Hands-on with Huawei's frighteningly skinny Ascend P6
For the full low-down, read CNET UK's Huawei Ascend P6 review here, published June 24, 2013.
Earlier this year, Huawei impressed us with its super-skinny Ascend P2, but now the up-and-coming Chinese firm is looking to wow us a second time with the Ascend P6, a similar Android smartphone with a few hardware tweaks.
Huawei is fond of crafting creepily thin phones, and the P6 is no exception, measuring a slender 6.18 millimeters (0.24-inch) thick. The aluminium edges are very reminiscent of the iPhone, but the bottom of the phone is rounded, giving the P6 a tiny bit of original flair.
Like the P2, the P6 sports a 4.7-inch 720p display, and plays host to a quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. There's an 8-megapixel camera glued to its rump, while unusually, the front-facing snapper is a 5-megapixel affair, making the P6 ideal for Skype calls or carefully-posed sexy selfies.
Inside you'll find a 1.5GHz quad-core chip powering the P6, backed up by a hearty 2GB of RAM. There's 8GB of on-board storage, which you can beef up using a microSD card if you need more capacity.The battery is a 2,000mAh unit, which is smaller than the P2's 2,420mAh battery. Fingers crossed that doesn't see the P6 running out of juice halfway through the day.
Hands-on with the Ascend P6
I've already wrapped my mitts around the P6's aluminium frame, and can report that the phone makes a good first impression, especially in terms of build quality -- I didn't notice any creaking when manhandling the phone, and it feels very sturdy.
The 720p display looks sharp, and I was impressed at the clarity and colour when playing back some HD video. Similarly crisp is that front-facing 5-megapixel camera, an unusual feature that will satisfy the few of you out there who regularly make video calls from your smart phone.
Such a stud
Bizarrely, the P6's headphone socket is obscured by a metal stud. When you remove the cap you'll find it conceals a tiny metal spike, which looks a lot like a concealed poison dart, but in fact is used to pop out the SIM and microSD cards on the other side of the phone's chassis.
The placement of the headphone socket itself is odd, too, nestled onto the left side of the phone, instead of the top or bottom. That means your headphone cable will poke out the side, potentially taking up more room in your pocket or handbag, and getting in the way of your hands while you're trying to use the phone.
It's been Emotional
The P6 is powered by Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, though Huawei has liberally slathered its own Emotion interface over the top. The Emotion UI brings a host of quirky, optional visual themes that help to keep the interface feeling fresh, though unusually there's no app tray, so all your apps live on the phone's homescreen a la iPhone.
That's no disaster, but you will need to keep your apps carefully organised or they could become hard to track down in a hurry.
Unlike the P2, the P6 doesn't have any 4G capability, so you'll need to make do with boring old 3G for your downloads and Web browsing. That could save you a bit of battery life, but is unlikely to satisfy speed freaks who crave lightning-fast downloads.
All in all, the Ascend P6 feels like a decent Android smartphone that appears to offer equally decent hardware and a snazzy design. The Emotion UI, and precisely how annoying that headphone socket placement proves to be will be critical, and we'll examine them closely in our full review. Stay tuned, and let me know what you think in the comments below.