Some Of The Biggest Brands In The World Had Their Products (Part 4) - Huawei Ascend P1, Sony Xperia Neo L

12/10/2012 3:45:42 PM

Huawei Ascend P1 - Ascending Quality

Chinese companies are generally good at producing cheap knockoffs for the mass market, but apparently Huawei didn't get that particular memo. Their latest generation of mobile devices is set to compete with the giants and turn reality on its head. What is this world coming to?

Same plastic as everyone else

The Ascend P1 is thin for a phone. Unlike other mobile devices which use optical illusions to trick the eye into thinking that they're thinner than they really are, Huawei just flattened everything. This creates a very strange back profile, with the camera poking out of the rear panel. A panel that feels rather plasticky to the touch, which is eerily similar to the back case that the Samsung Galaxy S III uses. Unlike the SIII, it doesn't feel like it could snap at any moment. Don't try bending it though.

Strangely familiar

Equipped with a Super AMOLED display, the Ascend offers a suitably bright screen with colours that are impressive. Oddly enough, while the screen is bright enough at 50 percent, it doesn't really get any brighter. Dragging the slider to maximum barely changes anything. That being said, it's definitely a good thing as nobody could possibly want a screen that's too bright. The default brightness also works well outside in sunlight. The 4.3 inch screen has a 540 x 960 resolution, which isn't the most common in the world, but works for this particular model.

Power of two

With everyone getting on the quad core processor bandwagon, it was a surprise to see this phone show up with only a dual core CPU. Even so, it's still 1.5GHz, which offers quite a bit more power than the usual 1GHz version that everyone else equips their mid-range models with. A benchmark test with Quadrant Standard showed an impressive score of 3511, placing this phone only just behind the quad core Galaxy S III and HTC One X. The processing power does show that even when running the stock ICS OS, any delay in operations is quite likely a figment of one's imagination. Unfortunately, there is a slight drawback to the design - it overheats. While it's not enough to cause any damage, it heats up fast enough to make it uncomfortable to hold for an extended period of time.

Other important bits

The 8-megapixel camera on the Ascend P1 is quite impressive. While images turn out a little darker and the colours are quite muted, most of its shots still manage to capture as many details as it can. There's not much image noise and the stock ICS camera app performs admirably well. However, the actual camera controls leave something to be desired, since some options remain blacked out and cannot be changed for whatever reason.


·         Dimensions: 127.4 x 64.8 x 7.7 mm

·         Weight: 110g

·         Screen: 4.3 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen

·         Memory: 1 GB

·         Storage: 4 GB, MicroSD

·         Quadrant standard: 3,511


·         Shut up and take my money!

·         Value: 9/10

·         Features: 8/10

·         Performance: 9/10

·         Design: 7/10

·         Usability: 8/10

·         Score: 8.2/10

Sony Xperia Neo L - Cheap 4.0

Sony Xperia Neo L - Cheap 4.0

For consumers, the current crop of smartphones provides them with the best features and functions one can ever find in any of the new phones right now. I mean when you literally have hundreds of different models to choose from, it can really make it more difficult to decide which phone would suit one's personality best. Sony is one such manufacturer that keeps coming out with new models for us to drool over. Perhaps the new Neo L is something to be waiting for?

Paid homage

The looks of the phone, at a glance, holds many nods to previous Sony smartphones and even those that hail from the Sony Ericsson range before that. If you have seen the original Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo, you will notice some design similarities here and there. The curves, the shape of the phone, even the placement of the buttons (although the L now has 4 buttons instead of 3). The build, while not the best of the lot, is still a phone that sets itself at the lower end of the price scale. For what it offers and where it is placed in the market, it is certainly not that bad but it can be better.

Plus points

There are several good things about the Neo L. One, it has a large four inch screen which is miles ahead of anything of its price class. This four inch screen is miles ahead of anything of its price class. Complementing that are the technologies that can be found in the pricier models such as the Mobile BRAVIA engine and the Reaility Display. Another gem that must be mentioned of the Neo L is that it's the first Sony smartphone with ICS out of the box. Yes, Ice Cream Sandwich is preloaded on this model and it is ready to be used from the moment you turn it on. Other features include removable battery, expandable memory slot (microSD) and, interestingly, a full-sized SIM card.

Reality check

A big drawback of the phone is that while some of its peers already using dual core processors, the Neo L is stuck with a single core 1GHz processor. It is enough for most basic and advance applications but that's all you will get out of it as can't do more than that. We ran out usual benchmark test - Quadrant and we got 1,235 points, which is slightly below the average bar for current mid-range phones. It won't stop some quarters from getting the phone, specifically those that are looking for something that is affordable with a large screen and ICS.


·         Dimension: 121 x 61.1 x 12.2 mm

·         Weight: 131.5g

·         Screen: 4-inch Capacitive touchscreen with Mobile BRAVIA Engine

·         Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255

·         Ports: MicroSD

·         Quadrant score: 1,235


·         An affordable phone, for the masses

·         Value: 9/10

·         Features: 8/10

·         Performance: 7/10

·         Design: 8/10

·         Usability: 8/10

·         Score: 8.0/10


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