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Huawei Ascend P7 Review: Affordable Int’l Flagship

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We review the Huawei Ascend P7!

Today, we’ll be reviewing Huawei’s Ascend P7. The Ascend P7 is an international flagship much like Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and Sony’s Xperia Z2. It’s one of the few int’l flagships in town that is relatively affordable (Xiaomi’s Mi 3 notwithstanding), coming in at just Php 20,990. Is the Ascend P7’s pricetag worth it, or should you go with its more expensive rivals?

Huawei Ascend P7 specs

  • 1.8 Ghz quad-core HiSilicon Kirin 910T
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5-inch full HD display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, f/2.0 Sony BSI sensor, LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 2,500 Li-Po battery
  • 139.8mm x 68.8mm x 6.5mm
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat

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A definite looker

We were enamored with the overall design of the Ascend P7 when we initially did our hands on with it a few weeks ago, and our opinion hasn’t changed. The Ascend P7 is definitely one of the prettier smartphones out in the market today, and while it certainly resembles both the iPhone 5 and Sony’ Xperia Z series of devices, it has enough unique design cues that make it more than just a wannabe phone.

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There’s glass covering both the front and the back of the smartphone, and the back sports a nice subtle, mesh-like design. The sides of the device are covered in a metallic band, while the bottom is covered in plastic. All of the controls are located on the right side, which includes the power button and the volume rocker, as well as the microSD expansion slot as well as the SIM slot.

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Aside from being one of the nicest smartphones Huawei has ever made, the Ascend P7 also holds the distinction of being one of the thinnest phones in the market, coming at just 6.5mm thick.

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Excellent display

Much like its rivals, the Ascend P7 uses a 5-inch full HD display, protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The bezels are slim, and while they’re no match for the one in the LG G3, they’re thinner than most phones. The Ascend P7 does not use hardware capacitive Android navigation keys, instead they’re embedded on the bottom of the display.

As far as display quality goes, the Ascend P7’s screen was reasonably good, producing natural, well-saturated images. We did notice less than ideal viewing angles when not viewing the display straight on.

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Hardware that’s a bit lacking

Huawei has always gone with its home grown HiSilicon chips in its high-profile devices, and the Ascend P7 is no exception. Unfortunately, Huawei’s own SoC pales in comparison with the Qualcomm chips in its rival flagships, and it shows. Our AnTuTu test shows significantly lower scores compared to its rivals, and even in practical tests like gaming, the Ascend P7 could not handle games with graphics set to high without the phone lagging terribly. Clearly, it’s not a gaming smartphone.

These performance issues extend to actual use as well. The Ascend P7 uses Huawei’s own UI, dubbed Emotion, layered on top of Android 4.4. We were experiencing lag while going through the menus of the UI, as well as general use like chatting with Facebook messenger. Huawei’s own silicon has quite a ways to go.

Huawei Ascend P7 12 Huawei Ascend P7 10

A phone for the selfie obsessed

The Ascend P7 has a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 8-megapixel front camera. In good lighting you get really good photos out of the main camera of the Ascend P7, which is to be expected.

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The front camera of the Ascend P7 shares the same selfie enhancements that graced the Ascend G6, including the automatic beautification mode, and the selfie assist feature.

A battery that barely gets you through the day

We noticed that the Ascend P7 is definitely a battery guzzler, and loses juice faster than comparable devices in its class. It managed to go from full charge at the beginning of the day to almost 10% at around 10 hours with moderate use – which means that the Ascend P7 will be spending time attached to its charger at the end of the day.

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An affordable flagship, with some caveats

The Ascend P7 has its strengths and weaknesses, for sure, just like any other device out there. It’s relatively inexpensive, and has great externals and a very slim body, though its hardware is a bit of a letdown. In the end, it’s up to the user which is more important to them – style or substance. If it’s the former, then you may be happy with the Huawei Ascend P7, faults and all.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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10 Comments

  1. I’d rather get a Note 3, w/c will be even more affordable by the time the Note 4 becomes readily available.
    Kahibangan naman yan for Php 21k, sobra

  2. Off topic lang, pansin ko lang agad yung Dead Trigger 2 sa home screen. To the editorial of unbox, suggest lang po na i-drop nyo na yung game na yan sa mga future reviews nyo. Bukod sa hindi sya commonly played game among Android users eh outdated na rin sya. You can consult with game enthusiasts and/or graphics display experts which games are great to be used in reviews.

    1. Really? 20.9 k affordable? Sino ba talaga target market nyo huawei? Kung sila un mkakabili nman sila ng iphone 5or 6. You can buy a much higher spec’d smartphone with that price

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