Huawei is taking the flagship fight to Samsung, HTC and Apple with its latest Android smartphone, the Ascend P7.
Announced in Paris, the P7 comes a year after the Chinese company’s latest flagship handset, the P6, which held the title of world’s thinnest smartphone when it was announced 12 months ago.
Taking the P6 as its foundations, the Ascend P7 has a 5-inch, Full-HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 - the same as the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One (M8) and the slightly larger (5.2-inch) Sony Xperia Z2. The Huawei's pixel density is 445 per inch.
The bezels at either side of that display measure just 3mm. The phone's footprint measures 139.8 x 68.8mm and it's light at 124g.
Built from what Huawei described as “exquisite materials”, the Ascend P7 is crafted from aluminium in the same way the last year's P6 was, and at 6.5mm it’s a seriously slim handset, smaller even than the 7.6mm iPhone 5s. Unlike last year's model, the P7 has Gorilla Glass 3 on its front and back - similar to the iPhone 4 and the Sony Xperia Z2.
And the P7 comes with 4G LTE for super-fast mobile internet - something last year's P6 missed out on.
Recognising the selfie-obsessed world into which it has been born, the Ascend P7 has an industry-leading 8-megapixel front-facing camera with the ability to launch the camera app with a press of the volume button taking the selfie game up a notch, Huawei claims the P7 is the best handset for taking videos of yourself.
When the selfie becomes a 'groufie'
The company states: "Take better selfies, or the ultimate group selfie - a 'groufie' - with the non-spherical lens front-facing camera that comes with a panorama function for panoramic selfie shooting, and 10 level auto-facial enhancement in beauty mode. Users can also take a selfie video with the 1080p HD video playback."
Around the back, Huawei has installed a 13-megapixel snapper sourced from Sony with an f/2.0 aperture.
The P7 is powered by a quad-core HiSilicon Kirin 910T 1.8GHz chipset with Mali 450 GPU and 2GB of RAM, and there’s a 2,500mAh battery; Huawei claims this is good for 14 hours of talk time. There is 16GB of internal storage and this can be upgraded by up to 64GB thanks to a microSD card slot.
Huawei’s flagship handset runs Android 4.4 KitKat with the company’s own Emotion 2.3 UI draped over the top. As with last year’s P6, the Ascend P7 serves up a huge number of customisation skins and visual changes to make its user interface as unique as you want.
The P7 will be available in black, white and pink, but Huawei is yet to announce a price or UK release date for the P7. We are on the ground in Paris and will be sure to update this story when we find out more.
Stay tuned for our hands-on first impressions of the Ascend P7.
The P7 will be priced from €449 SIM-free and goes on sale on 7 June.