Huawei Ascend P2 review

Huawei aims to rise to new heights with this record breaking handset

Huawei Ascend P2
It's the Usain Bolt of smartphones

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With a 4.7-inch display, quad-core processor, 4G connectivity and 13MP camera the Huawei Ascend P2 has the capabilities of offering up a decent multimedia experience.

The amount of available internal storage is also ok, with 11.83GB of the 16GB stuffed inside the Ascend P2 available to use, but annoyingly there's no microSD slot to expand on this.

Getting content onto the Ascend P2 is pretty straight forward - just connect it up to your computer with the bundled USB cable, allow the drivers to install and then drag and drop your music, video, photo and other files into the relevant folders on the device.

There's a file manager app included on the Ascend P2 which means you'll be able to locate any documents which may go astray in the transfer - although we still wish there was a micoSD slot.

We did find the Ascend P2 was a little bit sluggish when it came to using the music, video and gallery features - especially when we loaded the phone up with lots of content, so you'll need a little bit of patience if you're planning a media marathon.


The Huawei Ascend P2 comes equipped with two music player options in the form of the Google Music and Music apps.

Huawei Ascend P2 review

Huawei's own Music app offers up a basic player with the option to filter you music by title, artist, album or favourites, while the playlist feature allows you to group tracks together to create the ultimate party mix.

On the player screen itself you get the standard controls such as play/pause, skip, shuffle, repeat - plus there's a quick link to toggle the Dolby Digital sound enhancement - a similar feature to the Beats Audio technology you find on HTC handsets.

If you have lyrics attached to your song files then the Ascend P2 can display these instead of the album art on the player screen, while lockscreen controls allow you to manage your playback without having to unlock the handset every time.

Google Music is more of a fully featured offering and we'd recommend dragging it out of its Google folder and swapping it over with the Music app, as it offers a far more attractive and intuitive interface.

As well as giving you access to the tracks stored on the Ascend P2, you can also access any songs you may have uploaded to Google's cloud - the search giant lets you store 20,000 tunes there - which means you don't have to worry about filling up the 16GB of internal storage with your favourite beats.

Huawei Ascend P2 review

The Google Music app offers all of the features as the stock Music app, but on top of this it also has the "Instant Mixes" function, which will automatically create an endless playlist of songs based on your favourite tracks and artists - which is pretty smart.

There's also a link to the music store which is part of Google Play, which allows you to increase your music library by purchasing and downloading more tunes right on the handset.

Huawei Ascend P2 review

Sound quality is more than acceptable for casual listeners, although the more discerning audiophiles may not be as impressed, but on the whole you can't really knock the Ascend P2 for its audio playback.

The internal speaker located round the back of the handset is, as you'd expect, pretty tinny and you really want to be using a pair of headphones, or external speakers if you fancy pumping out the beats.

We found the Ascend P2 coped with all the major audio formats including MP3, WMA and ACC, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting your current library of tracks to play on the handset.

FM Radio

The old FM Radio is something which doesn't get much of a look-in on today's smartphones, but Huawei has taken it upon itself to include one on the Ascend P2.

Huawei Ascend P2 review

There's a straightforward app to see you through the listening process, and it allows you to have eight preset stations - allowing you to jump to your favourite DJ at the touch of a button.

You'll need to plug a set of headphones into the Ascend P2 to act as the antenna but there is the choice to play the stations via the internal speaker if you don't fancy donning the ear buds.


The Huawei Ascend P2 doesn't come with a dedicated video player app, which leaves you with either the Gallery or Google Play Movies apps to choose from.

Huawei Ascend P2 review

We found the Gallery app a highly frustrating way of accessing our movies as it just lumps them in with the camera photos which leads to a lot of needless scrolling to find the content you want.

Click on a video to play and you get the most basic of players, with the Ascend P2 offering up play/pause and scrubbing - and that's pretty much your lot.

Huawei Ascend P2 review

There is a toggle for the Dolby Digital sound enhancement and a link to share you clip via a multitude of channels in the top right corner, but there is very little to write home about here - it's a simple tap and play scenario.

Huawei Ascend P2 review

Over in the Google Play Movies app videos are a lot easier to find, plus you can jump into the Google Play store and select from a wide range of titles to either rent or purchase - although the player itself is still the same basic offering.

When it came to format support the Ascend P2 was pretty hit a miss - it happily played our 720p MPEG-4, MOV and 1080p MPEG-2 clips, but it point blank refused our 1080p MKV and WMV files - so make sure you check your video works before leaving the house.

The 4.7-inch, 720p display on the Huawei Ascend P2 provided a strong playback offering, with film looking detailed and crisp, although we did find it was a little on the dark side, even with the brightness whacked up.

It's pretty comfortable to hold, and thanks to its light frame we were able to keep hold of the Ascend P2 during the entire length of a film without our wrists starting to ache.


The Gallery on the Huawei Ascend P2 is the stock Android offering, displaying your images in easy to view thumbnails, although as we've already mentioned videos are also lumped in here for good measure.

Huawei Ascend P2 review

This frustration aside the Gallery is simple and functional, and it even includes a basic inbuilt editor which allows you to crop and rotate your snaps as well as apply a few simple effects such as Posterise, Vignette and Fisheye.

Of course you can always download more complete editing suites from Google Play, but the editor will suffice for casual users.

Huawei Ascend P2 review

You can also easily share any of your pictures with just a couple of taps, be it over DLNA or sent in an email, MMS or posted on a social networking site.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.