Huawei who? That's the question many English-speaking smartphone buyers might ask upon reading the company's logo. While Motorola, Nokia, RIM, Apple, HTC, and Samsung have each risen to prominence as premium handset manufacturers, Huawei is still relatively unknown, but the Chinese firm is dead set on changing that as soon as history will allow. Last year, Huawei's Ascend became one of the first smartphones to bring quality below the $100 price point, and now it's shooting for the stars: the Ascend P1 S might just be the world's slimmest handset at 6.68mm thick, and the Ascend D Quad has a home-baked processor that rips through benchmarks.

If first impressions are important to you, though, you'll want to pay close attention to what we're reviewing today: the Huawei Ascend P1, a thicker version of the P1 S that's first out of the gate. It won't set speeds and feeds records like its forthcoming cousins, but a dual-core 1.5GHz processor running Android 4.0 on a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen is nothing to sneeze at last we checked. Besides, how many smartphones let you turn off their manufacturer's potentially annoying UI at the press of a button? Read on.