Last week, I posted a review of the Grand X LTE T82 by Chinese smartphone maker giant ZTE. This time, my review is about the Ascend D1 from another Chinese smartphone giant called Huawei. The Huawei Ascend D1 is offered by SMART, and although the unit I borrowed bears the logo of NTT Docomo (a telecoms company in Japan) it is compatible with the LTE network here in the Philippines.
OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Processor: 1.5 GHz Dual-Core TI OMAP 4460
Display: 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.5 inches
Wireless Connections: LTE, HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
Memory: 8 GB Internal Storage, expandable memory up to 32GB (Micro SD card), 1GB RAM
Camera: 8.0 Megapixels, 1080p video recording with LED flash (Main), 1.3Megapixels with 720p video recording (Secondary)
Battery Capacity: 1900 mAh Li-Ion
SIM Card Slot: Micro SIM Card
SRP: FREE on SMART All-In Plan 1200 or Unli-Data Plan 1500 (http://www1.smart.com.ph/pages/lte-smartphones)
The first thing the Huawei Ascend D1 caught my attention was its screen. Compared to the ZTE T82, the screen of the Ascend D1 is larger and colors are more vivid. Viewing the pictures I stored in my memory card certainly looked better on the D1’s screen.
I like the form factor of the Ascend D1. If this unit is shiny brand new, it could gain attention from a few people.
TI OMAP PROCESSOR
I have used a couple of Microsoft Pocket PCs powered by TI OMAP (Texas Instruments) chipsets a decade ago. Some of these devices, like the HP iPAQ h6365 and the HTC Prophet (a.k.a. Dopod 818 Pro) were sluggish for my usage and I would often be forced to switch to another Pocket PC with a snappier processor. Based on my research, I was pleased to learn that the 4th generation of TI OMAP chipsets, which was used on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and now the Huawei Ascend D1, runs pretty fast in real-world usage and can compete with Qualcomm for that matter.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich is the flavor of choice by Huawei on the Ascend D1. Nothing to talk about here really, as customizations made by Huawei are kept to a minimum.
D1 WITH LTE
Seeing the LTE signal on the Huawei Ascend D1 in the morning is a good way to start my day. My first meeting was somewhere in Bel-Air Village, Makati City. I checked the download speed with the Speedtest app on the Ascend D1 and I was guaranteed to have a good LTE connection to assist me in my presentation. Here’s my Speedtest result for that morning:
I used the Ascend D1’s Wireless Hotspot for my MacBook and delivered my presentation that involved websites filled with graphics and YouTube videos while on a Skype conference call with my colleague in Singapore. The websites loaded quickly and my videos didn’t suffer any buffering. There were no difficulties in my Skype call during my presentation. The presentation went flawlessly and it impressed my clients, thanks to the reliable LTE connection of SMART.
I had another meeting later that afternoon in Bonifacio Global City. Again, I checked the Speedtest app and I got this result:
Like my first meeting, my presentation that afternoon went very smoothly. As long as I have SMART’S LTE connectivity, I can avoid embarrassment during my presentations and I do not have to make excuses such as “Sorry my videos keep on pausing because of my slow internet connection”. To know more about SMART LTE, visit this link: http://www1.smart.com.ph/bro/lte.
According to the spec sheets, the battery capacity of the Huawei Ascend D1 is 1900 mAh. The capacity looks a lot for an ordinary user but if you’re addicted to using the LTE connection (like myself, hehe!) the Ascend D1 will not be able to last that long. My usage that day was more than 8 hours and I had to bring out my powerbank to charge the Ascend D1 during my 2nd meeting.
What can I say about the Huawei Ascend D1? Not bad, not bad at all. This is the second time I have used a Huawei smartphone and they are winning me over with their hardware quality at an affordable price. As far as I know, this model is not available in the retail stores, but you can get it from SMART’s All-In Plan 1200 for FREE.
- Screen display looks sharp
- Form factor doesn’t look cheap
- OS is still on Ice Cream Sandwich