Although it’s dwarfed by Huawei’s biggest product drop at the CES 2013, the 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate, the Ascend D2 handset is a big device in its own right. Of far more manageable size at five-inches in the diagonal, the D2 immediately feels more like a phone than a phablet, though we wonder if it’s firmly aimed at fashionistas since it’s manufactured in only white and navy blue (so-called Crystal Blue by Huawei).
If that grabs the zeitgeist, the Huawei Ascend D2 does so again with its screen resolution. It’s Full HD, and its 443 PPI is hard to argue with since photos look absolutely stunning. Zooming-in on web pages, too, is done without any trace of pixels.
Our review sample was sporting a slightly older version of Huawei’s excellent Emotion user interface (version 1.5) with staff on hand to explain that the upcoming version, 1.6, will introduce tabs instead of drop-downs for items such as the calendar.
Although Emotion is only a slight modification to the vanilla Android 4.1 ICS, it’s notable for doing away with the familiar grid of apps. Instead, all the usual apps are here, but grouped together in folders, the default titles being Tools, Social and Management (which appears to mean productivity, another clue to the D2’s positioning).
In this way it’s reminiscent of how iOS can be customised. Huawei staff told us that the firm is moving away from using icons and symbols, and to expect the shop-ready D2 to use words instead.
It all works quickly, with the quad-core processor appearing to be fast enough for rapid multitasking. Water resistant and using scratch-proof Gorilla Glass across its sparkling display, the D2 has 32GB of integrated storage, but that’s it – there’s no microSD card slot for expanding upon that.
Its colour schemes won’t be for all, and we do fear for its battery life despite Huawei claiming that it lasts for two days. Although there are rumours of a 4-7-inch version, we weren’t able to confirm that at CES 2013.
Check out our Huawei Ascend D2 information.