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Huawei Ascend P7 review

Andrew Williams

By

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

6

Pros

  • Slim and fairly good-looking
  • Good camera

Cons

  • Quirky software needs tweaks
  • Performance issues
  • Screen not up there with the best
  • Poor battery life

Key Features

  • 5-inch Full HD screen
  • HiSilicon quad-core 1.8GHz CPU
  • Emotion UI 2.3
  • Manufacturer: Huawei
  • Review Price: £449.00

What is the Huawei Ascend P7?

Originally reviewed: 28/05/2014

The Huawei Ascend P7 is a flagship Android phone. It is designed to be an alternative to mobiles like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 - that’s some serious competition.

An eye-catching design goes some way to justifying such a position. However, it isn’t as quick or swish as the best phones out there and lacks a standout feature to make up for this.

Huawei Ascend P7 6

Huawei Ascend P7 – Design

Huawei’s P-series phones are known for being some of the thinnest mobiles in the world. The Huawei Ascend P7 is no different.

At 6.5mm thick, it is significantly thinner than the already wafer-thin 7.6mm iPhone 5S. Being so skinny makes handling a 5-inch phone like the Ascend P7 a bit easier. We don’t find it tricky to reach from one side of the screen to the other, for example.

As well as being somewhat iPhone inspired in its dimensions, the Ascend P7’s look is quite iPhone-like. Its sides are textured aluminium, the back a flat pane of toughened glass. This is almost certainly the best-looking phone Huawei has made to date.

Highlights particular to this phone include a curvy bottom edge and a textured-look finish to the rear, sitting under the top-most glass layer.

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Huawei Ascend P7 8

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It’s a striking phone, but there are a few elements that could be improved – things that show Huawei is dipping its toe into relatively new waters with a 'prestige' phone like this. The texture of the aluminium is nowhere near as accomplished as that of the iPhone 5S, for example, the squared-off silhouette of the Ascend P7 is not as inviting as something a bit rounder, and we’re not convinced the Huawei logo on the front is really necessary.

Or, to be more realistic, it’s probably necessary for Huawei’s brand expansion strategy, but it doesn’t do the Huawei Ascend P7’s design any favours.

These are all minor points but it is in these details that the devil resides. Nonetheless, the actual construction quality is good. There are no wide seams, the glass and metal body feels good to hold and all the buttons and sockets are thoroughly well executed.

All the main bits are laid out along the right edge – the neat circular power button, the standard volume rocker and the duo of pop-out trays that hold the microSIM and microSD card slots. Given the number of grace-free flaps we’ve seen on previous Huawei phones, this is a rare display of classiness.

Huawei Ascend P7 5

Huawei has clearly put a lot of effort into the Ascend P7 design, and it does pay off – much as its relative inexperience in this high-end field is noticeable.

Huawei Ascend P7 – Screen

Much of the Ascend P7’s front is taken up by the screen. The bezel is slim and as there are no physical soft keys, there’s not much else the phone needs to fit on the front - though the camera and sensor next to the earpiece are yet another of this phone's slight design slip ups.

Screen specs are up there with the best. It’s a 1080p IPS LCD display, and at 5-inches stays clear of the sort of size that makes a phone somewhat tricky to use. Huawei Ascend P7 10

The Ascend P7’s display quality is reasonably good too. Colours are well-saturated but natural looking and the 441ppi pixel density ensures everything looks super-sharp. This is one of those high-calibre displays where you can’t see individual pixels.

However, elements of its performance aren’t quite up there with the very best LCDs – seen in phones like the Sony Xperia Z2. Viewing angles in particular are noticeably so-so. There’s no horrible contrast shift but there is significant brightness loss from some angles and fairly severe IPS glow from others.

Huawei Ascend P7 12

This isn’t the sort of thing you really notice in use, but it is an example of how the Ascend P7 lags behind phones like the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

stonedragon2k

June 8, 2014, 9:19 pm

I have just had this phone for 3 days now and I don't recognize the issues the reviewer had with this phone. To be honest it is a very unfair review.

To put my comments into perspective, I have at this moment sitting on my shelf an Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z2 mini and also a Nokia 808 Pure View. To boot, I have just recently sold my HTC One Mini and gave my sister my HTC One (M7). I'm a real 'phone tart'.

So what has this got to do with the P7? Well unless you are big into gaming, my daily go to phone will be the P7. Why? It has a great design, it has a 'barely their' weight factor and it runs just as zippy as my other phones; with NO LAG whatsoever. EVERYTHING works smoothly from Google to Evernote and a whole host of other 3rd party apps. Oh and the camera is great. I took some side by side pictures with my wifes iphone 5s, Sony Xperia mini and the P7. Everybody chose the pictures from the P7 - that is the honest truth. Whatever they are mixing in the photo department works really well.

So editors, why so much hate on this phone? 6/10 c'mon!! I would give it 8, with the battery as my only real concern. Agreed, Huawei have done quite a few things differently in their implementation of KitKat, but to be honest this makes such a welcome change from the boring copycat UI that every one else uses.

Chika

June 12, 2014, 12:07 pm

I just got through commenting on a review of this phone on another site and consider this review a good example of exactly what I said there. "Oh, it's OK but LOOK AT [Insert favourite phone here] right through the damn thing. OK, this phone is likely to overshadow my current Huawei Ascend G330 but I want to know about *this* phone. Leave the comparisons to the end!

Elena Kolotova

July 16, 2014, 9:19 am

http://goo.gl/3kjBd1 - 410$ now with free shipping

Paul Kyyrö

September 22, 2014, 7:04 am

Funny thing, i didn`t find any lag playing games such as Real Racing 3 or Spider Man etc. Really smooth frame rate. There is some minor, but not disturbing lag in a few apps but i think they are apps or Android related. Really good performance and level of sharpness in camera and it takes quite good pics in low light. I like the phone, definitely 4/5 stars.

Paul Kyyrö

September 22, 2014, 9:55 am

You are absolutely right!

Bonnie Bao

September 22, 2014, 3:27 pm

I couldn't agreen more.

InternetSirOrMadam

September 28, 2014, 3:02 pm

Wow. What a bad reviewer. This will probably get deleted but... Review of the review....

No Andrew. It was not "designed as an alternative to the S5 or HTC one M8". Just so you know for future reviews you attempt, no manufacturer will ever design a phone with the intention of it being an "alternative". If you actually meant it was designed TO COMPETE with the S5/one M8... Again, no it wasnt.

I dont know where you got the price of £449 from as you can easily get it for less than £300. Even the Carphone Warehouse sells it sim-free for £350. It also sells (as advertised on your website) at £26.50 for unl unl 1GB.

So. If you compare it to phones IN ITS OWN PRICE RANGE. Its a monster. You are comparing it throughout your review to phones 2-3 times the price. If we look at similar priced phones/tariffs, you should be comparing it to the likes of the iPhone4S (out-right £299), iPhone5C (monthly prices), HTC one mini (£319 out-right), Sony Xperia T3 (£299 out-right) etc.

It absolutely decimates ALL these phones including on the good/bad points (summary) of your review. You state one of the bad points being the screen, look at the PPI against all those phones... Not one IS ANYWHERE near the P7. It even smashes the iPhone 6 screen PPI which for some reason didn't get labelled as a bad point in its review on this site (441 PPI vs 326PPI)... Hmmm, whats going on there? Are Apples screens magic or something?

Im not going to go into every point or thing you said. I don't need to. The other leading internet based reviewers have given it much higher scores and often label the quality of the screen being one the "good bits".

Anyone considering this phone should not be put off by this review. If you compare a Mercedes to a Ferrari you can make the Merc sound pretty bad. This reviewer is clearly prejudice as its not one of the more established makes in UK. If I had to guess i'd say he owns an iPhone as this type of thinking is common among iPhone users.

Evan

September 29, 2014, 9:30 am

The price has dropped significantly since review, probably so it can compete at the mid-range level rather than the high-end it was originally gunning for. We review products when they come out and use the price quoted by manufacturer or by retailer that will stock it. A price drop should be a consideration for you when you're buying it - if you can get it for half the price we reviewed it for then it's probably worth a couple of points more in terms of score. However we do not go back and rescore products just because they have dropped in price. This happens with all electronics and is to be expected.

bluemberg

May 4, 2015, 5:03 pm

Stupid explanation I must say, perhaps you should just have another look at the phone and re-review it, since you appear to prefer having your head stuck in a sand once it is published

Evan

May 5, 2015, 10:55 am

I'll explain again, this isn't perfect phone -- it has the issues clearly laid out in the review. If you are happy with those issues and want to bag yourself a bargain then great. The price as reviewed changed quickly on the P7, but the original price is there for all to see. If we've reviewed it at £450 and it's now £300 then you can make your own decision about whether that price drop makes it worthwhile to you or whether the poor battery life and performance issues are something you can live with.

Evan

May 5, 2015, 3:05 pm

It's not a case of putting our head in the sand. Should we go back to every product that has a price drop and review it again? If we did that we'd not review anything new.

Instead we believe that our readers are intelligent enough to recognise that manufacturers drop prices and that a score is indicative of a phone at the originally reviewed price point – a price point that is clearly indicated in the review, I should add.

You can get the LG G3 for £289 now and the Galaxy S5 for less than £350. Both those phones are ones I'd recommend over the P7, particularly the LG, which is around the same price now.

Rashid Imam

November 22, 2015, 8:43 am

i have huawei Ascend p7, But once starting to use with wifi or 4g whatever after 24hr volume gating slow, if any one know the solution how to fix please reply me my id imamkhan.rashid@yahoo.com

your reply will highlly appreciated.

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