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REVIEWS / PHONES
Huawei Ascend D1 Quad U9510
Company: Huawei

Pros: Inexpensive; Powerful; Light custom Skin;

Cons: The camera isn't top-notch;

Product Rating:

3.5 Star Rating: Recommended

Editor Rating 3.5

User Rating 0

Review: Can Huawei's Budget D1 Quad Take On The Android Titans?

By Tony Ibrahim | Monday | 04/02/2013

After garnering experience on the low-end of the market in Australia, Huawei is leveraging its sights at smartphone leaders Samsung, HTC and LG. Their latest smartphone, the Ascend D1 Quad, takes it to the favourites with strong innards and wallet-friendly pricing.

Tall, Dark and Handsome

Dressed from top-to-bottom in black, Huawei's D1 Quad looks powerfully menacing. Dark red accents boldly add to its commanding profile and there is a sense of quality to its material's texture. To our disappointment, the quality materials abruptly forge stern corners that quickly remind you you're holding a mechanical piece of technology.

Beefy

Its 4.5 inch screen has a 720x1280 (HD) resolution, which is on par with current flagships from Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC. Prominent colours characterise the screen and give the D1 Quad a bubbly facet to its otherwise serious persona. To get the most out of the screen, it's best to manually tune the brightness as the auto settings are significantly lower, but doing so will impact battery life.


Image credit: pocket-lint

Inside its thin 8.9mm body is Huawei's proprietary Quad-core 1.4GHz chip. It's joined by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. A microSD memory slot makes it possible to expand memory.


Credit goes to Huawei for optimising Android through properly valuable apps such as their file manager, DLNA suite and security guard

This cocktail of potent hardware handles the Android 4.0 operating system with ease—most of the time. Even though Huawei hasn't tweaked the stock system much (to their credit), the D1 Quad does, on the odd occasion, show small signs of lag. These rare stutters may be the result of its 4.0 version of Android and could be overcome if Huawei release a Jelly Bean 4.1 update for the D1 Quad. 


Quadrant Benchmarks: The Huawei D1 Quad almost matches Samsung's Galaxy S3 (Left )

 

Snap!

The D1 Quad's rear is rather understated apart from bold red trim accentuating the 8MP camera. More often than not, captured photos suffer from little noise, but the gradual blend of tones comes at the expense of colour. Colours tend to look flat and often flushed out, even when you're in ideal lighting.


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge
 

Click to enlarge

The same stout gamut is noticeable when you record videos. Although the D1 Quad can record Full HD (1080p) videos, recordings are characterised by a dull arrangement of colours and it tends to take its time autofocusing.

In this regard, the D1 Quad falls short of its rivals, the small compromise here redeemed by its much cheaper price.

A stock Android 4.0 gallery is used to view images.


Click to enlarge

Fine Tuning

The D1 Quad unusually features two music players: the stock Google Play Music option and Huawei's own Music+ recipe. There's nothing wrong with Huawei's custom player but a lack of differentiating features makes you wonder why they bothered. It offers nothing new and is scarcely different to Google's player.


Click to enlarge
 
If I had to live with the Huawei D1 Quad every day, I'd use Google's refined Play Music software instead.

 

 

The Bottom Line

Huawei's Ascend D1 Quad aspires to great things and on most accounts, achieves them. From the get-go, its mission wasn't to beat Samsung's Galaxy S3, HTC's One X or LG's Optimus G; instead, it just wants to be in their league, carving the smartphone A-league up on price. If you're after a smartphone outright, the Ascend D1 Quad is significantly cheaper than these models.

The only problem with Huawei's D1 Quad is a Google and LG collaboration known as the Nexus 4. It too is a cheap smartphone bursting with impressive hardware and, unlike the D1 Quad, the latest version of Android software. Since its launch, the Nexus 4 has become an understocked and highly sought after device. If you can't get your fingers on one of them, then Huawei's Ascend D1 Quad is a worthwhile buy.


Click to enlarge

Huawei's Ascend D1 Quad is available exclusively from JB HiFi and although it has a $499 retail price, as of today (4th February 2013), it's listed on their website for $388.

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Huawei Ascend D1 Quad U9510 Reviewed by Tony Ibrahim Rating: 3.5