Huawei unveiled its latest shot against the bow of Samsung’s great, immovable ship today with the Ascend P7. The follow-up to the nicely-designed P6 contains many of the same ideas: smooth lines, aluminum build and worldwide connectivity, but the successor promises to compete with the top tier phones from Android manufacturers at a much lower cost.
The P7 sports a 5-inch 1080p display covered in Gorilla Glass 3 for an impressive pixel density of 445 ppi. Under the hood is a 1.8Ghz quad-core HiSilicon Kirin 910T, built on the aging Cortex-A9 architecture. Despite 2GB of RAM, the phone is likely to be severely hampered by its CPU and GPU combo, which includes ARM’s practically-ancient Mali-450 GPU. For some background, the Mali-450 is a higher-clocked version of the Mali-400 that was used in the Samsung Galaxy S2. It’s unclear how many cores it has, and how quickly they’re clocked, but with these specs the P7 is not going to compete for speed with the latest crop of devices from Samsung, HTC et al.
Huawei does promise some serious competition in the camera department, outfitting the Ascend P7 with an industry-leading 8MP front-facing camera and a 13MP Sony Exmor BSI sensor on the back. The company wants to make it very clear that this is no stock camera experience, though: there is a custom image signal processor inside that purports to offer DSLR-like noise reduction and ISO 3600 light sensitivity. We’ll have to see if those claims hold up, but Huawei pushing very hard on this front. The front camera can take panoramic selfies, or what the company is calling “groufies” — group selfies. Not cool, Huawei.
The device sports a non-removable 2,500mAh battery, fairly high-capacity for its 6.5mm frame. Weighing at 124 grams, the P7 is also fairly light and compact for a 5-inch device, and the Android 4.4-based Emotion UI software promises to be more accessible than last year’s version.
Finally, the 16GB of internal storage can be augmented with a 32GB microSD card, if desired.
The LTE-capable device is set to go on sale in China and Europe for around $550CDN, but it’s unlikely the P7 will ever be sold in Canada through official channels.