Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Huawei Ascend P1 Real Life Review

Huawei Ascend P1 Real Life Review

(review is subjected to change if author is presented with proper nourishments)

As I have previously concluded in my article about Why do I Need to Buy a New Phone Every 2 Years, there are only several things I expect from my phone:

  1. Decent call quality
  2. Possibility to type text messages (fortunately the phone architects haven't decided to kick this functionality out yet, they just change colors of the text bubbles)
  3. Decent web browser
  4. Decent email browser
  5. Decent sound quality for plugging it to the car stereo
  6. Decent GPS capabilities and signal strength
  7. Decent battery life

My choice for Huawei was based on some 8998764564698751563 reviews which I have read online (twice), and according to those reviews, this was the deal:

  1. Decent call quality -> "GOOD CALL QUALITY"
  2. Possibility to type text messages -> "AWFUL KEYBOARD" in the sense of auto-correction and auto-complete and similar annoying stuff which I don't use anyway, so I'm good with this
  3. Decent web browser -> CHROME - password and bookmark sync, so it's cool
  4. Decent email browser -> GMAIL - cool
  5. Decent sound quality -> "ABOVE AVERAGE SOUND QUALITY" based on some tests which include some numbers and symbols and graphs and stuff
  6. Decent GPS capabilities and signal strenght -> NOTHING MUCH ABOUT THIS
  7. Decent battery life -> "DECENT BATTERY LIFE"

So anything that really matters in my head is good - time to buy this sucker.


The sucker is bought. Let's TheGood and TheBad it now.

The Good: Huawei Ascend P1

  1. Lightweight champion: something that other reviews (which suck) consider as a disadvantage and as a "cheap" construction, I praise and say: wow, this phone is light as a feather, feels great in a hand, and if it drops (when it drops) on a hard concrete floor, it won't suffer as much pain as 1kg iPhone brick
  2. Gorgeously thin: fits perfectly in an average pocket, you can even squeeze it alongside with your pocket kleenex. The clean ones if possible.
  3. Super Fast: everything on this phone is freaking fast. Sometimes I just turn it on and shift vigorously between home screens and inside the installed apps drawer to observe this furious madness, because I've totally forgot the main reason for turning it on, which is probably just to see what time it is. Sometimes this swift shifting goes on for hours, and then I get hungry.
  4. Good call quality, chrome is cool, gmail is cool, K9 is cool
  5. Battery life proved itself for 2 days of moderate usage with wifi constantly ON
  6. Colors of the screen are so nice that you can just stare at the screen for hours after you get tired and hungry of speed-shifting from The Good point 3.
  7. Despite other reviews who are saying that the internal storage is too low, I say that the internal storage is perfectly fine for installing applications. For storing GPS maps, music, videos, etc, just buy a 16GB microSD card, they are cheap as a potato these days.

The Bad: Huawei Ascend P1

Here we go. Prepare yourself for the real-life truth which you can't read on any other reviews (which probably do have a better grammar than these ones, but less in-depth truth). 

1. The bloody praised-to-heaven-with-numbers-and-symbols-and-graphs-and-stuff Sound Quality. I was really excited to try out the Ascend P1's sound through it's 3.5mm output and to my car stereo, after reading about its glory. Yeah, I was excited like a child expecting his first Mustang from a wealthy parents.

So, I plugged it in, turned on some death metal which is loud enough by default, cranked up the volume to some SERIOUS EVIL LOUDNESS LEVELS AAAAAND ...

... and still could hear the birds chirping outside the car. Wtf? It became obvious that the output volume of the Huawei Ascend P1 was so low that you need to crank up the volume of the car stereo to the max levels, only to have a chance of recognizing the songs above the noise of the car engine at the highway.

Yeap, that sucks. Fortunately, I have learned and managed to circumvent this problem. More about that in my other article. Which is not written in this moment.

2. GPS signal. It took forever to lock on to my location. When residing on my lap while driving (I don't have a windshield holder at this moment, just a note from eBay seller that he honestly did sent it away), it tends to loose the signal. And that's annoying as politicians.

HTC Desire did not lose the signal in my lap, nor near the floor of the car when it fell of my lap. Moreover, it tend to hold the signal so tightly that I could probably throw the thing away in the sewer and it would still pointing me to the right direction.

Well, it probably would not. But IT WELL BLOODY SHOULD.

3. Screen lock and battery usage while GPS-ing. On the HTC Desire, when I have turned off the screen while GPS-ing, the screen remained off (black, dead, kaputt, with no pictures or any of the RGB pixels wanting for an attention)
When I am GPS-ing (is this a real verb anyway?) with Huawei and I turn off the screen, the sucker just turn itself on again after a while. Why is this a problem? Well, besides the fact that I am clearly mad when reviewing stuff, the fact is that charging speed of the phone battery whilst listening to music and GPS-ing in the car is equal or even slower than discharging speed of the battery (to make it simple: discharging is faster than charging).

So when you come to your destination, instead of fully charged, happy and life-embracing P1, you get sad and miserable few% half-dead needy P1 which would not get a job even in a local elementary school as a teacher.

By turning off the screen while there is a 689 km (multiply this with 0.621371 to get mileage) straight highway ahead of you with no need for a navigation at that point, you keep the GPS lock AND conserve the battery.
(I don't know if anybody is getting this, I am having hard time understanding it as well when reading it afterwards).

4. You can see the pixels on the screen. It has to do with AMOLED screen technology in question (PenTile matrix display), but apparently the resolution of 540 x 960 pixels is not enough at 4.3" screen to hide the pixels. It's not a big deal really. Colors are great. And that is what I will be saying to myself from this moment on.

5. You can't replace the battery. But, I am still to mad about GPS signal strength and low volume output to have the willingness to deal with this, which is not a big deal anyway. LG Nexus 4 also doesn't have a replaceable battery. And that is what I will be saying to myself from this moment on.

Recommendation prerequisites for Huawei Ascend P1

  • You don't have a need to brag about newest hardware in your phone which you won't need, ever
  • You are not an Apple freak
  • You appreciate lightweight, thin and smart design
  • You are using a phone primarily for strange functions like calling and messaging, with some extra GPS-ing, mailing, taking pictures and videos, and Internet browsing
  • You are not going to throw the poor thing on the concrete wall when you hear how low the headphone volume is, and you will use the Huawei Ascend P1 low volume fixes to deal with the situation


It's an overall good device and I will shut the hell up now about the sound and gps and pixels and stuff. You can buy it safely. I have it for a few weeks now; so far it is very reliable, does it job without complaint and is still as fast as it was before installing 74 various apps which I don't need.

I personally think that it is one of the most underestimated devices these days. And yes, I hear the rumor that Jelly Bean update is on the way - in case that really means anything.

And, oh, I even so far haven't had a need for rooting Huawei Ascend P1, so I think that says the most about this neat anorexic fellow. 

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