We hopped over to Paris for the day to check out Huawei's 2014 flagship smartphone, the Huawei Ascend P7, rocking an insane 8-megapixel selfie camera and Huawei's thinnest design yet. Check out our full Huawei Ascend P7 hands-on review...
Just as with its predecessor, the Ascend P6, Huawei looks to have spent a long time on the Ascend P7's design, and the result is an uber-tough, surprisingly slim smartphone.
The Ascend P6 was commended for its waif-like form, even if the design did appear to borrow heavily from that of a popular Californian smartphone you may have heard of. The Ascend P7 is also an impeccably svelte phone, thinner than an iPhone 5S at just 6.5mm, and the entire body is a blend of aluminium and glass with a multi-layered textured back, fitting of any top Android flagship.
The same ‘Double-C’ wraparound design 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.
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 black, white and pink colours.
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.
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.
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 Orange store in the UK on June 7, with a 449 Euros price tag unveiled for Europe. We've already started on our full review, so check back soon for our thoughts.