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Huawei ascend w1 review windows phone 8 smartphone

Updated on July 2, 2014
Huawei ascend w1
Huawei ascend w1

It is for the first ever time that Huawei has launched a smartphone with windows OS which is Huawei Ascend W1 . Its time now to check out how good is this device. The question is whether it will be user friendly enough that the users can stay social, use applications and a variety of other options. Lets check out….

Specifications

Operating system Windows Phone 8

Size 124.5 x 63.7 x 10.5mm

Weight 130g

Display 4 inches

Resolution 480x800

Camera 5 MP, VGA front camera

Processor Qualcomm dual-core 1.2GHz

Storage 4GB + 512MB RAM

Ports Micro USB

Battery 500 min talk time with 9 hrs of media streaming

Looks

Just like Nokia’s windows phones the huawei ascend also comes in vibrant colors. It is usual to see that the windows phones have vibrant color designs than Android mobiles. So same is the case here and we find Huawei Ascend W1 is like the colorful Nokia Lumia 920. Different people have different choices thus go ahead and pic whichever color pleases you.

The device has a firm body with a pleasant soft touch rear plate. The device has a soft back. It is very soothing to touch besides giving an extra grip so that it won’t slip out of your hands. With its sturdy build even if you accidentally dropped your ascend W1 it could survive though it might get minimal damage.

The phone’s body is comfortable to clutch onto for a single handed operation thanks especially to the slender design with a compact 4 inches display.

Huawei ascend w1 available colors
Huawei ascend w1 available colors

Interphase

If you are a new to Windows Phones then for you the main selling point is the color and user friendly interface. The home screen consists of a grid of tiles. The tiles act like a shortcut to one of the applications for example your maps, email or contacts. Just like android the tiles stream live info wherever ap­propriate. The mail tile lets you know if there are any unread emails, similarly the photos tile shows a rotating slideshow of your pics. Windows phone 8 provides a cool feature called as family room using which you can W pics to share them. You can also W docs and calendars with a group of relatives or friends. There is also a feature of special kid’s corner that will allows to play games even while lock­ing away your valuable data.

There is one flaw with Windows Phones which is the lacking of applications in comparison to Android and iOS. Lets consider games and you will find only small games like angry birds while you have an ocean of stuff at the playstore in case of android. What we feel is distinct lack of quality in the titles. Many among the first party apps on iOS and android are replaced by third party apps. Such apps are ugly and buggy. At least we could find tiles for netflix and skype. Nokia is one of the largest advocates of windows phone 8 and it tries everything to bring up decent apps as a replacemnt of all the android apps. Nokia installs plenty of its own apps on each and every lumia smartphone. It is unfortunate that huawei has not followed that path. Thus you are limited to only the apps you can get from the online store. Not to be disappointed here because still windows phones are a great social animals. The people app groups all of the contacts together from the phone book, social media and email directory. You can easily check your friend's status anytime.

Huawei ascend w1 interphase
Huawei ascend w1 interphase

Web browsing

As expected this windows phone also uses microsoft's windows explorer as its default web browser. It is a fast, powerful web browser. It is loaded with plenty of features that includes tabbed browsing support, sharing webpages using social networking websites, messaging services and emailing. Its also very easy search text on a webpage with a very handy find on Page feature. The web browser is very much responsive to the taps. The features like pinch zooming are as smooth as hot knife on butter. On the downside we found huawei ascend w1 a bit slower to load heavy webpages. In the benchmarks Huawei ascend w1 completed Sunspider in 1130.5 milli seconds and scored 1186 in Browsermark. Both of the results are very good for a budget handset like this.

Performance and media

The looks of Huawei Ascend W1 with a 4 inches display look rather dinky because of a thick bezel surround­ing the device. Browsing internet can be a bit difficult if you open busy webpages but fortunately the display is reasonably sharp with a 480 x 800 resolution which means that user can zoom out and still be able to read text and enjoy various images. Though it is not the brightest display out there but it is able to do a decent job of countering glare in the broad daylight.

The colors in the display are bold and are quite pleasing to the eye but on tilting the screen the colors fade. The black colors come off more as dark grey in the display.

We were interested to test the video recording. It records videos in HD and it does a pretty impressive job. The recordings are smooth and crisp. The 4 inches display is compact and is enough to enjoy even a full length movie without any stress. It is good device to enjoy movies on a long boring flight. It provides an impressive 9 hrs of battery even after continuous video streaming. We found the virtual keyboard very simple and easy to use while texting or mailing. The keys are very logically spaced and are responsive enough to the finger taps. This feature is impressive for a modern mobile. Loaded with a good performance, a compact design and a slightly dim display it is a massive plus for those who are regularly out and about.

Qualcomm dual core CPU with 1.2GHz
Qualcomm dual core CPU with 1.2GHz

Battery life

Huawei ascend w1 is equipped with a decent sized 1,950 mAh battery just underneath the thin plastic rear cover that can be removed very easily. In terms of the battery life it is considerably better than any of its rivals out there especially nokia lumia 620 that offers 1,300 mAh battery while the androids provide 1,500 mAh of power. We were really impressed by its battery life as It provides an impressive 9 hrs of battery even after continuous video streaming. With full charge it can run for many days. Inspite of heavy gaming still it offered a longer battery life than most of the androids out there.

Huawei ascend w1 battery
Huawei ascend w1 battery

Storage space

Huawei ascend w1 offers a space of 4GB. It looks like huawei has made cuts in the storage space. Nevertheless it should not be an issue because of the microSD card slot that allows you to increase storage space up to 32GB. However there is a catch here that you can not install the applications you download onto the microSD cards rather they have to be stored in the device's main memory. It might seem a bit of pain but I guess that's not much of a worry as most of the applications don not take up much of space.Thus storage space should not be much of an issue here although its our human nature to have more and more.

Camera

The 5 megapixel camera is comfortable and simple to use especially due to its physi­cal shutter button. The camera is located just like standard phones along the lower right edge thus it is easy to place your index finger without blocking the camera. By holding the button down when the device is hibernating the camera starts right on. The pics can be taken in less than half of a second thus you can easily capture the quick moments.

The options available in the app are minimal. Here are the ones you get: turning flash off and on, changing from auto to a specific scene mode, flick through various resolutions and that is pretty much of it. The ascend w1 has an expandable camera. You can easily use it to scan, translate or copy any text (provided there is decent light and the letters should not be very small). You can avail more features from the online store.

The pics clicked came out well and colorful. The images were surprisingly clear with a great amount of detail even while viewing on a larger screen. The video recordings are also bright and clear. The sound quality is decent. The microphone picks up wind a bit too easily but still the job is good.

There is a standard front facing camera which can be used to do skyping and video calling. There are basic set of editing tools available that allows to crop as well as auto adjust the pics before sharing them.

Huawei ascend w1 5 MP rear camera
Huawei ascend w1 5 MP rear camera
Import contacts from android via bluetooth
Import contacts from android via bluetooth

Contacts and calling

The phones with windows Operating system does not support a standard contacts list rather what you will find here is that all your contacts grouped together into something called people Hub. In this people hub you can get access to not only the contact name and contact number but also his/her email address, social media updates across services viz. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This is an advantage over the android phones. It is a genuinely useful feature.

As far as call quality is concerned the w1 does a pretty good job. The earpiece is quite crisp and loud. There is no form of robotic speech or muddiness. The microphone is also excellent.

Pricing

You can get it from stores at 220$ to 240$ or you can get it online from amazon. The cheapest price I could find is 174.99$, below

Huawei W1 Windows Prepaid Phone (Net10)

Conclusion

Huawei’s Ascend W1 is a good phone considering it a good entry into the world of budget windows phone 8 phones. It is a stylish phone with a solid built and a compact but crisp 4 inches display. This combined with an impressive battery life makes it a good package at a decent price. Though nokia offers more apps but many of the apps are just useless and annoying. Moreover you can enjoy all the decent apps with huawei ascend w1 but if you live more on apps then consider buying an android.

Lets see people's view, How is your experience with this phone? C'mon vote

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4 stars for Huawei ascend w1

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