The Ascend D1 Quad XL is Huawei’s first entry into the local quad-core smartphone market. With a retail price of just Php18,990 it seems very affordable feature-wise for a major brand. But is the overall package good enough to compete for your hard-earned money? Read on to find out.
The Ascend D1 Quad XL doesn’t look and feel cheap when you hold it. At 145g it’s not as light as other phones in its class but has a nice heft to it. It’s also a bit thick compared to other flagship phones at 11.5mm.
Gorilla Glass 2 covers the 720 x 1280 Retina Display-like screen and a front camera. On first impression, the screen is impressive and comparable to other high-end phones. Sunlight readability is also acceptable.
The audio jack and power button can be found at the top of the unit; volume buttons on the right and the micro USB jack at the left.
This phone sports a rubberized textured back that makes it easier to hold and won’t leave any fingerprints. You get an 8MP camera, an LED flash and the speaker at the back. I like the fact that it doesn’t have any sharp edges, which makes it a pleasure to hold and store in your pocket.
Once you open the phone you’ll find the SIM slot and a microSD card slot. I’ll consider the battery non-removable as you would need tools to be able to replace it. The Ascend D1 also has a little over 5GB (out of the 8GB) worth of user accessible space.
Huawei has chosen to use it’s own K3V2 quad-core processor (clocked at 1.4 GHz) which in my opinion is comparable with other current quad-score in terms of performance. It runs a modified version of Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich which is unfortunate considering other quad-core phones are already in Jelly Bean.
The D1 Quad XL scored 5188 in Quadrant’s benchmark tests, which seems at par with the Galaxy SIII.
There’s an option where you can choose from 2D and 3D mode, which makes for good eye candy but isn’t really that essential to me, and sticking to 2D actually makes using the Ascend D1 a lot faster.
I’ve watched the HD version of Django Unchained on its 1280×720 IPS+ display and did not encounter any noticeable lags for the videos. I did encounter the graphics stuttering while playing Fruit Ninja, and there would be times that my swipes didn’t seem to get a response even if I was swiping hard on the screen.
I also encountered an issue with the Google Chrome browser. When I updated it via Google Play it didn’t display the pages properly if at all (it’s like abstract art). The only way to make it work again is by uninstalling the updates and sticking to the factory-included version.
Playing music through the built-in speaker sounds tinny, you’ll need to use headphones or speakers to take advantage of the device using Dolby Digital Plus.
The camera snaps up to 8MP and is quite fast in capturing images, but the colors turn out a little bit washed. The dual LED flash is mighty bright which is helpful in lighting up subjects better.
The camera app comes with several filters and effects as well like HDR and Panoramas. It’s not the best camera out there, but it does its job if your sole purpose for it is Instagram and other social photo-sharing apps. With regards to recording video, the Ascend D1 records at a frame rate of 24.8 fps, which is slower than the SIII.
Here are a few sample shots taken with the Ascend D1 Quad XL:
With its 2,600 mAh battery, I was able to get a full day’s charge out of it, with a little more left for the next day. That’s with moderate use such as browsing, texting, calls and watching videos.
So going back to the question at the beginning of the article: is it worth your money? My answer is yes. It definitely does not slouch in performance, and despite some of the kinks that this phone has I would still recommend it because of the price. Power users may not be so hot about it because of the fact that it runs ICS when others already have JB, but this would be a definite winner for average users looking for a phone that does the job and does it well.
|Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL Specs:|
|4.5 inches, 1,280 x 720 pixels (330ppi), IPS+ (made by Toshiba)|
|1.4GHz quad-core Huawei HiSilicon K3V2|
|40nm, 16-core GPU, 64-bit memory|
|8GB Internal (5.29GB available to users), microSD up to 32GB|
|8MP with backside illumination and autofocus, 1.3MP front|
|1080p (back), 720p (front)|
|HSPA+ / UMTS: 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 (max 21 Mbps down / 5.76 Mbps up)|
|WiFi: 802.11b/g/n, 2.4GHz only|
|Supports MHL and DLNA|
|Bluetooth: Version 3.0 HS|
|Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich|
|129.9 x 64.9 x 11.5mm|