Huawei announced at CES 2013 that it was focusing on higher end smartphones, unveiling the Full HD 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate and the powerful quad-core Huawei Ascend D2.
Following on from its successful budget models the Huawei Ascend G300 and Ascend G330, these new mobiles boast Full HD screens, large batteries and quad-core power, to give long-lasting media performance.
Starting with the generously powerful Huawei Ascend D2, this mobile is a must for movie fans, thanks to its five inch HD screen, with a resolution of 1080 x 1920. That gives a ridiculous 443 pixels per inch (ppi), over 100 more than the super-sharp iPhone Retina display.
Android Jelly Bean 4.1 runs smoothly as you’d expect, as the Ascend D2 contains a quad-core 1.5GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. Ice Cream Sandwich looks similar to its vanilla version, with little tampering by Huawei. You can set up shortcuts (only four in a row this time though, compared to the Mate's five in a row), as well as the usual selection of widgets of course.
The lock screen gives you fast access to four of your favourite apps, while the notifications bar has a full set of power options built in, to toggle the likes of Wi-Fi on and off in a second. You also get a capable 13MP f2.2 camera that’s packed with the usual excellent Android features, and a front-facing lens for chatting on Skype.
In terms of phone design, the Ascend D2 feels solid and very well built, with no flex or gaps. It’s dust and water resistant, as proved when our Huawei demonstrator poured liquid from a jug all over it. He also dropped it on the floor and the phone worked fine, which will come as a relief to butter-fingered readers.
From the front, the Ascend D2 is unmistakeably Huawei. The screen is topped and tailed by a bezel as thick as your finger, with only a narrow bar running down each edge of the display. There aren’t any physical buttons to free up some space, as home, back and menu buttons appear on Android’s desktop instead. There’s a glossy finish to the front and back, separated by a metallic rim that reminds us of Apple’s iPhone. The back doesn’t open up, so you insert your SIM card in a covered slot on top. There’s no memory card slot but there is 32GB of built-in storage.
Huawei has also promised long-lasting power from both of its new phones, meaning long battery life. A 3000mAh battery in the Ascend D2 should give you a full day of talk time, but we’ll let you know in our full review, coming soon.