Huawei Ascend P2 review: Hands-on

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The Huawei Ascend P2 has a bright screen and a super-fast modem

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It's the fastest 4G phone yet, thanks to a modem that can download at amazing speeds. And the Huawei Ascend P2 looks good, too

Last year, the brand turned heads with the Huawei Ascend P1. It had a responsive touchscreen with no lag or sluggishness, a fast processor and a hi-res display although the budget build quality left a lot to be desired. Things have moved on since, but has Huawei kept up?

Huawei Ascend P2: Size & build

The 4.7-inch display means this isn't the smallest phone on sale but it's pretty compact for its screen, measuring 136 x 67 x 8.4mm, and weighing a highly manageable 122g. It has curved edges, which are comfortable and the glossy finish feels good, too. The styling isn't that exciting but it's decent enough.

Huawei Ascend P2: Features

There's a 13MP camera here, though we didn't get to test this in detail. Launching it seemed a little slow, though this may have been down to prototype issues, and there's a hardware shutter button as well. There are camera effects and filters available, too.

Huawei Ascend P2: Screen

The display on the P1 was relatively impressive at 256ppi, but this is a 1280 x 720 screen, which means there are 315ppi. Not quite the Retina Display of the iPhone 5 then and a long way from the 443ppi of the new HTC One, but still attractive and sharp. Huawei's Android interface can look a little basic, but not unattractive.

Huawei Ascend P2: Performance

Huawei's speed claim isn't about the processor, though it's a quad-core 1.5GHz chip so no slouch. No, the world's fastest bit refers to the modem which can download at speeds of 150Mbps.

This is class-leading but realistically it will be some time before the 4G LTE networks are giving that top speed any bother. Still, it's a cool statistic to have on board and will mean that if LTE doesn't whizz along it's down to the network not the phone.

Elsewhere, the P2 was fast and responsive, if not exceptional compared to the latest phones like the HTC One.

Huawei Ascend P2: Battery

Obvioulsy we didn't have time to test out the battery life in full, but the 2420 mAh cell is certainly a promising start.

Huawei Ascend P2: Verdict

Huawei is good at delivering strong, affordable handsets with good design and great screens. This is no exception and will be a great mid-range phone though the smartphone stakes are high now with powerful and punchy phones being released from every manufacturer.

The exceptionally nippy modem is a key standout, but may not be enough to set it apart when network speeds won't routinely reach the maximum levels possible here. Still, it feels good and has a strong 13MP camera. Stay tuned for a full review.

Huawei Ascend P2 release date: Out Q2 2013

Huawei Ascend P2 price: £350