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back to article Huawei Ascend P1 Android review

Huawei’s entry level Ascend G300 smartphone has already been favourably reviewed in these pages and the eagerly awaited Ascend D quad is only a few months away. Between those two devices sits the new Ascend P1 – a handset aimed not at the impecunious or the power-mad but at Joe Average. Evidently, it’s a phone designed to steal …

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Anonymous Coward

"Huawei has left Android 4.0.3 pretty much well alone on the Ascend P1"

SAMSUNG, COPY THIS. Stick your "improvements" up your arse.

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Anonymous Coward

And another promising quote

"Mercifully there’s little in the way of software bloat"

Not just Samsung, but ALL PHONE MAKERS, please note there's an app store to get whatever software users want - YOU DON'T HAVE TO PRE-INSTALL ANYTHING BUT THE OS! Stop taking bribes to install crapware that can't be uninstalled.

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Unhappy

Re: And another promising quote

Also, why does Samsung feel the need to install not one, but two, appstores on their devices (Samsung Apps and Samsung Hub), both of which are entirely useless?

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Re: And another promising quote

I think it should at least be an option prominently displayed in all phones to turn on or off the fancy / broken UI they choose to replace the default one with.

I also believe that nothing but the core apps should be baked into firmware. All the "value add" apps like home grown news / weather / stock tickers, and crapware like Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox etc. that litter most phones should be in read/write memory so they can be overwritten or deleted as the user sees fit. My current phone must waste 20-30MB with this junk which doesn't sound much but it's space I could use.

It's incredibly annoying to have apps on a phone which cannot be removed stinking up the UI and causing the Play app to constantly notify of updates even if they are unwanted.

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Anonymous Coward

Some people like the changes and if Linux proves anything it is that geeks love their million different GUI systems.

Hence KDE, GNOME, Xfce, LXDE, CDE, EDE, GEM, IRIX Interactive Desktop, Sun's Java Desktop System, Jesktop, Mezzo, Project Looking Glass, ROX Desktop, UDE, Xito, XFast, FVWM-Crystal, Enlightenment, OpenBox, Fluxbox, WindowLab, Fvwm, Window Maker, AfterStep.

While Microsoft and Apple have one decent GUI system that works as you learn to use it, rather than change the GUI to work how you want.

The argument for custom interfaces is that OEMs need to provide features that allow consumers to differentiate between products and given how dull Samsungs phone designs are (when they're not copying Apple), it no wonder they have to make the software different.

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Anonymous Coward

> that works as you learn to use it, rather than change the GUI to work how you want.

You change to suit the product rather than changing the product to suit you?

You sir, are an idiot.

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>While Microsoft and Apple have one decent GUI system that works as you learn to use it, rather than change the GUI to work how you want.

SharpEnviro? (AstonShell-ish) Plenty of really sweet Windows shell replacements - getting your head round them now should be an integral part of your Window 8 upgrade planning.

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I thought it was an iPhone

It confused me with its shiny black look and rounded corners.

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Anonymous Coward

Kindof looks a lot like

A Motorola RAZR Droid... More so than the Samsung vs Apple saga too...

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Re: Kind of looks a lot like

Same here, although for me it looks like the original Motorola Droid/Milestone I got except without the craptacular keyboard.

Also, definite bonus points for the lack of crapware.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Kindof looks a lot like

Not a big surprise, Huawei has ALWAYS been stealing from Motorola.

Probably why Motorola was already suing Huawei.

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Samsung

Actually, the Samsung additions aren't too bad. The email client for example is better than stock. Touchwiz as a launcher is unobtrusive and the internals Touchwiz additions (codecs etc) are also handy.

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Meh

Re: Samsung

oh yeah, making it rectangular and rounding the corners. Copying bastards!

Still, at least they don't astroturf for apple whilst hiding behind a nameless account. That's truly pathetic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Samsung

Read the link muppet. Only corners there are the ones Samsung is cutting.

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Trollface

Re:"Read the link muppet."

I cannot tell you how deeply impressed we all are with posters who fire off ad hominem insults whilst hiding behind an AC icon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Samsung

Hang about, didn't the S1 have a 4inch screen? In that document you link to the S1 screen grabs have been re-sized to match the visual dimensions of the iPhone screen grabs. That's hardly honest is it?

Let's be clear about this - did Samsung copy some of the look'n'feel of the iPhone? Yes. But did Apple "invent" that look and feel in a vacuum devoid of other third party design influence? No.

This whole sad saga is the result of Job's psychotic obsession with Android which current Apple management clearly see as a way to knoble it's biggest and most competitive opponent.

Personally peaking if Apple devoted 1/10th the money and effort it's spending on this legal action on improving the working conditions of the poor sods who assemble it's kit in China I may actually buy one.

It's purely a personal thing but I refuse to buy anything not made in a liberal democracy (or something very similar). It's a tough way to do things - just finding out where stuff is made can be bloody hard work - but it is dooable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Samsung

> the S1 screen grabs have been re-sized to match the visual dimensions of the iPhone screen grabs. That's hardly honest is it?

That's Samsung's own document! But I guess you're right, it's a well known fact that Samsung isn't honest.

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Happy

Re: Samsung

Which mobile would you recommend?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Samsung

Nokia 808

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Samsung

Please gentlemen, not this discussion again.

Samsung already explained in a video that they do not copy Apple. The differences are crystal clear and no one is confusing Samsung's phones with iPhones.. well maybe some are but they live in Russia so don't count.

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Headmaster

Re: Read the link muppet."

Mr Fox doesn't seem to know what "ad hominem" means. Simply calling someone a muppet is not ad hominem.

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Boffin

Re: Samsung

@Matt Ryan: "Actually, the Samsung additions aren't too bad. The email client for example is better than stock."

Are we talking about the same Samsung - you know the Korean company that dominates the Android smartphone landscape? Because I have a Galaxy Nexus, and my wife has a Samsung phone, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind, Samsung's customisations are shit.

Since you pick out the email client, I'll tell you a thing or two about it. Samsung decided to add a feature to the email client - push email. Sounds reasonable. So how did they do it? What they do is ask you for all your login details, and them store them in some server in Korea. That server then downloads all your emails, and then pushes them to phone. Maybe you think that is OK. Well bear these two facts in mind: the IMAP protocol already supports push email, and in order to support this feature they got rid of every other feature IMAP supports. Like server side searches, or viewing any folder other than the Inbox.

Maybe you don't mind having your cleartext email being copied to a remote country without your knowledge, along with your credentials. But what you will mind is they have a bug. The system occasionally deletes emails it doesn't like. They aren't copied to the trash. They just vanish.

How do I know all this? Well I run my own email server as a hobby. My wife complained of a missing email, which I of course blamed on her "girling" it. But then I tracked it down (because I archive every email that passes through my server), resent it, watched it hit the IMAP inbox folder on disk, then watched to my amazement as it disappeared. It was an IMAP client deleting it, whose domain name turned out to be apac007-egress-a.fra.samsungsocialhub.com.

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Re: "Read the link muppet"

Fuck you! Post with a user name and I'll follow your link. I don't have time for AC Apple astroturfing pussies...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Samsung

Getting a bit offtopic, but here goes anyway. I can't say anything about the Samsung e-mail client as I'm perfectly happy with the built-in GMail app (I use GMail for my personal e-mail, and we use Google Apps at work so I have no need for a generic e-mail client), but before getting a Galaxy S3 I had heard horror stories about how awful TouchWiz is. From what I gather their customizations vary depending on the model, but at least on S3 I haven't minded so far.

They seem to range from genuinely useful (the customizable launchers in the lock screen, swipe right to call/left to SMS in contact list) to nice but not that essential (the exposé-like view of the home screens) to completely gimmicky (while technology-wise it's impressive one can minimize 720p video to a window and continue doing other things with the video playing back at the same time, even I'm not so ADHD I'd feel the need to watch video and do something else simultaneously on a phone).

Yes, there are some built-in apps you can't get rid of without installing an alternative ROM / rooting your device, but it's not like you have to use them *). Overall, while I'd be perfectly satisfied with vanilla Android, TouchWiz hasn't irritated me enough to change it into something else. That will change if I don't get JB within a timely fashion, but Samsung has promised it should be available within a few months. We'll see.

*) While I feel the Android fragmentation issue has been blown out of proportion - yes, there are devices that will be stuck with old versions of Android, but many of them are feature phone-like devices and their owners probably don't care either way - there is another kind of fragmentation that is completely artificial and very much irritating. Upon getting the phone I naturally wanted to see what it is capable of, and games are an obvious choice. I had read from a review that Dead Space looks rather good, and I had already bought it for my TF101, so to the Market, erm, Google Play it is. Only to discover that my device is not supported. "'tis strange", I thought; then I decided to check the Samsung store. And there it is, provided that I want to pay again for it. I don't. Thanks Samsung.

Mind you, Samsung is not the only one guilty of this artificial fragmentation, Gameloft is quite notorious for this. They've consistently refused to support the original Transformer, while offering their games for the Xoom. Naturally they're not required to support every device that exists - but a TF101 and a Xoom are practically identical where it matters (Tegra 2, 10" @ 1280x800, 1GB RAM). If anything the Transformer should be easier to support, as the version of Android Asus ships is pretty much vanilla. Now, it's entirely within their right to sell their product to whomever they like; I just feel that as far as business plans go, collecting underpants seems more reasonable than artificially limiting your target audience to a subset of what it could be.

...and this is getting even more offtopic than originally, so I'll stop.

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Re: Samsung

See, that's the problem with ACs, was that ramble above in reply to my witty putdown? It's unlikely, but you can't be sure without a login....

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Holmes

@Cabroni: Given that it was obvious that I had used the term ad hominem ....

..........(rather loosely I grant you) to denote an attack on the person I think that you could have saved yourself the bother of posting that. After all, an ad hominem attack is an attempt to negate someone else's argument by ascribing a negative characteristic to the person making that argument thus attacking the person not his case, I feel that calling somebody a "muppet" rather than answering his post certainly falls within that general area. Indeed it bears a strong conceptual resemblance to postings where the poster corrects the spelling or grammar etc. of the post rather than actually answering the case that has been put. What is your opinion BTW concerning posters who insult other posters whilst hiding behind an AC icon?

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Re: @Cabroni: Given that it was obvious that I had used the term ad hominem ....

Calling someone a 'muppet' is definitely ad hominem.

Maybe he's hiding in case your nom-de-plume refers to something you could see him through.

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Thumb Up

Great phone!

Since getting it I've had all sorts of calls from Chinese companies wanting to offer me their services and all related to my business! I didn't even have to fill in anything, it's all automatic. For all they say about Siri being an assistant, it never managed to do this.

Other than Twitter sometimes not letting me post for hours and some news sites redirecting to Xinhua when reading any news related to China (which is fine, since most other sites are highly biased) it's been a 七 star experience.

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Anonymous Coward

This phone changed my life

I lost 2 stone in two months and my wife no longer complains about my lack of performance

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Coat

Re: This phone changed my life

This phone changed my wife and my life no longer complains about lack of performance

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This phone changed my life

This phone cured my aids.

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The screen

>>>The only fly in the ointment is that it uses a PenTile matrix but that shouldn't bother most people. It certainly didn’t bother me.<<<

A lot of people feel the same way and aren't bothered.

But some, like me, find the PenTile layout VERY noticeable. I've got a One S and can safely say that I'm never again getting a phone with a PenTile screen.

Movies and pictures look great but text looks pretty crap compared to the Sensation's LCD job.

Also, browsing most websites with their white background on the One S's AMOLED drains the battery like crazy.

I read most articles in Pocket with its dark theme, so not a huge issue for me, but IMHO still something to keep in mind when getting a new phone.

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Coat

Re: The screen

"Evidently, it’s a phone designed to steal market share from HTC"

Using this logic, Huawei stand to reap in profits of £19.20 next year! That's assuming they steal 50% or so.

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Thumb Up

Re: The screen

I'm glad I'm not the only person that has issues with PenTile screens. My Captivate Glide's screen is a definite downgrade from the Milestone it replaced.

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Facepalm

Oh dear...

Another phone that'll end up in Android death pit in 12 months time because of a lack of updates. Looks good though, but still too big (and wide!).

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