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Huawei Ascend W1, the cheapest Windows Phone ever?

As one of the launching OEM partners of Microsoft, Huawei is terribly late with their Windows Phone products. It took them awful lot of time to bring Ascend W1 to the market. The device is barely unique by any means so far. But if the picture above is to be trusted, things might start to turn in Huawei's favor.

A guy on Sina weibo ("China's Twitter") took this snapshot on a phone sales fair organized by China Telecom. The price tag says CNY 1,599, which translates into US$ 258. That is the "asking price" from Huawei itself though. In the hands of distributors and resellers, the price will very likely be even lower. So, Ascend might be the cheapest Windows Phone 8 device available in the market thus far. Competition be praised.

According to Chinese tech site WPDang, Huawei apparently asked its factories to manufacturer 500 thousand units of Ascend W1 for the first batch. Let's see if that persuasive price could do magic.

Source: Sina Weibo, WPDang

 

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Reader comments

Huawei Ascend W1, the cheapest Windows Phone ever?

66 Comments

After playing with it for a bit i just noticed how slow it was and how the screen always stuttered on pretty much anything moving. I know its a low end device, but it could at least run as smooth as any WP7 device.

Ok, i have just registered here and i need to comment to this specific post. I am calling you out as a liar, yes sir , i say it to your face you are a lair.
 
Now i am not normally one to be so full on, i dont normaly call people names or even begrudge people twisting the truth a little, but to say the W1 stutters and and that you think it is an obvious low end device is so wrong i actually felt so enraged i decied to register to let you know.
 
The W1 which i got just to test it out, is an amazing phone, fast, yes it is , and one of the best displays i have seen in this price range, actually no, it is the best display in the price range full stop. I have used ot for 3 months and not had it freeze once or any app lock up the device or reset the device or anythign, i have never had the screen give anything but the best quality views and cannot belive that someone could say it is rubbish, if anythign it beats every android appart from the top 5 phones in the market, and yes it beats the iphone.
 
I dont caare who you are, you could be the queen of a country for all i care, i just wanted to come here and let everyone know how much of a liar you are.

My HTC Titan was pretty horrible, hated that phone! crappy reception, call quality and support from HTC... Never getting another HTC device

At least HD7 and Titans were big and had good cameras. The Trophy literally had nothing going for it. Terrible screen, terrible camera, and the same size as the old iPhones. They named it after the fact that Xbox is included, which is just sad.

Agree about the Titan. Loved the screen and camera, but the reception made it pretty horrible as a "phone."

Based on my experience, the HD7 has been a great phone. Mine continues to serve me quite well.

My wife and I took advantage of BOGO HD7s at COSTCO in NOV '10. My first HD7 had a broken camera button. Paid T-Mobile $10 to ship me a refurbished HD7. That phone has dreadful reception. My wife and I can be in same room, she will call me and my phone goes right to voice mail. I dropped calls driving in Atlanta when my colleagues with T-Mo say they never drop calls. We dumped T-Mo last week for AT&T. One of the reasons I did not get and 8X is the poor experience with my HD7. I hope the L920 is better.

Sounds like an issue specific to t-mobile or due to it being refurbished phone. I've never had even the slightest issue in over 2 years usage. I'm with Vodafone in Australia, but I've also used it in Malaysia, Thailand, Dubai, and Russia without a hitch.

Had 3 HD7 phones here for 2 years.  I really liked my HD7 but I've moved to a Lumia 810 for the FF camera (heavy Skype user for work), but my wife and son have opted to stick with their HD7's ... they love 'em.

You misspelled "best" :P Seriously, how the heck is the HD7 even slightly bad? I've had mine for 2 years and it's still amazing. It takes fantastic photos, great sound, never crashes or has any issues and it has a kick-stand. What's not to love about it?

Sorry, for me it has to be Dell Venue Pro. The device, as beautiful as it may have been, was the worst one in Windows Phone. Horrible support from Dell. It sold for high price initially with defective hardware, firmware problems with wifi, missing device drivers for compass. Dell wouldn't even help me SIM unlock the device either. There isn't any custom/unlocked rom for it, making things uncertain wheter it would ever get 7.8.

Using an hd7 right now as I type this. The only problem I've really had was the disappearing keyboard, which has been fixed. My only concern is why they went with such a crap battery. 1230 Mah is ridiculously low. Have to take a charger to work so I don't go all day without a phone. I know they sell extended ones, just haven't found one that has the same form factor.

My HD7 will easily go all day and night - I turn off 3G unless I really need it, I usually have data turned off too and only leave WiFi on (at work all day). I leave brightness at Medium (auto mode drains your battery). I disable 90% of  background tasks that I don't need. If I'm going out all night I turn on battery saver.
But yeah, if I'm playing games or using it extensively it will drain in a few hours.

Huawei issue phones to inexpensive carriers. Where the true prices are. We pay more for higher ends for bragging rights. So we can battle smartphones with our friends.

They are exactly the same price range, except Nokia has the SW goodies, while Huawei doesn't. To those same inexpensive carriers, even.

We need more low-end devices, still waiting in that sub $150 mark. Deliver a WP at that price and one may be able to disrupt a segment of the overall market.

I agree.. I think windows phone could dominate the low end market because the OS is more stable.. Low end androids are crap and more bothersome than they are worth. $250 is a nice price for this on mobile, would be like $50 down and $10/mth on value or $100 with monthly4g plan.

The electronic anti-theft device attached to the phone is probably more expensive.
Good to see some lower entry-point devices.

Here here. Would be ideal for my dad. The large icons are great and you don't need loads of apps either on the home screen.

hah. my lumia 800 costs 200 euro and it works very smoothly. buy it if u want cheap wp phone :P

I wouldn't buy a Huawei device if my life depended on it. The company is downright criminal in stealing technology from companies like Cisco and Nokia. Their network equipment blatantly steals and uses old, insecure, hacked copies of Cisco IOS, and from the looks of things, their phones are just cheap knockoff designs of their competitors.
 
I may have to tolerate the fact that Chinese slave labor assembled my phone, but I don't have to buy from a company well known for stealing.

Hear hear.
 
They have platantly stole from Cisco, Nokia and Ericsson back in 90's and ealry 2000. Nokia has for years been huge spender on R&D (actually on the top 2 in EU for 10 years) and they pretty much just saw that melting down with the two Chinese platantly copying. 
 

Lol they're masters at copying and how they became the giants in electronics and cars that they are today (Japan in particular)

me too, I'm also waiting for Nokia Lumia 620 because nokia always has a great service for its customers and the Nokia exclusive apps are just great !!

I'm waiting for a lumia 620 but the 512mb memory size could be a pbs as the 256 in the 610. If some good app cannot run on lowend device, I will go to the 920 at the end of my two years contract in next february.

me, I will buy Huawei but I'm waiting for the w2.
We will make mainland Chinese brands the best in the solar system lol

Why would you buy a cheap chinese knock off when you can purchase something made by Nokia?  No thanks, Huawei.  Thanks for contributing to the WP eco system (which gives it cred) but I'd council anyone from actually buying anything from you.

The huawei W1 is selling very very well in the UK, Too all those that say it is rubbish, i bet you have not used one, it is a solid fast and very clear phone, i have two and i would not at this moment in time change them for anything other than a Nokia or one of the top android phones selling for $600.

Go Huawei. but I will wait for Ascend W2 if I'm going to get a windows phone.
I only support Mainland Chinese brands. We will rule the future, very soon!

Well, I'm currently using Huawei Ascend W1 now, it is not cheap at its release(I bought it at the price of 1399 rmb... But after the 520 release...its price go down to 999rmb....
The phone is just ok. BUT DOWN WITH THE RESTRICTIONS OF MARKET!! I WANT.TWITTER AND FACEBOOK AND SKYPE!!!!!
The first two editions of w1 sold in China have some problems: mono sound, crack sound, a straight line right on the screen because of lack of quality control......
but last week they finally make an ota update and fix all the problems. They finished on march but Microsoft verify the update for 1.5 months!!! That's AMAZING!!

Well my friends, I know your concerns for Huawei devices, the USA gov and media did want to kick Huawei off not only because security(they did not find clues), but because Cisco gave them money for election. Cisco is beaten by Huawei in the other part of the world and do not want Huawei to capture the last market it have. Huawei's localization and services are in nearly every country, cheap and strong, so most carriers prefer it.
Cisco's devices also have security problems, so it is a politic issue, not because of product.
You have Japanese made game consoles and it can also be used by JP army to make supercomputer by connecting them together....