A Star Smartphone, Ascend P6: Reivew [Un-boxing & Hands-on]

ascend-p6-main

Ascend P6 is the latest flagship device from the Chinese manufacturer Huawei, which claims it to be the world’s thinnest smartphone in the market today.

This phone grabbed much attention even before its launch – thanks to all the leaked images, specifications and then with an official teaser from Huawei.

Ascend P6 was unveiled last month in London and is now available for pre-order in Pakistan at discounted rate of Rs. 37,000. The phone is set to launch at the end of this month by Airlink Communication and will be available in 3 colors: black, white and pink for an expected price of Rs. 40,000.

Lets get straight to the un-boxing and hands-on video:

Design:

The first thing you will notice about P6 is that it is extremely slim and very light weight (120g) despite all that metal stuff. There is no doubt that this phone takes a little inspiration from iPhone with its squared-off body, flat glass front with aluminum edge and little black lines breaking up the band but that doesn’t mean its a complete knock-off.

Ascend P6 phone has a unique slim shape and with a rounded bottom and brushed aluminum back, which gives it a premium feel.

top

You may wonder that why Ascend P6 is called P6, as its the third device in the P series by Huawei so it must be named P3? Well I think that’s because this phone is only 6mm thick (6.18mm to be exact) almost 3.1mm slimmer than HTC One (another metal bodied phone).

top-with-htc

On the front we have a 4.7″ IPS in-cell LCD screen with gorilla glass protection. The bezels are very thin, adding beauty to the design. You can also use the phone while wearing gloves with the gloves mode turned on, which actually increases the responsiveness of the screen.

bottom

Above the screen there is notifications LED, light sensors, ear speaker and front facing camera. The Huawei logo is pushed below the screen this time and microphone is located in the rounded bottom.

side-with-pin

On the top there is micro USB / Charging port and noise cancellation microphone, which is quite unusual. The power/unlock button and the volume rocker is placed on the right with microSD and SIM card trays.

On the left side there is a metal button, once removed it turns out to be the trays ejector tool, it is actually plugged up in the 3.5mm headphone jack. It looks quite stylish and serves the purpose well, but you may lose the pin when using headphones – so be careful.

ejector

The brushed aluminum plate on back is non-removable. Primary 8MP camera with single LED flash light is located on the top left, with Huawei logo in the center and loudspeaker on the bottom left, which is quite loud and impressive, enhanced by Dolby Digital Plus.

speaker

One thing you will notice is that there are no LED touch sensitive menu keys on the front, rather these are built into the UI and you will see them at the bottom of the screen.

backside

Operating System:

Huawei Ascend P6 comes with the latest Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 out of the box, and just like all other Huawei phones on top of Android it runs Huawei’s home baked – Emotional UI. Ascend P6 is loaded with the latest version of Emotional UI i.e. 1.6, this version includes all the basic features as well as some motion gestures and permissions manager.

emotion-ui

In Emotion UI there is no app drawer, and everything is on your homescreen, with no shortcuts. You can add unto 9 homescreens and arrange your apps in folders if you like. You can also add widgets on the homescreens.

Huawei has added some custom widgets including the ones that come with stock android. The notifications toogles provide quick access to services like Profile, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Brightness.

You can set 9 toogles buttons in the top row.

huawei-theme

You can change the look of your homescreen and icons by choosing from 5 preloaded themes or you can download and customize any theme according to your taste. The themes also changes the lock screen layout if your are using Huawei lockscreen. The screen menu also offers different kind of transitions and widgets.

Emotion UI 1.6 brings a white theme for settings and notifications toggles with a custom dialer and keyboard to match the layout. The new features in this version includes motion control, which allows you to mute the phone by flipping or reduce the ringtone volume by picking up the phone and Raise the phone to ear for answering or making calls. It also includes the Shake to change wallpaper from the previous version of EMUI.

power

The other new and useful feature is the permissions manager, which asks for your authorization when an application tries to collect your phone contacts, SMS, location or connect to Internet. This is much needed feature for most of the Android users as now you can prevent specific apps for accessing your personal information or sending push messages.

Power Manager  helps you choose the right power settings for your device from three customizable modes – , Normal, Smart and Endurance. It also includes start up manager and display color tones.

Performance:

Ascend P6 is powered by HiSilicon K3V2 quad-core SoC clocked at 1.5GHz with 2GB of RAM. The chipset architecture isn’t very advanced and the latest devices like Galaxy S4 and HTC One, running on Cortex A15 or Krait can easily beat it in the benchmarks but Ascend P6 indeed does the job well.

You won’t feel any lag while scrolling the homescreens, browsing websites, running multiple applications at the same time.

It can play almost any resource hungry game or app, but its possible that you will get low frame rates in some games. We tried games like Asphalt 7 and Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour and the playing experience was great. The phone gets extremely hot while opening some apps but Huawei assured that its a software glitch that will be fixed before the launch.

huawei-hardware

The phone can easily run HD videos and VoIP applications like Skype and Viber works just fine. The regular calls and texting is also flawless and you get good signal reception as well as the Wireless connectivity is very quick.

On our benchmarks tests Ascend P6 scores were almost the same as Ascend Mate, which is packed with similar hardware.

Have a look at the benchmark scores, which are quite satisfactory for a device in this price range as the real life performance of the phone is very excellent:

bench1

bench2

Camera & Video

Ascend P6 packs in an 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash on the back and front-facing 5-megapixel camera, which is very unique as many high-end Android phones come with 2-megapixel cameras at best.

Huawei has introduced a special facial enhancement feature which smooths out wrinkles and other marks from your face and provide a gorgeous self-portrait a.k.a ‘selfies’.

camera

The primary 8-megapixel camera with a f/2.0 aperture also does the job very well. The 4cm macro capability allows you to get up close and personal with your shots. It works great for those who love to shoot objects like flowers and insects.

The camera performance is good, it handles varying colors, textures and light sources very well. The image detail in normal and macro modes is great and the contrast and sharpness of the screen makes the images look alive.

The interface is pretty simple and mostly based on stock android. There are some image quality related settings, effects and shooting modes available to select from.

As there is no dedicated camera key so you van use the volume rocker as the physical key. Use the volume down key to focus and press the volume up to capture, keep the button pressed for burst mode taking multiple shots continuously.

camera-interface

There is no zoom slider and you have to use the pinch to zoom function for zoom in or out. The primary camera also offer beauty shots as well as HDR, Panorama and Smart image modes.

Ascend P6’s primary camera can record videos in full HD 1080p at 30 frames per second and the front facing camera can record in 720p at 30 frames per second. The phone handles changes in light and movement very well. It also offers image stabilization, HDR video recording and object tracking.

hd-video

The Camcorder interface is similar to the Camera. Videos are encoded in MP4 and the quality is very good. You can also turn on the LED light if you are recording in a dark environment.

Battery:

Ascend P6 is packed with a 2000 mAh battery which is quite usual in the quad core phones these days, but Huawei claims that Ascend P6 power saving technology improves performance by more than 30%, compared with smartphone batteries of equal size. The antennae equipment is packed into the plastic section on the bottom of the device which preserves battery life.

battery-left

If you drop down the screen brightness and remain just a little careful about the usage, you can easily use this phone for a single day after full charge. Though in our tests the battery drains much quicker than expected. The phone settings offer three different power modes as well as a battery saver application, so if you are low on battery you can optimize its usage by turning off unnecessary features and killing resource hungry apps.

Conclusion:

Huawei Ascend P6 is definitely a star among smartphones, as CEO Huawei Richard Yu quoted it at the launch event in London. It shows that Huawei can put together a great smartphone to make an impression.

The things I like most about this phone are the slim design and premium feel.

ascend-p6-conclusion

Definitely the hardware inside is no match to the top smartphones like Galaxy S4 and HTC One but it can be improved and you must consider that P6 costs much lower than its competitors (almost half the price).

I believe that if Huawei continue this path it can create trouble for Samsung and other players in the android market.

with-htc

So if you are looking to buy a new smartphone with a limited budget and like to move away from cheap plastic phones, Huawei Ascend P6 is a great choice. It offers a premium design with all the features a vast majority of android users want.

Do share your opinion about the phone or if you have any questions feel free to ask us using the comment box below.


  • Saeed

    Aww 10:50 :’) best part of the review :P
    Btw you said last time that you’d change the background music in your next review, which you didn’t. Something a STAR smartphone deserved nonetheless :D

  • WebSolHub

    Nice video, captions time could be increased. Nice phone, but what’s the GPU spec?

  • Shahid Saleem

    Can you turn Emotion UI off? What is the display resolution?

    • 720 x 1280 pixels with 312 ppi pixel density, which is quite adequate for a 4.7″ screen and yes you can use any other launcher (Nova/Apex) if you don’t like EMUI.

      • Shahid Saleem

        Thanks.

        I prefer stock Android, maybe when there are alternate firmwares available…

        • According to some reports a “Nexus” version of P6 might appear soon. Even if it doesn’t happen I am sure soon tech related forums will be flooded with Custom ROMS as Huawei did good promotion for P6 is countries like UK, Germany etc.

  • Mohsin

    Awesome phone with great features
    but copy of Iphone

  • I’M

    This is for someone who want Iphone with android
    So, I’ll call it Idroid :)

  • Saeed

    Yes I had missed it :D

    Thanks btw!

  • Faisal Shehzad

    Awesome Phone, and review wala bandha ka bhi skhukria for sharing such a great info.
    Muhammad Zohair Chohan :D :P

  • Anas Saleem

    Once again propakistani has proved that this is not a site which can be expected to review a cellphone based on how it is instead its all about how much the company has paid them
    The price tag is quite heavy considering you get a score of 14901 on s3 running 4.2.2 (leaked unfinished rom), the gpu is not mentioned which is a set back considering most people who use smart phones like to play games on it which mostly depend on the GPU. The DPI is pathetic considering the phones its up against with most phones boosting over 350 its still 314, the screen is lcd which is a buzz kill in itself considering how bright and sunny pakistan is so the anti flare coating (if present) will result in poor viewing angles in sunlight and if it is not present then the flare would cause you to cover your phone in order to read the contents of the screen. The glove feature is great but in pakistan its a feature that would not be much useful, the metallic body surely sounds like something to look up for but then with every metallic set out there its gonna bring the dent and chipping issues which means if you drop it in your jeans you are gonna have a phone with loads of dents and scratches on it.
    The price tag might be appealing to a person who has no idea where the mobile markets are but anyone who has access to them would surely know that its not only high in price but considering the brand image in pakistan would depreciate on a higher rate then any other phone in its price range plus proving itself to be a very bad investment, if you really are planning to invest 40k on a cell phone then you should consider buying something main stream like an s3 or a s2 advanced, they both come with jelly bean 4.1.2 which isnt bad considering the bag of trick samsung has in its pockets but if touch wiz isnt what you want then you should consider buying sony’s zl which considering sony’s reputation has an excellent camera and a better screen, if you are more of a windows fan the consider buying a lumia which has a better body and extremely easy interface with windows 8 its faster and responsive plus the clear black makes the screen stand out when compared to other cell phones

    • I wish companies pay us for reviews, so I could be a millionaire too. Ascend P6 is an experiment by Huawei, Now they know how to make a premium design, Next time they just have put some premium hardware inside.

      BTW 720p screen with 312ppi density isn’t that bad as it looks on the paper, it is works well for 4.7″ screen.

      The sunlight visibility is good and I don’t think it will take any dents as the hardware components are pressed against the back cover leaving no space.

      FYI a few years back no one wanted to buy a Samsung phone, I my self preferred Sony Ericsson or even LG, time changes everything. May be one day you will become a “Qmobile” fan :D

      • Anas Saleem

        im not a samboy or a htc fan but i do like my devices to be competent, 312 on 4.7″ with 720p doesnt sounds bad when you argue about it but if you use a smart phone the way its supposed to be used you would realize its pathetic.
        These guys did an article themselves about how huawei called the bloggers to show the new phone and any sensible person knows that when you call press you pay them for a good reviews or you get a real one which would have blown right on their faces considering how pathetic this device is and the kind of heavy weights its up against even the crappy samsung s3 mini would beat this set hands down any day of the year.

        the dents would be a problems we have seen them on premium products like iphone and htc one so take my word for it or if you want to really step up a notch buy this and give it a little shake in with a few coins and keys

        Qmobile is good for people who dont use smart phones like smart phones, its good and efficient and cheap but where it looses is quality you can not expect a q mobile to take the type of a beating you can give to an s3 or sony z or htc desire and you surely cant expect it to deliver quality that matches anything premium, i have tested every q mobile on the market and most of them start lagging on games temple run and subway surfers, i can only wonder what would happen to the device when i would play dead trigger on it, when it comes to video playing a 720p on a q device is like playing it on n73 the quality is seriously not impressive and the sound is as bad as it used to be in the old days of magnetic tapes, then comes the camera which i must say are good but the algorithm behind is not as exciting as you would get from a vendor that spends a year with a team of professionals thus the results might seem good on a low res screen but when you display two images at the same setting from q and high end device you end up wishing you never clicked the shot in the first place, the only place where q passes with flying colors is price but considering the lags and the poor performance in every other field i dont think saving 20k is really delivered here and nor is justified remembering how pathetic the touch is

        • aamir7

          Boss, I deny your allegations. We don’t charge for content. We have said this very clearly before.

          Rest of your feedback about review/phone is more than welcome.

          • Anas Saleem

            boss ager free mein ye review likha hai apne tu afsos, muft mein tu sach bol hi deta hai insan

        • These guys? FYI I wrote that article too, Huawei also did a bloggers meet last year. HTC does it every time they launch a new phone. Samsung and Nokia also arrange press and bloggers meet. Which is a good thing, as we get to use the latest gadgets and write a review based on our own experience rather than copy/pasting stuff from International blogs and follow what they say.

          • Anas Saleem

            a review is supposed to be unbiased but sorry to say most of the reviews by pakistani bloggers are biased, which makes me feel as if they are getting paid to write a praise piece for the product
            i mean look at this review p6 clearly isnt a great device but the title calls it best buy in the range
            samsung s3 mini, s2 advanced, song z, sony zl all fall in the same price range and they are way heavier then this thing
            if you bloggers are not paid then you should consider researching a little before writting a review on something or maybe you can find experts who know the products

            • I would love to read your expert reviews, please give me the link.

            • Bilal_K

              Relax Anas, if you don’t agree with the content of this review, just say so. IMHO you shouldn’t be throwing allegations of paid writing on these guys. ProPakistani is a great site, one of few decent Pakistani tech sites.

              Ascend P6 is a great phone from Huawei. They are catching up rapidly. But I agree with you, its quite overpriced!

              • Anas Saleem

                dude, if its an unbiased article then amir liaqat is a saint and rehman malik is the most honest person alive

                • khan

                  Very impressed with your knowledge.

    • Ahmed Hassan Toor

      dude there is not point in your argument …. jiss price peh yeh set release hua hei iss price peh tou Nokia N8 launch hua tha … There is not point in comparing this set to Bigger ones due to the huge price gap(almost double). And as you are talking about S3, its launch price was 64000 ithink … Almost double … So comparing it to that one would not be wise my friend… and as for your second argument k one should consider buying s3 or s2 or zl, tou agar used handset hee lena hei tou phir iss handset kee brand new price ko consider na kiya jay, iss ki bhee kissi used handset ki price ko consider kiya jay … got my point?

      • Anas Saleem

        dude you can buy a new s3 in the same price, note 2 is available for 53k while s3 is priced at 42k, s2 advanced is at 28k
        all three are powerful enough to beat this cellphone with there cores underclocked

        • mfk

          ok i have read and watched more then 10 reviews and videos on youtube about this phone. but first of all.. SHUT UP if you dont like the review. reviews are always biased. but the reviewer is also a human, he might find something appealing that others wont, there is no guarantee which review suits 100% population, many ppl bash gs4 many ppl like it in the same review, but nobody bashes the reviewer, if u have so much knowledge do it ur self and post it i promise i will share it if its worthy.
          now about p6, the main feature of this phone is BODY, compare it with iphone 5 many will like p6. thats the main selling point of this phone. Galaxy series is good i;ve used s1 s2 s3 liked them all, but there is no android phone with this beautiful body and looks. and this will surely give huawei a head start in current market.
          read customers reviews they liked it for this price due to its body and shape. i just sold my s3 and i dont want to spend the same amount i spent in s3 to buy s4, so even i am considering giving it a try.
          good job dear reviewer keep up your work, even if some lazy homoes try to bash you 1!

  • Usmaan

    Hi. Is it available in Pakistan. If so, what’s the price.

  • Aamir Shahzad

    great phone…

  • Aizaz Ali Shah

    reading is a pain in the neck for me, always.. But I am delighted to see and read this review. Bravo Boy… Job done well :D You made me love this phone.. keep it up.

  • ahsanpetarian

    it has the worst user interface

  • Saad Ullah Khan

    Its a one heck of a phone… btw, good read – perfectly detailed! (y)

  • ALI

    Lets get straight to the un-boxing and “hands-one” video. khekhekhekhe come on Pro-Pakistani kaya ho gaya hy? :D

  • Hannan

    I want to know is there any option of moving apps to sd card in this phone as its internal memory is quite less…

    • mfk

      this option is not yet supported by ANDROID !!!

  • Prem Parkash

    What About its Headphones sound Quality as well as loudspeaker? gsmarena.com gives negative comments about sound quality. Please Tell us about sound quality.

  • When using headphones it usually depends on the quality of headphones, the loudspeaker isn’t so loud — I will give it a 7/10 score in sound deptt.

  • Hassan Aftab

    I want to ask a question; Can the dual sim version of P6 imported from china and used in Pakistan?