Up until recently there has been, what can be considered, as the Big Android Three – Samsung, HTC , and Motorola. They have been standing in relatively comfortable positions for what can be considered a long time in the mobile business. Whether they realize it or not , they are standing at the precipice, staring down at an absolute oncoming onslaught of seriously high quality Android Smartphone and tablet designs from the more middle tier companies for a very competitive price point. And the padfone.

Ascend P1S on the left, Galaxy S2 on the right

As I have witnessed on numerous occasions, Ice Cream Sandwich runs extremely well on a 1.5Ghz dual core setup. The products from the big three have also been losing market share (potentially and otherwise) to the products that ZTE, Huawei, Meizu, and others. Either way, it is evident from the relative decline of market share of the top three – especially from  HTC and Motorola – that that the devices these companies have been putting out have been found somewhat, for whatever reason, and might be on the verge of losing their Android dominance. Huawei and ZTE have suddenly jumped from the low- to mid-range of the spectrum, to producing truly high-end devices. Both had very impressive offerings at both CES 2012 andMWC 2012.

The important thing to recognize from the overall picture in terms of market share and other similar types of discussion is that it influences the big picture. For example, last year, at this point in time, the whole blogosphere was on a complete tear with Galaxy S2 hype and rumors. It generated a ton of buzz and interest, with people getting a bit over the top. After it was released, they sold 20 million of them, and the reviews were fantastic all across the board. Now, over the next few months, we’re going to see devices packing fantastic specs, svelte form factors, and amazing displays and responsiveness being released at the $400USD-/+ price point. This kind of technology at the same time last year would have been well over $600 – assuming it was purchased unlocked. This opens up a huge market for both the manufacturers, and the people themselves. It’s also a  great opportunity for the many would-be buyers to have a first class experience with Android 4.0 out of the box at a more attractive price point.

Lars Kamp, Accenture

As competition intensifies over time, leading manufacturers-of-the-moment will continue to put out their absolute best, but the cost of having great devices will get cheaper over time. There will still be brand new releases of devices with the most cutting edge technology year after year, but, in effect, the spec war is dead. Smartphone ownership will become truly ubiquitous as hardware gets cheaper and cheaper, year after year.

Most recently, in a press meet in China, Huawei announced the release of the Ascend P1. The phone at 7.7mm is the slightly thicker but less expensive sibling of the Ascend P1 S, which at 6.8mm is claimed to be ”the world’s thinnest smartphone.” If you don’t wish to shell out the extra  for the 0.9mm difference, both phones are otherwise identical. Featuring Android 4.0 ICS out of the box and boasting a 1.5 Ghz A9 processor, this device will give most high-end devices a run for their money.

Check out the Ascend P1 – super thin, very fast, and a brilliant AMOLED display. It was noticeably brighter than the Galaxy S2, which already has a bright screen. Plus, it’s of the qHD variety, so more pixels and in a thinner profile. Yes please.

A short video of the Huawei Ascend P1 from CES 2012:

Anyway – back to the point of this article – the Huawei Ascend P1’s specs!

Other specifications of the Ascend P1 include:

  • 1.5 Ghz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4.3″ qHD Super AMOLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
  • 540×960 resolution
  • 4GB built-in storage, expandable by 32GB through microSD
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • WiFi hotspot feature
  • 8MP LED flash rear camera, 1.3 MP front camera
  • 1670 mAH battery


One of the most distinguishing features about this phone is the qHD Super AMOLED screen. AMOLED technology helps to provide a brighter viewing experience with a lot more clarity, and this is very evident from the hands-on video above. The only disappointing spec is the 4GB in-built storage, but this will also help with keeping the price towards the low end. With MicroSD expansion available, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. No official information on the price point of this device is known, but we expect it to be introduced somewhere close to $500+, to start.

The Ascend P1 is going to be released first in China, around mid-April, with a worldwide release to follow soon after.

With Huawei now sporting the “world’s thinnest smartphone” and what its claiming to be the “world’s fastest smartphone” (the Ascend D Quad), this might be the warning shot across of bow of the Android Big 3 to step up their game. Of course, with the imminent release of the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3, they might have already done so.

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Either way, this is going to be an incredible year for smartphone technology. Don’t you agree? Any devices you are particularly excited about?