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Huawei Ascend P7 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £370
inc VAT

A decent phone with a good camera that's spoiled by poor battery life and middling performance


Android 4.4.2 (KitKat), 5.0in 1,920×1,080 display

The Ascend P7 is Huawei’s flagship phone for 2014 and Huawei has pulled out all the stops to make it an interesting handset. With Corning Gorilla Glass lining the front and rear of the phone, the P7’s flat design is very reminiscent of Sony’s Xperia Z2. It even has a circular power button on the right hand side of the phone.

Huawei Ascend P7 Side Shot

Even though it may look like a Z2 clone on the outside, the P7’s chassis is far more compact, measuring just 6.5mm thick. With a weight of 124g, it’s also much lighter and more comfortable to hold, and its brushed metal sides give it a premium feel that rivals much more expensive phones such as the HTC One (m8).

The ultra slim P7 is all the more impressive because of its large 5in screen. Due to its 1,920×1,080-resolution LCD display, the screen has a huge pixel density of 445 pixels-per-inch, beating both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2. This means that text looks incredibly sharp and crisp, although you’d be hard pushed to notice the difference in day-to-day use if you were to compare each model side by side.

With so many pixels on screen, we had no trouble reading desktop-based websites such as BBC News or The Guardian. We were pleased with the Ascend P7’s overall image quality, too. With a measured huge peak brightness of 507.8cd/m2, you shouldn’t have any trouble using the P7 outside in the sun. We were also impressed with the Ascend P7’s sRGB colour gamut, as we measured sRGB colour gamut coverage of 94.4 per cent, which meant colours looked rich and accurate.

We were a little disappointed that the screen’s narrow viewing angles meant the display didn’t look as bright when it was set down on a table. Compared to the AMOLED screen of the Motorola Moto X, images did tend to look a little washed out on the P7, but we measured a contrast ratio of 923:1 and a black level of 0.55cd/m2, which is around what we’d normally expect to see.

Huawei Ascend P7 3/4s

The Ascend P7 certainly looks like a high-end smartphone, but sadly its processing performance lets it down. The P7’s 1.8GHz quad-core processor is a huge improvement over the Ascend P6’s sluggish hardware, but the P7’s mediocre score of 1,148ms in our SunSpider JavaScript benchmarks puts it squarely in line with most mid-range handsets rather than the flagship models with which it’s trying to compete. The P7’s SunSpider score pales in comparison to the lightning fast sub-400ms speed of the Samsung Galaxy S5, and even mid-range handsets such as the Motorola Moto X and Sony Xperia SP aren’t far behind with their respective scores of 1,089ms and 1,173ms. Sadly, the P7’s performance didn’t improve when we ran the SunSpider benchmark in a different browser, as using the Dolphin browser produced an even slower score of 1,443ms.

The P7’s lacklustre speed became particularly evident when we tried general web browsing. Graphics-heavy websites such as BBC News and The Guardian desktop sites often took a few seconds to load fully, and there was some judder when we scrolled through the screen. There was also a delay before our swipes took effect. This meant we’d swipe down, for instance, and there’s be a pause before the website scrolled down. This isn’t something we’d expect from a phone at this price, and when we compared these actions side by side with the cheaper Motorola Moto X, the Moto X was noticeably quicker and more responsive than the Ascend P7.

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Main display size5.0in
Native resolution1,920×1,080
CCD effective megapixels13-megapixel
Internal memory16384MB
Memory card supportmicroSD
Memory card included0MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 850/900/1700/1900/2100, 4G 800/900/1800/2100/2600


Operating systemAndroid 4.4.2 (KitKat)
Microsoft Office compatibilityPDF viewer
FM Radioyes
Accessoriesheadphones, USB cable, charger
Talk time22 hours
Standby time17 days

Buying Information

SIM-free price£370
Price on contractTBC
SIM-free supplierTBC
Contract/prepay supplierTBC

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