This year the Chinese smart phone manufacturers are rising up to the occasion with better hardware, improved build quality and competitive pricing. One of such phone maker is Huawei that has stepped up their game with high-end offering beginning with last year’s Ascend P6. That device had grabbed headlines for being the thinnest smart phone at just 6.2mm.
With competition heating up even from its own home ground in China, Huawei has announced its newest Ascend P7 smart phone and it is now available in Malaysia for just RM1,499. It packs improved hardware and support for faster 4G LTE but the price has increased merely by RM100 over its predecessor.
Read on for our first impressions of the Ascend P7.
The design of the Ascend P7 is pretty much the same as its predecessor but it gets a couple of changes like a rounded power button in the centre, like what you’ll normally find on the current Sony Xperia models. The side profile is slightly thicker now at 6.5mm and is surrounded by a solid feeling metallic edge which frames up the glass surface for both front and back. Each side is protected with Gorilla Glass 3 and the back panel is specially layered with 7 layers of micro patterns. The special patterns are just for aesthetic purposes with a circular dotted line patterns and the back is as smooth as typical glass surface.
On the right side, you’ll find the volume rocker button followed by the power button in the middle and 2 flush tray slots which houses the microSD and micro-SIM card. Although the buttons protrude out reasonably, it is too thin to be felt on the finger tips and it lacks desirable feedback. While it doesn’t have a dedicated camera button, you are able to take a picture from sleep to snap as quick as 1.2 seconds by simply double pressing the volume down button.
At the front, it gets a 5″ IPS Full HD resolution display which viewable in various angles. Like its predecessor, there’s no front capacitive buttons and it uses on-screen virtual buttons for a cleaner look. At the bottom you find a USB port while the top houses a 3.5mm headphone jack and a secondary mic. Internally, it runs on a Quad-Core 1.8GHz Hi-Silicon Kirin 910T processor mated to 2GB of RAM and has expandable 16GB of storage. In the hands, it feels pretty smooth and Ascend P7 is running on the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Emotion UI 2.3 on top. The interface is much simpler than most Androids as it doesn’t have a separate App Drawer. For better control over data and power usage, the Emotion UI comes with several Phone Management features to manage app permissions, storage and data usage like its budget Honor 3C smart phone.
Juicing up the device is a slightly larger but average 2,500mAh capacity battery which should be able to last the whole day. For moments that you’re far from a charger and you need to extend your phone’s battery life, the Ascend P7 comes with its own Ultra Power Saving Mode. With this mode enabled, Huawei claims that you can get up to 24 hours of extra standby time with just 10% battery life remaining.
Photography is essential in any new smart phone these days. The back camera on the Ascend P7 uses a 13MP BSI unit with 5-piece ISP lens and f/2.0 aperture size. To avoid missing another epic moment, the it comes with an Ultra Snapshot feature where you can take a picture from sleep to snap as quick as 1.2 seconds by simply double tapping on the down volume button. The speed is dependent on the lighting condition and during our test indoors, it took around 1.3 to 1.4 seconds to take the shot while the screen is off.
Recognising the need for high quality selfies, it packs an epic 8MP BSI camera at the front and boast a unique Panorama Selfie mode to capture a larger group. The execution is pretty impressive as it takes a shot at the front, and then another shot facing to the left and another one towards the right. Even with unsteady hands, the stitching of the 3 images was pretty good and you can check out a demo of this in our hands-on video below.
The Huawei Ascend P7 also supports 4G LTE, which was lacking on the previous model. For this spec and an attractive price of RM1,499, the Ascend P7 is quite a bargain if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd of mainstream smart phones. Plus it is nearly RM900 cheaper than the big 3 high-end smart phones like the Galaxy S5, One M8 and Xperia Z2. It is available now in Black and White colours with more options to be made available later. If you’re planning to buy this on contract, Celcom and U Mobile are their telco partners and they should be introducing their Ascend P7 bundle plans very soon.