At just 6.68mm thick, the Ascend P1 S is the world’s thinnest smartphone. That may or may not change over the coming days of CES, with every company vying for our time and headlines, but to give you a sense of just how thin the phone is, the Droid Razr is 7.1mm thick at it’s thinnest point, and the iPhone 4/4S is practically fat in comparison at 9.3mm.

Huawei is best known for Android devices in Asian markets, but has released a few models over the past six months in the US. The Ascend P1 S is fairly beefy, running a 1.5GHz dual core processor (Texas Instruments OMAP 446), 1GB of RAM and Android 4.0. The phone itself has a 4.3″ SuperAMOLED display encased in Corning’s Gorilla Glass, with a display resolution of 960×540, paltry compared to recent 720p phones.

The weird bit about the P1 S isn’t the phone itself, but it’s malformed twin brother, the P1. Almost a footnote in Huawei’s press release, the P1 is identical in functionality, but the build is bigger and bulkier, though it does not have a larger screen. Both phones will release in April of this year. I’ll get to test both devices out tonight at the Showstoppers Pepcom event, so stay tuned.

Update ~ Hands-On

I sat down and got some hands-on with both Huawei devices, the P1 S and P1, and they are notable. The P1 S is slim almost beyond belief. Both have fairly plasticy and glossy backs, and both were running Android 4.0 (and will release with 4.0, thankfully). The software was very snappy, and I was impressed not only with how fluid the OS was but also with how well it was incorporated into the phone already. Unlike the Galaxy Nexus, it has the function to act like a tablet by turning the phone on the side (and all of the icons flipping to the right direction).

The true remarkable nature of the P1 S is just how slim the phone is. Putting the P1 S and P1 side by side, it’s hard to tell that there’s any difference. Both phones are thin. But the P1 S in the hand almost looks anorexic, but perhaps in a good way (there’s a good way? -ed.), It’s so slim and light that it’s almost not even there. On the one hand it may be easy to lose in the couch when it falls out of your pocket, while on the other you can have more space in your pockets for change, papers, or, well, other things.

It should be interesting to see how Huawei’s upcoming phones compare with today’s top models, especially since both the Ascend P1 S and P1 are some of the only models shown at CES that will actually ship with Android 4.0 immediately, which is both great for Huawei but sad for the Android ecosystem as a whole. In any case, if you don’t know the name Huawei (pronounced wah-way), now might be the best time to get to know it.



James Pikover

 
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.