Of all the phones out this year, there was a subtle and silent buzz around the Huawei Ascend P2. The P1 was a beautiful creature, but it was not so much a beast. To put it less metaphorically, there were several aspects within the P1 that blatantly needed much improvement. The potential was there however and this led many to eagerly anticipate its successor as its saviour that would put right all that was wrong with it and more. The Huawei Ascend P2 is sadly more like a false messiah, a vivid disappointment.
We’ll start with the phone’s better qualities, giving you the good news first. The P2’s screen is up there with the best in the market and is extraordinarily comparable to the Google Nexus 7. Its 1,280×720-pixel resolution gives it a density of 312 pixels per inch. Now this won’t be Full HD, but in practice you won’t be able to tell.
The screen’s display is impressively clear and sharp, with fine text crisp and well defined. The only real noticeable flaw with the P2’s screen is the glare users will get with outdoor sunlight.
The best thing about the P1 was its design. As a result the P2’s aesthetics was the one aspect that tech geeks expected to be a guaranteed hit. While the P2’s design isn’t exactly a miss, it isn’t quite anything to be particularly proud of either.
The super-skinny Huawei theme continued with the P2, which stands at 67mm wide and 136mm long. This can take some getting used to but overall it’s one of the phone’s better features.
It’s the phone’s back that slightly disappoints, with the P2’s black plastic back feeling quite cheap and scratching easily. Aesthetically, it just isn’t something you can take out and be proud of.
The phone’s camera is something P2 owners can be proud of however. Its 13-megapixel camera is impressive, given that most other 13-megapixel cameras belong to phones costing far more – like the Sony Xperia Z or Samsung Galaxy S4.
Now it’s time for the major flaws. Running on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, the phone is behind the most recent version Android 4.3. To put it into context, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean was released in October 2012, while Android 4.3 was introduced this July. Tech fans would be disappointed to realise that the P2 doesn’t arrive with the latest Android version.
The processor is a 1.5GHz quad-core, which in itself is acceptable and in theory speedy. However, performance wise it lags far behind what one would come to expect of a 1.5GHz processor.
The P2’s mediocre performance also falls below what one would come to expect of a phone in its same price bracket – which must be considered a con in its own right. Were the phone to be £100 or so cheaper, this review might be referring to it much more favourably than it is now. At £300 however on pay-as-you-go it punches way above its price weight.