Last week I returned a 3 week review unit I was using – the Huawei Ascend P6. Stated to be the slimmest phone, when I took the handset out of the box, I was inclined to believe it. The device was slim, sleek and very nice to behold. And why should I not use that word? The phone exudes elegance. Class. Something that is truly unisex in nature but essentially a sexy piece of technology you would like to carry around. The handset I had was white and quite resembled a White iPhone 5S, and my son kept confusing it for the phone my wife just acquired. I don’t blame him. The resemblance was uncanny. With that said, let me get down to brass tacks.
The phone is petite. It is heavy but then if you had to pack a kilo of sardines into a tin made for 450 gms, it would feel heavier. Not that the P6 is a sardine can, but you get my point (I hope). All that tech into such a tiny form factor is bound to show somewhere, and while the Huawei P6 does not weigh a lot, 120 gms as compared to my S4, which is 130 gms – it does feel a lot tighter in a package than my S4. Again, the comparison the S4 is rude, because really the P6 is slotted in the S3 zone. If pitted against the S3, this phone really obliterates the competition.
In terms of pure form and design, the hardware feels firm, reliable, and exudes a charm that is clearly pitting the device against the iPhone 5s in terms of style.
The display on this phone is truly remarkable. IPS really does bring out the best on any phone and the uses every single pixel of that IPS+LCD screen. What is also does is reduce the pressure on the battery. While 16M colours on that 4.7″ screen does shine brightly, it is not the sharpest screen at with a 720×1280 resolution and ~312 ppi. I used the phone to play some of my favourite movies, sitcoms and games and the screen performed well. No lag, no dither, and in collaboration with the Quad-Core heart of this device, had no problem keeping up with 1080p video, high-spec games like FIFA 14 and Real Racing 3.
Colour depth and saturation were beautiful and even something as simple as the UI – with it’s icons – were nice and sharp with vivid yet clear imagery.
The Ascend P6 uses an all new Huawei Emotion UI to manage the interaction between human and device. The launcher has a few default themes in tow and quite frankly, almost every normal user would be more than pleased with them. The lack of the app drawer or “the menu button” is very refreshing.The access to all the apps in this format is clearly inspired from the iPhone, but is convenient and functional. The icons are clean and inspired from stock android with a nice rounded box to encase them.
What I like about the P1 which is the first Huawei I used, i still have 2 at home ;), is the fact that it stays true to the stock Android form. With the Emotion UI, the P6 has taken that to the next level with some customisations that really do the phone a lot of good. It is not slow nor is there any lag from using the launcher and is a treat for new phone users too.
Whether you like it or not, the camera on a smartphone is something that EVERYONE will use. Huawei take great pride in their image capture prowess and rightly so. While their phones are not exactly equipped with SLR level technology – as point-and-shoot cameras go, they probably have a camera that is fairly well stocked to take good photographs that you could be proud of. It has the standard slew of options including panorama, burst, HDR and so on and they all funtion just as you would imagine. Fine tuning is possible to some extent using advanced settings.
Video capture is in 1080p quality and it is pretty damn slick to see on a wide screen tv – crystal clear and sound is not bad either.
The P6 is powered by a 1.5 GHz Quad Core processor that does duty rather efficiently on this device. Since there are no floating frappy apps that Huawei loads on for no apparent reason, the device is always on peak performance and does what it is told, when it is told. Application boot up is snappy, camera is not laggy, video rendering is super smooth, sound delivery is clear and all of this can happen simultaneously for all we could know and it would probably do the duty happily. In fact I was multi-tasking a few games and a 1080p video at one time and it happily did them all with equal gusto.
This phone is recommended if you are in the market for a good value for money phone. Don’t let the brand fool you. Yes, this is from China, but I’ll tell you that you should not let that detract from what it is – a sturdy, classy looking phone with the reliability of a big brand and excellent features to boot.