Huawei kicked off CES right this morning by introducing its Ascend P1 S, the world's new king of thin. It's officially the world's thinnest smartphone, though the P1 model is slightly thicker due to its LTE connectivity. Richard Hu, Chairman of Huawei devices, was on hand to make his company's intentions quite clear: Huawei is a major player in the smartphone market, and with its Ascend P1, it can compete with the big names here in the States. Hit the break for more photos from the event.

And about that P1: it's got a gorgeous 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display at 960x540 resolution (coated with Gorilla Glass), which Huawei's Chief Design Director for smartphones Hagen Fendler called a "never-ending screen" due to its lack of a significant bezel. It's something that Fendler calls a design revolution, a product of his German design approach of "pure physical beauty" with "simple and powerful elements."

What's underneath the hood is perhaps what's most compelling about the P1: the device has a dual-core 1.5 GHz TI OMAP 4460 A9 processor, which Huawei claims is the fastest dual-core processor on any mobile device. Paired with SGX 540 graphics processor, the P1 should have plenty of juice to move Android 4.0 (which comes preinstalled) along quite smoothly. Around back the P1 has an 8MP camera packed with goodies including facial recognition, macro mode, continuous shooting "group shot" mode, and in-camera editing.

Huawei also focused on the P1's battery life, which they say has 40% more efficient power consumption than its competitors. The P1 also packs a global radio that boasts faster signal recognition than other smartphones.

As for pricing and release dates, it's true that all good things come with a wait. The Ascend P1/P1S will hit the European market by late March 2012, with Asian and and Middle Eastern markets following thereafter. As for the US, Huawei is shooting for a summer release, though no carriers have been named yet.

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