ITProPortal is heading across the English Channel towards a slightly overcast Paris.
Believe it or not, we're not going to see the Eiffel Tower, nor will we be looking for the Arc de Triomphe. The only thing we care about is the impending launch of the Huawei Ascend P7.
The Chinese company is already well-known for its telecommunications equipment activities (and for being accused of spying on US citizens for the Chinese government - by none other than the US government, which appears to have been spying on the world and its dog), but is keen to make a real statement on the consumer stage.
As we all know, nothing gets a tech journo's heart pumping like a flagship smartphone launch (it also helps if its somewhere abroad), so we're pretty excited to see what Huawei has to offer.
The Ascend P7's predecessor launched in London last year, and we were at first pretty impressed by the super-slim Ascend P6. However, it's fair to say that the handset was unfortunately a textbook case of form over function, earning a respectable but unspectacular 3.5 stars in our review.
We haven't got long until the official launch, so stick around for all of the lowdown. We'll also be bringing you as many pictures as possible, because we all love a good ogle.
- 11 May
That's that from us, folks! Thanks for tuning in and be sure to hit us up for the next big launch.
And finally, step forward Sony Xperia Z2.
How do your specs compare to those of Huawei's Ascend P7?
- 10 May
- 09 May
Next up, the Google Nexus 5 vs the Ascend P7. Have a gander.
How does Apple fare against Huawei's newest kid on the block?
Check out our iPhone 5S vs Ascend P7 spec comparison. You know you want to.
Interesting. A dead heat between the P7 and S5 so far.
What's better, the Huawei Ascend P7 or Samsung Galaxy S5? There's only one way to find out - SPEC COMPARISON!
Spec comparisons are on their way...
Anyway, those are my humble opinions. Please let me know if you agree or disagree via the comments section below, the polls or our good mate Twitter.
Since the Z2 is practically the spitting image of the P7, I can't really choose between the two.
First of all, the S5 has absolutely no defence.
And half of you reckon the ascend P7 is the best-looking smartphone in the world right now. High praise indeed.
Over 90 per cent of you believe - or certainly hope - that the new handset will take the game to the dominant forces in the market. Yes, we're looking at you, Apple, Samsung, HTC and Sony. Please wipe those smug smiles off your faces.
I can see that there's been an interesting response to both of our polls, and it looks like you readers really rate the P7.
Also, US government/National Security Agency, in case you're listening in - and let's face it, you definitely are - I've spotted no signs of spying from the smartphone yet. I'll keep you posted in case anything untoward happens, though.
It's official: the battery has run flat!
- 08 May
And on that note...
I don't think so.
Is it merely coincidental that this happened at the same time as a big rival launched a strikingly beautiful handset?
Also, did you hear that the head of Samsung's mobile design team has been ousted? The Galaxy smartphones have long been criticised for, well, looking a bit naff, and the South Korean firm has finally had enough.
We'll let you know how much joy we squeeze out of it.
By the way, after about eight hours of fairly heavy use, the P7 is already down to 40 per cent battery. According to the phone, we have four more hours until it goes flat.
Simply put, it makes us look slightly more like cartoon characters than we usually do.
Whatever your opinion of it, the beauty tool is a seriously addictive function. In general, it seems to smooth the appearance of skin, enlargen eyes, expand cheekbones and blur out excess hair.
Weird or what?
To hell with it. The picture is on its way up.
We're considering sharing the hideous picture here, but aren't sure if we're hardy enough to take the humiliation...
I took a "grouphie" (it's never going to catch on, is it?) earlier with the beauty tool enabled and the ITProPortal team came out looking like a freakish bunch of living dolls, complete with dangerously red lips.
In all honesty though, I really do not like the so-called "beauty enhancer" one bit.
By the way, are there any features missing from the phone that you would have liked to see? Before you say anything, I'm not talking about lasers or trumpets robotic feet. We like to keep things real around here.
Anyway, we've got our own copy of the Ascend P7, and we'll be delivering our final review as soon as we can. Let me assure you, it'll be worth waiting for.
The Xperia Z2 wasn't too far behind, with half-a-star less than its rivals.
Yowzer. That's a hell of a response, readers.
Get your votes in now!
You'll be pleased to know that we've got a poll for you! Hang on a sec...
If, somehow, you've only just joined us and don't want to catch up by trawling down this page, check out our bite-sized news article instead.
It'll be worth it, for sure.
Yes, yes, I know it's a bit early but this is a smartphone launch for goodness sake!
So who's still with us?
- 07 May
What are your thoughts? Are you satisfied? Disappointed? Would you consider buying the phone when it releases in a few weeks?
We must say, we liked the phone. The design is immaculate and the functionality doesn't seem too bad either. Obviously, we haven't spent long with it but it's definitely made a good first impression.
The hands-on review has landed. Check it out here.
Just got my hands on the P7. Hang on for my hands-on review.
Well thanks for joining us, especially if you came from one of our fellow tech publications who suffered crippling Wi-Fi issues, or (in the case of one) catastrophic battery failure. These things happen, and the important thing is that they tried their best.
Stay tuned for our hands-on review of the Huawei Ascend P7, and stick with ITProPortal for the best live coverage of major tech events in the future.
Definitely winding down now. We're all getting ready to race towards the actual smartphones.
The P7 will be available worldwide from 2 June!
Yves is pretending to have a conversation with his daughter on-stage. Once again, kind of odd. At least a few members of the audience are amused...
Dual SIM could actually be a bit of a game-changer. Huawei's looking to break apart other companies' siloes...
Huawei wants the whole world to enjoy the P7.
The Huawei Ascend P7 will have dual antenna, which should get you 50 per cent more signal. In theory.
This is like those "think of all the uses of a brick" intelligence tests...
To be honest, the P7 would be great for this type of event. I definitely require the ultra-fast snapshot function.
It's like Raiiiiiin on your wedding day!
So what we've heard so far is that the Ascend P7 is all about the camera. Seriously. Ellen DeGeneres, I hope you're paying attention.
A few people in the room seem to have been struck down by the giggles. They're not still laughing at "groufies" are they?
Not specs you can shake a stick at!
As for connectivity, we're looking at Cat4 LTE ready to go with global compatibility.
The P7 is also going to have a Kirin 910T 1.8GHz processor, which should keep it running pretty snappily.
Pretty impressive stuff!
So it takes only 1.2 seconds to take a photo on the Ascend P7 from sleep mode. You might need some quick thumbs, maybe - but that's still pretty impressive!
The 13Mp rear camera has good low light performance, and a 4th-gen Sony sensor to take extra-crisp photos. We should also be seeing a DSLR-level image processor.
Huawei also wants us to start using the term "grouphie" to describe their new panoramic selfie mode. Will it catch on?
So here's what Huawei claims consumers want:
Huawei director Changzhu Li is going to take us through it all.
Huawei wants to fix all the common problems we have with smartphone cameras: That's low light performance, how to take high-quality selfies and how to take pictures spontaneously
Now we're moving on to talk about the camera.
The blue-black looks very pleasingly shiny.
Interesting stuff: the lock screen is going to have updating wallpaper from magazines, plus quick settings and app shortcuts similar to iOS' control center...
We're going to see the Ascend P7 in 3 colours: pink, blue/black and white.
The all-important bezel is 2.97 mm wide.
Joonsuh is a charmer. He's just called us the most beautiful journalists in France!
Now Joonsuh Kim, VP of Mobile Design at Huawei is on stage to tell us a little bit more.
As for size, we're looking at 6.5 mm thick, a little more than the P6 - but thinner than iPhone 5S' 7.6mm, or the Galaxy S5's 8.1.
It has a 5in Full HD screen, with Gorilla Glass 3 both front and back. Also a 2500mAh battery for those power-gulpers out there.
Waxing lyrical over 4G...
Yu picking the phone out of a luminescent blue pyramid.
We've got the price in too: Price is €449 (£369), with UK price and launch following this month.
So the P7 has the predicted 4G LTE, plus a 13MP back camera, and 8Mp selfie-cam up front.
According to Huawei, the P7 "redefines craftsmanship, camera experience and connectivity."
"We won't stop there, our target is not number 3. We want to go beyond excellence."
To what? Superbness?
Richard Yu, CEO is now on stage.
We get the feeling those might be some frequently used words during this presentation...
"It redefines excellence to give you the edge"
Dancing, violins. Looks like Huawei is going for the less-is-more approach.
This performance is really impressive but so strange...
Wait, no. I think someone forgot to turn Enya off.
We take the giant 4G LTE logo to mean that we can assume it's included in the new P7...
We're being ushered into our seats. Things are about to get Huawei.
Poor PCAdvisor... their live blog isn't looking too healthy...
Don't you hate it when your excellence doesn't have edge?
A lot of other tech publications are having trouble with their Wi-Fi in the crowded hall - so if you want the latest updates, stay tuned with ITProPortal.
The room is getting loud. There's a weird mix of classical and techno music blaring out. Classic Huawei...
Catch you on the other side.
While I'm away, be sure to check out our Ascend P7 rumour article.
Anyway, I'm about to dash over to catch the Eurostar.
Lumia 1020 fans may snort at these but, honestly, who really needs a 41-megapixel whopper on a smartphone?
Having seen the company's activities at Mobile World Congress back in January, we know that Huawei's keen to capitalise on the "selfie" trend that current seems to have the world hooked. Therefore, we're also led to believe that the P7 will feature a juicy 8-megapixel front-facing camera and a 13-megapixel rear snapper.
We also expect it to pack 2GB of RAM, as well as the latest version of Android's luscious KitKat operating system.
First of all, we think it will boast a similarly slender fram as the P6, but with a slightly taller 5in, 1,080 x 1,920 pixel resolution screen.
Being a speculative bunch, we still reckon we've managed to pin down some of the features the P7 will pack though...
Wild claims and whispered specs have been kept to a minimum, which is refreshing but also quite frustrating. However, it does mean that the actual launch is still shrouded in some mystery.
Considering the Ascend P7 is a flagship, the rumour mill has actually been spinning a lot slower than usual in recent weeks.
That's, of course, assuming that the so-called "leak" is genuine.
In all honesty, the P7 doesn't look that different to its predecessor, and that's a very good thing indeed.
When this launched last year, we immediately agreed that it looked like somebody had grabbed an iPhone 5 and flattened it out with a rolling pin.
According to one naughty person on the web, this is the phone that will be revealed later today.
Feast your eyes on this...
Now who's ready for an (alleged) Ascend P7 photo leak?
For those of you who are awake, good morning! For those of you who are still asleep, I envy you.
- 06 May
By the way, have you checked out Huawei's pre-launch teaser? Here it is:
It's not quite managed to turn its dream into a reality yet, but has certainly made a name for itself in consumer spheres.
As explained above, I'm pretty excited about this launch. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Huawei at MWC back in February, and the company is determined to gain recognition as a serious player in the smartphone arena.
Welcome to our latest live blog!