Huawei Ascend P7 Review, specs and features
Excellence With Edge?
Huawei updates its Ascend range of handsets with the Huawei Ascend P7, a smartphone that it describes as Excellence With Edge.
So I decided to find out whether this mobile phone really has what it takes to become a serious contender to the likes of Apple, Samsung and Sony.
The build quality is undeniable on the Ascend P7 and binds together a brushed aluminium chassis, tough Gorilla Glass and a 7-layer surface treatment to the back case that uses a spin-effect micro-pattern design to produce a unique look.
Huawei has also listened to feedback from its customers and made a few design changes that niggled users of the Ascend P6. The micro USB port has been moved to the bottom of the phone so that it doesn’t get in the way when charging.
To ensure easy one-handed operation the audio jack has also been moved from the side to the top and the power button has been indented.
The 5-inch high-definition display is perfectly sized next to it rivals and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels which equates to 445 pixels per inch. This places the Huawei Ascend P7 just above the Samsung Galaxy S5 for sharpness.
At 6.5mm thick you are going to be hard pushed to find anything slimmer. I also loved the fact that it was lighter, at 124g, than the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and the HTC One M8.
Inside this smartphone is a quad-core 1.8GHz processor with 2GB RAM. This isn’t as powerful as its rivals but on the flip side it has a Mali 450 graphics processor making this smartphone the ultimate choice for gamers.
Phone Set Up
The Ascend P7 is impressive right out of the box and the first thing you may want to do is adjust the screens brightness or switch it onto auto. The screen on full brightness can just about replace a light bulb in your home!
This phone is powered by Android v4.4 so you get all of Googles goodies built-in. The overall appearance has then been tweaked with the Huawei Emotion User Interface v2.3. This provides you with hundreds of themes as well as customisable lock and home screens.
You also get lots of neat little tweaking tools such as a startup manager, notification manager, harassment filter, storage cleaner and do not disturb tool that allows only your selected contacts to get I touch with you by call or text.
The Huawei Ascend P7 may be criticised for not having tons of apps built-in but that shouldn’t deter you from considering this phone, after all there is an app store for all of that!
What the Ascend does have though is a set of well thought out features that are practical in nature:
- Memory - The 16GB internal memory can be expanded with a MicroSD card.
- Audio - The loud speakers are positioned in such a way as to not be muffled by your hands.
- Video - The video player has been combined with a file manager to make organisation easy.
- Keyboard - Swype, the original finger sliding keyboard has been included.
There is also a Simple Home Screen option that may suit new, or dare I say aging, smartphone users and this offers a rather basic view with large icons.
Tip - You can long press on an icon and drag over another to create a new folder and tidy up the home screen. This is an essential bit of housekeeping as your new apps populate the home screens, which eventually become cluttered and make it difficult to find your favourite app.
Camera & Video
The camera package provided by Huawei is one of the best you will find so if photography is your thing or you are simply a selfie junkie then the Ascend P7 delivers.
The secondary front-facing camera has an 8 megapixel resolution which is simply astounding. A 5-piece aspherical lens and blue glass infrared sensor enhance images by avoiding object deformation and purple fringing.
This secondary camera also boasts a selfie panorama feature to allow you to get all of your friends and family into the picture. Huawei has named the group selfie a ‘groufie’ but I am pretty certain this name won’t stick!
The main 13 megapixel rear-facing camera has a 5-piece ISP lens with BSI sensor that was originally created for use in high-end digital cameras. The camera package from Huawei is further loaded with the following features:
- Best Photo - Take a burst of 10 photos and choose the best one.
- Video recording - Record as 1080p and playback at 720p on the phone.
- Ultra Snapshot - Press the volume button down twice from the locked screen and take a fixed focus picture within 1.2 seconds.
- Low light performance - Front and back blue glass infrared sensors capture sharper images with better noise reduction.
- Photo editing and sharing software - Watermark, apply filters and audio tag photos with a 10-second audio clip.
- Beauty mode - Look your best with a 10-level auto facial enhancement.
- Video selfies - Add a little action to your selfie collection.
The 2500mAh battery sits on a par with the Nokia Lumia 930 and whilst this battery doesn’t set any records Huawei has included a set of tricks to help you get the maximum life from a charge.
First off there is a Thermal Gel Cooling System that replaces the conventional cooling system and keeps the CPU cooler to cut back on power loss. It also makes the phone feel cool in hand.
Smart connectivity saves power with 3G / 4G switching. So when you are away from a 4G network or want to save battery power the Ascend P7 automatically switches to 3G mode.
Three modes of operation may be selected and include normal, smart and ultra power saving. The ultra power saving mode shuts down functions that consume the most power leaving calling and texts available and this gives an extra 24-hours of standby from just a 10% charge.
So, does the Huawei Ascend P7 offer Excellence With Edge? I certainly think so!
Written by: Michael Brown