Would you buy a Galaxy S 2-grade phone if it was made by Huawei?
Until now, Huawei has mainly produced budget-oriented offerings like the T-Mobile Comet, for example, but now the company is obviously aiming at a new, higher level. The Ascend P1 S that got announced on January 9 doesn't look like a bad phone by any means. Quite the opposite.
The reason why we're writing all of this is because it'd be very interesting to see if a Chinese manufacturer such as Huawei, the phones of which aren't particularly popular in the U.S. and Europe, would be able to conquer positions in the upper end of the smartphone market – positions which are currently occupied by industry veterans like Motorola, Apple, Sony Ericsson and Samsung. Hearing those names, it feels almost unnatural to place Huawei next to them. Yet, it seems that's exactly what the manufacturer is striving for.
a very well-spec'd smartphone, packed with features that will certainly appeal to any Android fan. It has a very big, 4.3” screen (of the Super AMOLED variety, for that matter), along with a speedy 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and the abundant 1 GB of RAM. In addition to this, Huawei's offering also sports a microSD card slot for those who can't live without it, and it runs on the latest Android software – Ice Cream Sandwich. Correct us if we're wrong, but it looks like that the Huawei Ascend P1 S is actually superior in some ways, compared to some of the other premium phones announced at CES 2012.
So if the hardware is there, what might possibly hold the Ascend P1 S back? Frankly, that's the lack of imagination in this company. Even with such great specs, Huawei hasn't done much in order to differentiate its product in the design department. The handset is an almost exact replica of the Samsung Galaxy S II in terms of appearance. Actually, the manufacturer has preferred to copy every aspect of the Galaxy S II's design, rather than think of its own. The characteristic hump at the bottom, the look and position of the camera on the back, the position of the power/lock key... it's as if you're looking at the international Galaxy S II. It is in these acts of direct copying from the big guys that we recognize Huawei's humble past. It's something that even great specs can't hide.
Huawei did do something in order to enhance Samsung's design, though. It has slimmed down the profile of the handset even further, to the astounding 6.68 mm, creating the world's thinnest smartphone in the process. So it turns out Huawei's designers aren't slouches after all! They have even utilized Corning's Gorilla Glass to make the phone sturdier – a welcome change from the mediocre materials used in its past models. Feel free to check out our hands-on with the device for more details.
So that seems to be the situation with Huawei. With models like the Ascend P1 S (it's still unknown which markets are going to get it), the company is certainly trying to invade previously unexplored parts of the marked. And by the looks of it, its offerings will have the muscle to compete. Will Huawei become a major threat for more established makers like Samsung or Motorola? Will it eventually succeed in obtaining the status of being called a premium phone manufacturer? This all remains to be seen, and with the company already making the first steps in this direction (and promising to continue like this), the answer may arrive sooner rather than later.
- Would you buy a Galaxy S 2-grade phone if it was made by Huawei?
403 votes (403 votes) Why not? As long as the specs are good, I have no problem getting it.
699 votes (699 votes) I would rather wait for the first reviews to come out before making a purchase.
258 votes (258 votes) No way! I wouldn't go for a phone by such an unfamiliar brand.
21. andro. (Posts: 1927; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
Huawei make a large qunatity of the mobile broadband modems we sell and for the most part they are reliable and good quality. I still voted id rather wait for reviews though and intial releases before even considering the phone
2. bolaG (Posts: 468; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)
I dont know enough about Huawei...I'm skeptical of battery life, signal, and materials on most phones. So untill I have feed back about those things I cant go just on spec sheets.
3. christianqwerty (Posts: 460; Member since: 05 May 2011)
I feel like Kyocera and Huawei are the Kia and Hyundai of the phone world. They may have good specs and have cheap prices, but it's just not a reliable brand.
5. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 352; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)
We will see about the reliability in the long-run for Kia and Hyundai. For a car, most people would at least be looking at about 15 years of usage/200,000. For a mobile phone, let's say 2 years? Buyers switch phones way faster than a car. Even as if the phone breaks down, technology moves so fast, today's hottest become a low-end the next year or two. If it breaks, then let it breaks.
20. FAW-Q (Posts: 63; Member since: 29 Jul 2011)
Actually, Samsung is the Kia and Hyndai of the phone world.
25. ningaman999 (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)
Personally Samsung delivers the best quality phones, I don't want to sound stereotypical, but sometimes name brands do matter. Would you rather buy a Sony TV or a Sylvania TV (Look it up)? Samsung is more of the Infinity or Jaguar and Huawei is more like the Mercury. In the end for any product, every brand has their high and low quality.
27. cheetah2k (Posts: 737; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)
In Australia we have Samsung branded TV's, and Kogan branded TV's with Samsung panels at less than half the Samsung TV retail price.
Sure the Kogan TV's don't have the exquisite looks of the Samsung TV's, but I'd be keen to give them a go just to save some coin knowing they've got the same quality parts in them...
Huawei phones will be pretty much the same IMO. Quality parts, but Huawei branded.
42. diverdude (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Jan 2012)
I agree that samsung is terrible. Have an s1 captivate, and the frame cracked (keep it in an otter box), the speaker keeps going out, and the GPS has never worked despite days spent trying all the fixes and apps. The first two problems are due to the cheap frame that flexes in the pocket under poor design and not from dropping or abuse. Love android, but next phone will probably be iphone as their phones last (if you don't break the screen). Sure technology is moving quickly but I don't believe in the $600 disposable smartphone model. It doesn't work with people who are not on a postpaid contract system.
As far as huawei, they can pack a punch at value, but battery is aweful and reliability has been poor on their other products. I live in Kenya and even the Kenyans think they are poor quality, but buy them because of their budget smartphones (the ideos was an instant hit but people have stopped buying them because they don't perform as they look on paper). I have had a couple of their 3g modems burn out in less than a year. After a couple months they start getting hot and slow down. Hopefully they will improve like Hyundai and Kia have done, but you won't find me as an early adopter.
50. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)
a samsung captivate is about 2 years old!! how do you expect for it to be in perfect condition!! really?? ive had 2 S1 vibrants and ive dropped them plenty of times and have never had any hardware issue at all.. Why dont you try the newer samsung phone for example the GS2 im pretty sure you wont be complaining..
26. cheetah2k (Posts: 737; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)
Hyundai and Kia have turned out more reliable than Toyota these days, and during the GFC invested 5 x more $ on R&D than Toyota, Ford and GMH put together.
So @christianqwerty, tecnically, your argument is a bit daft.
Huawei have been around for many years making 3G USB, laptop and wifi modems for ages, as well as having budget targeted reliable but low spec'd mobile phones. I'd give them a chance, providing they were initially cheaper than the others.
31. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
obviously you dont pay attention to cars. hyundai's are now rated higher than many toyotas and hondas. toyotas are having tons of problems. I drive a hyundai sonata. It's the nicest car ive ever owned by far and ive had quite a few nice cars. 100% reliable, well built, excellent interiors, decent power, and the most features per buck.
You should drive one before u scoff at it. I used to do the same thing until my wife bugged me to try it. Best decision i could have made. I know your young and it may not have the "cool" factor that other cars have.. but it also doesnt have the "repair" factor either. lol
33. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 352; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)
Did you have the steering problem? That was kinda a big issue on the sonata.. assuming if you are driving the 2011
37. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
no i bought an 09 when they came out with 5 miles on it (in 09 they changed the interior, in 11 they changed the exterior).. 3 were from the test drive. had an odd clutch issue in the first like 200 miles that was fixed quickly and for free, but other than that its been a dream. hyundai treats you better as a customer than any other car company ive delt with in the what.. 15/16 years.. that ive been driving? they really pamper you.
my next car is going to be a sports car, and ive been looking at mustang and camero V8's as well as like 370's.. but with the news that they are going to drop a 350hp engine into the Genesis coup for the 2013 model, i might give that a test drive too. my friend and i laugh at each other. he just traded his stang in for a 2012 sonata because he liked mine so much, and im lookin at trading in my sonata for a stang since i want something faster. lol
53. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 352; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)
I just went to motortrend.com and looked at the 2013 of the Genesis coupe, and it looked like a MAZDA to me... 2013 changed the front fascia... I will stick with the 370s. Mustang boss 302 seems nice.
I have to say the 2012 Sonata do look very nice indeed. I see this car everywhere (Chicago). I checked out the website and adding the $3000 package into a SE turbo. The total after tax and everything will come out around $28-30k. Good deal!
51. Dinged (Posts: 8; Member since: 12 Jan 2012)
IMO the chinese branded Huawei is nothing like Kia or Hyundai. Hyundai Sonata, for example, has won numerous awards - it's not only fair priced, but it differentiates itself by good innovative design, both inside and out. Toyota on the other hand has lagged in it's interiors and outdated exteriors.
Huawei business model is different - it doesn't innovate, Instead, they make popularly spec'd devices at cheaper prices by manufacturing cheaply (cutting quality in hardware, support, R&D or testing). Although this article states that the Huawei is spec'd the same as a Samsung, don't expect performance to be on par. Driver implementation(affecting phone stability and performance), audio noise, battery life, phone reception, gps accuracy and availability of future updates and support all come into question beyond the scope of this article.
4. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)
I will consider just because they went the extra mile and put the lastest Android version on it... unlike lazy "known" carriers... that rush the product and dont take their time to put ICS on it... (if Huawei can do it why not the rest?)...and lastlyif they get rid of the "Samsung" trademark plastic cover
9. Ray.S (Posts: 239; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
I agree with you. it really is mind-boggling to see the Ascend P1 S run ICS, while something like the LG Spectrum is unveiled with Gingerbread... Then again, it's also important to see exactly when these handsets are going to launch. Huawei might be showing an ICS phone now, but if it fails to launch it before, say, the second half of the year, then big deal that they were first here.
14. WakaFlakaD (Posts: 352; Member since: 30 Apr 2011)
Absolutely! Everything we see at this moment are pretty much work-in-progress. ICS will eventually keep rolling out. Will they be able to deliver before Samsung, HTC, Sony or Motorola and hit big in the American market? We will continue to spectacle.
17. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
These handsets are the 2nd or 3rd Huawei devices with ICS. Huawei already introduced a ICS device that can be downgraded to Gingerbread. Huawei is not a fly-by-night OEM -- it's one of the top cell phone makers in the world.
28. cheetah2k (Posts: 737; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)
Or worse still, it could end up like the Motorola Atrix which was released, praised and awarded @ CES this time last year, was released with Froyo with the "promise" of Gingerbread - which never ended up happening until some 11 long months later when the phone had almost reached end of life...... eeeeekk!
36. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
Who gave you your information? the Atrix GB update rolled out in july, 6 months, not 11, after it showed up at CES last year. Not only that it was one of the first devices that didn't launch with gingerbread to recieve it.
40. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
actually my bad it wasn't in july6th, closer to the end of the month but still july...
However it just dawned on me that you're probably talking about the european model? In which case my bad, I forgot they even sold the thing anywhere else.
43. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Agreed with Jimstar. I remember when that update happened because I literally bought the phone the next day or so after the update started rolling out. I didn't even have the phone for more than an hour before I got it home and updated it. Jimstar is also right about the timing of the Gingerbread update vs. many other phones on AT&T especially. Gingerbread had only been out for a couple of months when the Atrix was released.
The reason why the Atrix was exciting was because it had a dual core processor by Nvidia, which has been a HUGE name in computers for years because of their graphics cards, along with internal memory that rivaled (and still rivals) the iPhone, a fingerprint scanner, and the laptop dock, which is slowly becoming a successful expansion of Motorola's product functionality.
No offense, Cheetah, but you could have done your homework better on this one.
32. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
As long as they stand by their warranty and promise me quick updates and unlocked bootloaders, i can give anyone a try.
GalaxyS2 class device though? nice sensationalism but .. naaah.. no exynos or super amoled. thats what makes an SGS2.. an SGS2. Lets call it a droid class device :)
49. Ray.S (Posts: 239; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
Believe it or not, the P1 S has a Super AMOLED screen... and it's processor isn't that bad either.
7. -box- (Posts: 3566; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
They've made some decent phones for T-Mobile and such, and obviously millions of people have already bought the made-in-China iDevices by even smaller manufactuers than Huawei and ZTE, so I would expect/hope that this somewhat-unknown brand would be accepted
8. ghost__uwi (Posts: 175; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)
Huwaei does a lot of background communications development. The are like a servicing company that sets up networks well too my knowledge.
11. Ray.S (Posts: 239; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
Yep, they are very big in the telecommunications equipment and services business, but their phone business is yet to make any serous strides.
18. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
You need to look at mainly Cricket and MetroPCS -- both Huawei and ZTE each has sold over one million smartphone handsets, respectively. If this is not a serious stride, then I don't know what is. Btw, the Motorola Triumph is a rebadged Huawei phone.
23. Ray.S (Posts: 239; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
By "serious strides" in the phone biz, I meant having high-end phones on major carriers.
44. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
The Triumph is *suspected* to be a Huawei handset rebadged, but this has never been confirmed. If you have proof otherwise, state your sources.
Besides, is that really a point of pride? The Triumph is okay by last year's standards, but it has its share of issues. I mean, you yourself have bitched about its awful battery life.
60. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
Snig: you are being argumentative on purpose. It's not just me saying the Triumph is a Huawei in Motorola clothing, it's a known fact. As for your other comment, I would not have bought the device if it didn't have Motorola's backing.
YES, the battery life sucks at 4 hours of usage -- independent third parties have arrived at the same result. One review stated it last 3:45.
22. andro. (Posts: 1927; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
We find their mobile broadband modems are quite good.
10. joeyrushlow (Posts: 8; Member since: 05 Jan 2012)
My girlfriends first android phone (which I bought her) was the Huawei Comet, for the price and time it was a great phone... none the less, it was plastic-y but the thing that shined about it was the speakerphone, amazing quality lol. If they could keep that quality of speaker and the build feels as solid as an HTC. I'm quite sold on it.
12. downphoenix (Posts: 2232; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
I say why not. Its manufactured in the same country by some of the same manufacturers of other popular smartphones, the brand name will be the only real difference.
15. knights4life03 (Posts: 123; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)
i think i would buy it but i always look at the first reviews on any phone no matter what!
19. som (Posts: 768; Member since: 10 Nov 2009)
All phones are made in China, no matter what brand names included the World largest made by Chinese is San Francisco Bay Bridge cost $7 billion. Next will be Space ship and space station made in China.
24. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
As I said before prove yourself... my wallet is listening... and for the folks talking about the ICS is the advantage of using stock Android and other things . While Sammy is working on TW5 so its going to depend on if you like stuff from the custom UI skins. Again it needs to prove itself. Many Android tablets have HC yet the galaxy tab and the transformer beat devices like the XOOM witch had HC first among others not even worth talking about. My question is ... can they provide a certain level of quality in terms of support and user operation at a competitive price? If their answer is yes (even if it involves reducing earnings per phone) then welcome if not go to the low end Android 1.0hell
38. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
Whoa whoa whoa? The Xoom may have been a sales failure but isn't "beaten" by the Galaxy Tab or Transformer. They may both have an edge in screen quality and lightness, but the galaxy tab will easily twist in your hands and the transformer's screen will actually deform when you touch it.
The Xoom performs as well as either of them(identical internals after all) and is built like a tank. Support is a non-issue as well. Yes yes I know you're thinking of the 4G upgrade fiasco. There's no excuse for that, and they total made a mess out of it. However, it still didn't compromise the Xoom as a tablet...especially with the orginal Transformer still not even offered with a cellular radio.
46. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
I don't think you understood what I mean, when I mean support you simply cant beat Asus witch already has a scheduled update for the original transformer ICS and updated faster than anyone to the newest versions. including some versions of the XOOM witch had HC first now its not only that XOOM lacked SD card support when it had an SD card while ASUS shipped with it and Samsung just Avoided using one. the device felt half baked on certain aspects. also I used the XOOM as an example yet it shines compared with other tablets released with HC.
now what I mean is simple ICS means nothing if the device does not perform well with it or has many broken promises Now Huawei can solve this by giving the right support to the device yet they must prove themselves
52. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
Highly debatable. The Xoom was the first device to honeycomb 3.1 AND 3.2. Yeah Asus will be the first with ICS, but the question is by how much? It won't change the fact the xoom got early software upgrades before it, and if the xoom gets ICS soon after the transformer then I still see no noticable software support advantage for asus.
If you're saying the Xoom lacks SD card support you're only partly correct, the SD card slot was enabled with the 3.2 update if i recall correctly.
54. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
I don't think I'm hating on the XOOM I think you do not understand did being the first HC device brought any advantage on the Xoom? Was the Xoom a superior device because it had HC? I don't think it was . Same could be said with huawei having ICS could mean nothing. The galaxy S3 will ship with ICS one or two months latter than this device if they don't do things well then I didn't matter
56. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
I'm not saying you're hating on it, and I'm not touching your point on the Huawei, I know you're trying to draw a tangent. My point is as far as the Xoom goes...you're wrong. That's all it is. A little inane I know.
57. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
I used the Xoom as an example maybe overdid but I felt that way. Xoom looked promising on paper but there where some key aspect that I simply could not deal with some decisions made there. It's a personal thing of me feeling like the transformer and the galaxy tab seen to be much better choices they have issued quite a number of updates to fix bugs and make happy customers its something I feel moto needs to look out more they are said to perform really good aside from having a custom UI and more bloat on them. I should have used another tab maybe the thrive from Toshiba?
29. lukasound (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)
they all use the same hardware parts anyways... just like the iPhone is not made by Apple, this phone is not made by Huawei, it's just designed and assembled by them.
there are few companies that actualy make most parts for their phones, and Samsung is the leader here...
i recommended an entry level Huawei to a friend and i have to say, i am impressed by it considering the price. a nice looking device.
35. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
how much it will cost? and also parts are the least worry, how they are assembled and how they are tuned its also important
30. AdamLeonard (Posts: 42; Member since: 24 Aug 2011)
It is not a direct copy of the SGSII. The SGSII has rounded corners and 4 buttons at the bottom (in in the US) and the elongated rectangular button on the international version. This phone has very sharp corners and 3 buttons and I think the sharp corners are interesting the way the tips are clipped - especially at the top.
34. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
what he means is that goes on the same level as the s2 for cheap
39. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
I feel like a whore but I can't help it. The biggest thing that would hold me back from getting a Huawei if it came here is honestly the name. And I mean I just simply hate the word, it sounds likes someone about to puke and getting their attention caught by something miraculous mid-heave.
That said, I remain utterly unimpressed by the S3 chipset but I'm somewhat smitten by the exterior of this device. If it came here and I didn't have my heart set on a Droid4, it would be a toss up for me between this and the Razr/Razr Maxx
45. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
I'll be the last one to say that a Chinese manufacturer can't establish itself as a market leader. Just a few years ago everyone would say "H-T-who?!" HTC still has a long way to go overall in market recognition in the US, and yes, I know they're technically Taiwanese, but they're a top manufacturer worldwide now.
That said, it still angers me that Huawei has made a near carbon copy of the S2. They still have a long way to go, and they need to actually develop their own identity as a manufacturer. This is a good first step. Specs aside, if the phone works and works well, that will be the biggest determining factor in its success.
Also, no Ardent, this would not count as your prediction coming true. Your prediction involved low end manufacturers making low end cheap hardware that sort of mimics the high end phones. This is an example of a low end manufacturer trying to step up to the high end manufacturer's table on its own terms, and if it turns out that it doesn't work well or has a lot of defects, it will not steal market share from Samsung, HTC or Motorola.
55. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)
"That said, it still angers me that Huawei has made a near carbon copy of the S2. They still have a long way to go, and they need to actually develop their own identity as a manufacturer. This is a good first step. Specs aside, if the phone works and works well, that will be the biggest determining factor in its success."
didnt anger you when Samsung copied Apple right?... not he shoe is on the other foot... good that you feel angered by that... now you know how that angered the Apple army when Samsung copied Apple...
59. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
Karma -- low cost OEMs will copy Samsung just like Samsung copied Apple. The punchline is these low cost OEMs are using the playbook that Samsung created.
58. ardent1 (Posts: 1983; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)
Snig: I made several predictions about Huawei. The first was whatever Samsung made, Huawei can copy and sell for less. The second was how low cost OEMs like Huawei will take share because they sell comparable products for less. Third was how Huawei will need two years to get their act together as they learn the US market.
This Huawei device is a copy of Samsung period. Over time, Huawei will get better at copying. This Huawei device clearly opened people's eyes.
47. dannyboy (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Jan 2012)
i just looked at the specs and to tell u the truth spec wise it looks like the same if not better in some aspects than the samsung galaxy s 2. i personally base all my phone purchases on specs and this phone is looking very nice. good job to Huawei to stepping their game up. im going to intrested on what carrier this phone goes to.
48. catt4u (Posts: 56; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)
I"m a early adopter from the gsm cellphones ever since the the Motorola TAC came on the market in 1994
I've had many different brands of cellphones since.
And I'm using a Huawei Ideos S7-105 tablet for the last 10 months.
The only thing I can say about it is:
Awesome quality and very good price/performance/options ;)
It is the only tablet to offer 3G as a standard which is rare in this price category.
My next 7" tablet definitively will be the Huawei MediaPad.