Last year, I reviewed the Huawei Ascend P6, and a year later, the Ascend P7 has come along. P7 is Huawei’s first 4G phone, and it’s by far one of the most attractive, eye-catching design of the market these days.
Not that last year’s model, the P6 was slim – the slimmest on the market a this time- nicely designed and good value. This one is incredibly slim and even more nicely designed.
Visually, the Ascend P7 looks every bit the high-end smartphone. Just like its predecessor, the Ascend P6, the P7 features beveled brushed metal edges running across the top and sides, and a rounded profile curving around on the bottom edge. Flip the phone around, and the glass back looks eerily similar to that of Sony’s Xperia Z2.
This is a remarkably slender (6.5mm), light and thin 5-inch full HD Android that boasts a quality display.
The P7 is all the more impressive because of its large 5in screen. The IPS panel serves up an eye-prickling 445ppi pixel density, and LED backlighting delivers soaring brightness due to its 080×1920 resolution LCD display,
The pin sharp 445ppi IPS display looks excellent and holds up well outdoors.
At 124g it’s extremely light, although the 2500 mAh lithium polymer battery is not massive and will mean that some opt for an external battery pack. I found that it quietly coped with a whole day’s use. So I’m quite happy I have a Huawei power bank when I stay away from home too long or traveling.
In terms of connectivity, you get 4G LTE and Huawei claims that a dual-antenna will boost signal reception significantly.
You get two SIM slots, one of which cleverly doubles up as a microSD card slot, handy for those who travel so regularly that they have a dedicated SIM for use in another country. So clever! With the right headphone, the speakers deliver a good quality sound.
The characteristic rounded bottom edge is retained from the Ascend P6. I really like this design feature. It looks neat set against the squared off left, right and top edges, and it doesn’t have a negative effect on usability.
It is worth noting that the bottom edge is plastic but the other three are brushed steel, and the volume and power buttons are beautifully tactile – the former is easy to find when the handset is in your pocket.
The main camera shoots to 13 megapixels, and on the front you get an unusually high-quality eight mega pixel camera, a nod to the rising popularity of “selfies” shot using the screen as a viewfinder. Among the features here, both cameras have an odd “beauty level” slider designed to remove facial wrinkles and blemishes. I found it uneven and it produced quite weird results. Panorama Selfie does what you’d expect with the front camera letting you squeeze more chums into an image. From lock mode you can double press the volume rocker to launch the camera app and take a photo – a feature Huawei calls Ultra Snapshot. It’s really fast, and it worked every time I tried it.
The software also has a clever concession to the craze by including a small preview viewfinder superimposed on the main one. That seems pointless, until you realize that if you look at the small preview in the top-right of the screen your eyes appear to be looking at the lens in pictures, rather than slightly off to the side. A small feature, but a thoughtful one.
Another clever feature is the “groufie” option – Huawei have attempted to register that as a trademark, as if anyone would want to copy it – that allows you to take panoramic images with the front camera. Because photos of groups tend to block out the scenery, this feature helps keep group selfies in context by capturing some landscape to the left and right of the image by tilting the phone side-to-side and stitching three images together.
P7 is powered instead by a 1.8GHz quad-core HiSilicon Kirin 910T CPU, an ARM Mali 450 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It makes Huawei’s heavily-skinned edition of Android 4.4 feel perfectly snappy. Applications load quickly, and homescreens and menus slide fluidly in and out of view.
The Ascend P7 is available in pink, white or black, according to your taste – and whichever you choose, the aluminium alloy skeleton is sandwiched between two sheets of Gorilla Glass 3. Its unusually slender body and dainty dimensions make for a phone
This phone is solidly built, and while you can’t dunk it in a bucket of water, the P7’s nano-coated chassis and internals mean that it can happily shrug off the occasional downpour.
With the P7 Huawei have proved that it can create high-end smartphones.
You get a lot with the P7 for the good price, including a high quality design and great feel in the hand, good specifications, and an attitude towards Android skinning which is on the whole positive. Definitively I’m a big fan of the Ascend P7 and I use it everyday with lot of pleasure.