Huawei Ascend P7 unboxing and first impressions: slim and solid

“The Ascend P7 is a looker with its glass sandwich-like design and metallic edges”

Buoyed by the positive response its Honor 6 (review) and Holly (review) smartphones received, the Chinese smartphone brand Huawei is gearing up to launch another smartphone soon in the country. Sitting at the top of its Ascend series, the Ascend P7 is yet to launch formally, but we have already got the device in our labs, and we’ll be checking it out extensively over the coming days. Before that however, let’s take a look at the box contents of the smartphone followed by our hands-on impressions.

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The Ascend P7 comes wrapped in a plain white box. The box features a slide-out design and the tray inside gives you the glimpse of the device. Underneath the tray holding the smartphone, you’ll find two more boxes. One of them has a SIM ejection tool and documentation in the form of the quick start guide and safety information. There’s also a pair of NFC tags, which will allow you to make use of the NFC capabilities of the phone to initiate various actions.

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The other compartment neatly houses the wall charger, a micro-USB cable and a pair of stereo earphones.

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Now that we have taken a look at the retail packaging of the Ascend P7, let’s shift our focus to the device itself.

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The Ascend P7 is a unibody smartphone and Huawei has adopted a glass sandwich-like design. What this means is that the sides of the smartphone are metallic, while its rear is made out of glass. In fact, the phone bears an uncanny resemblance to the Apple iPhone 5s, and the only difference is that the former is bigger.

In terms of hardware buttons, both the volume rocker and a circular power button can be found on the right spine. The right edge is home to two ejectable slots, one of which is for the micro-SIM, while the other is for expanding the internal storage. The top houses the headphone socket and secondary microphone, whereas the micro-USB port and primary microphone are available on the bottom.

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The fascia of the Huawei Ascend P7 is mostly covered by the 5-inch IPS display, which sports a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The display looks really nice and reproduces good colours. Above the display lies an earpiece and a front-facing camera along with a couple of sensors which are hidden well. Below the display panel, you’ll only find Huawei branding since the handset gets Android navigation keys as part of its software. On the back, the device sports a rear camera accompanied by an LED flash. You’ll also find Huawei’s insignia and a speaker mesh on its rear. The device nestles in the hand perfectly, though the glass on the back is prone to fingerprints and smudges.

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On the software front, the Ascend P7 comes with Android 4.4.2 KitKat underneath Huawei’s own customisation. The brand’s custom layer is called Emotion UI, and is currently in version 2.3. Similar to Huawei’s other offerings, the UI is vastly different from stock Android interface. There are also several useful features available on the UI.

Powering the device is Huawei’s own chipset, HiSilicon Kirin 910T, which offers four Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. The capable processor is supplemented by 2GB of RAM that keeps things breezy and the device worked smoothly during our usage. Of course, the way it performs when we run processor-intensive tasks during our review would reflect its computing prowess. For storage, the device offers 16GB in-built memory that can be increased further up to 64GB.

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When it comes to the camera department, the Huawei Ascend P7 offers a 13-megapixel primary autofocus snapper and a 5MP sensor on the front. The main camera is supported by an LED flash for shooting in low light. The smartphone is loaded with connectivity features, including 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, DLNA and GPS. Providing juice to the Huawei Ascend P7 is a 2,500mAh Li-Po battery.

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The Huawei Ascend P7 is expected to be out by the end of this month, though details on its pricing are sketchy at the moment. The device does look like a solid offering, and if it follows the pricing of Huawei’s recent launches, then it could become a tough contender in its segment.

Photos by Pratik Vyas

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