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* * * * -

Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL Review


Introduction

It makes a change not to start a Huawei review with 'blah-blah-low end amazing cheap good specs-blah-blah' and instead to say that this is a high end device with very compelling specs that is competing at or near the top end of the market! For me this is one of my most anticipated devices to date... not only because of the hardware it packs (which is fascinating), but because of what it represents. I firmly believe that as time progresses it will no longer be just the 'elite' manufacturers (Samsung, HTC, Sony) that can produce really desirable devices and in some ways this phone represents that. Today Huawei, tomorrow ZTE, then who...? Anybody?

But first things first, is the Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL worth buying? Let's find out!

Review Device

My review device is a full retail unit. It was purchased from China (specifically this seller on AliExpress) and flashed with the release English ROM from Huawei. This is NOT pre-release hardware.

In The Box

The box contains the device (black), a power adaptor, USB to microUSB cable and a set of headphones (all in white).

Posted Image


Hardware - overview

If there's a box on the spec sheet, there's a good chance the HAD1QXL ticks it - it doesn't want for much in the hardware department! Specifications include...
  • Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Huawei K3V2 HiSilicon Hi3620 1.4GHz Quad Core Processor with 16 core GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB ROM
  • 4.5" 1280x720 IPS+ screen (326PPI) with 32 bit colour
  • GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • UMTS: 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 (HSPA+ 21 Mbps / HSUPA 5.76 Mbps)
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 8 Megapixel BSI camera with dual LED flash
  • 1.3 Megapixel front facing camera
  • FM Radio
  • GPS / A-GPS
  • earSmart by Audience audio processing
  • microSD expansion
  • miniSIM
  • microUSB with MHL support
  • 2600mAh battery
  • 129mm x 64mm x 11.5mm
  • 150g
As you can see, the device matches the specs of the highest end devices in a more compact package by virtue of it's 4.5" screen (which retains a 720P resolution nonetheless). The 2600mAh battery should provide excellent battery life. The Quad Core CPU is the first time we've seen Huawei's own processor - Huawei are making big claims with regards to both performance and battery life.

Hardware - around the device

Posted Image Posted Image


Let’s go on a tour of the device starting with the front.

The front of the device is primarily occupied by the 4.5" 720P IPS screen. The bezel at the sides of the screen is actually pretty small, helping to keep the device width down. Above the screen, centrally placed sit the silver Huawei logo and red speaker grille. The front facing camera and multi colour notification LED are on the right of the speaker with the various sensors on the left. Below the screen sit the 3 capacitive buttons (back, home and menu). The primary microphone is at the very bottom.

The back of the device, which wraps around the sides and is removable in it's entirety, has the 8 megapixel camera up top with it's dual LED flash. The camera area has very little protrusion from the device and has a dark grey sheen framed with a red accent. '8.0 AF FULL HD' camera branding sits to the right, the secondary microphone is below the camera and the small Huawei logo is underneath that. Towards the bottom comes a 'Dolby Digital Plus' logo and the speaker hole, again with a red grille. The back has a 'bumpy' texture which looks good, makes the device reassuring to hold and looks very durable.

The left hand side of the device is home to the microUSB port and the right hand side has the volume rocker. The top of the device has the power button and 3.5mm headphone socket, the bottom of the device is free of ports / buttons.

Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image


Removing the back cover reveals the 2600mAh battery, the microSD slot and the miniSIM slot.

I actually think the device looks great. The red accents look good against the black finish and on the whole the look is understated, but it does seem very well made. There is certainly a premium feel to the device, which is very reassuring given Huawei's low cost device roots.

The three hardware buttons have a reassuring 'click', again inspiring confidence in the build of the device.

Posted Image


Software

The HAD1QXL ships with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich - as far as i'm aware there have been no official announcements regarding the future availability of Jelly Bean for the device. With that said, as a flagship phone that is only just being released I would expect it to become available, but that is just my personal assumption.

The ICS build that is on the device stays very close to the stock experience. Changes are limited to...
  • An enhanced lockscreen that provides quick access to favourite applications
  • An optional '3D' launcher (a stock style launcher is also included)
  • Launcher themes
  • A backup application
  • An APK file installer application
  • An enhanced dialler with 'smart dialling functionality'
  • DLNA support
  • A File Manager application
  • A Flashlight application
  • A FM Radio application (hurrah!)
  • An enhanced Music application
  • A 'Security Guard' application for performing functions such as SMS / call black and whitelisting, a password safe and file encryption
  • A weather app / widget (data provided by Accuweather)
  • Modified Settings icons
  • Power saving modes (see below)
  • Fast boot mode
There is nothing that stands out as particularly offensive for stock Android fans - the majority of the changes either add genuinely useful functionality or are easily disabled / replaced for a true stock experience.

In Use

So the hardware looks solid on the spec sheet and the software sounds like it should be up to scratch too... what's it like to use?

Let's start with the question I've probably been most frequently asked about this phone - 'does it feel big because of it's big battery?'. No, it does not. This device feels GREAT in your hand. It's not super light but it's not overly heavy either... although the device is 11.5mm thick, that is by no means a 'fat device'. Were the screen / device width bigger I think perhaps the thickness might be an issue but on the HAD1QXL, it just gives you a device that is reassuringly solid. The 'feel' of a device is always something that's hard to qualify - it's a combination of the size, weight and materials used and in that regard, the phone seems to really hit the spot for me. Styling is very much a personal preference of course, but I think it looks pretty cool too. It's rounded in all the right places and I think the subtle red accents (a-la-Sensation XE / One X+) really work nicely. This is a phone that i'd be more than happy to use as a daily driver from a visual perspective.

So, you take the phone in hand and tap the power button (which responds with a reassuring click) and it starts to boot. Your first impressions of the screen will probably vary depending on which device you are coming from, but the 720P 4.5" is super sharp with great colour reproduction and a great range of brightness. It is a little bit of a shame that the in built auto brightness is excessively aggressive (I took to using the third party 'Lux' replacement to get a level I was happy with) as when you first set up the device you might be slightly concerned that the screen is sub-par. Thankfully it's not. Everything looks incredibly crisp (as you'd expect with no pentile matrix and a true 326PPI) and it will make you wonder... why aren't there more 4.5" 720P IPS screened devices? I would definitely like to know that... it's a really nice size. Of course the blacks aren't as black as an AMOLED screen and the brightness doesn't crank up to quite the same level as the world-beating SLCD2 on the One X series but it's an excellent panel nonetheless.

As the device boots up you're taken through the standard setup wizard before you arrive at the homescreen. At this point you can choose either the 3D Huawei homescreen / launcher or the more conventional 2D homescreen, which will feel instantly familiar to seasoned Android users. Only a few additional options are sneaked in there, primarily to allow you to switch between 2D / 3D and also to let you choose from 3 preinstalled themes. Thankfully the 'Android' theme is the default, giving the near-stock experience. A typical time / weather widget is included on the stock homescreen configuration. HTC really started something there didn't they. :) 2D and 3D lockscreen options are also included.

'>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-2dhome.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-3dhome.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-3dhome2.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-3dlauncher.png]Posted Image

'>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-themes.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-themesbreeze.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-themesdawn.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-2dlock.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-3dlock.png]Posted Image


As you start looking around the device it's immediately obvious that there's some serious horsepower inside. Everything is incredibly smooth and responsive with no determinable lag at all. Anywhere. It's all mightily impressive, particularly as you start digging around the settings menu and discover that the default power saving mode is 'battery saver'. Unfortunately, it's not actually clear exactly what these modes mean - it appears that they affect data update rates rather than CPU speed or similar, I can see the CPU clocking up to 1.4GHz regardless of which mode the device is in.

Dragging down the notification bar reveals that there are no toggles added (as we see on some Huawei devices), again the look is as close to stock as it gets... whether that's a good or a bad thing in this instance i'll leave for you to decide!

'>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-powersaving.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-notifications.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-settingsabout.png]Posted Image


So let's explore some of the headline features of the device.

Huawei are making big noises about the CPU and GPU in the device, so it seems right that I should throw not only some benchmarks at the device (you can view them below), but also some of my favourite, most graphically intensive games too. The result? Super-smooth gameplay. Running a 720P screen full of pixels is a pretty intense job for any device and i've seen some of the best phones out there struggle with certain software. Thankfully the HAD1QXL seems up to the task and refreshingly doesn't seem to reach scary temperatures while doing so, something that i've also seen frequently on it's 40nm technology peers. I imagine that chipsets like the 28nm S4 Pro will really take performance to the 'next level', but there's no question that this phone isn't lacking raw power.

As mentioned above, the phone proudly wears a 'Dolby Digital Plus' logo on the back and apparently contains 'Dolby Mobile 3.0'. What does that mean in real life? Well, let's talk first about sound played through the rear speaker. When I fired up my test music track of choice on the device, I have to say I was seriously impressed. Of course, the playback is largely lacking in bass but what it lacks in true low end it makes up for in decent midrange, impressive volume and overall clarity. I think this is one of the finest mono speakers I have heard in a device - as you hold the device in your hand you can 'feel' the music through the back cover, it FEELS loud. :P Plugging in my earphones confirmed that the HAD1XL is a good choice as a music playback device - the sound was clear, accurate and playing with the various EQ / bass boost / 3D sound options worked as expected. :)

The high quality speaker didn't just manifest itself in music playback, gaming sounds are often startlingly good. A classic example of this is when I started a game of 'Scramble' on the device, unaware that I had the sound cranked up. The sound effects sounded stunning, with a great depth that made them sound (and again, feel) entirely different to how I'd experienced them on any other device.

You'd expect the speaker to be great for Speakerphone calls too and it was. Again it was loud and clear, although it appeared that speakerphone calls were best made with the device face down... exposing both the device's speaker and the secondary mic. The device features audience earSmart processing for crystal clear calls and boy, are they! Not only is call clarity excellent, but the in call volume goes up to a very high level too. I don't really make many phone calls, but if you do - this is a great phone for you.

We'll talk more about the Camera and Battery Life specifically later on in the review, but there are a couple of other quick apps that I think are worth highlighting.

The first is the smart dial in the dialler - why on earth this isn't part of base Android yet I don't really understand (is it a patent thing?) but i'm really glad Huawei have included it. The next is the FM radio app - regular readers will know that I'm a big fan of FM radios in devices and the Huawei implementation is very nice. It auto-tunes extremely quickly, provides a slick UI and excellent sound quality. No RDS however is a shame. As always the headset must be connected as an antenna to allow playback via the speaker. I wonder if it would be technically feasible for someone to make an internal FM antenna in a device?

'>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-dialler.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-fmradio.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-filemanager.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-weather.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-flashlight.png]Posted Image


The File Manager deserves a nod as it's very nicely implemented, splitting files out by location (internal / sd card) but also by category. With a 3 LED flash the Flashlight is exceptionally bright. Generally speaking Weather apps are not exactly hard to come by, but the preinstalled one here actually looks quite nice and works well.

The Huawei 'All Backup' app has been gradually improving with each iteration and it's finally at a stage where it's really quite useful! It can now backup up various types of data as well as applications, it looks slick and supports scheduled backup. Now, if they add cloud support in the next release it'll be pretty much there. :)

So that's the good... any apps that aren't so good? I have to say I don't really see the point of the 'AppInstaller' APK installer when a file manager is included, including Huawei's own Music app when Play Music is also preloaded seems a bit of unnecessary duplication and the UI in the 'Security Guard' application can be a bit confusing at times but on the whole... Huawei have done a very good job!

'>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-allbackup.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-installapp.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-securityguard.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlss-onlineupdate.png]Posted Image


The device includes an 'Online Update' application in settings for providing OTA upgrades. There isn't one yet, so I can't really vouch for how well this works, but it's nice to have eh. :D

Camera

The Huawei Ascend D1 features a backside illuminated 8 Megapixel sensor and dual LED flash... and Huawei are keen to make a point that this is their best camera yet - but to be honest that's not saying much - they've historically been atrocious.

Let's start with the software. Accessed directly from the lockscreen with a simple drag, the camera application is a home-grown affair.. thankfully no sub-par stock Android experience here. Options include...

Shooting mode. Single, Group, HDR, Burst, Smile, Beauty, Panorama and low light options are offered. In particular HDR works well and the burst mode takes seriously quick shots!
Effects. A number of effects can be applied - Antique, Lomo cold, Lomo warm, Negative, Mono, Emboss, Sketch Gray and Sepia. They are previewed in real time which is pretty cool.
Photo Effects. None, Big face, Big nose, Gobbler, Insect, Professor, Wide smile. These are really great fun! Again applied in real time (to either front or rear cameras) these are very effective, very funny and nicely done.
Scene Mode. This can be set to Auto, Action, Portrait, Landscape, Night, Night Portrait, Theatre, Beach, Snow, Fireworks or Candlelight.
White Balance. This can be set to Auto, Incandescent, Daylight, Flourescent or Cloudy.
ISO. This can be set to Auto, ISO100, ISO200, ISO400 or ISO800.
Adjustments. Exposure, Saturation, Contrast and Brightness can be adjusted between -2 and 2.
Timer. This can be set to Off, 2 Seconds, 5 seconds or 10 seconds.
Review. This can be set to Off, 3 seconds or 5 seconds.
Picture Quality. This can be set to Super fine, Fine or Normal.
Picture Size. This can be set to various levels, defaulting to 6 Megapixel wide.
Face detection. This can be toggled.
Red eye reduction. This can be toggled.
HDR. Saving of the normally exposed photo can be toggled.
Grid. This can be toggled.
GPS Tag. This can be toggled.

So there's no shortage of options. When shooting video, the user can choose the resolution (full HD on the back camera, 720P on the front camera), white balance, real time effects and also enable / disable image stabilisation.

The camera app performs well in use. Touch to focus is available and the autofocus is generally quick. Taking a picture is very speedy indeed and you're ready to take another one in no time at all. The automatic flash is less over zealous than some devices i've used... with the dual LEDs when it DOES fire it's very effective.

Grabbing pictures from the device is easy - USB connectivity to the device supports MTP, PTP, Mass Storage and 'HiSuite' (Huawei's own sync software) modes. Plus of course you have microSD support, so if the worst comes to the worst you can pop it out and put it in your computer. :D

So what are the pictures like? Not awful, but not really up to keeping with the best equipped cameraphones out there. They're not gouge-your-eyes-out awful (i'm looking at you, Galaxy Nexus) but they're not up to One X / Galaxy S III standard. :)

'>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/had1qxlcam1.jpg]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/had1qxlcam2.jpg]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/had1qxlcam3.jpg]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/had1qxlcam5.jpg]Posted Image

'>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/had1qxlcam6.jpg]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/had1qxlcam7.jpg]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/had1qxlcam8.jpg]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlsscam.png]Posted Image


Battery Life

And so to battery life. I have no problem at all with saying that the 2600mAh battery is what initially piqued my interest in the HAD1QXL, only when I did my research did I find that the rest of the device was equally intriguing. I've been finding more and more that devices just can't go to the distance with my daily usage (which I don't think is 'heavy' in any way), so I did hope that the Huawei could do a better job.

It does - and then some.

Put simply, I am finding the battery life on the device exceptional. In my general use I don't tend to do things that tax the CPU excessively, but I do have pretty long standby periods and pretty long screen on times. I need a device that positively sips juice when not being used and then doesn't pillage the battery when the screen is on for triaging mail, reading tweets etc. - and this phone delivers. Following my daily usage pattern I was able to get between 5 and 6 hours of screen on time (bear in mind that I struggle to hit 3 on a One X) and pretty much as long as I could want in standby. In line with the best modern chips, Huawei's quad core seems to use very little power when idle.

It goes without saying that 'YMMV' and if your usage is significantly different (particularly in that I don't stress the CPU for long periods or make a lot of calls) then you might get different results but I am incredibly happy to report that the 2600mAh battery, the 'XL', really does deliver.

Benchmarks

Big numbers! Make of them what you will. ;)

'>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlssantutu.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlssquadrant.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlsscfbench1.png]Posted Image '>http://content.modaco.net/dropzone/qxlsscfbench2.png]Posted Image


Rooting and Hacking

As a new device the hacking scene is yet to get going for the HAD1QXL. With that being said, I have already rooted mine easily using the Bin4ryDigit method. Some devices apparently DO have an locked bootloader, but even those devices can still be rooted. Various Huawei bootloader unlock tools are also floating around, although I have not used them on this device as yet.

Pricing and Availability

European / US pricing and availability is not confirmed for the phone yet - the first shipment in China sold out very quickly and more stocks are only now becoming widely available.

The best way to buy at the moment is probably the way I did - via AliExpress. I used this seller and on the whole was very impressed with their service. The device, with DHL shipping, is currently priced at $534.98, which is £333 (plus potential duty / import fees depending on where you live).

Conclusion

For a long time now we've been seeing the Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE taking the big players' (HTC, Samsung et al) customers in the low price segment and their attention is gradually turning towards the higher end. The Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL actually represents a unique proposition, a genuinely brave effort to be different... and it pays off. The 4.5" screen size makes for a device that really hits a sweet spot and the inclusion of the big battery in the face of everyone else trying to be the thinnest really is a winner. Huawei's own CPU seems to be perfectly capable of keeping up with the big boys (at least in the current generation) and could provide very valuable cost savings for future handsets. We've said it before and we'll say it again... their competitors had better watch out!

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Great size
  • Solid build
  • Ample spec sheet
  • Pentaband 3G
  • Excellent battery
  • Great sound both generally and in call
  • Good value
  • microSD!
Cons
  • Currently limited availability
  • Long delayed
  • High value item to import (with associated risks)
  • Camera not up there with the very best
  • Future software upgrade status unknown
Have your say

Do you have an Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL? Do you agree / disagree with my review? Post below!

About the author

PaulOBrien's Photo
Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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24 Comments

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domenico lamberti
Nov 03 2012 10:44 AM
could this have technically been a CIDoTW ?
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comicbookguy
Nov 03 2012 10:52 AM
comparison with the nexus 4 will be very interesting....
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Very interesting review. It's made me really want this device when I can't really justify the cost! :(
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When this was announced at MWC in February, I was very excited about it. It just seems a long time from announcement to launch.
I'm glad it seems to be as good a handset as it promised to be.

Pity it's too late for my upgrade cos I bought a S3, 3 months ago
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Chrisund123
Nov 03 2012 01:41 PM
I've wanted one of these for a long time, but now the Nexus 4 has been announced I'm not so sure...
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isn't the ascend D2 out soon ish in Asia? 1080p, 13mp, s4 pro, 3000mAh
Based on the processor spec, it might even be out just before Christmas.
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£330 is too much, especially when you compare it with the nexus 4 which will have a better processor and get android updates first.
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scottwild.co
Nov 03 2012 11:06 PM
Any mobile that doesn't beat the Nexus 4 by a country mile is money not well spent. I seriously can't justify SG3 and iPhone prices (lovely phones, i know) now that google have tossed a Nexus amongst the pigeons.
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glossywhite
Nov 03 2012 11:55 PM
Paul, is there any particular reason why you don't make so many YouTube video reviews for phones? There's nothing like just watching someone USE the device...

Video sample:

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£330 is too much, especially when you compare it with the nexus 4 which will have a better processor and get android updates first.


The Huawei would get my vote for the SD card slot alone. The Nexus 4 has a great specification but a rubbish storage capacity. I still can't believe Google are seriously going to release an 8GB version when we're nearly in 2013.

Also, I agree with Paul's comments in the review that a 4.5" screen is an attractive size and this phone seems reasonably compact in comparison to the phones with screens of 4.7"+.

Hopefully, other manufacturers will bring out 4.5" HD screens to give us a bit more of a choice but this Huawei seems like a pretty nice device and I'd imagine the price will come down a bit over the course of the next year.
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I don't understand why Google has this fixation with low capacity storage options, I find the Cloud a pain in the a*** quite frankly! I thought Google/Android 'et al' was all about choice? That said I would not buy the Huawei at this price just for an SD card slot (over the N4). I'm now glad I invested in a Wi-Drive... how sad am I?!?!
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herzblutnord
Nov 04 2012 08:16 PM
Great Review!
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glossywhite
Nov 04 2012 10:25 PM
You could buy a VERY decent Android phone, a cheap Android phone for a friend or brother/Mum etc AND a Nexus 7 for these stupid prices. NO phone is worth more than £150-200, if that, not one tiny bit of it. What exactly IS it that people lack in their lives that they think buying ridiculously over-prices phones is going to fulfill? An Android phone with ALL YOU NEED can be had for way less than this. People seem to be far too easily seduced by "latest, greatest" and make impulse purchases with money that everyone (supposedly) doesn't have.

So what can throwing more money at a bigger screen, faster processor and more memory do for your general happiness that justifies this level of spending? I'm not accusing anyone, I am, if anything, aiming this at the tech industry which creates this fake "demand" and fake "needs".

These are perfectly valid and rational questions, and no doubt people will get defensive and agitated over this... but why? It's a perfectly valid opinion, and one which I doubt VERY few, if any, will be able to swallow their pride over and truthfully answer.
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Any mobile that doesn't beat the Nexus 4 by a country mile is money not well spent. I seriously can't justify SG3 and iPhone prices (lovely phones, i know) now that google have tossed a Nexus amongst the pigeons.

While that may be the case for you, we don't live in a one size fits all world. The Huawei brings microSD, bigger battery, smaller screen, FM radio and more that may be important to some buyers. So, while the (arguably artificially underpriced) Nexus 4 may be a better buy for many, that doesn't mean it's right for everyone.

P
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You could buy a VERY decent Android phone, a cheap Android phone for a friend or brother/Mum etc AND a Nexus 7 for these stupid prices. NO phone is worth more than £150-200, if that, not one tiny bit of it. What exactly IS it that people lack in their lives that they think buying ridiculously over-prices phones is going to fulfill? An Android phone with ALL YOU NEED can be had for way less than this. People seem to be far too easily seduced by "latest, greatest" and make impulse purchases with money that everyone (supposedly) doesn't have.

So what can throwing more money at a bigger screen, faster processor and more memory do for your general happiness that justifies this level of spending? I'm not accusing anyone, I am, if anything, aiming this at the tech industry which creates this fake "demand" and fake "needs".

These are perfectly valid and rational questions, and no doubt people will get defensive and agitated over this... but why? It's a perfectly valid opinion, and one which I doubt VERY few, if any, will be able to swallow their pride over and truthfully answer.

Again glossywhite, that's your perception, you are fully entitled to that approach, but that doesn't apply to everyone. I have no idea how you use your phone, but for some people paying £x for feature y may be something that they personally can justify.

If you want to rant about people buying expensive gadgets you're probably at the wrong place and if you've decided that people are buying them to fulfil a void in their lives that probably says more about you than anyone else. To say people are buying things with money that 'everyone (supposely) doesn't have' is also very presumptuous... everyone has different means.

P
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Colossae3.23
Nov 05 2012 11:51 AM

So what can throwing more money at a bigger screen, faster processor and more memory do for your general happiness that justifies this level of spending? I'm not accusing anyone, I am, if anything, aiming this at the tech industry which creates this fake "demand" and fake "needs".


nothing new under the sun, then. Whether it's cars, houses, clothes, etc this will always be the case, as long as capitalism is the way of the culture. Its inherit with the system.

Clint Eastwood said in Magnum Force (I think)
"A man's gotta know his limitations"

Pretty good wisdom, seeing that it came from Hollywood :-)
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Coming from someone begging for the money for a San Diego a few months back it all seems a bit unseemly
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Hi all

All hardware prices are, by nature, low because of underpayed people
in far away countries, let that be clear.

In the '80ties I payed 1000$ (that was a few months of full salary)
for a 10MB drive for my Amiga 500 without complaining... it was the
only way to speed up informatics learning curve a little bit as
compared to abominable slow 1MB floppy drive access.

Have a nice day
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Great review.

@ glossywhite,

I don't think there is any fake demand, unless the government is paying individuals to buy phones - sort of like the American housing crisis.

Anyway, for me personally making large jumps in technology is painful since I tend to wait longer between buys. I've decided to make small incremental purchases instead to keep up to date. You don't have to buy this phone - just get something cheaper and upgrade more regularly.
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Apart from the lack of Bluetooth 4, this phone looks excellent. I've just been trying a galaxy sIII and its too large for one handed operation. I have reasonably large hands and I can't reach the top of the screen to pull down the notification bar unless I readjust my grip on the phone - how does this phone handle one handed ?

I was thinking going for 4.3" screen, but if this works then I'm interested.
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Loved the review, will you make a Honor 2 U9508 review as well?
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Payomag Czaaryfuk
Dec 09 2012 07:56 AM
Kurvitko isn't an app
Ascend D1 Quad XL from Huawei is new, fast and good looking high-end phone... Okay, but for how long? Where does it have kurvitko installed? On motherboard, cpu, display or just in wifi modul? In these days, everything have this catch - after one year, maybe two it cause defect(s) of the device... We call it simply kurvitko. You will have to change damaged part(s) or buy new device.
Consume! Obey! Consume faster!

Salary vs price for chinese workers
It is expensive model. With quad-core. Yes. With nice big display. Yes. And with lot of patented parts. That's one of reasons why it's so expensive. Still okay.
BUT! these parts will fu*k itself later anyway. And without these patents the parts can cost less money. Maybe half or even quarter price. So the kids that had assembly the device can get a bigger salary than 50-70eur/month.

Story from history
Once i bought Nokia N97 - shiny new, just few months on the market... Never again. N97 was very expensive device with poor hardware, poorer firmware and the poorest support. Few months after release of flagship, Nokia stopped support and updates completely! After a very short time, it was almost impossible to find new app. And today? It works as mp3 player :D With touchscreen, qwerty-keyboard and without a chance to make it better.

Patents vs. approach
And in this case of war between Apple, Google Samsung, Android, Microsoft, manufacturers and crisis - anything can happen.
Android isn't stable - not in technical manor of course, but under the circumstances. This patent war should end quickly. And winners? Costumers in first place. And hopefully Android...

Desktop vs smartphone
Now you can get great models for a half price +/-. And they will do the same work for you as the model reviewed. If you need computer, go and buy a computer, not a phone. Desktop is still unbeatable and you will find out very quickly that many things you just cannot do on a phone, even if you want to or need to. After few months count up how many apps you are using often. Five? Four?

Little money for a lot of music!
For usual bussines or working days just choose lighter models G300, G600 or G330 Dualcore. Spend your money for your hobbies, buy some appz, accessories or whatever.

Give a try to 4" Ascend
Smallest computing power on paper have Huawei G300. With 1GHz CPU (overclocking possible to 1,3GHz), 4GB internal memory and 512MB RAM. But it is hard worker, you will be happily surprised!
Model G600 has already dualcore CPU running on frquency 1,4GHz. RAM has 512MB and Internal memory size is 4GB. That is enough for maximum 20 applications running. You can even play last games, watch videos, read books, basic edit photos or use your phone as remote control of desktop PC. And without problems! Both phones have been updated to more stable and visually more cool Android 4.0.3 ICS - Ice Cream Sandwich.

Quad, quad, quad
If you think that you need quadcore anyway - than grab Huawei Ascend D Quad, which is completely same as model XL in review - just has smaller battery (2150 or 2230 mAh). Cheaper more than quarter? Only because battery??
You can also try Ascend Honor2 Quad, which is D Quad just in new jacket.

Chinese Warrior
So, at least three phones that most people will be satisfied or even happy with. And one extremly big, heavy and expensive. In Berlin on IFA fair nobody expected so powerful smartphone.... No, really, nobody expected that from Huawei...
New warrior grew up on the scene this year and with a proper direction and with a good wind can Huawei eat big portion of market. Finally will become pain in ass for all big traditional manufacturers. That is exactly what they need. Strong competition with rules and without friend-2-friend grey bussineses.

--
Ascend G300 owner w/ ICS 4.0.4-CM9
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You could buy a VERY decent Android phone, a cheap Android phone for a friend or brother/Mum etc AND a Nexus 7 for these stupid prices. NO phone is worth more than £150-200, if that, not one tiny bit of it. What exactly IS it that people lack in their lives that they think buying ridiculously over-prices phones is going to fulfill? An Android phone with ALL YOU NEED can be had for way less than this. People seem to be far too easily seduced by "latest, greatest" and make impulse purchases with money that everyone (supposedly) doesn't have.

So what can throwing more money at a bigger screen, faster processor and more memory do for your general happiness that justifies this level of spending? I'm not accusing anyone, I am, if anything, aiming this at the tech industry which creates this fake "demand" and fake "needs".

These are perfectly valid and rational questions, and no doubt people will get defensive and agitated over this... but why? It's a perfectly valid opinion, and one which I doubt VERY few, if any, will be able to swallow their pride over and truthfully answer.


I am coming around to your point view. I have an iPhone 4 and ZTE Skate which are massively over specified for the use to which I put them. Thinking about ditching them both and going 'old school' with a cheap Nokia.
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beautyangel
Jan 26 2013 09:28 AM
nice specs and reviews but gonna wait " S G S 4" :D
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