Huawei

Just this past weekend it was reported by TrustedReviews that Huawei – who makes low-cost Android and Windows Phones – would be making a single, dual boot version for later this year. However, FierceWireless now has a statement from Huawei, and they’re back peddling on the plans, effectively cancelling the device.

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According to TrustedReviews, Huawei is looking to launch a phone running both Android and Windows Phone in the U.S. in the second quarter of this year. Shao Yang, Huawei’s Chief Marketing Officer, told TrustedReviews that the company is continuing to support Windows Phone, but it is a better prospect when offered alongside Android as a part of a dual OS device.

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Google and Samsung have joined Chinese mobile phone manufacturers in expressing concerns to Chinese courts about Microsoft's purchase of Nokia. Redmond is set to absorb Nokia's phone business for 7.2 billion dollars, integrating the division responsible for Lumia, Asha and X device families. The reasons behind this move are fears that the deal will result in higher patent licensing costs.

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Huawei and ZTE are rather hot in the news when it comes to Windows Phone. The two Chinese OEM partners are potentially looking to release new hardware, running Microsoft's Windows Phone OS and rumours pinned the former manufacturer to unveil its Ascend W3 at CES this week.

Now, WPDang reports that this may not be the case and both Huawei and ZTE may well be eyeing up Mobile World Congress for some Windows Phone action.

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While we are not expecting much Windows Phone news out of the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, rumors are making the rounds that Huawei will unveil the Ascend W3 Windows Phone at this year’s show.

We have heard rumblings of a new Windows Phone in the works for Huawei with the Ascend W3 but very little specifics.  The major line of thought is that the Ascend W3 will have an aluminum body, a 780x1280 display and overall loosely resemble the Nokia Lumia 925.

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Huawei's second Windows Phone is a budget device with a ton of perks

When it comes to budget Windows Phones for emerging markets (or those with limited financial abilities), Nokia comes to mind. However, China-based Huawei knows a thing or two about low-cost smartphones and with the recently announced Ascend W2, they’re carving a nice niche for themselves in the East.

While many in the West will dismiss Huawei as “cheap” or not worth their time, our exposure with the Ascend W2 may change your mind. Sure, the device falls on the low-end for features but it’s a solid budget offering that Window Phone fans should be proud of. It represents the brand well and we think it’s an excellent choice for new and aspiring shoppers.

Head past the break for our video tour, high quality photos and thoughts of this phone.

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Huawei have made the Ascend W2 UMTS version official - giving consumers in the smartphone market yet another option when deciding on which smartphone to purchase. According to the below press release the device should be available now in China (but has already been listed at retailers) - with roll outs later this month to Russia and the Netherlands, and further markets to follow in due course. 

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Huawei is attempting to fill in the Windows Phone market where Nokia is either absent or not as strong, and although their Ascend line is not half-bad, it’s not as (pardon the pun) luminous as Nokia’s offerings. Still, the Ascend W1 and the recent Ascend W2 do show that the massive Chinese company can make a solid low to mid-range Windows Phone.

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Earlier this year, we saw Huawei's Ascends W1 Windows phone launch in Russia at a very wallet-friendly price of 11,990 rubles, which at the time was the same price as Nokia's Lumia 620. Now Hi-Tech@mail.ru is reporting that later this month, Huawei's other Windows Phone device, the Ascend W2 will follow suit, heading to Russia at the Lumia 620's current price of 8,990 rubles ($279.00).

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Huawei doesn’t make big splashes in the Windows Phone world, but they’re still very committed to the platform. Just yesterday we shared the news that Huawei was still on board with Windows Phone, despite Microsoft buying Nokia’s hardware division. So far they’ve produced two devices – the Ascend W1 and more recently the Ascend W2. But there’s a third on the horizon, the Ascend W3.

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It’s hard to believe it was a little over a week ago that Microsoft announced plans to buy Nokia’s devices and services unit for a cool $7.2 billion. Such a move easily triggered fears that other OEMs might not look so favorably at the deal and their enthusiasm for Windows Phone would wane. Not that many OEMs put anywhere near as much effort as Nokia, but that’s for another day. Either way, don’t worry about Huawei who has gone on record stating their support for Windows Phone.

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Huawei is one of the few Windows Phone OEMs that have not been discouraged by the dominance of Nokia. Recently the Chinese phone maker just released its Ascend W2 to the Chinese market. We have heard quite a bit about the successor to the W1 in the past. But today we finally get to see it in full function.

Let's go over the specs of W2 first. It's not a superstar device by any definition: 4.3" touchscreen with a resolution of 800x480, dual core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, a 5 megapixel rear camera that does not come with a LED flashlight like most other smartphones do these days, and no front-facing camera at all. That's right. It's not a high end phone, and never intended to be sold as one. Ascend W2 is currently sold on Chinese e-commerce website 360Buy for CNY 999 (US$ 163), or even cheaper if you are of higher-tiered membership at 360Buy.

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In tech media, it’s always the big, whizz-bang devices that tend to garner the most attention from enthusiasts. After all, they tend to have a disposable income and they are at the forefront of mobile technology. They're also the loudest for complaints or praise, dominating the conversation.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is a perfect example, coming in at nearly $700 without a subsidy and $299 with—most people can’t afford it, but it reaps the headlines. And people still want it to have better, more expensive specs. Meanwhile, mid to low range devices are met with derision and scorn as people who are in well financed, established markets chime in on a device not aimed at them. We even see it here on this site, where people just want quad-cores, 1080P displays and envelope-pushing gizmos, yet they lament devices like the Lumia 625.

But the reality of the market is that smartphone prices are dropping favoring devices like the Lumia 52x and Lumia 62x or Huawei with their Ascend W1 and W2. According to the IDC, the average smartphone price has plummeted from $450 to just $375 in the last year. That trend is expected to continue with the average price headed to $350 and lower in 2013 and that directly cuts into the profit margins of Apple and Samsung, who often bet on high-end smartphones like the iPhone 5 or Galaxy S4 (neither of which are cheap).

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While most of the Windows Phone world is focused on Nokia’s big move, we can’t forget (or dismiss) some of the other OEMs who are bringing new devices to market. Such is the case with Huawei and the Ascend W2, a device which was initially rumored to be a worthy flagship contender but has since dropped to mid-range status.

While the specs of the device make this on par with the Lumia 720, Huawei does bring something new to the table: colored LED capacitive buttons, dependent on your Accent color of choice.

We’re not going to lie, that’s a pretty unique and innovative feature that we would have predicted Nokia to have come up with. In short, when a user changes the Accent color in Windows Phone 8 to one of the 20 pre-set color patterns, the Back, Windows and Search key will also reflect that color choice.

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Huawei wants to work with Microsoft and Nokia to "build love" for Windows Phone rather than battle against the manufacturer in a market that leaves little room for competitors to work alongside one another, according to a report over at Pocket-lint. Mind you, this is after we covered Huawei looking to purchase Nokia. Anything's possible, right?

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If you just glance at headlines you’d feel like we’re living in a Nokia world when it comes to all the OEMs making Windows Phone devices and apps. We haven’t had anything substantial from Samsung or HTC since the launch of Windows Phone 8. But there is a dark horse in the OEM scene – Huawei.

The Chinese company doesn’t have a big presence here in the US, but between making brazen comments about buying Nokia and upcoming handsets you might start noticing them a bit more. One of those handsets, the Ascend W2, has been making the rounds the past few weeks in leaks, teases and now in person at the 2013 Mobile Asia Expo.

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