Home opinion-and-analysis Fuzzy Logic Huawei ascends with first own-chip, quad-core Android

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Huawei's Ascend D1 quad-core Android smartphone Huawei's Ascend D1 quad-core Android smartphone Image Credit - Huawei

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Who are they? They’re Huawei, the Chinese manufacturer of smartphones, tablets, networking equipment and more, and despite the electronic security fears of some governments, as is the case with Huawei and the Australian NBN, Huawei continues confidently bringing new products to market, now with its first proprietary quad-core Android smartphone.

You’ll probably think of the big brand names like Samsung, LG, HTC and others when thinking of Android smartphones, rather than names such as Huawei and ZTE, but with Huawei launching its own quad-core Android and ZTE doing great business supplying the Telstra branded smartphones those two companies are certainly doing well behind the scenes in getting business.

After ZTE launched several models via Telstra’s launch of its new Telstra-branded Androids, we now see Huawei looking for some launch limelight of its own, with the announcement of its Ascend D1 smartphone.

Featuring Huawei’s own proprietary K3V2 quad-core 1.4Ghz processor, running Android 4.0 and emphasising a “power management system providing up to 30% in energy savings”, a “brilliant” 4.5-inch HD with a 720x1280 resolution on an IPS+ display offering 16M colours and Retina-challenging 330 PPI (pixels per inch) promising “crystal clear display even under direct sunlight”.

Although no storage capacity is listed, nor MicroSD slot option, the Ascend D1 does offer a “crystal clear” 8MP autofocus BSI camera with dual LED flash, a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, Full HD (1920x1080) video output, multi-format document support, multi-email support, Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound and “Audience earSmart voice technology” for an experience which Huawei says “excels across the senses”.

Huawei is going direct to market via JB Hi-Fi from tomorrow, Friday, November 23, at an outright price of AUD $499.

Poh-Lee Koh polished her Huawei Device Marketing Manager skills, stating that: “The Ascend D1 quad is Huawei’s most powerful smartphone ever released in Australia, delivering the most advanced quad-core processor technology while actually increasing energy efficiency.

“This device utilises Huawei’s own in-house chipset integrated with Huawei’s own power management technology, leading to significant improvements in media consumption, multi-tasking and productivity. Whatever you do on your smartphone, the Ascend D1 quad lets you to do more, do it faster, and do it for longer than ever before.”

Huawei says its Ascend D1 quad also comes with an 1800mAh battery, “which lasts one to two days with normal usage”, and is “enhanced by Huawei’s proprietary power management technology which extends battery life by up to 30% (compared to industry average), simply by adjusting power consumption according to usage needs. It also ensures higher chipset performance and efficiency by maintaining a low chip temperature.

Huawei also talks up the phone’s aesthetics, noting its ultra-thin 8.99mm slim lightweight and compact frame while being “64mm narrow”, with the 4.5mm touchscreen which “seems to vanish into the edge, creating an ‘infinity’ feel and allowing an exceptionally narrow body.

Huawei also promises us “outstanding software design”, which usually means some kind of Android skin to enhance the experience over the “pure Google” experience that Google’s Nexus devices promise, and against which all other Android devices compete with today.  

At $499, it’s clearly a genuine and certainly powerful-enough sounding alternative to other Androids, iPhones and Windows Phones 8 (or whatever the plural of Windows Phone 8s is or isn’t, it’s a shame Microsoft didn’t just go with Windows 8 Phone).

It now remains to be seen not only how powerfully smartphone reviewers rate Huawei’s quad-core chip compared with those from Samsung, Nvidia and others, and how well Huawei fares in the open, non-carrier subsidised market – alongside details on storage capacity, microSD options and the speed at which Huawei seeks to offer upgrades to Android OS 4.2 and future operating systems.

Until then, the latest entrant from “Who-are-we?” has arrived: Huawei’s Ascend D1 quad, the newest Android to ascend and enter the fray of 2012’s great smartphone wars and attack of the Android smartphone clones!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.

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