Huawei’s Windows Phone 8 challengers could be announced later this week

Huawei Ascend Mockup Windows Phone 8 coverageLater this week Huawei could launch its first Windows Phone 8 devices, currently known as the Ascend W1 and Ascend W2, joining offerings from three other top-name manufacturers to complete Microsoft’s Windows Phone release line-up.

Huawei didn’t join the Windows Phone 7 party, and was the single new name announced at the Windows Phone 8 unveiling in June, so it’s going to be interesting to see how its phones compare with Nokia, Samsung and HTC’s.

The company promised its “first smartphone running on the Windows Phone platform” would be part of the Ascend range, and that it would be out “at the end of the year” so it looks like this timescale will be about right.

Huawei’s CEO has taken to the Chinese social network Sina Weibo to talk about the first device, saying that the Ascend W1 will come in a variety of colors — black, blue, white and pink — and that it will go on sale in the USA, Asia and Europe. The phone could be announced as soon as September 25, and will go on sale in November or December.

The Ascend W1 is likely to be a mid-range phone along the same lines as the HTC 8S and Nokia’s Lumia 820, but it could be joined by a flagship model, the Ascend W2. There are no firm specs for either device, but they could repeat what we’ve seen on previous Ascend Android phones, meaning a 4.3-inch screen or larger, an 8 megapixel screen and a 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon processor are all possible.

Where Huawei is likely to differ from its competitors though, is price, and the Ascend W1 has been rumored to sell for the equivalent of $317 when it goes on sale. An early pre-order price for the HTC 8S puts it at £225 in the UK, which is $365 at current exchange rates.

We hope to know more this Wednesday, September 25.