Huawei MWC 2013: Ascend P2 hands-on

GSMArena team, 24 February 2013.

Huawei Ascend P2 benchmark performance

We tried to get to know the Huawei Ascend P2 as well as we could during our brief encounter and that includes some benchmarks.

Benchmark Pi gauges single-core performance and what we're seeing is in line with Cortex-A9 at 1.5GHz.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • HTC One
    151
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Oppo Find 5
    267
  • HTC One X+
    280
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    350
  • Huawei Ascend P2
    353
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    362
  • Nexus 4
    431

AnTuTu and Quadrant are compound benchmarks, testing the overall performance. The Ascend P2 seems on par with the outgoing flagships, but is no match for the new generation. It did manage to give the Nexus 4 a run for its money, but that phone just doesn't benchmark well for some reason.

Note that the P2 has a 720p screen, while some of the other phones on the list have 1080p screens, that's over twice as many pixels. This affects the score as the benchmarks have a set of GPU performance tests.

AnTuTu

Higher is better

  • HTC One
    22678
  • Sony Xperia Z
    20794
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    15547
  • Oppo Find 5
    15167
  • Huawei Ascend P2
    13358
  • HTC Butterfly
    12631

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • HTC One
    11746
  • Sony Xperia Z
    8075
  • HTC One X+
    7632
  • LG Optimus G
    7439
  • Oppo Find 5
    7111
  • HTC One X
    5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5450
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    5170
  • Huawei Ascend P2
    4838
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    4814
  • Nexus 4
    4567

We also ran a SunSpider test to see how the browser performs (the Huawei Ascend P2 uses the Android browser rather than Chrome), but the results didn't seem realistic, so we'll leave that for later.

First impressions

Day 1, no scratch that, Day 0 of the MWC is drawing to an end. The Huawei event is over and we're heading back to our base. We thought we'd share our first impressions of the Ascend P2 along the way.

While the P2 is certainly a nice phone, we don't quite know what to make of it. Our biggest gripe is that specs-wise, it's last year's flagships' equal - the HTC One X, LG Optimus 4X HD, and the Samsung Galaxy S III. Too bad two of those have already been replaced and the third one will get succeeded pretty soon as well.

But you won't see that in the price tag - Huawei is planning to ask 400 for it in Q2, while a Galaxy S III can be had for 450 and an HTC One X is 420 as we speak.

True, the Ascend P2 is the first with LTE Cat 4 - 150Mbps downlink is is an offer no other phone can beat at the moment, but then again, no major carrier can offer a matching high-speed network either. And the 13MP camera may be beating the old flagships by sheer resolution, but we won't bet our wages on it winning an image quality competition against them.

Then, there are a few other nags too - like having only 16GB of built-in memory (with only 10.5GB being user-available, and no microSD card slot in sight. And calling 8.4mm "ultra-thin" is a bit misleading (Huawei's own Ascend P1s is 6.7mm thick, now that's what we'd call ultra-thin).

The user interface didn't win us over either - some might like Emotion UI 1.6, but others will hate it. Huawei included a long list of tech like cloud integration, tight control over the phone's resources and other things we didn't have time to get into, but there's no "killer app", not that we see it.

We'll be revisiting the Huawei Ascend P2, but our initial impressions are that it doesn't seem to have a place to call its own in the densely populated mobile landscape. Huawei doesn't have the brand recognition to push last year's specs, not in the highly competitive field of Android smartphones.