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Huawei’s 4-inch Ascend W1 will be availale in the UK and Russia this quarter, but the company is launching a new device in its home country first. Currently available in black at the official online store, Huawei’s Ascend W1 is a dual-core, UMTS 900/2100-flavored smartphone priced at ¥1,599 or about $260, making it the cheapest Windows Phone 8 device you can get in China, says Engadget.

The Huawei Ascend W1 has a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 512MB of RAM with 4GB of native storage that can be expanded using the microSD slot. There is a 5MP camera on back with a front-facing VGA shooter for self-portraits.


Huawei, the world’s No.2 telecom equipment maker, says profits increased by 33 percent in 2012, despite US security concerns. Huawei makes both handsets and infrastructure equipment, making them a global integrated telecommunications leader.

According to Huawei Chairman Richard Yu, at next month’s Mobile World Congress, Huawei is expected to reveal the Huawei Ascend W2. This model, also powered by Windows Phone 8, is expected to feature a larger 4.5 inch HD screen with a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of native storage with an 8MP camera is on back.

The W2 is competing with Nokia’s Lumia 920, and is expected to cost about $520 USD. The Lumia 920 is sold in China by China Mobile with an exclusive version, the 920T, which includes a faster GPU.

Whether the Ascend W2 will support both TD-SCDMA (3G) and TD-LTE (4G) used by China Mobile is still unknown. Perhaps the Ascend W2 will be one of the first LTE “world phones”, usable in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The big manufacturers including Samsung, LG, and HTC are all waiting for Mobile World Congress in late February to announce their 2013 lineups.

Presumably, Sprint would want one handset that supports both TD-LTE at 2.6 GHz and FD-LTE at 1.9 GHz, as well as CDMA at 850 and 1.9 GHz…that’s a tough nut to crack. AT&T and Verizon haven’t even figured out LTE roaming between their incompatible 700 MHz services.

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