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Aimed at the bottom end of the market, the Ascend W1 doesn’t sport the premium polycarbonate unibody of the Nokia Lumia 920 or the sultry design of the HTC 8X, as it looks instead to rub shoulders with the Lumia 520 and various Android handsets such as the Ascend G330, Orange San Diego and ZTE Blade 3.
With its rivals in mind you won’t be surprised when we tell you the Ascend W1 will set you back £119.99 on PAYG, or £13.50 per month on contract.
You can pick the Ascend W1 up in a fetching shade of Electric Blue or Electric Pink. It also comes in black (as our review model did) and white, but it’s not clear if the dark hue will be making its way to shop floors.
There’s a noticeable lip below the screen where the coloured plastic rear protrudes slightly, and it’s not a look we’re particularly keen on – although it does give you a flash of blue or pink from front on if you’ve chosen one of those colour options.
This adds extra length to the W1, but it’s not too much hassle in terms of the size as the W1 measures a manageable 124.5 x 63.7mm.
The all-plastic construction is hardly a surprise considering the price, but the Ascend W1 does at least feel sturdy and capable of taking a few knocks.
On the right you’ll find a dedicated camera key towards the base of the W1 – a requirement for any handset running the Windows Phone platform.
Nip round the back and you can expect a dose of deja vu, as the design of the 5MP camera lens and single LED flash is almost identical to that of theHTC One X.
A bonus here is the fact you can peel off the rear cover of the W1 to gain access to the 1,950mAh removable battery as well as the microSIM and microSD ports.
Slightly frustratingly, you need to remove the battery to access both of these slots, so you won’t be able to quickly swap SD cards as you please.