Ahead of the first day of the Mobile World Congress Expo being held in Barcelona, Spain this week, Huawei announced its first high-end Android smartphone lineup in the Ascend series. Consisting of the Ascend D1, D Quad and D Quad XL, the series represents Huawei’s most concerted effort yet to break into the international market.
The Ascend D quad is powered by Huawei’s first internally-developed ARM-Cortex based quad-core processor, which it claims is the fastest on the market, along with a 4.5-inch 720p HD resolution display, 8-megapixel backside-illuminated camera, 1.3-megapixel front camera, and 1080p HD video capture in a body that measures 8.9mm thick. The company has also announced an “XL” version with a much larger battery, and a “D1” version with dual-core processor and LTE support.
The D quad will launch with a penta-band WCDMA radio, a rarity suggesting that the phone will support AT&T and T-Mobile 3G networks at launch when it launches deep in the second quarter and also infers that it will be sold unlocked before any carrier variants are eventually offered.
Huawei is also planning a much larger push into the American market with the Ascend series with a North American launch also planned at the same time as its international launch, but has not specified whether it has lined up carrier partners or if it will launch the series directly into the market as an unlocked handset.
Huawei recently announced its other flagship phone in the P1s during CES in January, but has not offered anymore information on that handset as of yet. The Ascend will initially launch with Android Gingerbread, but will be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich during the the year, as is quickly becoming common with all 2012 Android device launches, with many manufacturers launching ICS devices at the end of the second quarter or during the third quarter of the year.