Chinese manufacturer Huawei has announced a new flagship handset, the Ascend P7, at an event in Paris
Chinese manufacturer Huawei has launched an update to its flagship Ascend smartphone, attempting to capture more of the European market with a low-cost device that is laser-focused on a modern phenomenon – the “selfie”.
The Ascend P7 boasts two high-end cameras: a 13 mega pixel sensor from Sony on the rear and an eight mega pixel sensor on the front, meaning that “selfies” taken with the aid of the screen as a viewfinder will not be grainy, low-quality affairs, as is the case on some other devices.
The lens also offers a panoramic option for capturing groups of friends together, for which Huawei has coined the term “groufie”, or for capturing more scenery.
There is even a small preview window on the camera screen, near to the camera, so that your line of sight appears to be directly into the lens, even though you’re actually checking your appearance while pressing the shutter button.
The image processing chip inside is on which Huawei claims is more commonly found in DSLRs, giving advanced noise reduction and low-light sensitivity.
Like it’s P6 predecessor from last year, it’s remarkably thin, and will be available in black, white and pink with a sleek glass back. Both the front and rear of the handset is Gorrilla Glass – designed to be resistant to both fingerprints and scratches.
It comes with a 2500mAh battery and a power-saving feature which kicks-in once it drains to ten per cent.
The Ascend P7 improves upon the P6, launched last year in London, with a 5in full HD screen that boasts 445ppi for crisp, high resolution graphics. The border around the screen has been cut to 2.97mm, compared to 4.5mm on Samsung’s new Galaxy S5.
The handset runs on Android and offers more than 100 themes for users to choose from, changing the colour schemes. A lock screen menu, highly reminiscent of the latest versions of Apple’s iOS, offers access to common settings and features.
The Ascend P7 enables ultra-fast 4G LTE speed and a dual antenna design to improve signal reception. It also uses smart network switching technology that stabilise weak connections.
It looks likely to undercut many rivals on price, at a recommended €449. In many ways Huawei are currently in a similar position as Samsung was several years ago, battling to enter the smartphone market and hoping that low price but comparable specifications will be enough to lure customers away from Apple and Samsung alternatives.
The company claims that brand awareness across the globe last year was 52 per cent, up from 25 per cent in the previous year, so it is certainly gaining ground. The very first Ascend, the P1, was only launched in 2012.
Many of the specifications for the device were leaked as early as December, so the smartphone has not come as a surprise, but the company announced today that the P6 has been sold into 100 markets, with over four million handsets
The company has been plagued by security concerns which have effectively frozen it out of the US market, mostly down to founder Ren Zhengfei’s previous career in the Chinese army. But the infrastructure of all of the UK’s mobile networks depend on its telecoms equipment.
Earlier this week he ruled out a possible IPO to allay these security fears, claiming that “greedy” shareholders would want to “squeeze every bit out of a company as soon as possible”. Smartphones, both those sold under its own brand and others manufactured for existing makers, make up around a fifth of Huawei’s revenue.
Richard Yu, CEO, said at a launch event in Paris that the P7 was a big chance for Huawei to build a new global brand: “We want to become better and better and better. We’re investing so much resources.”