Back in the dim and distant days of the last decade, branded smartphones really were 'a thing'. A big thing. Especially for high-end fashion brands and vogeuish Premier League football clubs.
It was a time when LG collaborated with Prada and Samsung hooked up with Armani for handsets that featured exclusive wallpapers and footage of their catwalk shows. Both of which, critical to their success, could be had for a fraction of the asking price of the labels’ cheapest garms.
Football clubs got in on the act too. Club shops all over Albion cleared space for branded smartphones amid the team-strip in-car air fresheners and ‘For Her’ passion-throttling knickers.
It's not a period we much miss now. But it's an era which Huawei, for one, seems keen to revive.
Well ahead of schedule for the ‘00s style revival but hard on the heels of the deal that saw it become Arsenal's official smartphone partner earlier this year, today brings us an Arsenal-branded edition of the Huawei Ascend P7.
So what’s so ‘Arsenal’ about it, then? Well, as you’d expect with this kind of kit, the back features an embossed club badge and there are exclusive Arsenal wallpapers and snaps of the players too. So far, so familiar.
More inventively, the app icons have been redesigned with an Arsenal theme. So the clock icon takes the form of the familiar countdown clock that gave Highbury's Clock End its name.
Just as winningly, every time you fire up the phone, the start-up sound is the roar of Emirates crowd as it settles down to enjoy the game. And forgets all about the embarrassing fuss little Olivia made about the wild rabbit terrine in Upper Street's Euphonium Bakery.
Other than that, the Gooner-flavoured A7 is largely unchanged from the original version. That means you get a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, an eight-megapixel camera around the front for selfies and a 5-inch LCD touchscreen.
The 6.5mm phone also packs Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, as well as quad-core 1.8GHz Cortex processor. All of which is admittedly rather impressive at the kind of price point Huawei is asking for it.
The pick of the deals we could find is from Vodafone via mobilephonesdirect.co.uk. It's offering the Arsenal Ascend P7 for free from £17.50 per month, including 100 minutes per month and unlimited data and texts.
A Huawei TalkBand B1, which is part fitness band and part Bluetooth headset, is also bundled with the handset for free.