The Huawei Ascend P7 is an attempt by Huawei to put their products in a premium segment, close to the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone. I’m writing this, because maybe some people out there are curious about the phone or how to root it. As far as I’ve got it figured out multiple phones are sold with that name, I got the L10. These first couple of days I’ve been happy with it 🙂
Table of Contents:
Ascend P7 Review
I’ve tried a wild number of phones and previously I have owned and used a Samsung Galaxy S3 for a year, so that’s my personal background when writing about this. Also, I am a power user. I do many things, a lot and often at once. That’s the bar a phone has to pass so I can be happy using it.
The Android version is currently 4.4.2 at the time of writing, so it’s quite up to date. The user interface overlay is called Emotion UI and is alright. I would probably go for stock, if I could. It’s got some built in Theme Switching and looks a lot like iOS 7. The theming and layout are things I do not primarily care about, because I spend most of my time inside apps anyways and the layout doesn’t differ that much from stock Android, so it’s not disturbing.
The camera app can with a setting be triggered by the volume up key, which is pretty handy.
I compared the hardware specs between the Ascend P7 and the S5 prior to buying it, obviously, since I didn’t want to end up with a slow phone, since I’m a power user 😉
2GB of RAM, 16GB internal memory and a CPU that makes it hard to compare to others, because Huawei is doing their own thing, so I can’t really tell how much slower it is. It runs smoothly running games, Spotify and Ingress at once for me. The battery life is an upgrade for me (2500mA/h), so I’m happy. The micro SD card slot and micro SIM slot are in the side and inside a tiny tray, kind of like the iPhone 5.
The device has no option key. The virtual keys in the bottom are: back, home and window / app list.
For people who think the feel is important: this phone isn’t for you. No aluminium casing, no prestigious logos, it’s pretty much an octagon with rounded corners.
Front 13MP, Back 8MP, that’s the specs. Sadly the noise level is quite high, so if you want to use your phone as a camera frequently and care a lot about the quality in low light environments, you’re better off with another phone.
The display is pretty clear and comes with 445 pixels per inch for the 1920×1080 pixel resolution across 5.5 inches. It’s a pleasure reading on it and I’m happy about the resolution upgrade from my previous phone. Also it remains readable from multiple angles, which is great.
Rooting the Huawei Ascend P7
Please remember that some manufacturers and vendors consider the warranty void after a root, if you hand in your phone for repairs, remember the factory reset
For rooting your phone, in other words, to gain administrator priviledges or rights, you will have to set a couple of settings on it first. These are meant for developers, but they will do.
- Open Settings
- Go to Security
- Enable Unknown Sources
- Open Settings
- Go to About Phone
- Tap on Build Number 7 times
- Open Settings
- Go to Developer Options
- Enable USB Debugging
Now you need to connect the phone to your computer with the micro USB cable, on your phone you will need to set it to: PC Suite (HiSuite) (Use HiSuite on your computer to manage your phone)
After this you need to run Root Genius and you’re done 😉
Root Genius works on Linux through [wine] by the way. If you have disabled the
dbghelp.dll you’ll need to re-enable that to run Root Genius.
Disabling the Camera Shutter Sound on the Ascend P7
There is no option in the camera app or the phone to disable the shutter sound on the Huawei Ascend P7, so you will have to root your phone for that, as described above.
So for all the people who do think they should not be bothered by the laws in some far away country that don’t apply to them and they prefer their smartphone camera silent, here’s what you do:
- Root your phone
- Download a file manager on Google Play (example: ES File Explorer File Manager)
- Enable “Root Explorer” in the sidebar
- Navigate to Local, Device, then:
- Rename “camera_click.ogg” to “camera_click.ogg.backup” (or just anything but the original name)
- Restart your phone
That’s it. Now your phone can’t find the right file to play and you can take photos without the mind grinding shutter sound!
The Huawei Ascend P7 is a nice phone. It’s in the middle class and I just didn’t want to spend about twice as much for the other phones I was considering. I got it for 2500 DKK, which is 423 USD or 335 EUR. That’s a lot less for me than some phones with just a little higher specs, but a more recognized brand.
In the end, there are better phones, but for me the price / performance ratio here I think is pretty good, plus I don’t have to worry as much about dropping it on concrete, as I would with a 600 USD phone.
The camera shutter sound was seriously annoying, but luckily I could fix that thanks to the developers of Root Genius and all the other cool people that write about these topics!