Huawei Device has today announced its first ever Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the Huawei Ascend W1, backed by UK launch partner O2. Huawei was not among the hardware partners for Microsoft’s latest smartphone operating system when it launched last year, but the Chinese technology giant confirmed that it was interested in getting on board with the platform.

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At the CES 2013 show in Las Vegas this week, Huawei officially announced the  Ascend W1, running the  revamped Windows Phone 8 software.

But as the new device is billed  as a “powerful entry-level smartphone”, this indicates that Huawei still views  Google’s Android as its primary operating system for more premium handsets.

The Ascend W1 has a 4-inch IPS LCD touchscreen, which is the same size  as the iPhone 5, but seems rather modest compared to the  6.1-inch screen-toting Android phone also announced at CES by Huawei.

The screen also boasts a rather modest pixel resolution of 480×800, but  comes with full lamination technology, claimed to provide “brilliant visibility  under any lighting condition”.

Huawei has fitted the phone with the  Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8230 dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and Adreno 305 GPU.  The 1950 mAh battery is claimed to give 470 hours of standby time, the longest  among all smartphones in its class.

The 10.15 mm thick phone’s design  appears similar to the  Windows Phone 8X by HTC, and also comes in multiple colour options,  including blue, red, black and white.

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The phone has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, and 4GB of on-board memory  expandable to 32GB via microSD card.

“Inspired and powered by people,  the Ascend W1 is a combination of Huawei’s user-centric design philosophy and  Windows Phone 8 software, bringing consumers a truly compelling alternative,”  said Richard Yu, the chief executive of Huawei Consumer Business Group.

“The addition of the Ascend W1 to our smartphone portfolio gives  consumers access to an even wider range of Huawei smartphones.

“At a  price that makes sense to consumers, Ascend W1 underscores our commitment to put  smartphones within reach of every consumer, no matter who you are or what you  want from your phone.”

Windows Phone Division corporate vice president  Tyson Myerson added: “We are excited to be working with Huawei to further expand  our device portfolio to new locations and price points, allowing more people to  experience Windows Phone 8 while enjoying the Ascend W1’s unique features.”

The Huawei Ascend W1 will be available in China and Russia from January,  with Western Europe, Middle East, the US and other selected countries to follow  in Q1 2013.

In the UK, O2 has agreed a deal to become the launch partner  for the Ascend W1. The mobile network will offer the phone in blue and  ruby-pink, with pricing and availability to follow.