Ascend D Quad

Huawei had a sizeable presence at CTIA this year, much like it did back at CES and Mobile World Congress earlier this year. The Chinese company looks poised to enter the high-end smartphone market, marking a shift from the mid to low-range devices it has made a name for itself with. Huawei hopes to achieve its goal with the Ascend line, a group of phones that have the guts to stand up to the likes of Samsung, Motorola, and HTC. At the top of the heap sits the Ascend D Quad (the D, Huawei says, stands for Diamond), the gem of the line.

We first saw the D Quad in Barcelona, but things have changed a bit. In the past few months, Huawei seems to have added a custom skin to its Ascend line, a departure from the nearly-vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich experience we first saw. We won’t complain though: things don’t seem to have slowed down, and the skin is certainly not painful to look at.

Other than that, the phone remains largely unchanged. It’s still got a beautiful 4.5-inch 720p display with PPI approaching 330, a Huawei-made K3V2 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, and a “best-in-class” 8MP camera. Everything adds up to a beautiful experience: the D Quad is thin, light, and really gorgeous. It might not have the name recognition of the One or Galaxy S lines, but I assure you, this is not a device to disregard.

The D line comes with a few variations: opt for the D1 and you’ll get a processor clocked at 1.5 GHz; opt for a Quad XL, and you’ll get a 2,500 mAh battery, up from the standard 1,800 variant. The model you’re looking at here is the standard D Quad.

The release date for the D Quad is a bit fuzzy: the model in my hands is HSPA+ only, though Huawei would like to launch the LTE-equipped version sometime this summer, though no US carriers have bit just yet. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that they do, though, as we feel that Huawei is in it to win it. Hit the break for another look.