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Bargain Huawei Ascend W1 coming to O2 prepay

Windows Phone 8 for the masses

Huawei has revealed that its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the Ascend W1, will be coming to O2 prepay at the bargain price of £120 in March.

This makes it even cheaper than the Nokia Lumia 520 revealed yesterday, and makes Microsoft’s mobile operating system accessible to the masses.

The phone itself is a very standard Windows Phone 8 handset. Microsoft has laid down certain stipulations for the use of its operating system, one of which is a minimum 1GHz dual-core processor. The Ascend W1 isn’t quite at the bottom of the specification rung, therefore, thanks to its 1.2GHz model. There’s also 512MB RAM and 4GB of onboard storage, and a microSD slot for expansion.

Huawei Ascend W1

We checked out the Ascend W1 at MWC in Barcelona. The test handset was running the latest O2 build of Windows Phone 8, and it ran as smoothly as we expect from Microsoft’s mobile OS. The screen has a fairly standard 800×480 resolution, and it feels like a budget model, with far less contrast than more expensive phones and greyish blacks. We found the same was true for the Nokia 520’s screen, however.

Huawei Ascend W1

The Ascend W1 will be available in some loud colours, and looks like a great-value way to get into Windows Phone 8. Its main competition will be the Nokia Lumia 520, which is more expensive but has Nokia’s excellent integrated free music and navigation apps, so which you choose depends on how interested you are in the Finnish firm’s extras.

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