Nabbing the title of the world’s thinnest smartphone, you just have to look at the Huawei Ascend P6 to realise that this thing is a beauty.
Clean lines, tapering to a rounded base and a metal band around the sides. Sure, it may look like an iPhone, but in this case, that’s no bad thing.
Aside from looking splendid and measuring just 6.18mm though, what else should you expect from Huawei’s latest flagship? For starters, it features a 4.7-inch 1280×720 IPS display and a custom quad-core processor clocked at 1.5Ghz.
There’s also 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot for further expandable memory, up to 32GB, and an 8-megapixel camera with a F2.0 aperture and BSI technology. Huawei has also included a whopping 5-megapixel camera on the front of the device.
Huawei Ascend P6: Design and screen
Available in a range of colours and supporting a range of themes, the Huawei Ascend P6’s design and screen come together to create a charming aesthetic.
Starting with the body, it offers a premium feel and sits very well in the hand and pocket, feeling waif like, but rich at the same time.
The design highlight is without a doubt the curved base, giving it an identity beyond other iPhone-a-likes on the scene. The finish is also striking, comparable to the HTC One, placing the Huawei Ascend P6 at the top of the ladder in terms of look and feel.
Its 4.7-inch IPS display offers 720p resolution, so its aspect ratio will be perfect for movies and its pixel density suited for reading text and web pages. It’s high quality and great to use, with pure whites and vibrant colours by LCD standards.
Huawei Ascend P6: Interface and performance
Looking inside the phone and you’ll find Android 4.2. Despite being the latest widely available version, this take on Android 4.2 barely feels like Android at all.
Huawei has its own Emotion UI on board, killing the applications drawer, laying themes, redrawn icons and widgets all over the interface and making everything look very, well, Huawei.
With all your apps displayed across the homescreens, you can add and remove these at will. Apps can be customised into folders, and you can deploy a range of standard and custom widgets with ease.
The notifications bar will be familiar to Android users, and the settings will give you all the functionality you would expect from an Android powered phone. In addition, it goes without saying that the Google Play Store is on board, offering a wealth of applications at your disposal.
Despite the quad-core Huawei K3V2 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and the 2GB RAM, performance is the main area the experience suffers. Loading times can feel sluggish, app installs take too long and fundamentally, it doesn’t feel like the quad-core devices we’re used to – a real shame considering how well it reads on paper.
Huawei Ascend P6: Camera and multimedia
The cameras are an interesting combo on the Huawei Ascend P6. On the front is a 5-megapixel camera for the most detailed selfies on the block, while on the reverse, an 8-megapixel sensor.
Both perform well. The front facing camera offers up novelty factor in spades thanks to a beauty bar. You can see it in action in the video review above, but to summarise, slide the bar up and your skin will look smoother, your eyes will look brighter and your ego will get bigger.
Much more traditional is the 8-megapixel, f/2 rear facing camera. Low light performance is respectable, with the flash working nicely to illuminate group shots for example. The macro mode has an extremely close focal range for a camera phone and detail is nice and strong. There’s even an on board image editor to tweak your shots to perfection.
Full HD video is also respectable. Thanks to the 720p display, above and beyond being a pleasure to record on, it’s a pleasure to watch on.
Huawei Ascend P6: Connections and battery
Strangely, Huawei hasn’t included LTE connectivity on the handset. Instead, the Ascend P6 is limited to HSPA+ speeds of up to 21Mbit/s, with uploads topping out at 5.76Mbit/s.
The 8GB internal memory can be coupled with a microSD card of up to 32GB, while other connections include a micro USB port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSIM slot.
With its 2000mAh battery, you’ll likely just get a day out of the Huawei Ascend P6 if you’re using it heavily. Light to moderate use will give you a comfortable full day, though little more. This isn’t perfect, admitedly, but for a device this thin, we can understand why Huawei couldn’t pump more juice inside.
Huawei Ascend P6: Conclusion
Where the Huawei Ascend P6 really shines is in terms of value, looking like it should cost a lot more than £330 off contract.
There are compromises, don’t get us wrong. The phone has some real performance issues, not to mention a mediocre max internet speed of 3G. The battery life could also be better and the user interface a little bit lighter.
Still, with its very high resolution front facing camera and striking design, the Huawei Ascend P6 is perfect for anybody who’s image conscious, camera-centric and on a mid-range budget.