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Huawei Ascend P6 Review

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Rating: 8/10

Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Bright and crisp screen
  • Beautiful Design
  • Great Front Camera

Cons:

  • Performance issues
  • No LTE

Design:

From the moment you open the box and catch a glance of the Huawei Ascend P6, you think to yourself, I didn’t order an iPhone 5. Huawei has done a fantastic job by making the world’s slimmest smartphone at an affordable price. There’s no denying that Huawei is bringing out better and better phones each year and soon will become a major player in the smartphone market.

The Ascend P6 is a well made phone, from its nicely rounded bottom edges and softened top corners to its textured plastic back, which fits comfortably in one’s hand. The P6 has tried to go for a more premium look for a mid-range phone. The phone does have an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone 5, which may encourage people to buy the phone or enrage iPhone users because yes, cheaper phones can look just as beautiful as their iPhone counterparts. The Ascend P6 is very thin at just 6.18mm thick and it makes one wonder if it could ever survive a drop, if you accidentally drop kick it across a room. Unfortunately, we could not simulate this test with our review unit but, from the looks of  it, the build and gorilla glass appear durable.

The Ascend P6 has that look, that the moment you whip it out your pocket, everyone around you is going to ask, “what phone is that?”. It walks a fine line of being a little feminine in terms of its slim fitting shape.

Huawei has thought of a very clever way for hiding the SIM card tool, by putting it inside the 3.5mm headphone jack. The only problem in doing this is where do you put the tool if you want to listen to music with your headphones.

Because of the lack of a removable battery, the SIM and SD card slots are located on the phone’s exterior, making them very easy to access. The special tool that is located inside the headphone jack makes it very easy to pop open the SIM and microSD card slots.

Huawei Ascend P6

Hardware:

Huawei has gone with its own in house processor, a 1.5GHz quad-core K3V2E unit. Backing up the processor is 2GB of RAM and just 8GB of storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card. The P6 also has a 2000 mAh non-removable battery. The display is a 4.7-inch 720×1280 LCD screen (312 ppi). Wi-Fi, DLNA, Bluetooth 3.0, a GPS and an FM radio are also part of the features list. Camera wise, you’ll find an 8MP unit at the back and a 5MP front facing camera.

While the Ascend P6 does have a quad core it performs like a dual core, it managed to achieve a 3DMark score of 2961 which is a score worthy of a budget handset but the P6 is not a budget handset. Gaming performance was average as there were framerate issues seen in some games such as Riptide, where it was a little jerky in some places.

Software:

Huawei has opted for its custom Emotion UI on the Ascend P6. What it does is works together with Android 4.2 by doing away with the app tray. All the widgets on the home screen are compact and make for an interesting OS. Visually it looks very nice but I did find it confusing to track down all the right apps at first. What I really like with the new Emotion UI is the profile bar which allows you to seamlessly switch between the profiles you want (for example work, home and sleep and the theme selections). The themes and transitions add a rather fresh take on home screen design.

Screen:

The Screen is a 4.7 inch LCD IPS display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 and a pixel density of 312 ppi. Colour on the P6 is very good, making for a beautiful display. Viewing angles and brightness are great, which is to be expected from an IPS display. One problem is that the screen is a bit too reflective, which can make daytime viewing a little problematic.

Battery:

The 2000mAh cell battery was enough for about 13 hours of everyday use. Doing tasks like emailing, playing games, social networking and taking pictures. This was achieved by switching between WiFi and cellular.

Camera:

The camera interface on the Ascend P6 has shooting modes like normal shot, panoramic shot, HDR and beauty face. The  camera apps are a bit slow to load, which is a little frustrating considering its running a quad core. Picture quality is decent with enough detail and sharpness but only in good lighting. I expected a little bit more from the 8 MP camera for a phone like this. Some shots were plagued with focusing issues and noise is prevalent in low light pictures.

But it’s the front camera that Huawei is claiming to be the P6’s main attraction. At 5 MP, it has a significantly higher resolution than any rival smartphones on the market and it is designed for the ultimate self-portrait. If Instagram and Snapchat ‘selfies’ are your thing then this device is a good choice. It even comes with a Beauty effect feature. This allows you to soften the focus of the camera, turning anyone into a blemish free supermodel or men’s health cover model.

Conclusion:

The Ascend P6 is a great phone but it’s disappointingly let down by its poor internals. Other than that I would recommend this phone if you’re in the market for a mid-range smartphone. Nothing can beat its style and design for its price. The P6 offers good value for money with its R4999 / £300 cash prices. Taking its value for money and beautiful design into account I feel the Huawei Ascend P6 deserves a 8 out of 10.

Kyle Jordan

Writer and editor for Tech Net Africa.

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