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Hands-on with Huawei’s Ascend P7, the 8-meg selfie snapper

The Huawei Ascend P7 packs an insane 8-megapixel selfie camera and Huawei’s thinnest design yet, making this one of the slimmest 4G smartphones out there. Check out our full Huawei Ascend P7 hands-on review for the skinny on specs, UK price and release dates…

We joined Huawei for the official Paris launch of the Huawei Ascend P7, a phone that’s big on design and big on selfies, and had the chance to play around with this five-inch beauty. So far we’re pretty impressed – it’s a beautifully designed smartphone that boasts a couple of unique features – but does it have enough guts to take on the big boys such as the HTC One (M8)?

Huawei Ascend P7 smartphone hands on review

The original Huawei Ascend P6 was commended for its waif-like form, even if the design did appear to borrow heavily from that of a certain popular fruit-based phone. Huawei’s Ascend P7 is also an impeccably svelte blower, thinner even than an iPhone 5S at just 6.5mm. The sleek and sexy body is a smart blend of aluminium and glass with a multi-layered textured back, fitting of any top Android flagship.

The same ‘Double-C’ wraparound design also reappears on the Ascend P7, with the hardware controls lined along its edge for one-thumb access. The curvy edges were apparently inspired by a water droplet (yep, a phone inspired by water), providing a more comfortable grip, and thankfully the Ascend P7 doesn’t feel too awkward despite its 5-inch size, helped by the thin bezels and it’s featherweight feel.

Huawei Ascend P7 smartphone hands on review

Butter-fingered users will be pleased to hear that the Ascend P7 has been reinforced for extra protection, with a seven-layered rear surface and Gorilla Glass 3 front and rear covers adding impressive robustness. Even more impressive is how Huawei still managed to keep the phone so slim despite these additions. On a purely aesthetic front, it’ll come in a choice of blue/black, white and pink colours.

Huawei Ascend P7 smartphone hands on review

On the Ascend P7’s front is a 5-inch Full HD IPS LCD screen (with a sharp 445ppi pixel density matching the likes of Sony and Samsung’s latest flagships). But more impressive on that front panel is the whopping 8-megapixel selfie cam with a five element lens; camera tech we’re more used to seeing on a rear snapper.

‘Round the back you’ll find a 13-megapixel snapper that boasts a dedicated DSLR-like Altek image signal processor, Huawei’s own IMAGESmart Engine 2.0 which offers a wealth of image processing technologies, and a sleep-to-snap time of just 1.2 seconds. Speedy.

Huawei Ascend P7 smartphone hands on review

When it comes to Android, as you’d expect, the Ascend P7 goes toe-to-toe with the current crop of Android powerhouses. Android 4.4.2 KitKat has been lovingly wrapped in Huawei’s latest revision of its Emotion UI, and it’s a pretty (and colourful) sight indeed. The iconography has been redrawn, interface elements follow a cohesive colour pallette, and there are over 100 pre-installed themes to choose from. Huawei calls it ‘an ocean of customisation’, to us it just sounds overwhelming.

Huawei Ascend P7 smartphone hands on review

On the hardware side, Huawei has gone against the grain with its own quad-core processor; a 1.8GHz Kirin 910T chip twinned to 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD memory card. Battery life looks to be decent, with a 2500mAh cell that comes with an ultra power saving mode (Huawei reckons 10% should last a full day with this activated).

The Huawei Ascend P7 will hit every EE store in the UK on June 7, with a €449 price tag unveiled for Europe. We’ve already started our full review, so check back soon for our thoughts.


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