Huawei’s flagship smartphone for 2014, the Ascend P7 is now officially here. The first (and currently only) Huawei device to run on Android 4.4.2 KitKat and powered by the company’s own HiSilicon Kirin 910T processor, the Ascend P7 is a refinement of its previous flagship and now, with 4G LTE onboard, this RM1499 device looks quite like a contender for the other premium flagship smartphones in the market.
Huawei claims that the P7’s unique finish at the back is the result of a “7-layer surface treatment using a micro-pattern design”, resulting in a “tactile experience with a spin effect texture finish”. Unfortunately, under the poor lighting conditions, we weren’t able to actually see the “spin effect” texture, or anything beyond a black-coloured glass back, which is reminiscent of Sony’s Xperia Z/Z1/Z2 smartphones.
Nevertheless, the slimness and weight of the device is apparent when holding the Ascend P7. For a 5-inch display smartphone, the device feels compact enough for use with one hand, and the glass covered back and front makes the Ascend P7 a very solid-feeling device.
The Ascend P7 is also the first Huawei smartphone to run on Android 4.4.2 KitKat, with Huawei’s own EmotionUI 2.3. Immediately, the software experience is apparent compared to previous Huawei devices (including the Ascend P6 flagship from last year), where Android 4.4.2’s optimizations make the OS a lot more agile and lightweight, while EmotionUI adds its own distinct take on Android – there’s no app drawer, for example, while the redesigned icon set and fonts actually gives EmotionUI a slight iOS flavour.
Another aspect Huawei is highlighting with the P7 is with the camera’s prowess; specifically, the front-facing one. This 8MP shooter allows you to take “groufies” or group selfies – officially, this is called Panorama Selfie mode. We did not take any sample images from the event earlier, because not only were the devices electronically secured against the table – preventing any comfortable group selfie opportunities – but more importantly the lighting conditions at the experience zone would result in poor image samples, giving an unfair impression on the Ascend P7’s cameras.
Nevertheless, at RM1499, this is an interesting LTE smartphone, and definitely one to watch as the Android underdog device of the year. Huawei’s already made some great strides with the success it has had with the budget Honor 3C, now let’s see how the consumers respond to its flagship smartphone.