MWC 2012: Huawei Ascend D quad Hands-On Preview

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Huawei’s presence in Barcelona this week is quite impressive — guests are greeted at the airport with huge billboards, announcing the company’s top product, the Ascent D quad. The Chinese company’s vast pavilion dominates Fira de Barcelona, where the 2012 Mobile World Congress is being held.

Following the Ascend P1 and P1 S which were presented at CES, the Ascend D quad is Huawei’s latest serious attempt to enter the arena of top smartphone models with Android OS. We tried out this device and can actually confirm that this manufacturer is now in the big league — Ascend D quad is profiled as one of the show’s smash hits.Huawei Ascend D quad

The device includes a quad-core K3V2 processor, which is produced by Huawei itself and the company claims it is the fastest in the world. It comes with a 1.2 GHz and 1.5 GHz speeds, and 1 GB of RAM, which is a combination that makes Android OS 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) literally fly.

Still, what is even more impressive on this device is its 4.5-inch IPS+ screen with a 1280 x 720-pixel resolution (720p), which includes a pixel density of 330 ppi — previously unprecedented on smartphones with Ice Scream Sandwich (Sony Xperia S has pixel density of 340 ppi, but it is using Android OS 2.3 (Honeycomb), not ICS). Exceptional sharpness is a real sight for sore eyes and even the tiniest letters along the edge are perfectly smooth to the naked eye. The colors are realistic and intense, while we also loved the viewing angle — contrast is not the least bit lost, even when the device is viewed from a wide angle. We could not see how the display acts when exposed to direct sunlight, but Huawei representatives told us that the Ascend D quad surpasses the almost perfect iPhone 4S regarding this matter.

We also ran a few previously installed games and could see for ourselves that this smartphone’s speed is exceptionally fast — starting games took place almost instantaneously and playing on such a display is a unique experience. We also ran several 1080p-resolution video clips and saw no glitches of any kind, even when we randomly pressed forward, went back to the beginning, to the end, to the middle etc.

When held in hand, the Ascend D quad feels great, most of all because of its sleek dimensions — it is only 8.9 mm thick and weighs 130 grams. It is made out of plastic materials in its entirety, but these do not seem as solid and convincing as on HTC or Samsung’s top models. Clearly design is an area that Huawei must work on in order to be considered the Android king by many. Without a doubt, many will consider this device to have a somewhat geekish design, even with fancy rounded edges and grey casing as a plus, not a shortcoming.

Software-wise, Ascend D quad comes with absolutely pure Android OS 4.0, which the technically demanding audience will be pleased about. During the past few months, Huawei has become a favorite manufacturer of those who love rooting smartphones with Android OS, and due to its outstanding hardware, this device is a real treat for such users.  Furthermore, Huawei Ascend D -- Side ViewHuawei has announced a price war — it is expected that the Ascend D quad will be offered at a lower price that the competition’s quad-core processors.

With this model, Huawei has also presented Ascend D quad XL, which is two millimeters thicker, but comes with a 2.500 mAh battery. Also announced at MWC this week was the Ascend D1 with a 1.5 GHz dual-core Texas Instruments chip, 1 GB of RAM, and an display identical to the Ascend D quad’s, with which this company will attack the mid-range smartphone market.

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