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MWC 2012: Huawei Claims Ascend D Is The Fastest Smartphone Ever

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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The new quad-core smartphone will trample over iPhone and Galaxy Nexus, says Huawei

Today saw the hotly anticipated launch of the quad-core Huawei Ascend D at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Chinese company claims the 4.5-inch device powered by proprietary CPU is the fastest smartphone in the world.

TechWeekEurope has previously reported on the rumours about the phone when some details were leaked earlier this month.

Quad Damage

Huawei is China’s biggest maker of phone equipment. It used to manufacture downmarket handsets, but the company has recently changed strategy and has already released several top-of-the-range devices. First Huawei achieved a world record for the world’s slimmest smartphone with the Ascend P1 S at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Now the company claims its latest offering, the quad-core Ascend D, is the fastest phone in the world, and a direct rival to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus.

And yes, it is advertised with images of a giant flying horse made out of hundreds of smartphones.

Even if company’s claims are exaggerated, the specs of the device sound very interesting indeed. Ascend D is 8.9mm thin, with a 4.5-inch screen, capable of 1280×720 resolution (that beats iPhone with its 960×640). It runs on Android 4.0, powered by Huawei’s K3V2 quad-core 1.2GHz/1.5GHz processor, built on ARM Holdings architecture. Huawei says their processor is 49 percent faster in normal operation than its rivals.

The smartphone is equipped with an eight megapixel rear camera, a front camera, and is capable of playing back Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. The stock battery capacity is 1800 mAh. But for people who seriously dislike charging their phone, there’s Ascend D XL, a slightly bulkier model with a 2500 mAh battery. Power efficiency is of great concern for Huawei, and it claims its proprietary power management system can provide up to 30% in energy savings, making your smartphone work longer from a single charge.

Ascend D Quad is likely to be priced at between €400 and €500 (£340-£425). The company will also offer Ascend D1, which is a watered down version of the handset that runs on a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU.

“We’ve listened to people’s top demands from smartphones: speed, long-battery life, high quality visual and audio capabilities, and a compact, lightweight handset. The Huawei Ascend D quad exceeds these expectations,” said Richard Yu, Chairman of Huawei Device

The Ascend D quad series will be shipping worldwide in the second quarter of 2012.

Aggressive Expansion

According to Wall Street Journal, Huawei aims to nearly triple its smartphone sales in 2012. It is aiming to sell 50 million to 60 million units this year, up from 20 million in 2011. The company hopes to achieve this partly by more than doubling its spending on marketing.

Almost half of Huawei’s 140,000 staff works in research and development and the Chinese firm spends $2.5 billion ( £1.58 billion) or 10 percent of sales on it. The company is working hard to improve its products and iron out any consumer niggles. Wan Biao, the chief executive of company’s devices unit, said Huawei’s smartphones last for two days without recharging – considerably longer than rival products including Apple’s iPhone.

The company is also in talks with Microsoft about introducing a device that runs on Windows Phone 7 operating system.

The Ascend D was not the only quad-core device Huawei brought to MWC. Its Mediapad 10 FHD was touted as world’s first ten-inch quad-core tablet. Which sounds great, until you find out there are several quad-core tablets which happen to have a slightly bigger 10.1-inch display. Once again, they call it “the fastest quad-core tablet available” thanks to its 1.5GHz K3 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Tablet’s display is also ahead of the curve, with full HD support and resolution of 1920×1200 pixels.

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