also has reasonably good viewing angles.
It was only when we began using the Ascend P7 in more adverse lighting conditions, like bright sunlight, that we had some issues. Hit with direct light we found the screen to be so reflective that the device was all but unusable. This is odd given that the Ascend P7 uses JDI screen technology, which as well as being thin is also meant to stop the phone's display becoming overly reflective. However, being fair to Huawei, this is an issue that affects 99 percent of the smartphones we review.
The only other niggle we had with the display is that it is fairly prone to picking up fingerprint marks and can quickly take on a fairly grubby appearance.
Next: Operating system, software, performance.