Once I first took the Huawei Ascend P7 out of its fairly engaging and classy packaging, my first thought was “wow” and my second was that it jogged my memory of Sony’s Xperia Z1/Z2.
That second level is not any dangerous factor, in fact, Sony’s Xperia fashions are extremely slick and rewarding to familiarize yourself with. An enormous a part of Huawei’s pitch with the Ascend P7 is to ship a premium feel and appear in a product that appears “precision engineered” like a excessive-finish digital camera or watch, and in aiming for that it’s gone down the metallic and glass development route already trod by Sony.
Whereas comparisons are simply drawn, I feel it might additionally pretty be stated that the P7 does have its personal distinctive character. Choosing the handset up I used to be struck by how light-weight and properly balanced it feels within the hand – I've not often encountered a handset as mild as this except for the Apple iPhone 5/5S. Typically going hand-in-hand with light-weight builds, the P7 can also be extraordinarily skinny, nevertheless it sits comfortably within the hand as Huawei has made its edges flat fairly than tapered. The bezel across the show can also be razor skinny, a design determination which all the time improves a telephone’s frontage.
The Ascend P7’s silhouette is sharp and angular however with barely softened and rounded corners; proportionally it is extremely, very elegant certainly. Personally, I notably like the best way Huawei has additionally rounded the telephone’s backside edge (which additionally homes the microUSB port) because it provides some fascinating visible aptitude, however with that stated KYM’s Editor Richard took a direct dislike to it. As with all design options: totally different strokes.
Whereas that rounded edge seems to be product of a strong and clean (although not shiny) polycarbonate, the remaining three edges are surrounded by an virtually unbroken size of aluminium panelling which sits ever so barely raised from the bodywork. This includes a good trendy brushed end and homes the telephone’s numerous buttons, slots and ports. I need to applaud Huawei’s implementation of those as they're tremendously delicate but remarkably clear and refined on the similar time.
Alongside the appropriate-hand aspect you will have the majority of the controls and ports, with the quantity rocker in the direction of the highest – it’s a reasonably commonplace quantity rocker form, being a brief strip with rounded off ends, however like all of the keys it’s product of the identical metallic because the encompass into which it’s embedded and is raised simply sufficient from the telephone’s floor to make operation by really feel efficient, whereas visually being low-mendacity sufficient to mix in with the system’s edging virtually seamlessly.
The facility key slightly below it's a comparable story, though right here it’s a spherical button sat in a small rounded divot recessed into the bodywork. Each units of controls have a pleasant agency operation. Slightly below the facility secret is a pair of card slots. I actually love the best way Huawei has echoed the quantity rocker form right here with each slots sitting again-to-again and that includes a flat finish the place they meet, however a spherical finish the place they face away.
Whereas it’s additionally a hardware function as a lot as a design facet, it’s value noting Huawei has been very intelligent right here with one slot being a micro SIM and the opposite having a singular tray designed to accommodate both a second micro SIM or a microSD storage card – the telephone options 16GB of onboard storage whereas card help goes as much as 64GB. Lastly, the audio jack is alongside the highest aspect and somewhat than the standard bezel design the opening merely sits flush to the edging for an fascinating look.
As with the Xperia Z1/Z2, the Huawei Ascend P7 options glass on each back and front, which is as soon as once more a little bit of a double-edged sword design clever. A glass again does feel and appear premium, to make certain, however that tends to put on off fairly shortly when the rear fascia begins choosing up as many greasy fingerprints because the contact show. Placing that sensible consideration apart for one second, the precise execution of Huawei’s 7-layer again panel is nothing in need of a grasp stroke of luxurious design. Huawei’s multi-layered texturing isn’t all the time obvious – at night time or usually at midnight the rear will simply seem black, however in any other case, once in a while, it’ll catch the sunshine the best approach and also you’ll see this cool metallic blue mesh design lurking underneath the floor.
The remainder of the again panel is essentially minimalist; there’s the silver Huawei emblem within the center, the bezel-edged digital camera port and flash within the prime left, and a slender speaker on the backside left. The one fly within the ointment is that official electronics blurb throughout the underside. I observed with Sony’s current handsets it’s taken to together with this presumably required info on a pull-out tab inside the cardboard slots, which serves to stop the in any other case clear again panel getting its luxurious look ruined by bureaucratic textual content. That may have been a good suggestion right here too.
The show is a 5-inch IPS LCD with a full HD 1080p decision at 440 pixels-per-inch (ppi). This can be a good measurement for pretty straightforward one-handed operation whereas additionally being giant sufficient for rewarding multimedia consumption. When it comes to visible high quality it’s in-line with what I’ve come to anticipate from full HD IPS setups – wealthy color, pure whites, nice brightness and readability (together with textual content), and large viewing angles. I’m but to make use of the telephone in shiny daylight so I’ll be sure you examine the way it stands up for the complete assessment.
The Ascend P7 runs on Android four.four KitKat with a brand new model of Huawei’s Emotion UI (EMUI). Whereas the UI does embrace a few of KitKat’s new design options (such because the clear menu parts) it is extremely a lot an entire customized overhaul of Android which could really feel fairly alien to some. There are some fascinating issues right here, together with some in depth customisation choices, which I'll go into extra element with for the complete assessment, however one elephant within the room for this software program is how a lot it seems to be like iOS 7.
As normal, the digital camera and battery would require some extra thorough street-testing for a helpful verdict, however for the say-so it has a 2,500mAh non-detachable cell with an “Extremely Energy Saving” mode to protect the juice. In the meantime the digital camera setup features a thirteen-megapixel sensor (plus LED flash) on the rear and an eight-megapixel on the entrance. There are some fascinating seize options right here comparable to double tapping the quantity down key even when the telephone is asleep to quickly seize an essential occasion in as little as 1.2 seconds.
The Huawei Ascend P7 is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 910T processor, a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 based mostly chip with 28 nanometre structure, 2GB of RAM and a quad-core Mali 450MP4 graphics processing unit (GPU). This chip is clocked at 1.8GHz. Whereas my preliminary impression of the efficiency is that it’s largely clean, I've observed some judders the place different current flagships don’t appear to wrestle – notably whereas putting in an app within the background the display transitions began to stutter. It is going to be fascinating to see how larger efficiency duties influence on issues.
General the Huawei Ascend P7 is sort of a powerful specimen. The design is, for my part, extraordinary, regardless of a number of foibles right here and there. I’m a bit extra doubtful concerning the processor hardware and the extremely customised software program at this stage however I’ll have extra to say about these elements after an prolonged testing interval. Keep tuned for the complete evaluate.