Boy, talk about bringing Windows Phone 8 to the masses. The Chinese mobile phone giant unveiled its first smartphone powered by Microsoft’s mobile OS at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month.
Huawei plans to bring the smartphone to market before the end of this quarter.
Pricing was not revealed at that time, though the company promised that while it will be released as an entry-level device, the Ascend W1 will still offer powerful features and capable performance, thanks to the dual-core processor it houses.
The handset was recently listed at Vmall, with a price tag of 1,599 Yuan, translating to US $250.
Not bad for a budget smartphone powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8230 process and Adreno 305 GPU. The 4-incher IPS LCD touchscreen display runs at a resolution of 480×800.
With 4GB of internal memory, an option to add up to 32GB more via the included microSD card slot is also available. A 5 megapixels photo grabber on the back with LED flash makes up the 10.5 mm body.
And with the 1950 mAh battery, users can expect up to 470 hours of standby time.
The smartphone is set to be launched in China, Russia, India and several other European markets in the coming weeks. In fact, UK giant O2 has already confirmed it will be bringing the W1 to its network in the United Kingdom in two colors, namely blue and ruby-pink.
It remains to be seen what kind of success the W1 gathers up in the coming months.
But this lethal combination of entry-level price yet capable hardware can only mean good news for Windows Phone 8 and its drive to establish itself as the third mobile platform of choice.
And with RIM readying its BlackBerry 10 (as well as pondering licensing the OS to other vendors), devices with mass market appeal like the Huawei Ascend W1 could not have come at a better time.