Huawei Ascend W1 review

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

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Huawei Ascend W1 review

There's nothing to get too carried away with over in the contacts app - or "People" as Microsoft likes to call it - with a simple list of all your buddies and the ability to pull through details from the likes of Facebook, Hotmail, Google and so on.

The Ascend W1 does a relatively decent job of matching various people's accounts up with their respective social media profiles, although we did need to join some manually - mainly those friends who have ridiculous aliases on Facebook. (We're looking at you, Goose, Tandoori Max and Jason Derulo.)

You can easily jump to a specific letter in your address book by clicking a lettered tile, which then displays the whole alphabet on screen for you to select from.

While everything looks relatively sedate on the surface, the People app is more powerful than it first appears.

Huawei Ascend W1 review

Jump into a contact's profile, swipe sideways and you'll be able to view their latest social media updates, various online photo galleries and your messaging history with them.

Back to the main list and a sideways slide here reveals more options including general social updates, recently used/viewed contacts and access to the Windows Phone groups and rooms features.

Adding a new contact is simple: just hit the "plus" button at the bottom of the screen and follow the on-screen wizard to get your new-found friend added.


The phone app is your one-stop shop when it comes to actually phoning someone on the Huawei Ascend W1, with a simple yet functional design allowing you to get on the blower as quickly as possible.

Huawei Ascend W1 review

By default you're taken to your call history, with a basic list of your last calls - a quick tap on the circular phone icon next to a person will see the Ascend W1 dial that person.

If you hit the person's name you're instead taken to their contact details, which is a bit annoying if you're trying to call someone back and manage to miss the small phone icon.

A simple tap on the number in the contact card will also see the W1 dial away, so while it's not a huge issue, the phone image is so small in the main app that it can be a pain at times.

Of course you can use the old fashioned keypad it you want to tap out a number with your digits, plus there's a link to your address book at the bottom of the screen.

Huawei Ascend W1 review

We found the Ascend W1 held signal well, although it didn't always pick up the expected 3G connection.

Call quality was acceptable, but it's not going to blow you away - although for £120 you won't be complaining.

We experienced no dropped calls or audio issues during our review period and our contacts could generally hear us clearly.

A minor bugbear with Windows Phone 8 is answering calls, which sees you having to slide up on the screen and then tap answer to pick up a call - which is a frustrating additional step when you compare it to the single swipe required on Android and iOS.


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.