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Huawei Ascend P6 review

Chris Finnamore
2 Aug 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
336
inc VAT

Beautiful hardware spoiled by laggy software

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Specifications

Android 4.2.2, 4.7in 1,280x720 display

Huawei's press conference at Mobile World Congress in February was dominated by the launch of the Ascend P2, but even before the P2 hit the shelves in the UK Huawei had announced the very similar, if slimmer and prettier, P6.

Huawei Ascend P6

Like the P2, the P6 has a 4.7-inch 1,280x720 display, and it even has the same 1.5GHz quad-core processor. However, the P6 has a couple of advantages. Firstly, it runs Android 4.2 instead of 4.1, and is an incredible 7mm thick.

It's also a rather beautiful handset. The Ascend P6 is one of the rare phones that impresses people straight out of the box. The flat front and back and brushed metal sides are attractive, and the textured plastic rear makes the phone comfortable to hold. There's also a minimal air gap between the LCD and the glass touchscreen, which helps the operating system feel like it's right under your finger. We're also fans of the way the headphone port has a metal plug, which keeps the design clean, but we're not sure how long the plug would last before getting lost.

Huawei Ascend P6

Apparently the 3.5mm headphone jack is the limiting factor in how slim Huawei can make a phone

The P6 has the same screen as the P2, which is certainly a good thing. It may not be Full HD, but 1,280x720 pixels is enough to give you sharp text and icons on a 4.7in display, and you can read desktop-mode web pages when zoomed right out. We're also fans of the panel's clean whites and vibrant colours - it's certainly one of the better mobile screens we’ve seen.

Huawei has overhauled its Emotion interface for the P6. The round, blobby icons from previous Emotion versions have gone, replaced with smart, modern-looking squares. It looks great, but you may not like the operating system's layout. If you're used to Android, with its distinction between customisable homescreens full of icons and widgets and a main app tray for all your programs, you'll be lost at first. Emotion gets rid of the app tray entirely, leaving you with just homescreens for your apps and widgets.

Huawei Ascend P6

A lovely screen and a refresh for Huawei's Emotion UI

The UI adds more homescreens as you fill up the current ones, so you don't have to worry about space, but it does mean there's no distinction between apps and widgets you use all the time and those you only look at occasionally; you still have to flick through all the apps you own, rather than pinning your favourites to a dedicated screen. You can at least tidy things up by putting apps into folders.

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