May 4, 2013

Huawei Announces Ascend P2, World’s Fastest Smartphone

Rocketing out of the gate at this year’s Mobile World Congress is the smartphone dark horse Huawei, announcing the arrival of the “fastest smartphone in the world.” The title is a bit misleading, however, as the phone only exists on paper and will not be commercially available until this summer.

With an entire week left for smartphone makers to announce their latest and greatest (and several months between now and summer), it is entirely possible the only thing the latest from Huawei will be fastest at is capturing headlines. The Ascend P2 is the follow up to the Ascend P1 and will be leveraged to earn Huawei attention in the global marketplace. As it stands, the Chinese company is currently the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world – though they are less known in the US compared to Asian and European markets – trailing market dominators Samsung and Apple.

With a large, high-resolution display and quad-core processor running Google’s latest confectionary-inspired operating system, the Ascend P2’s tech sheet won’t stand out amongst other Android “superphones.” The latest from Huawei boasts a familiar less-than-5-inch display, a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 13-megapixel camera and Android 4.1. Like many other smartphones of the day, the Ascend P2 also carries an NFC chip, a feature which Apple, number two in the global smartphone market, has yet to take advantage of.

The phone does have a few extra tricks up its sleeve to make it stand out amongst the scrum, however. For instance, the company showed off a feature called “Magic Touch,” a new touch screen technology that gives gloved users the luxury of being able to navigate their device while keeping their hands warm and toasty. Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business group also touted a package of more than 100 themes for the phone, giving users more opportunities to customize their phones just the way they want. In a bit of an awkward press moment, Yu suggested these themes would be of particular interest to their female customers who “like flowers, colorful things.”

The display of the Ascend P2, while impressive, does not quite meet the standards set forth by Apple’s Retina or HTC’s latest “One.” The iPhone 5 has a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, or ppi, making each individual pixel even harder to identify. The new HTC One soundly bests this display with a ppi of 468. Huawei’s Ascend P2, however, has a ppi of 315, landing it somewhere in the “better than average” category.

So what is it about the Ascend P2 that makes it so fast? This phone will be the first ever released with a new kind of LTE chip capable of squeezing about 150 megabits per second from the next generation wireless network. In an ideal world, this means the Ascend P2 could deliver much faster-than-WiFi download speeds. This ideal world would also have to include a carrier capable of delivering these speeds, as no such wireless network currently has the infrastructure to serve up such speedy service. As such, the P2 may be the “feistiest smartphone in the world,” but like a Ferrari in gridlocked traffic, it will have a hard time showing the world what all it is capable of.

There’s also the fact the world’s number one smartphone manufacturer, Samsung, is widely expected to release the latest in their line of Galaxy smartphones. According to the rumors, this phone will be a worthy successor to the best-selling S III, which garnered so much attention and praise last year.

Source: Michael Harper for – Your Universe Online


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