Trending February 2024 # Review: Pad & Quill’s Classic Band Dresses Apple Watch In Rugged, American Leather # Suggested March 2024 # Top 11 Popular

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And while I own both the Classic Buckle and Milanese Loop Apple Watch bands, I wear the simpler black Sport band on most days aside from a nice dinner or more formal occasion. Both are fine bands, but Classic Buckle can feel a bit too dressy with a t-shirt and shorts and Milanese Loop isn’t as comfortable as the other bands. For myself, I’ve found that there’s a space in between completely casual and totally formal for Apple Watch bands. Pad & Quill’s Classic Apple Watch Band takes a more traditional strap approach than even Apple’s Classic Buckle and fits this space, with four leather color options and two metal finishes that match stainless steel Apple Watches or Space Gray/Space Black Apple Watches.

I’ve been eager to try the Classic Apple Watch Band since Pad & Quill began transitioning their expertise in fine leather bag and case making toward prototyping Apple Watch bands a few months ago. After finally getting my hands on a Whiskey-colored American leather version, I’ve settled on a few first impressions on what is now my first favorite third-party Apple Watch band. Read on for details:

Key Details:

Alternative leather Apple Watch strap

Offered in 38mm & 42mm sizes

Fits wrists 130-210mm in size

Comes in 4 leather colors, 2 metal finishes

Priced below Apple leather bands

25 year leather warranty

Classic Apple Watch Band ships in the same tasteful packaging style as Pad & Quill’s Apple Watch stands with a wax stamp sealing the box shut. Inside the sturdy cardboard rectangle you’ll find the leather band on soft padding to fill the box plus a paper insert describing Pad & Quill’s history, care instructions, plus P&Q’s 30-day money back guarantee and 25 year leather warranty. No adhesives or plastic to recycle or discard like you find with Apple’s bands; just excellent, minimal packaging and a pleasant leather smell not unlike opening new boots.

Classic Apple Watch Band uses the same lugs and connectors as Apple’s own bands so swapping bands is exactly the same: squeeze either button under Apple Watch to release your current band and slide the Pad & Quill band in just the same. Both lugs on mine fit just the same as Apple’s own bands without any gaps or excess metal that I’ve seen on other, cheaper third-party bands. And I had zero concern about the strap coming loose during normal wearing.

P&Q offers Classic Apple Watch Band in either color matching stainless steel silver for shiny Apple Watches or darker polished black metal to match Space Gray Sport or Space Black Apple Watch models. Picking the silver option can dress up a silver aluminum Apple Watch Sport, although the finish won’t be totally matched. No gold option for you Apple Watch Edition fans out there, but I imagine the polished black finish would look pretty classy.

Compared to Apple’s Classic Buckle strap, Pad & Quill’s Classic Apple Watch Band feels much stiffer before getting worn in and conforming to the shape of your wrist. This makes it feel much more rugged and sturdy in comparison. I did find it noticeably more difficult to initially remove when worn snug, but this quickly became a non-issue after wearing and removing it a few times. From the start, I found it completely comfortable to wear in various contexts: writing at my desk, outside in summer heat during activity, or just sitting idle. No issues with tugging arm hair or irritating skin on contact.

While the metal clasps on Apple’s Classic Buckle band and P&Q’s Classic Band are mostly the same, the latter strap does feature two loops for holding the loose end of the band rather than one. One loop is fixed and boxier while the other loop is adjustable and features Pad & Quill’s signature orange stitching to honor the World Vision organization and add a unique touch. Further adding a one-of-a-kind mark is the artisan’s signature on the top half of the band’s backside; there’s zero visible Pad & Quill branding when wearing Classic Band, but underneath the lower half you’ll find a tasteful company stamp printed in the leather.

Further comparing Classic Band and Classic Buckle, Apple’s version features 12 rectangular notches along the longer strap while Pad & Quill’s holds just 9 circular slots for sizing. With either 42mm band, I have 4 slots open toward the watch; for reference, I use the third slot on the medium 42mm Sport band with 4 open inner slots. With either band, the leather quickly picks up an indention of wear near every slot you frequently use.

Also of note, Pad & Quill’s strap features a more defined width increase toward the watch with the end about as wide as the watch face itself and just barely slimmer than the casing. Personally, I find this makes P&Q’s band feel more substantial with the emphasis near the watch body less on the lugs and more on the leather. This also differentiates Classic Band from Classic Buckle and makes it a much more unique strap compared to Apple’s own leather option.

While I generally don’t dislike Apple’s Classic Buckle Apple Watch band, I do find Pad & Quill’s Classic Apple Watch Band better in a few ways. While it does feel a bit stiffer and may initially be more difficult to remove in comparison, I’m personally a fan of its more rugged, almost John Wayne cowboy style, which makes it feel even less like a smartwatch and more like a fine timepiece.

Apple Watch sort of feels more mechanical than digital with Classic Band, which I find highly appealing. The richer, rugged style looks especially nice with watchOS 2’s upcoming Timelapse watch face of Mack Lake. Really makes me want to explore the great outdoors (a little sun couldn’t hurt, I know!).

As a final observation, wearing Apple Watch with Classic Band at a comfortable and snug level makes feeling the Taptic Engine, or haptic feedback, more noticeable than with Apple’s Classic Buckle strap. This likely varies based on wrist size and band tightness, but it’s an important detail in my case as I generally haven’t found Apple Watch vibrations to be especially noticeable in many instances.

If you own either stainless steel Apple Watch and want a well designed leather strap that has a little more to offer than Apple’s Classic Buckle offering, Pad & Quill’s Classic Band is an easy recommendation. If you’re an Apple Watch Sport owner wanting to dress up your watch without breaking the bank, Classic Band’s under $100 price tag especially makes it a no-brainer.

Pad & Quill’s Classic Apple Watch Band is the first third-party strap that I’d even consider (and actually will!) wear daily. There’s nothing subpar or knock off about it; just a sturdy and good looking strap from experts at turning leather into something special.

Even from the perspective of an Apple accessory purist, I can recommend Pad & Quill’s Classic Band as totally worthy of matching your Apple Watch. Available in British Tan (orangish brown), Whiskey (that’s my poison), Chocolate (darker brown), and Galloper Black with either stainless steel or polished black metal, Pad & Quill’s Classic Apple Watch Band is available for pre-order now and ships in mid-September. In short: this is by far my favorite thing Pad & Quill makes.

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Asus Transformer Pad Infinity Tf700 Review: Stylish, High

Once again, Asus delivers a complete package with its Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Android tablet. The long-awaited Infinity maintains the slim, stylish, multipurpose tradition of its predecessor, the Asus Transformer Prime, while bringing an improved Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and a 1920-by-1200-pixel display along for the ride. This tablet blasts ahead of the pack to establish itself as the best-performing Android tablet we’ve seen to date, on all of our metrics except battery life.

The 32GB version of the Infinity also offers double the memory of the third-generation 16GB Apple iPad, at the same price, $499. Meanwhile, the 64GB version of the Infinity costs $599, which is $100 less than the 64GB iPad. Asus expects the Infinity to be available for sale, at the earliest, during the week of July 16, in two colors: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold.

On the outside, the Infinity is a virtual twin of the Prime: At 10.4 by 7.1 by 0.3 inches and 1.31 pounds, it measures a mere 0.08 inch (0.2mm) thicker, and weighs just 0.03 pound (12g) more than the Prime. That makes the Infinity one of the lightest and slimmest Android tablets on the market today. By comparison, Apple’s iPad measures 9.5 by 7.3 by 0.4 inches, and weighs 1.44 pounds. The extra 0.12 pound makes a bigger difference than you might expect, both for casual use and for long-term use. I found the Infinity more comfortable to hold, especially when I held it in one hand instead of two.

The Infinity has some minor physical difference changes from the Prime. Asus moved the volume rocker from the top left edge (when held in horizontal orientation) to the upper edge, at at right. The Micro-HDMI port moved lower along the left edge, and below the Micro-HDMI port now sits the headphone jack (a more convenient location as compared with the Prime’s upper right edge location).

High-Resolution Display

As soon as you turn on the Infinity, you’ll notice a difference between this model and its older brethren. The Infinity is one of two high-resolution 1920-by-1200-pixel Android tablets aiming to compete with Apple’s third-generation iPad Retina display; the other, the Acer Iconia Tab A700, is now shipping and just edged the Infinity across the finish line to market.

Like the iPad’s Retina display, the Infinity’s high-resolution, 10.1-inch display dramatically improves the overall tablet experience. Text is clearer, images are sharper, and everything on the screen pops. The Infinity’s pixel density of 224 pixels per inch matches that of the Iconia Tab A700. The iPad’s 2048-by-1536 pixel resolution delivers an even higher pixel density of 264 pixels per inch, but the difference in screen quality between the iPad and the two Android tablets was not overwhelmingly obvious. The difference was obvious, however, between the Infinity and the Prime, as illustrated by the two screenshots below.

Our test images looked great on the Infinity, too. As expected, images generally looked sharper and clearer, and had better color reproduction than on such 1280-by-800-pixel tablets as the Asus Transformer Pad TF300, the Asus Transformer Prime, the Toshiba Excite 10.1, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. At maximum brightness, images viewed on the Prime looked more washed out than corresponding images on the Infinity–even though the Infinity’s Super IPS+ display has the stronger maximum brightness measurement at 630 candelas per square meter to the Prime’s 564 cd/m2.

The Infinity’s images were similar in sharpness to the iPad’s, though both the iPad and the Iconia Tab A700 had an ever-so-slight edge in that regard; also, the Infinity’s images looked overly bright–likely a consequence of the brighter display (iPad’s display maxes out at 445 cd/m2). Dialing down the brightness helped a bit, but both the Acer A700 and the iPad outpointed the Infinity in color and skin-tone reproduction and saturation. That said, the Infinity clearly topped its predecessor, the Prime; the Prime’s images lacked the contrast and clarity of those on the Infinity.

The glass panel is composed of Corning Gorilla Glass 2, an upgrade over the first-generation Gorilla Glass used on the Prime. But like the Prime–and unlike the Microsoft Surface, introduced last week–the Infinity doesn’t offer optical bonding on the display. Optical bonding can minimize glare and improve image clarity.

High-Flying Performer

We tested a shipping version of the tablet supplied by Asus, but the company said that it would have an over-the-air firmware update available at around the time of retail launch, providing Hulu certification and other optimizations.

The Infinity comes loaded with Android 4.03 Ice Cream Sandwich, 1GB of DDR3 memory operating at 1600MHz (an improvement over the type of memory used on the Prime), and a quad-core 1.6GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 T33 processor. When in single-core operation, the new Tegra operates at 1.7GHz. By comparison, the Prime’s Tegra 3 processor operates at 1.3GHz for two to four cores and at 1.4GHz when a single core is in use; for its part, the processor in the Acer Iconia Tab A700 runs at 1.3GHz/1.2GHz.

The high-resolution display saps battery life faster, and that drawback is visible in the Infinity’s battery performance. On our updated battery life tests, the Infinity lasted 7 hours, 58 minutes, versus the Prime’s 8 hours, 22 minutes and the iPad’s 10 hours, 46 minutes. But it was super-fast at recharging, requiring just 2 hours, 32 minutes to juice up.

Elsewhere, Asus has made a few other evolutionary improvements. Like the Prime, the Infinity has a rear 8-megapixel camera, but now the camera has a slightly wider aperture for low-light shooting–f2.2 instead of the Prime’s f2.4. Asus updated the camera software, too, as well as the sensor and flash; but in my casual shooting the benefits of these enhancements were minor in low-light and daylight shooting. In side-by-side comparisons, I preferred the images captured by the Infinity; the color and clarity was simply better than the Prime. (Another note: The high-res display made it easier to capture images, too.) The front-facing camera has been updated from 1.2 megapixels to 2 megapixels, so you can now obtain high-definition video chat.

The Infinity also bumps up the Bluetooth support to Bluetooth 3.0. Ports remain the same as on the Prime: a Micro-HDMI output, a MicroSD card reader, and a proprietary connector to use with the charger/USB transfer cable or the optional keyboard dock. Like the other models in Asus’s Transformer line, the Infinity morphs into a clamshell-style netbook when you snap the tablet into its $150 Mobile Dock; it uses the same dock as the Prime.

Software Customizations

Asus retains some of its now-standard Android customization features, including a custom keyboard that includes white keys with black text and a number row, and a control panel for quick access to the tablet’s power settings, display controls, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles, rotation lock, and other settings.

Preloaded apps include Polaris Office, SuperNote, App Backup, App Locker, Asus Sync, MyNet (for streaming 1080p content across a network), and Asus Webstorage (with 8GB of free storage space for the “lifetime” of the unit, up from the Prime’s one-year of free unlimited storage followed by paid storage).

As with the Retina-display Apple iPad, your experience with how apps look will vary. Apps that have been optimized for the high-resolution display can look great, while those that lack higher-resolution assets may be a pixelated mess. Case in point: Riptide GP looks great on the Prime but looks garbled and outdated on the Infinity. Other apps, including Amazon’s Kindle app, looked good.

Sadly, I did encounter some odd behavior while transferring media to the Infinity from my Windows 7 PC. For example, I got error messages on the PC that the device was in use when I queued up more than one folder transfer; that alone is not entirely unusual among tablets, but then I received follow up error messages that aborted the copy. I also had several apps, including the browser and the camera, close unexpectedly; hopefully these glitches are ones that Asus will clean up with its first over-the-air update.

Bottom Line

The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 takes over from its predecessor as the top Android tablet available. You get high performance mixed with high style, and you don’t have to make a lot of sacrifices to get both. Other tablets–including the Prime, which is expected to drop in price once this model gets into the market–may provide better value, but no other Android tablet will give you the full package that the Infinity does.

Oneplus 10 Update Allows Cellular Data To Be Shared With The Oneplus Pad

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Welcome to the OnePlus 10 update hub. Here you’ll find the latest information on updates to the OnePlus 10 Pro and other 10-series devices, including the OnePlus 10T. We’ll detail the current software versions for each device and alert you if there’s a new update rolling out.

The OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10T launched with Android 12 and OnePlus’ Oxygen OS 12.1 skinned on top. OnePlus will offer three Android upgrades to the phones, which means it will see all the way to Android 15. The company also guarantees four years of security updates.

Current stable version: Android 13

When will the OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10T get Android 14? December 2023 to January 2024 (Estimated)

Latest OnePlus 10 update

Previous OnePlus 10 series updates

May 22, 2023: OnePlus 10 owners in the Indian market now have access to Oxygen OS 13.1. According to Android Central, the update will have firmware version 13.1.0.501. This latest update delivers a few features like TalkBack, a Zen Space app, auto-connect, and more. It will also improve stability and security.

December 12, 2023: OnePlus has finally announced the availability of stable Android 13 for the OnePlus 10T (h/t: XDA-Developers). The update has the C.12 suffix in India and the C.22 suffix in the rest of the world. The Android 13-based Oxygen OS 13 update brings features like a so-called Aquamorphic Design, large folder support on the home screen, Always-On Display widgets akin to iOS, automatic pixelation for chat screenshots, and an upgraded HyperBoost performance suite.

November 30, 2023: OnePlus announced the Oxygen OS C.22 update for the OnePlus 10 Pro, bringing the November 2023 security patch. It also brought fixes and tweaks to the display, performance, and more.

October 28, 2023: The OnePlus 10 Pro reportedly grabbed the Oxygen OS C.21 update, bringing the October 2023 security patch. This update also brought Jio 5G support to Indian models.

September 21, 2023: OnePlus 10T owners received the Oxygen OS A.08 update. This brought fixes or tweaks to dark mode, touch input, Wi-Fi stability, the selfie camera, and more.

September 21, 2023: OnePlus pushed out the stable Oxygen OS 13 update for the OnePlus 10 Pro. The update was first issued to users who participated in the open beta program. It brings features like OPPO’s Aquamorphic Design, a meeting assistant for audio/video calls, and auto-pixelation functionality for chat screenshots.

September 1, 2023: The Chinese brand pushed out the version A.07 update for the OnePlus 10 Pro. This improved aspects like touch input when gaming, Wi-Fi stability, and image quality. When it comes to the latter, we got improvements when shooting ultrawide shots at night, selfie portraits, and backlit scenes. We also got the August 2023 security patch.

August 29, 2023: OnePlus is rolling out another new software update for the OnePlus 10T. It comes with firmware version CPH2415_11.A.06 in global markets and CPH2413_11.A.06 in India. The new OTA doesn’t add any major new features to the phone but improves upon the camera experience, fingerprint unlocking, and more.

August 12, 2023: OnePlus rolled out the first software update to the OnePlus 10T. It came with firmware version CPH2413_11_A.05 and brought system as well as camera improvements.

July 5, 2023: OnePlus is now rolling out Oxygen OS A.15 to the OnePlus 10 Pro. The update brings a number of system improvements and also adds the June 2023 security patch to the phone. You can read the changelog below.

May 23, 2023: OnePlus is now rolling out Oxygen OS A.14 to the OnePlus 10 Pro. As per XDA Developers, the update brings a number of system improvements and also adds the May 2023 security patch to the phone.

April 26, 2023: OnePlus announced the Oxygen OS 12 A.13 update for the OnePlus 10 Pro in North America and India  (h/t: XDA-Developers). It brought improvements to fingerprint unlocking, power consumption, studio processing, front camera quality, and network stability.

April 1, 2023: OnePlus pushed out the A.11 (India) and A.12 (Europe) firmware to the OnePlus 10 Pro. It brought a ton of fixes and optimizations, including camera-related optimizations, improved fingerprint unlocking, better performance in general, and more reliable connectivity.

March 31, 2023: This is the day OnePlus launched the OnePlus 10 Pro in global markets. The out-of-the-box software was Oxygen OS 12.1 which is based on Android 12.

Philz Touch Advanced Cwm Recovery For Asus Transformer Pad Tf300T With One Click Installer!

  WARNING!

Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page.

You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.

  GUIDE: PHILZ CWM ADVANCED TOUCH RECOVERY ON ASUS TRANSFORMER PAD TF300T

Before you begin with guide instructions below, make sure your android device is adequately charged — at least 50% battery of the device.

  STEP 0: CHECK DEVICE.

To make sure your device is eligible with this, you must first confirm its model no. in ‘About device’ option under Settings. Another way to confirm model no. is by looking for it on the packaging box of your device. It must be TF300T!

Do not use the procedures discussed here on any variant of Asus Transformer or other device of Asus or any other company. You have been warned!

  STEP 1: BACKUP YOUR DEVICE

Back up important data and stuff before you start playing around here as there are chances you might lose your apps and app-data (app settings, game progress, etc.), and in rare case, files on the internal memory, too.

For help on Backup and Restore, check out our exclusive page on that linked right below.

► ANDROID BACK UP AND RESTORE GUIDE: APPS AND TIPS

  STEP 2: INSTALL LATEST DRIVER

You must have proper and working driver installed on your windows computer to be able to successfully flash PhilZ Touch Recovery on your Asus Transformer Pad.

 STEP 3: UNLOCK BOOTLOADER

 Skip this step if your device is already bootloader unlocked.

Use must first unlock the bootloader on your Asus Transformer Pad before proceeding with the guide below. Without unlocking the bootloader you won’t be able to use fastboot commands to flash the recovery on your device.

   STEP 4: INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS   DOWNLOADS   ONE CLICK PHILZ TOUCH RECOVERY INSTALLER   STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Important Note: Backup important files stored on internal SD card of your device, so that in case a situation arises requiring you to do a factory reset after flashing PhilZ Touch Recovery, which might delete internal sd card too, your files will remain safe on PC. Skip the first two steps in case of Android 4.0 and below.

Prepare your tablet:

Enable developer options: Go to your tablet’s Settings » select About tablet » Scroll to the bottom and tap on “Build number” seven times to enable developer options. You do not need to do this if your tablet is running Android 4.0 or below.

Enable USB Debugging: Open tablet’s Settings » select Developer options » Tick the “USB debugging” check-box (under Debugging section).

api (folder)

adb.exe

AdbWinApi.dll

AdbWinUsbApi.dll

fastboot.exe

philz_touch_6.19.3-tf300t.img

source.properties

Your device will automatically boot into system. To boot into your newly flashed PhilZ Touch Recovery:

Power off your Asus Transformer Pad and wait for 6-7 seconds after display is off.

For ICS (Android 4.0.4 and below): Press and hold Power + Volume Down buttons until you see the Asus splash screen. Now, let go of all buttons and press and hold Volume Up immediately.

For Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) and above: Press and hold Power + Volume Down buttons until you see the Asus splash screen. On the next screen, press Volume Down to highlight RCK and press Power button to select it.

SCREENSHOTS

FEEDBACK US!

Your suggestions and queries, if any, are most welcomed!

Slashgear Week In Review

SlashGear Week in Review – Week 25 2011

The next version of the iPhone is said to be in the final stages of testing and set for a September launch. We are still wondering if the Verizon version will get LTE support or not. Chris put up his review of the HTC ChaCha Facebook smartphone. He figures the Facebook button has little purpose in this iteration.

The unlocked iPhone 4 landed for sale in the US this week. The device is priced from $649 making it quite expensive. Apple settled the Nokia patent battle last week and ended up paying licensing fees to Nokia. Apple will also pay ongoing royalties as well.

Sources claimed that a new MacBook Air would be landing this month. The machines are expected to get Intel Sandy Bridge processors. According to a report this week it might coast as much as $1.3 billion a year to run iTunes. That number breaks down to $113 million monthly.

Devs are claiming that the coming Nintendo Wii U is 50% more powerful than a PS3 or Xbox 360. It had better be good; Nintendo is hurting right now and needs a popular product. An artist took a bunch of old computer parts and used them to build a room. The finished product looks interesting and a bit creepy.

Game devs are claiming that the Xbox 720 will debut at E3 2012. The name of the console is said to be sort of a working title and the hardware is yet to be confirmed. The JVC Kaboom boombox landed this week looking like the 80’s. The device has an iPhone and iPod dock on the front.

Nintendo confirmed that the Wii lacks the ability to play Blu-ray or DVD movies. I think that is something that any modern console should include. HTC went back on the statement made earlier in the week that the Desire would get no Gingerbread update. After a huge backlash HTC put the Gingerbread update back on the map.

I wondered at the time HTC said Gingerbread was coming back how they would fit it in since the citied lack of storage as the reason to skip it originally. HTC came back and said it would drop apps to fit Gingerbread. YouTube gave the Nyan Cat video its own Nyan Cat custom load bar. It’s cool for sure, but Davies was unable to explain to me the point of Nyan Cat, apparently, I am too American.

Lenovo confirmed that it’s ThinkPad Honeycomb tablet would be landing in August. The K1 tablet has a Tegra dual-core and lots more. The Call of Duty: Black Ops Annihilation Map Pack will hit Xbox Live later this month. The pack will bring four new multiplayer maps and a new zombie map.

The Palm/HP Pre 3 has been pegged to launch in the UK on July 8. The tip comes from chúng tôi and the smartphone has decent specifications for people that like WebOS. Panasonic announced a new ToughBook Android tablet that will be coming this year. The tablet will have a 10.1-inch screen, active stylus, GPS, and optional 3G/4G connectivity.

Apple changed its complaint in the patent battle with Samsung adding more products. Apple also worded the complaint more strongly and is going after Samsung with more verve. We put up our review of the HTC Evo 3D smartphone. Cory figures the new smartphone is a worthy update from the original Evo. Thanks for reading, see you next time!

Huawei Ascend P7 Review

The 

HUAWEI Ascend

P7

 is the best phone 

Huawei

 has made, but falls short of really differentiating itself from the titans of the smartphone game. A great front facing camera compliments a decent rear facing shooter, and an accessible software experience compliments an equally accessible handling experience.

We’re seeing some good releases out of the Chinese market this year, and in this review we look at an update to a phone from veteran company Huawei known for being one of the thinnest around. This is our review of the HUAWEI Ascend P7.

Design

While it does add a little to last year’s remarkably thin P6, we’re still dealing with a very streamlined design here. With modest improvements over its predecessor, HUAWEI has sought for an incremental design update, and it’s arguably the better looking of the two. A metal skeleton holds together double Gorllia Glass 3 panels, making for a phone that could feasibly withstand a little punishment, if that’s your sort of thing.

While a flat profile is found all around the sides, two rounded corners up front are opposite a nicely rounded bottom portion. All the buttons are on the right and below them are the dual SIM and microSD trays. For international travellers, and others that like to have access to two different network carriers, dual SIM functionality is an absolute necessity.

At the top, you’ll find the headphone jack and on the rounded bottom is the microUSB port. With optics and speaker on the back, you’ll find a patterned design just under the glass on the rear, ever subtly so. In terms of its design, what stands out here is not just how thin this device is, but how well it rocks the 5 inch screen. Its thin bezels and refined edges result in it being one of the best handling phones of its size, making it, to an extent, better at handling than the majority of current mainstream flagships. HUAWEI is to be commended in this regard, because the device is remarkably well balanced in the hand.

It features flat but minimally sized sides bezels, which make for a comfortable feel, one that is reminiscent of the iPhone 5S, of which this phone has been noted to take inspiration from. Move along, legal teams, move along.

Related: Best HUAWEI Ascend P7 cases.

There’s no doubt that it features a rather pleasant aesthetic as well, and in particular; it’s white edition is quite attractive. When you consider how large its display truly is, it’s impressive when you have it in your hand.

Display

HUAWEI has opted to graduate its P series to a 1080p screen at 5inches in size, bringing in tow a 441 PPI density, which is to say the screen affords exceptional clarity, where you will be quite hard pressed to find pixels of any kind. Further, it’s not hard to get impressed by the colors this screen puts out, especially with how colorful Huawei‘s user interface is. Colors appear incredibly vibrant and even at pretty steep viewing angles it retains all that fidelity. Even playing highly addictive game Injustice with its much darker tones was easy with this punchy display, as it exhibited great contrast and nice deep levels in the dark areas.

Somewhat interestingly, you do get the option of adjusting the screen’s color temperature, if you really feel the need to, and a high sensitivity allows usage even when you’re wearing gloves – a boon for those in less than ideal climates.

Performance

Hardware

When it comes to hardware, there’s things we like to see, and other things we don’t appreciate as much. HUAWEI’s Ascend P7 pulls ahead of the pack in terms of hardware with the inclusion of a microSD card slot, an often sought after feature that here allows for expanded storage over the included 16GB.

Of course, the Ascend P7 offers the full range of connectivity options as well, including NFC, as it is plainly shown in the notification area when turned on. Call quality on the AT&T network brought us no issues, which is to be expected.  Its rear facing speaker facing speaker, despite the less than ideal placement, is a decent performer. It affords the user quite loud sound, but is not as rich as some of the smartphone titans of today, like the HTC One M8, for example. That being said, while it is not too rich, it still does a decent job of showcasing the low end of the audio spectrum pretty well.

For those among us that like to game or watch videos, the P7 suffers a common problem: it’s rather easy to covering the grill with a finger –  effectively stifling the sound.

As far as battery  life goes, the 2500mAh battery did quite well for me. A five hour stint filled with playing music via Play Music and an almost full hour of playing Injustice brought the battery down to 70 percent. For most but the heaviest users, it should easily get to the 12 hour mark with moderate to heavy usage, and we’ve  no doubt the good standby time observed can help it go the distance. As is the norm these days, power saving modes are available and include projected hours of usage.  One mode can bring the phone down to its essentials if you really need to eke out as much as you can, which is likely to be helpful when one nears the dreaded sub 15% battery mark with still things to do in the day.

Camera Samples Gallery

Software

Finally, in software, the Emotion UI returns once again in a very colorful and quite pleasing manner. As was mentioned before, the lack of transitions make for a really snappy experience, though the notification dropdown doesn’t quite exhibit this as well; still, it all makes for one of the nicer Chinese interfaces around. But it does come with the usual Chinese interface trope – a lack of an app drawer means you’ll have to organize your apps into folders – or get a  new launcher. Ultimately, the Emotion UI looks like a pretty simple skin over what is essentially Android Kitkat, with a simple recent apps screen and easy to navigate settings area.

Huawei‘s own additions serve some good purposes, too – in particular, a Phone Manager that provides all the tools needed to accelerate the phone by closing background apps, freeing up space by deleting files, and much more that are listed when it scans the entire phone for issues. It’s nice to see a manufacturer like HUAWEI attempt to go the extra mile in this regard. As anyone who’s used Android extensively knows, even the most powerful devices can get slowed down by unnecessary files and the like. With this feature, anyone who’s nitpicky about what goes on in their phone will have that extra sense of control with it.

Arguably one of our favorite aspects of the Emotion UI is the Easy Mode, wherein everything is presented in large buttons on an attractive grid – it manages to still provide everything that is needed while minimalizing and keeping things really tight. Perfect for those less than familiar with the complexity that Android can appear like to newcomers.

And finally, all of these elements are able to be easily customized in the Themes application – not only are there a slew of built-in themes already available, you can easily tweak any single aspect from within the actual application. A very nice addition indeed.

In the end, the lack of an app drawer for anyone used to having one in their Android will find quite a bit to like in this snappy take on it. And, as most of us know – apps often go to the app drawer to rest – not be used.

All in all, HUAWEI is to be commended for the iterative and appreciated improvements across the line it has made to the HUAWEI Ascend P7. It’s a solid performer with great build quality, fast performance, good battery life, and a dynamic and sharp display.

Gallery 

So, what do I think? I find myself enjoying the Huawei Ascend P7 mostly because of its ease of use, both on the outside with its slim and light profile and on the inside with aspects like the Easy Mode. But while I did find quite a bit to like about the phone, I will admit that unless you are looking for those experiences and perhaps the powerful selfie camera, there isn’t too much distinguishing this phone from the more mainstream competitors. When compared to the behemoths in the market, no one defining feature really separates the P7 from them. But when you look at the whole package, you find a smartphone that succeeds at bringing power, function, and accessibility in a fairly unassuming way. It won’t be the life of the party, but it definitely deserves to be a part of it.

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