After unboxing a pair of phablets at CES, Chinese mobile maker Huawei looks to be lining up a new flagship smartphone in its Android-based Ascend P line ahead of the Mobile World Congress trade show kicking off in Barcelona Monday. The company, which pushed into third place in the global smartphone rankings for the first time in Q4, has sent out invites to a press conference taking place tomorrow afternoon (CET).
It’s not confirmed what device or devices Huawei plans to unveil tomorrow — the invite includes the cryptic tagline “Discover possible” – but CNET‘s Stephen Shankland has snapped a photo of Huawei’s MWC booth, currently under construction before the crowds arrive on Monday, which includes a sign for an as yet unreleased device called the Ascend P2.
Judging by the name, the Ascend P2 is the sequel to the Ascend P1, which launched in Europe last summer. P stands for ‘Platinum’ in Huawei’s marketing speak — one rung down from its top-of-the-line D for Diamond devices, such as the 5-inch Ascend D2, which it outted at CES, along with the 6.1 inch Ascend Mate (its Galaxy Note rival). Those quad-core whoppers leave room in Huawei’s portfolio for a powerhouse smartphone with a slightly less palm-stretching screen. So, enter stage left the Ascend P2. Either that or it has a typo in its booth signage.
Aside from an LTE variant, the Ascend P1 was a relatively mid-range affair — with a dual-core 1.5Ghz chip, 4.3-inch display and 8 megapixel camera. The Ascend P2 is rumoured to add more beef the second time around, with various leaks hinting at a 1.8GHz quad-core chipset — which would give it more welly than either the Ascend Mate or the D2 — along with a 4.7 inch display, a 13 megapixel camera and Android 4.1. We’ll find out for sure tomorrow.
Huawei can’t claim to have the massive brand clout of Samsung and its Galaxy range, but its mobile profile is growing and it has carved out a savvy niche for itself in the Android space by offering relatively impressive specs for the device’s price point — which, in its Ascend G range, has helped to power up the functionality of budget Androids. The company is also taking a similar tack with Windows Phone — showing off an “entry level” Windows 8 device at CES, the Ascend W1, and partnering with Microsoft to launch an “affordable” Windows Phone device for the African market.