Huawei Ascend P1 review

Budget phone maker attempts to blag an upgrade to business class

Huawei Ascend P1
Huawei isn't just focussed on the budget end of the market

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.


Our Ascend P1 arrived with two music players pre-loaded, Huawei's own Music+ app and the notorious Google Play Music app which still doesn't work as advertised within the UK.

Huawei Ascend P1 review

Although, despite having its online sharing and cloud syncing options missing in action here, Google's Play Music app is still worth keeping as your default music player.

It's built around Google's newly beloved tab system, with tabs along the top for your recent tunes, artists, albums, songs, playlists and genres.

Playlist support is totally intuitive. The 'New Playlist' option creates a brand new little collection of songs, then long-pressing on a track lets you stick it into your new party mix.

Android also generates a 'Last Added' playlist, for easy access to whatever you've just stuck on the phone.

Huawei Ascend P1 review

That's the alternate Music+ app, which adds in a scrollable list of album art and folder support, plus Huawei's Dolby Digital feature, which can be toggled on or off here.

The onboard speaker's very loud, easily filling a room with your awful music without even taking the output up to max volume. Activating the DD tool makes it a bit louder. It's a nice player.

In fact, it's all very nice with a pair of functional home screen widgets and lock screen controls, but we can't help but longingly stare westward at America, where Google sells music through its Play Store.

There's none of that fun for us here, even in Android 4.0, so the Ascend P1 therefore doesn't come with any way of buying music direct through the phone pre-installed.


Huawei Ascend P1 review

Video playback support is good. As well as the commonplace MP4 files, the P1 handled a basket of AVI files without hassle or glitch/sync issues, making it a good choice for those of you with a massive collection of movie and TV shows to watch on the go.

The 4.3" display is bright, clear and great for watching media, with videos and your own photos and clips looking superb on Huawei's wide screen.

There's even a file manager on here for navigating to your SD card and finding media you've stashed away, which is handy.

Google's Videos app – which manages movies bought through its Play Store - isn't on here, which is a little odd, but then it's on the Play Store for download if you feel the need to rent a 2002 romcom for £3.49.