Not many people will have heard of Huawei, but this Chinese manufacturer is making a series of strides towards becoming a household name thanks to its increasingly impressive smartphone releases.
The Ascend P1 is its latest effort in this category and while it will not catapult it to the top of the market it will certainly be a good foundation for future device launches.
The Ascend P1 is impressive from a technical point of view, with a large 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display dominating the front and a range of solid components featuring within its slender 7.7mm chassis.
It has a dual core processor clocked at 1.5GHz and while this may not be up there with quad core alternatives like the HTC One X in terms of raw power, for most people this will be more than enough poke to keep them happy from day to day.
The processor is put to work in the camera department as the eight megapixel snapper on the back can record full HD video clips with ease. There is an LED flash to help bolster its still photography credentials and the Ascend P1 is difficult to fault on paper, particularly when you consider that it is priced to be competitive with other similarly specified handsets.
Huawei has preinstalled Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the Ascend P1 and it definitely has the oomph to support an upgrade to Android 4.1 at a later stage, should the manufacturer and network providers decide to roll it out.
Android 4.0 is still an excellent smartphone platform which offers all of the usual bells and whistles, from fast web browsing to a library of applications stretching into the hundreds of thousands thanks to the Google Play service.
One area which might be an issue is the fact that the Ascend P1 does not have an NFC chip onboard. Near Field Communication has become an important asset of all mid to high end mobiles, allowing users to make contactless payments and access other features at compatible terminals. But without NFC, this device might feel a little less fresh a few months down the line when this is more ubiquitously used.
You do get DLNA support which means you can use the phone to stream media content to a compatible computer or smart TV, while other connectivity options like Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G help to keep this model in contention when compared with its peers.
The build quality of the Ascend P1 is very good given the slimness of its body, although Huawei has had to sacrifice an accessible battery slot to get it down to 7.7mm, which means you cannot replace its power unit on your own. This is something that iPhone fans have to deal with, so it should not be an entirely problematic feature.
What could make the Ascend P1 more accessible than its rivals is if it appears on the best mobile phone deals and its price becomes a major asset.