Huawei Ascend W1 Windows Phone (preview)

The Huawei Ascend W1 is a mid-range Windows Phone targeted at price conscious buyers

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Huawei Ascend W1
  • Huawei Ascend W1
  • Huawei Ascend W1
  • Huawei Ascend W1
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Pros

  • Likely to be competitively priced
  • microSD card slot
  • Quoted battery life figures

Cons

  • No 4G connectivity
  • No AU release details

Bottom Line

The Huawei Ascend W1 is a new mid-range Windows Phone that will clearly be targeted at price conscious buyers. It has a 4in screen, a 5-megapixel camera and a microSD card slot for extra memory, but there's no word on an Australian release yet.

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Nokia and HTC are seemingly the only smartphone manufacturers committed to the Windows Phone 8 platform but Huawei may be set to join them in the near future. The Chinese giant has just unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the Ascend W1.

Announced at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Huawei Ascend W1 is best described as a mid-range Windows Phone. It will clearly be targeted at price conscious buyers, with Huawei saying it will be sold "at a price that makes sense to consumers". There's been no official pricing announced yet though, so it remains to be seen how much of this statement is simply marketing speak.

We do expect the Ascend W1 to be competitively priced, however, as its specifications can't match flagship Windows Phone devices like the Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC Windows Phone 8X. The Ascend W1 has a 4in IPS display with a resolution of 480x800, is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and has 512MB of RAM, so its true competitors are the lower priced Lumia 820 and Windows Phone 8S.

The Ascend W1 is Huawei's first Windows Phone 8 device.
The Ascend W1 is Huawei's first Windows Phone 8 device.

The Ascend W1 has 4GB of internal memory and in good news for Windows Phone fans, a microSD card slot is present to add to that storage. There's also a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash and a front-facing VGA camera for video calls. The Ascend W1 isn't a 4G device, but it is compatible with all Australian 3G networks.

The Ascend W1 is far from the thinnest device on the market at 10.15mm but the relatively light weight (130g) is likely to be a positive. The design of the handset should appeal to the youth market, particularly the dream blue, black, magenta and white colours which appear bright and bold. The similarities to Nokia's Lumia range aren't lost on us.

The Huawei Ascend W1, as it appears on Huawei's website.
The Huawei Ascend W1, as it appears on Huawei's website.

Perhaps the most notable feature of the Ascend W1 is a 1950 mAh battery that Huawei says has the longest standby time of all smartphones in its class. Official battery life figures quote 11 hours of 3G talk time and up to 470 hours of 3G standby time. If these figures are correct, the Ascend W1 should easily achieve well over a full day of use before needing to be recharged.

The Huawei Ascend W1 will be available in China and Russia in January, with "other selected countries to follow" but there's no word yet if an Australian release is on the cards.

Huawei claims the Ascend W1 has a long battery life.
Huawei claims the Ascend W1 has a long battery life.

A promotional video of the Ascend W1 can be seen below.

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