Huawei isn't exactly the first name you think of when it comes to high-end smartphones. In fact, it may be among the last. It's new 4.5-inch, Ice Cream Sandwich running, quad-core with 16-core graphics processor and LTE may change that.
Engadget was on-hand as the Ascend D made its debut at MWC in Barcelona just now. It's got a 4.5-inch 720p screen, giving it a pixel density of a very impressing 330ppi, which matches the iPhone 4S. It also has Dolby 5.1 Sound integrated into it. One might wonder what the hell you need 5.1 sound on a phone for. Good question. The smart money says that would be for beaming music and movies to your home entertainment centre. Pretty cool. For all that, it's only 8.9mm, and it packs an 1800mAh battery that is supposed to last "one to two days". We'll just see about that.
The big story here, though, is the processor. It's the first quad-core smartphone to be officially announced (though we'll likely see more by day's end). This one uses Huawei's own chip, the K3, which is a quad-core A9 that has 16 GPU cores built in. It will be clocked at makes-your-cheeks-flap-around 1.5GHz. According to Huawei, it benchmarks faster than Nvidia's Tegra 3, runs cooler and offers up to a 50 per cent reduction in power consumption. Them's some bold claims, and we'll have to wait until we can get our hands on one for some real testing.
There will be two other phones in the Ascend series as well. The Ascend D Quad XL seems to be the same as the D Quad, but it packs in a 2300mAh battery, which is muy bueno. There's also the Ascend D1, which is a dual-core version. We don't know when it will be available or how much it'll cost, but it's going to be LTE ready, have a global launch, and Huawei confirmed that it will be available in the US. Looking forward to getting our hands on this thing. [Engadget]