Huawei Ascend P1/P1 S announcement recap

Taylor Martin
 from Concord, NC
Published: January 9, 2012

Just moments ago, Huawei took the stage at CES to unveil the global launch of their latest pair of smartphones, the Ascend P1 and P1 S. At merely 6.68mm thick, the P1 S is the slimmest smartphone in the world, and the P1 is close behind at 7.69mm thick. Aside from thickness, the differences between the two are rather slim.

The Ascend P1 sports a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display covered in Corning's Gorilla Glass, 1,5GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460 Cortext-A9 processor, SGX 540 GPU, 1,670mAh battery, 5.1 Dolby Mobile 3.0 Plus surround sound, 8-megapixel rear camera capable of 1080p video, 1.3-megapixel front shooter capable of 720p video capture, Bluetooth 3.0, 1GB RAM and 4GB. The battery in the P1 S has a capacity of 1,800mAh, instead of the 1,670mAh found in the P1. And both support UMTS 850/900/AWS/1900/2100 MHz and quad-band GSM. The Ascend series of phones also ship with a mostly stock version of the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.

The cameras used in the P1 series use a BSI sensor, which helps to capture more light. The camera also has built-in features like facial recognition, group shot (which stitches the best parts of several pictures into one), panorama, effects and macro capabilities. This, along with the obvious thinness of the device, seemed to be one of the larger focal points for Huawei through the event.

The P1 and P1 S will officially come in three colors: magenta, black and white. But Huawei said they are working on different colors and colored, snap-on plates that cover the entire back of the phone.

No specific carriers were announced officially, but the press release indicates that it will become available during or after April in Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America, Australia, Middle East and China. The P1 and P1 S are expected in the US market sometime after the first half of the year and might even be coming in a CDMA and/or LTE versions.

Something Huawei didn't touch on during the presentation was a price point. During the post-presentation Q&A, however, it was said to possibly release unsubsidized for roughly $400. I wouldn't hold my breath or ready my credit card just yet, but time will tell how accurate that estimate will be.

To be honest, this is very exciting stuff coming from Huawei, who doesn't normally come off as a high-end smartphone manufacturer, at least not here in the States. The devices are rather nice, lightweight and feel great in the hand. The one down side that I did notice, however, is that the battery is not removable. And if you're not a fan of excessive use of plastic, it might not be the phone for you.

Keep it locked to PhoneDog for more on the Ascend P1, P1 S and CES 2012!

Products mentioned