UK mobile operator O2 has confirmed pricing and availability of the Huawei Ascend W1. The Windows Phone was previously reported to be heading to the UK late next month, but the company has announced shipping will begin on March 7th. It's a mid-range Windows Phone 8 smartphone, which was unveiled earlier this year at CES.
So how much will consumers be looking to pay for the device? The PAYG (Pay As You Go) option (basically SIM-free) will see the Ascend W1 go for just £120, while monthly contracts will start from just £13.50 a month. Now that's aggressively priced to hit hard against HTC and Nokia. Huawei is yet to capitalise on Windows Phone and we can already sense the serious competitiveness the company will be bringing to the table.
To remind ourselves on what the Windows Phone will pack on the specification list, we're looking at a 4-inch IPS LCD display (800x480), dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, 4GB internal storage (with microSD support), a 5MP rear shooter and a 1950mAh battery to boot. But there's more good news as O2 will be stocking both the blue and ruby pink variants.
The only issue is the latter colour won't be available until March 17th - apologies folks. But at that price we can't imagine anyone complaining about another few week's worth of waiting. Huawei will be pushing this mid-range Windows Phone as an alternative to the massive supply of Android handsets that don't offer the butter smooth experience which is guaranteed with any Windows Phone.
What's more is The Ascend W1 will be going up against the new Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 Windows Phones that were announced by Nokia at Mobile World Congress. It'll be interesting to see how Huawei markets the Ascend W1 in the UK to build interest in not only the platform, but the brand as well. As a side note: O2 will be launching the Lumia 920 in March.
Be sure to head on over to the O2 store (or check your local branch) for more information.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.