Windows Phone doesn't extend far beyond Nokia these days, but Huawei is looking to push its own credentials in the Microsoft ecosystem with its own WP8.1-rocking Ascend W2.
We first heard about the follow-up to Huawei's Ascend W1 when a press image leaked in May, and after launching the W2 in its home market in August, the Chinese mobile superpower has decided to bring it to European markets starting this month.
The arrival of Windows Phone 8.1 has been dominated by headlines about quad-core processors and full HD displays, but the Ascend W2 has neither.
Instead, it's targeted firmly at the more budget-conscious Windows Phone user and its specs don't even challenge the upper limit of what Windows Phone 8 allowed, never mind 8.1.
In keeping with rumours that emerged in July, the display is a 4.3in IPS LCD with a 480 x 800 resolution, which makes for a mediocre 217ppi pixel density – nothing to write home about in other words.
The processor is a dual-core 1.4GHz Snapdragon supported by 512MB of RAM, plus you get 8GB of on-board and 7GB of SkyDrive storage. The camera offers 5MP of snapping power and 720p video capture. No 4G compatibility, unfortunately.
As we mentioned when we first covered the Ascend W2 back in July, the trio of stock Windows Phone soft keys below the display can be colour-matched with your chosen WP colour scheme – cheap thrills yes, but actually quite a nice touch.
The big question is of course how much will all that set you back, and as of right now we have no idea. What we do know is that the Huawei Ascend W2 will go on sale in Russia and the Netherlands later this month, with other markets – including the UK – to follow.