Huawei has announced the Android-powered Ascend P1 S at CES 2012 in Las Vegas. It claims to be the world’s thinnest smartphone, and is a significant step up in spec terms from any Huawei smartphone released to date in the UK. Also unveiled was the P1, a slightly less slim alternative.
Huawei is primarily known as a maker of budget phones and those branded with the names of networks, but the Ascend P1 S is a legitimate Huawei-branded rival for top-end phones like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and HTC Sensation XE. It earns bragging rights with a 4.3in Super AMOLED display and 6.68mm thickness. As usual with these skinny smartphones, this is at the phone’s slimmest point – the camera lens housing juts out a bit – but it certainly pokes a finger in the eye of the Motorola Droid Razr, which is "just" 7.1mm. For those not entirely obsessed with a size-0 figure, Huawei has also announced the P1 (sans “S”), which is 7.69mm thick but otherwise offers near-identical specs to its slim brother.
What we find more impressive than the super-slim frame is the P1 S’s comprehensive spec list. It has 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD) and a dual-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A9 processor, which Huawei claims significantly out-paces the Samsung Galaxy S II in benchmark tests. Both the P1 S and P1 offer this CPU, which powers the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
The main camera uses an 8-megapixel sensor, backed-up by a dual-LED flash and – not included in every Android – face detection and an HDR (high dynamic range) mode. It offers pretty impressive multimedia skills too. Its microUSB slot is MHL compliant, meaning the phone can output surround sound and HD video to your TV and home cinema system. As yet we don’t know whether it’ll offer advanced video codec support too – stay tuned for our review to find out.
The battery in both the P1 S and P1 is a 1670mAh unit, which is roughly on-par with similarly specc’d rivals. Expect a day’s use, if not much more. However, Huawei plans to upgrade this to 1800mAh later in 2012.
These new Huawei handsets will be available from April 2012 and come in metallic black, pink and white finishes – with other fancier coloured backplates planned. UK pricing details are not yet available, but if it can undercut the bigger mobile names, the P1 duo could prove to be a slow burn hit of 2012.