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Huawei Ascend D quad XL Review

Huawei Ascend D1 quad XL 7.5

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Interface and functionality:

No surprises in the interface of the Ascend D quad XL, as it is almost stock Android Ice Cream Sandwich, with just a few utility applications like a file manager, flashlight or an app installer sprinkled on top.

Huawei Ascend D quad XL Review
Huawei Ascend D quad XL Review
Huawei Ascend D quad XL Review
Huawei Ascend D quad XL Review

It almost feels like a Nexus device this way, save for the part that a Nexus device would be running Jelly Bean by now, but we digress. The weather widget, the connectivity toggles, or the music widget - they are all Google, or popular items from the Play Store - no manufacturer overlays to get in the way with the Ascend D quad XL, so Jelly Bean and further updates should be very easy for Huawei to do.

Processor and memory:

This stock ICS interface we find on the phone is fluid and moves very quickly, powered by the homebrew 1.5 GHz quad-core silicon, dubbed K3V2. It utilizes the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture, just like its more famous brethren from the Exynos 4-Series, Tegra 3 or Snapdragon S4 lines, and shows performance on par with them in the benchmarks. 

In fact, only the quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro is much ahead in synthetic tests than Huawei’s K3V2, so you can rest assured no app or launcher you throw at it will feel underpowered. The graphics subsystem also showed excellent results, which were up with the best out there.

Quadrant Standard AnTuTu NenaMark 2
Huawei Ascend D quad XL 4304 10748 65,3
Samsung Galaxy S III 5022 6831 58,7
Sony Xperia T 4839 6925 60,1
LG Optimus 4X HD 3742 11184 52

We were especially pleased with the reaction to the accelerometer, turning the keyboard from landscape to portrait with no lag, for example. The phone also offers a fast boot mode, like HTC's handsets, which makes the device operational within seconds after pressing the power key at the top.

The phone has 1 GB of RAM, and just 8 GB (5.3 GB are user-available) of internal memory, but does offer a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

Internet and connectivity:

The stock Android ICS browser performs admirably on the Huawei Ascend D quad XL, with fluid panning, zooming and rapid scrolling inertia. Of notable absence is the lack of Adobe Flash support out of the box, which can be sideloaded on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Browsing the web on the Huawei Ascend D quad XL - Huawei Ascend D quad XL Review
Browsing the web on the Huawei Ascend D quad XL - Huawei Ascend D quad XL Review
Browsing the web on the Huawei Ascend D quad XL - Huawei Ascend D quad XL Review
Browsing the web on the Huawei Ascend D quad XL - Huawei Ascend D quad XL Review

Browsing the web on the Huawei Ascend D quad XL

Download speeds with the included pentaband radio top at 21 Mbps on an HSPA+ network, if you carrier can deliver those to you, and Huawei’s device supports a suite of other connectivity options, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS, FM Radio and DLNA streaming, but lacks NFC. Wired connectivity is taken care of by the MHL port on the left.

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posted on 22 Oct 2012, 09:39 6

1. joaolx (Posts: 364; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

The battery life is crazy. Huawei is showing that they can compete.

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 09:41 3

3. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1033; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

It's great there's so much competition. I can't wait for them to release the 2nd gen of this phone. For being Huawei's first try, it's solid.

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 10:49

6. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4192; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

It seems there is a significant improvement in the battery department...great news!!
But i would have loved it if there was just HUAWEI written without the logo...looks too loud!

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 10:59 4

7. shandesilva (Posts: 79; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

seriously...this deserves more than 7.5 !!!

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 09:40 2

2. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1033; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

I so want this. I just worry about the dev support since it has a homebrew processor. I wish it had a 4.6 or 4.7" screen and got rid of the capacative keys.

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 15:46

14. nyamo (Posts: 274; Member since: 19 Mar 2011)

my thoughts exactly if the price is right it may be worth a pick up, but i learned my lesson with samsung and in house chips. they work well but for the dev support can be mediocore at best, ie jb hw overlay

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 09:45 5

4. kingpet13 (Posts: 139; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)

I am not agreeing with phonearenas reviews today. How can the "second to most powerful chipset" available and a near-stock OS only get 7.5? Is the material really that bad? Also how come this one doesn't say No JB in the cons? I would give this an 8.5 and boost the Razr HD up to a 9. Again this is probably the most powerful phone that is below 4.7 inches right now. I can think of two phones above it (optimus G and Note II) and two that are just about equal ( s3 and One x international.) Either this build quality is really bad or I am missing something else. (maybe the price is to high? I doubt it.) When this gets Jellybean it will be like a Smaller LG nexus 4 with slightly lower build quality. I read the review and saw nothing but praise. I read the number expecting another 8.5 and was ashamed of PA.
I think my new tablet is causing me to rage more. This is my second rage in two hours.

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 09:47 5

5. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1033; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

I've heard other reviews say this phone feels amazing. Similar to the Dinc2 even which feels amazing. I'm just ignoring the design part of this review.

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 13:33 1

11. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

You are not missing out anything, the grade is just shameful, especially given the price of this phone.
Shouldn't price for value ratio be the most important factor in rating, PA?!?!
Jittery auto focus and plasticky body? Wow, just wow.

Sadly, brand name is THE factor to the author of this review.

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 12:59 4

8. SetiroN (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)

The SGS3 is just as plasticky. And if it's chubby, it's because this is the XL version, the normal one with a smaller battery is much thinner: criticizing Huawei for making a "chubby" phone when it's just the SECOND company on the market smart enough to build an extended battery is dumb. This, and the availability of almost-stock android should grant this phone a 9 even though it's still cortex-A9 based.

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 14:32 1

12. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Amen to that

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 13:16

9. rizevnarastek (Posts: 349; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)

Hahahaha, it's chubby for all the right reasons I think :)

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 13:19

10. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

If this had a Samsung badge on top, I bet PA would give it at least 8.5.
This is an awesome product, best choice for those after a relatively cheap, relatively compact high end android with a large HD screen !

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 15:28

13. bhagi108 (Posts: 21; Member since: 09 May 2012)

My D1 Quad XL is presently waiting clearence from customs to be delivered tomorrow. Hopefully the chubby size would not make it too uncomfortable to hold, since I am presently using a galaxy s3.

I will update once I get to use it.

posted on 25 Oct 2012, 06:11

17. SetiroN (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)

Please do! :)

posted on 22 Oct 2012, 19:42

15. Techboi (Posts: 84; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)

Sad that this phone wouldn't make it to the states

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 20:47

16. enGet (Posts: 31; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)

Seriously, only someone that has never used a Huawei on a regular basis would give this phone anything higher than a 2. Huawei makes OK looking phones but their DOA rates are twice industry standards and their defect rate is astronomically high. The WIFi antennae is complete garbage and the battery in real life use on a daily basis is horrible - you'd be lucky to get 8 hours from it.

I've owned Huawei and other Chinese designed phones and they are years behind the west in reliability and QC.

posted on 26 Oct 2012, 10:29

18. bhagi108 (Posts: 21; Member since: 09 May 2012)

Quite the contrary enGet!, I have been using the D1 quad XL for a few days now and it has been good. The phone is really nice, maybe not as refined as my GS3, but still lovely. Yes it is much thicker than the galaxy, but it feels more comfortable in my hands than the GS3, and the weight and size feels just right ... not uncomfortable in any way.
My cellular and wifi connections are top-notch without any hiccups. You need to stop criticizing without having first-hand knowlegde of the product. This is my very first Huawei phone and it performs as good as my GS3, previous SGS2, google nexus and other android phones I have had before.
When the phone came, it had a 50% battery charge from factory and I ended up doing 20 hrs on that. After that first complete battery drain, I let the phone charge while OFF to a full 100% and since then the phone has discharged 45% with 1d 2h 55m on battery. So how is that horrible?
The one issue I had with the phone when it came was that the software was in Chinese and when I figured how to change the language to English I notice that it didn't come with any google apps. No play store, gmail, maps. nevertheless, that was easily fixed after I rooted the phone and installed the google package files.
Now all is working fine with ease.
I am happy with the phone and will keep it until I can get my hands on a Nokia 920 to try that one out.

posted on 27 Oct 2012, 00:09

19. enGet (Posts: 31; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)

I have owned Hauwei, but thanks for assuming I haven't.

I guarantee you'll be posting "how do I fix..." posts in 6 weeks or less about a major problem with the phone. It's obvious you have no experience with Chinse products.

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 22:29

21. Adrian38 (Posts: 142; Member since: 05 Nov 2012)

Where did you purchase this phone? I really want it :/

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 06:54

22. bhagi108 (Posts: 21; Member since: 09 May 2012)

I had it imported from china. Yes it will work on ATT. It is an unlocked GSM phone. Presently using it on Simple Mobile.

Still planning on trying out the Nokia 920 windows phone, so I will be selling the D1 quad XL soon. If you interested, pm me. cheers!

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 08:46

25. archelaus16 (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)

Hi, can u tell me how to Root this Phone? just email me please, ctrako@yahoo.com. tnx

posted on 05 Nov 2012, 22:18

20. Adrian38 (Posts: 142; Member since: 05 Nov 2012)

Where can I buy this phone?! Will it work on AT&T? I want this phone.

posted on 19 Nov 2012, 05:51

23. heenaar (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Off late there has been a lot of noise about Huawei Ascend P1 LTE, I have been using Huawei for quite long now, so I am looking forward for this phone. Also, it promises to have faster data access and qHD display. Waiting for its availability in India.

posted on 09 Dec 2013, 19:36

24. aniallation (Posts: 3; Member since: 16 Aug 2013)

I have one of these and it's amazing. The quad-core CPU isn't THAT fast but it'll keep up with dual-core and lower-clocked quad core Snapdragon S4. The phone is bulky for a reason but it actually makes the phone more comfortable to hold then a phone as thin as a sheet of toilet paper. The battery easily lasts days with regular usage, and the speaker for music and media is LOUD (at least with DD turned on). Has been updated to 4.1.2 jelly bean and works perfect on Wind here in Canada.

posted on 11 Mar 2015, 15:56

26. mirexcool (Posts: 65; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)

Bought at Aleixspress. Satisfied! s.click.aliexpress.com/e/eMNN7meaq

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Display4.5 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (326 ppi) Super IPS+ LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Huawei K3V2, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
Size5.11 x 2.56 x 0.45 inches
(129.9 x 64.9 x 11.5 mm)
5.11 oz  (145 g)

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