Huawei Ascend P1 - Rising Dragon

Launch SRP: S$648

Performance and Conclusion

Performance

The Huawei Ascend P1 shares the same TI OMAP 4460 dual-core processor as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, albeit with a higher clock speed at 1.5GHz. If you've noticed, the Motorola Razr Maxx is powered by an older generation TI OMAP 4430 chipset. The main differences between the two generations of processors are the faster clocked CPU and GPU; otherwise they are pretty much similar.

To gauge the performance of the Huawei Ascend P1, we compared it to the scores of other (almost) similarly spec-ed phones of its class which include the ASUS PadFone, HTC One S, Motorola Razr Maxx and Sony Xperia S. As per usual, we will use the Quadrant benchmark to evaluate the CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics of the Android devices.

How the Phones Stack Up
Device Huawei Ascend P1 ASUS PadFone HTC One S Motorola Razr Maxx Sony Xperia S
CPU TI OMAP 4460 dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 dual-core 1.7GHz TI OMAP 4430 dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 dual-core 1.5GHz
GPU PowerVR SGX540 Adreno 225 Adreno 220 PowerVR SGX540 Adreno 220
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB
OS Google Android 4.0 Google Android 4.0 Google Android 4.0 Google Android 4.0 Google Android 2.3

 

Based on the scores above, the Huawei Ascend P1 performed decently against the competition. It is obviously outmatched by the newer and more advanced Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor of the ASUS PadFone but held its own against the HTC One S. The Ascent P1 also had a comfortable lead over the Motorola Razr Maxx and Sony Xperia S.

Synthetic benchmarking aside, the user experience on the Ascend P1 was generally positive. Navigation and multitasking were smooth and apps loaded quickly. In short, there was nothing to complain about the overall performance of the device.

 

Imaging Performance

Like many of its counterparts, the Ascend P1 is equipped with a Super AMOLED display. Colors are bright and vibrant, with good viewing angles under sunlight. The resolution of 960 x 540 pixels is pretty standard for a phone with this screen size. The display is also reinforced with Corning Gorilla Glass, so you can be assured that scratches won't appear that easily. On the camera imaging quality aspect, as seen in the photos above, the camera managed to capture pretty good details. If there's something to nitpick, it would have been the slightly bluish tinge (cooler colors) noticed in most of our shots. Given that it's after all captured from a smartphone, we were generally satisfied with the shots.

 

Battery Mileage

Using the same 480 x 800 pixels resolution video that we use across all our mobile device battery tests, we set the same test parameters which includes having the video looped under the following conditions:

  • Brightness and volume at 100%
     
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
     
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter
Test Phones Compared
Specifications/Device Huawei Ascend P1 ASUS PadFone HTC One S Motorola Razr Maxx Sony Xperia S 
Processor
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz
  • Dual-core 1.7GHz
  • Dual-core 1.2GHz
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz
Display Size
  • 4.3-inch
  • 4.3-inch
  • 4.3-inch
  • 4.3-inch
  • 4.3-inch
Display Type
  • Super AMOLED
  • Super AMOLED
  • Super AMOLED
  • Super AMOLED Advanced
  • LCD
Display Resolution
  • 960 x 540 pixels
  • 960 x 540 pixels 
  • 960 x 540 pixels
  • 960 x 540 pixels
  • 1,280 x 720 pixels
Dimensions
  • 129 x 64.8 x 7.69mm
  • 128 x 65.4 x 9.2mm
  • 130.9 x 65 x 7.8mm
  • 130.7 x 68.9 x 8.99mm
  • 128 x 64 x 10.6mm
Weight
  • 130g
  • 129g
  • 119.5g
  • 145g
  • 144g
Battery
  • 1670mAh
  • 1520mAh
  • 1650mAh
  • 3300mAh
  • 1750mAh

 

 

 

The Huawei Ascend P1 lasted about 7 hours and 32 minutes, which ranked second behind the leader, the Motorola Razr Maxx. If we take the 3,300mAh battery of the Motorola Razr Maxx out of the picture, Huawei actually did a commendable job with the Ascend P1. Generally, devices with Super AMOLED displays tend to perform better in this aspect due to their more power efficient screens. This is evident in the Power Consumption chart, where the Ascend P1 registered the lowest power consumption figures among all the devices. Likewise, the Ascend P1 also ranked quite high in the Portability Index, where where each device is assessed on its ability to balance battery mileage with its size and portability. Having the thinnest side profile (7.69mm) and a rather lightweight form factor (130g) certainly helped propel the Huawei phone to a podium finish.

Under normal daily usage conditions, we were able to squeeze out about a day of battery life from the Ascend P1. This is pretty normal for smartphones today, when consumers usually perform some moderate web surfing, text messaging and make a few phone calls throughout the day. Do take note that our battery test simulates fairly stressful usage conditions and that actual battery mileage varies under different usage conditions. Even so, it seems that the Huawei Ascent P1 has what it takes to be a strong performer.

 

Conclusion

In terms of hardware, we are impressed with its sleek design though the plastic build doesn't really bring out the best out of the Ascent P1. We're not against a full plastic build, but a textured matte finish of the right color would give the phone a much better first impression and add to its design score. Build aside, its 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display makes the Ascend P1 an excellent multimedia device and further boosts the device's battery life. In fact, it's one of the most power optimized smartphone among the competition and can easily last a day's worth of usage before needing a charge.

Software-wise, the Ascend P1 should please Android purists with its almost stock user interface, which is fluid in operation. Though it runs on a dual-core processor, the Ascend P1 gave a solid performance and can certainly give the other Android vendors a run for their money. Other performance aspects like its battery life and imaging quality were satisfactory too.

At S$648, the Huawei Ascend P1 is the most affordable among the phones that we've compared in this review and comes across as a well-rounded mid-range Android smartphone. Consumers should really consider the Ascend P1 if they are looking for an affordable mid-range Android smartphone that can handle most needs without burning a hole in their wallets.

8.5
Design
8.5
Features
8.5
User-Friendliness
8.5
Performance
8.5
Value
9
The Good
Solid overall performance
Excellent AMOLED Screen
Sleek design
Affordable
The Bad
Glossy chassis