We haven’t ever had much of a reason to cover Huawei until now. Though the Chinese manufacturer has been around since the 1980s and shipped more than 30 million phones last year, it’s presence in North America and Europe hasn’t been strong. We hit up the Huawei booth at Mobile World Congress the other day and spent some time with the flagship Android phone in its lineup: the Ascend D Quad. We haven’t been able to verify this, but Huawei (pronounced “Who-Wah-Way) claims that the Ascend is the fastest smartphone in the world. It runs on Huawei’s own 1.2GHz quad-core K3V2 processor, shunning the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor that every other quad-core phone has at the show and has competitive/standard high-end specs of 1GB RAM and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Unlike LG and HTC, Huawei has chosen to mostly leave Android ICS alone and rely on Google’s standard interface, which is plenty good. For those wanting 4G LTE, there is a dual-core version of the phone that supports it. No quad-core phones at MWC are capable of LTE, though Nvidia reps tell us that a solution will be in place in the coming months.
The phone was quite comfortable to hold, with a soft, felty, rubbery coating on the back. It’s screen measures 4.5 inches, which will be a bit large for some users, but is in line with the size of most of these super phones coming out. It should begin hitting shelves around the world in April, though no specific US release plans have been announced.