Hands-on with the 5-inch Huawei Ascend D2, the latest 1080p superphone

Huawei is all about big smartphones this year. The Ascend Mate‘s 6.1 screen is garnering a lot of attention, but the smaller Huawei Ascend D2 should be on your radar as well. This 5-inch Android device has all the hallmarks of a flagship phone: powerful hardware, full HD display, amazing camera, and a huge battery.

The Ascend D2’s 5-inch screen is really impressive with its bright colors and wide viewing angles. We’re fans of the 1920 x 1080 pixel display and the 442ppi density. All this screen does not equal a bulky phone, nor a heavy one. It’s noticeably smaller than the Galaxy Note 2, yet you still get all the advantages of a large display.

The D2 may be right in the Goldilocks zone for people who want a big phone that doesn’t overdo it. The Note 2’s display is only a few fractions of an inch more, yet it makes a big difference, as you can see in the side-by-side shot. Plus, the D2 has a slim bezel, minimizing the overall bulk. It’s very holdable thanks to the curved back, which is similar to the Ascend Mate. The edges could be a little curvier and more comfortable, though that’s a minor nit. The phone feels very solid, and though it’s not light for its size, it’s not heavy, either.

You won’t want to add more bulk or weight with a case or cover, and according to Huawei, you won’t need one. It’s touting the D2 as droppable as well as water and dirt resistant. The demo of these features was very impressive. We’d be interested to see if the phone can stand up to repeated droppings and which surfaces are its Achilles heel. 

During our hands-on time we took a few pictures with the 13-megapixel camera and the shots looked really good on the screen, coming out crisp and colorful. We’ll be excited to see if HDR video works as well as advertised.

The speaker on the bottom produced surprisingly well-rounded audio, even in a loud room.

Based on the time we spent with the Huawei Ascend D2, we’re both impressed and eager to see how it holds up in real-world usage. Huawei doesn’t have any deals with U.S. carriers yet, so we might be waiting for a while. Pricing is also a mystery right now, again because there are no carrier deals in place.

Check out our gallery and hands-on video for more.

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox: