Huawei Ascend W1 review

Who's ready for a cheap Windows Phone 8 thrill?

TODO alt text

There's a wide range of reasonably priced Android devices on the market now and Windows Phone 8 has a job on its hands to break the Google dominance in the budget arena, but the Huawei Ascend W1 at least gives it a fighting chance.

The handset packs a decent array of features, and while it's by no means perfect, you could do a lot worse than the Ascend W1.

We liked

It's the battery life on the Ascend W1 which really stole the show for us. We could easily get two days out of it between charges, and in today's world of power-hungry smartphones that's almost unheard of.

The unfussy and easy-to-use Windows Phone platform makes the Ascend W1 an intuitive proposition for anyone looking to take their first steps into smartphones, and the £120 price tag is certainly an attractive one.

A removable battery and microSD slot are welcome additions and while the design isn't exactly blockbuster, the Ascend W1 at least feels relatively sturdy.

We disliked

We did find the Ascend W1 slowing down from time to time, especially if we tried to jump between content-heavy apps too quickly, and the internet browsing experience isn't the best we've had on a budget device - take a look at the Orange San Diego.

The 5MP camera round the back isn't bad for a low-end device, but picture quality left quite a lot to be desired, so don't expect to get fantastic snaps.

We've come to expect free turn-by-turn navigation on our smartphones these days, with even the most budget Android handsets doubling up as sat navs, so it was disappointing to find the option wasn't pre-installed on the Ascend W1 - although a free version (courtesy of Nokia) can be downloaded.


When you consider the Huawei Ascend W1 will set you back just £120 it's difficult to fault, as you're getting a pretty good deal.

The Ascend W1 comes with a strong set of features allowing you to fully use the handset as a mobile phone, internet portal, handheld gaming device and multimedia station.

It may not excel at any of these things, but that's OK. You're not going to buy the Huawei Ascend W1 for power, you're going to buy it for practicality and value for money - and those are the criteria it absolutely wins out on.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory4 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyAscend W1
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameHuawei
Battery Talk Time10.50 Hour
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution800 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density233 ppi
Front Camera Resolution300 Kilopixel
Height124.5 mm
Width63.5 mm
Depth10.2 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time470 Hour
ManufacturerHuawei Technologies Co., Ltd
Product NameAscend W1 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon S4
Product LineAscend W1
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number51054944
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Long and Lasting

The Huawei Ascend W1 was designed to outlast and outperform. Our 4-inch screen benefits from our unique power saving technology that saves 30% power consumption. A high capacity 1950mAh battery keeps you charged up through days of staying in touch, staying informed, and staying entertained.

Power from within

Breath-taking speed from Qualcomm's Krait structured MSM823 dual core CPU with 1.2GHz achievable frequency; Jaw-dropping graphics with built-in Adreno 305 graphics processor, with 400MHz achievable frequency; download speed up to HSPA+ 21Mbps. Thanks to the 28nm processor, you'll enjoy videos and gaming at their best. All the fun and convenience of Windows Phone 8 comes together here, at an outstanding price too.