Huawei has made a bit of a name for itself by offering low cost handsets that usually punch above their weight in terms of features. The Ascend G300 and the recent G330 update are pretty good examples. However, the Ascend P1 LTE is a slightly different kettle of fish, as essentially it's a high-end 4G mobile that's looking to challenge the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and HTC One XL. The Ascend P1 LTE is currently an Everything Everywhere exclusive. EE is offering the phone for free on a £36 a month with a pretty modest 500MB download allowance.
It's pretty obvious from the get go that this is not simply a rejigged version of the original P1 handset, in the way that the One XL and S3 LTE are basically upgrades of the 3G models. Instead it's got completely different styling and is a fair bit thicker than the older P1. In fact it looks more similar to Huawei's G330, which isn't really a plus as the G330 doesn’t even look as good as the original G300 that it replaces. Certainly next to the One XL and S3 LTE, this is a very plain and slightly cheap looking handset.
Nevertheless, the rear has a textured coating, so it's quite grippy to hold and the phone feels solid overall. This battery cover is removable and once you prise it off you'll find the standard sized SIM and microSD card slots hiding beneath, along with the removable battery.
Huawei has placed the microUSB port on the right hand side and the headphone jack is positioned at the top of the phone. On the left you'll find the power/lock switch as well as the volume rocker buttons. Beneath the screen there are touch buttons for the usual Android home, back and menu keys, but unlike some Android handsets it lacks a dedicated search button. Still we can’t say it's something that we particularly miss.
The phone uses a 4.3inch Super AMOLED screen that has a resolution of 540x960 pixels. This doesn’t compare all that favourably with the HTC One XL or Samsung S3 LTE, as both have larger 4.8inch screens with higher resolutions. Nevertheless, not everyone likes those larger sized handsets and certainly the P1 LTE is a bit more pocket friendly and feels less like you're performing hand stretching exercises when you're using it.
The AMOLED technology helps the screen to produce very deep black levels, but as with most AMOLED screens colours can look a little bit over saturated compared to the TFT displays used on the likes of the iPhone 5. Also, the screen's use of pentile matrix means that it does look as sharp as its pixel count would suggest, something that's quite noticeable when reading text on websites.