Huawei MWC 2013: Ascend P2 hands-on

GSMArena team, 24 February 2013.
Pages: 123

Huawei Ascend P2 hands-on

The Huawei Ascend P2 features a 4.7" IPS LCD screen of 720p resolution. Contrary to what Huawei's CEO tried to convey on stage, the viewing angles are not exactly perfect - there's some contrast loss when you tilt the phone. However, the screen is quite bright and images look pretty good outdoors, even in direct sunlight.

Huawei Ascend P2 live shots

The screen is protected by the ubiquitous Gorilla Glass 2, which is curved at the sides to meld better with the rest of the phone. Huawei calls this "Infinity edge display". The screen features Magic Touch (just like the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate), which means you can operate the phone even with gloves on or with fingernails.

The camera at the back of the Ascend P2 can shoot 13MP stills and 1080p video and do HDR in both modes. The front-facing camera is a 1.3MP snapper. Huawei are proud of their Super Zoom, which promises better quality when you zoom up to 2x, but didn't go into details about how it works. We tried it out and we think it's standard digital zoom, so nothing special there.

Here are three samples we managed to snap before we lost the light.

Huawei Ascend P2 camera samples

The Ascend P2 is 8.4mm at the waist, which isn't chubby, but it's by no means the thinnest phone around.

The handset will come in Black and White. The plastic on the back doesn't seem like anything special, but is quite nice to the touch.

The back of the phone also features a secondary noise-cancelling mic.

13MP HDR-capapble camera on the back

The Huawei Ascend P2 has a hardware shutter key on the right side, along with the Power/Lock key and microSIM card slot. There's no microSD card slot and the internal storage is 16GB, of which only 10.5GB are available to the user.

Volume rocker Power/Lock and shutter keys on the right side, plus microSIM card slot

Inside the phone there is a 2,420mAh battery, along with some clever power-saving tech and quick charging mode. Huawei promises up to 25% better battery life and shorter charging times.

The Ascend P2 is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The interface is very smooth, but our first impressions of the Emotion UI 1.6 are that it's a bit confusing. We'll spend some more time with the phone and see if we warm up to its custom skin.

It's a one level UI called Uni Home, similar to the iOS interface or that of MIUI. It's very customizable too, apparently there are 100 themes and fonts to choose from. Here it is in action:

Huawei is aiming high with the connectivity on the P2 - it's the first phone capable of LTE Cat 4 connectivity. While other LTE-enabled phones are Cat 3 rated (100Mbps downlink), this one can get up to 150Mbps. Uplink speeds are still at 50Mbps.

There's also NFC on board and the proprietary Swift sharing tech that enables file transfers between phones over Wi-Fi (something along the lines of Wi-Fi Direct). To ensure the best Wi-Fi speeds, the Huawei Ascend P2 packs two Wi-Fi antennas.

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