Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei has announced the launch of its latest Android device, but it will not sell the phone through traditional carriers in Australia.
The Ascend D1 quad, the first Huawei smartphone with a quad-core processor to officially launch Down Under, will be available from Friday 23 November but will be only sold outright through JB Hi-Fi retail stores for $499. Huawei confirmed the JB Hi-Fi deal is not an exclusive contract but that the store is simply first-to-market with the device.
Unlike most other smartphones sold in Australia, the Ascend D1 quad will not be available on contract through traditional telco carriers like Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.
The Ascend D1 quad represents a slight shift in strategy for Huawei. The company is well known for producing budget, entry level Android devices that often retail for as low as $100. However, the Ascend D1 has specifications that lend it to being compared with high end devices like the HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy S III and even the Apple iPhone 5.
"The Ascend D1 quad is Huawei’s most powerful smartphone ever released in Australia, delivering the most advanced quad-core processor technology while actually increasing energy efficiency,” said Poh-Lee Koh, Huawei Device's marketing manager. "This device utilises Huawei’s own in-house chipset integrated with Huawei’s own power management technology, leading to significant improvements in media consumption, multi-tasking and productivity."
While the key feature of the Ascend D1 quad appears to be the processor, the phone also has a large 4.5in screen with a resolution of 1280x720. The IPS+ display has a pixels per inch (ppi) rating of 330ppi, superior to the far more expensive iPhone 5 (326ppi), Galaxy S III (306ppi) and One X (312ppi).
The Ascend D1 quad is powered by Huawei's own 1.5GHz K3 V2 quad-core processor, has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and comes with Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. It is unknown if the Ascend D1 will eventually be updated to the latest 4.1 Jelly Bean version of Android.
Huawei says the Ascend D1 quad's 1800mAh battery can last between "one to two days with normal usage".
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