Huawei Ascend P6 evaluation: an attractive handset, however efficiency is missing

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

Nicely, what do we have now right here? Okay, let’s scrap the fake shock. The lately confirmed Ascend P6 has landed, and Huawei hopes it’ll stir curiosity within the hearts of cellular customers. Debuting throughout Europe, China and Australia in late June / early August with a €449 ($600) price ticket, it is asking you to take it significantly, and that is what we’ll do.

The cellular market is a fickle place, so it does not matter the place you’re proper now; it is all about the place you are going. Huawei? Properly, it is undoubtedly received its sights set on an upward trajectory. The Ascend P6 is the newest rung on the ladder, meant to raise the corporate to cellular greatness. However, with competitors stiffer than ever, can it actually name a tool with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 720p show and eight-megapixel digital camera a flagship? (For its P-collection a minimum of?) Huawei’s definitely giving it a attempt, and it is hoping that magnificence, not brawn, will win the day.

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Huawei Ascend P6 evaluation

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Huawei

Huawei Ascend P6

Execs

  • Nice digital camera
  • Wonderful design
  • Good construct high quality

Cons

  • Lackluster efficiency
  • Modest battery life
  • No LTE (but)

Abstract

A terrific step ahead for Huawei when it comes to product design, however simply missing on some efficiency on software program particulars. Enhance these, and it is a probably nice telephone.

Hardware

Keep in mind the Ascend Mate? When you do, then a variety of the next specs will sound fairly acquainted (aside from that gargantuan display measurement, in fact). We’re coping with the identical 1.5GHz K3V2 residence-brew silicon, the identical eight-megapixel main digital camera, the identical 2GB of RAM, the identical 8GB of inner storage and, yup, the identical 1,280 x 720 show decision (the Mate, as you might have guessed, makes use of LCD as nicely). As for radios, there is no LTE; let’s simply get that out of the best way now. Should you’re okay with that, although, then the remaining is as you’d hope — Bluetooth (three.zero), GPS, GLONASS, 802.11b/g/n, and so forth.

The P6 is positively svelte by comparability to the Mate, although, weighing simply 4 ounces, and measuring 5.2 x 2.fifty seven x zero.24 inches (132.6 x sixty five.5 x 6.18mm), in comparison with the Mate’s 6.5 x three.four x zero.four inches of Android heft. That measurement distinction is necessary; crammed into that extra diminutive type, it not solely gives a higher ppi (312), but in addition turns an in any other case center-spec phablet into a way more mass-market system. The specs are nonetheless pretty modest, however the hardware they arrive in — plus a number of different notable inclusions — signifies that this can be a utterly totally different proposition than the Mate altogether.

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

When put subsequent to Samsung’s Galaxy S four, for instance, it makes the Korean flagship appear and feel shamefully thrown collectively.

There is a black brushed-metallic end on the rear (there are white and pink variations additionally) with drilled speaker holes on the backside, and a brushed-metallic band across the edges of the system. The Ascend P6 immediately feels good, strong and, dare we are saying it, pleasant. The chamfered edges that lead into the Gorilla Glass show show that not solely can Huawei do element, it may possibly additionally do it very properly. Subsequent to Samsung’s Galaxy S four, for instance, it makes the Korean flagship appear and feel shamefully thrown collectively. Even the dapper HTC One will get an excellent run for its cash when it comes to fashion, match and end. Sure, it is truthful to say that Huawei has confirmed that a nicely-constructed telephone is not as a lot a matter of means as it’s intention.

It isn’t all strong, clean strains. That metallic band is damaged up by the occasional port. The micro-USB connection sits on the prime, simply off-middle. The fitting-hand aspect homes the facility / standby button and quantity rocker, plus microSD and micro-SIM card trays. If there was a small unfavorable, it is that these buttons do jiggle barely in place. Not terribly so, however sufficient to point there’s room for a tighter match. The again cowl is not detachable — therefore the trays — however Huawei has completed a very good job at retaining them flush with the sides. One associated design observe — of combined success — is the three.5mm headphone jack situated on the backside of the left-hand aspect. You would be forgiven for lacking it, to start with, because it’s tightly plugged up. The truth is, at first look, the small round protrusion appears like an uncommon design function, like a rivet added on on the finish to hide a practical cavity. It is solely whenever you examine it just a little additional that you simply sense one thing else is occurring.

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

We tinkered round with this curiosity for a number of moments, earlier than questioning if the Ascend P6 maybe got here with a stylus, as this small silver disc might have simply been the highest finish of 1. However slightly fingernail pulling and delicate wriggling truly revealed the reality: it is a small, hid pin to assist eject the SIM and reminiscence card trays. Genius. Bizarre genius. The constructive being that you simply by no means want to fret about whether or not you’ve gotten a paperclip or comparable close by, do you have to want to take away your SIM (not that paperclips often work that nicely). The destructive, nevertheless, is that each time you need to use your headphones, you must take away — and probably lose — the pin. In our expertise, getting the factor out wasn’t precisely a clean course of both. Nonetheless, it is a good concept, and the kind of ingenuity we’re detest to discourage.

Should you’ve favored what you’ve got heard to date, then make sure you add a reminiscence card to your buying listing, like, now.

One factor we might encourage? Extra inner storage. We’re sorry guys, however 8GB actually is not sufficient lately, particularly when barely any of that (lower than 4GB) is accessible. Sure, there’s the choice to broaden (by an extra 32GB), however that is extra a standard courtesy fairly than an inexpensive answer. So, in the event you’ve appreciated what you’ve got heard to date, then make sure you add a reminiscence card to your buying listing, like, now. The reminiscence situation is compounded by the — albeit pleasantly shocking — inclusion of a 5-megapixel entrance-dealing with digital camera. These self-portraits are about to get a critical improve, which is all of the extra purpose to get your storage set from the get-go. We’ll cowl the cameras (together with the eight-megapixel primary shooter) in additional element later.

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

Rounding out the hardware aspect of issues are a number of vital omissions. First, there is no LTE. It is merely not occurring. So if that is a dealbreaker, cease studying now. If it isn’t — and there is class 14 HSPA+ (as much as 21 Mbps) to maintain issues shifting — you then’ll possible expect some returns elsewhere — similar to within the longevity of the non-detachable 2,000mAh battery. Once more, extra on that later. Should you acquired this far and have been questioning about NFC, then suffice to say, it isn’t right here both, however you are okay with DLNA sharing and Dolby Digital audio as an alternative, proper?

Show

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

At four.7 inches throughout, with a decision of 1,280 x 720, the Ascend P6 won’t be within the (more and more much less) unique 1080p membership, however the 720p “in-cell” LCD does a ok job that you simply probably will not thoughts. In comparison with a few of the bigger flagships (heck, for some, four.7 inches is virtually “mini”), the P6’s show might sound common — nevertheless it actually does really feel completely sized. You possibly can attain your method throughout it comfortably, and due to a minimal bezel, the telephone ought to sit snugly in most arms. We did discover that the touchscreen was sometimes much less conscious of our pokes and gestures on occasion. Pinching out from the house display to deliver up the zoomed-out view typically took two or three makes an attempt to register. Likewise we typically discovered ourselves prodding greater than as soon as to get it to comprehend that we have been making an attempt to open an app. There’s a “gloves” mode, which will increase sensitivity, and we observed the issue occurred much less incessantly when this was activated, so chances are you’ll choose to maintain this switched on.

We’re inclined to offer the Ascend a strong cross within the show division.

Whenever you’re not thumbing at it, the Ascend’s LCD seems to be brilliant and crisp, with wonderful viewing angles. The display is dimmer when gazed at from something aside from straight on, and you will undoubtedly need to maintain the brightness set to a minimum of 50 % for outside viewing. Do this and colours will stay strong and blacks darkish, making photograph and video viewing on the gadget a pleasing expertise. Additionally, we observed that the display displayed a lovely resilience to fingerprints — undoubtedly a plus level.

We already talked about the 312-ppi pixel density, which is under no circumstances horrible regardless of an growing variety of telephones cresting over into the 400s. When you actually need to be choosy, you possibly can spot a bit little bit of pixelation on rendered textual content in web sites, however it’s a must to convey the telephone rather a lot nearer to your face than is cheap. Likewise, with no seen hues or tones, we’re inclined to provide the Ascend P6 a strong cross within the show division.

Software program

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

Huawei’s invested extra than simply developer dollars on its Emotion UI, so it is no shock that it is sticking to that, ahem, theme right here. The truth is, it is model 1.5 of the customized interface that you’re going to be coping with, maintaining the inventory Android Jelly Bean (four.2.2) out of sight. Regional variations of the ultimate manufacturing software program might range, however we’re supplying you with some impressions based mostly on the model we acquired to spend time with. In case you’ve ever used Emotion UI, or on the very least, examine it, then you definitely’ll largely know what to anticipate. In case you’ve not had the pleasure, then how a few temporary refresher?

As Android skins go, Emotion UI is a largely inoffensive providing. Very similar to TouchWiz, and Sense, it primarily manifests itself by rearranging the house display barely, and providing up proprietary widgets. Relying in your choice, this may be thought-about both a constructive or a damaging. In our expertise, the elements we favored have been just like what we discovered helpful in different skins such because the aforementioned TouchWiz — fast entry to switches and toggles alongside the notifications up prime. The choices you see listed here are in depth (resembling display sharing) and in addition customizable. Likewise, fast entry to a profile selector might be a boon to those that hop between conferences and public transport.

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Huawei Ascend P6 software program

By default Emotion UI pushes its “Me” widget on you, which is the standard gathering of favourite contacts, pictures, movies and climate and date widgets. Principally, all the standard suspects that producers are positive we’re most in want of direct entry to. You are not caught with this, in fact, and never solely are you able to customise (and take away) the widget solely, Emotion UI additionally allows you to simply set one other display as your default vacation spot. One factor that is still absent, nevertheless, is the app tray. So, should you appreciated the power to maintain your necessities on the highest layer, with all the things else hidden away, you are recent out of luck with Emotion UI. You possibly can exert some management, although, by stuffing much less-used apps into folders, and tucking them away on house screens out of view — with the power to create as much as 9, which ought to nearly suffice.

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

Let’s hope that a few of these different themes supply extra selection, and one thing somewhat extra trendy

The pores and skin extends to the primary settings menus, theming them barely in a different way to Android’s inventory Holo appear and feel. Oh, and should you do not prefer it? No drawback: Huawei may have an in depth variety of decisions obtainable (at the very least one hundred, final we heard) when the telephone truly launches. The default themes we noticed on our evaluation system, nevertheless, all had a couple of issues in widespread. First, and this may increasingly look like a small element, however the app icons are all rounded squares, no matter what the unique app icon meant. An instance? WhatsApp‘s inexperienced speech bubble instantly will get an opaque rounded sq. behind it. The result’s one thing that appears like an try at iOS; an essential distinction from truly wanting like iOS. Let’s hope that a few of these different themes supply extra selection, and one thing a bit extra trendy. In any case, even Apple thinks iOS 6 icons want an replace.

There are a number of different quirks in Emotion UI that make themselves obvious. To start out, regardless of operating Android four.2.2, there is no gesture keyboard, which might be a serious loss in case you’ve turn out to be reliant on that. The excellent news, in fact, is that you would be able to go forward and obtain it from the Play retailer totally free, nevertheless it’s an uncommon omission nonetheless. One other odd, however not completely unwelcome addition is a battery-degree indicator within the notification bar that additionally shows a numerical proportion. This additional information is undoubtedly helpful, however we additionally discovered ourselves turning into extra pre-occupied with remaining battery life than ever earlier than. One minute, it is at ninety seven %. You then play a couple of rounds of a recreation, and what’s that, now it is ninety two %? Undoubtedly not a function for these with obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Huawei’s added a number of different options that once more will probably cut up opinions. By default, a folder of “administration” apps has been added that features such helpful-sounding choices as with the ability to decide which apps can and can’t ship push messages. It’s going to additionally provide you with a warning every time an app sends out such a message for the primary time, asking you to OK it. Undoubtedly good for the safety-acutely aware, however very similar to Home windows’ Consumer Account Management, you possibly can quickly end up bypassing it utterly to stop additional pestering, regardless of greatest intentions. Not all of the inclusions are fairly so heavy-handed, although. One straight out of the “it simply works” camp is the media-sharing app. One press whereas related to the identical WiFi community as our sensible TV, and we have been watching video and viewing photographs on the bigger display. DLNA and media-sharing apps aren’t something revolutionary, however once they work as effortlessly as this, we’re inclined to applaud them.

Digital camera

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

Lots of you could have headed immediately right here, or at the very least held a specific curiosity given the P6’s uncommon digital camera configuration. With a beneficiant 5 megapixels on the entrance-dealing with digital camera, Huawei has given the P6 a standout function that many shall be drawn to. The rear-dealing with digital camera, however is a relatively much less-notable eight-megapixel affair. Naturally, we gave each of them a spin to see how they fared.

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Huawei Ascend P6 fundamental digital camera samples

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Huawei Ascend P6 entrance digital camera samples

Let’s begin with that foremost shooter, we could? Whereas it won’t be the one individuals are speaking about, that does not imply it lacks a number of tips of its personal. Huawei is eager to play up the primary digital camera’s macro credentials, boasting “distance-defying” 4cm capabilities (it is based mostly on a Sony sensor). This, in fact, inspired us to rise up shut and private with quite a lot of issues and, all in all, the outcomes are pleasing. Those that wish to shoot objects akin to flowers and different pure delights will usually get constructive outcomes. We discovered the digital camera was often capable of pull concentrate on close by objects, however typically would get itself caught. One foray out into an area park to check this function resulted in a couple of events the place regardless of being 4 centimeters (or extra) away from the meant topic, the digital camera simply could not repair its concentrate on the goal regardless of us repeatedly guiding it (by tapping on the item on display; it has autofocus too). To compound the difficulty, if we took the image from a special angle (however the identical distance away) the difficulty disappeared. Maybe the macro options are barely delicate to mild ranges, however the situation wasn’t constant sufficient to awaken something greater than minor annoyance (maybe partly because of the particular boast on this actual function).

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

As for the photographs themselves, we usually discovered the colours could possibly be just a little oversaturated at occasions, however not displeasing — only a contact extra jacked up than might sound pure for some mild circumstances. Conversely, when capturing darker topics with a shiny background — or, in our case, even the overcast English skyline — element towards that floor can deteriorate. Once more, in even cloudier circumstances the digital camera typically struggles to compensate leading to uninteresting, softly detailed pictures. These criticisms do not detract significantly from what’s in any other case a dependable shooter, and one that may undoubtedly ship nice photographs.

We usually discovered the colours could possibly be slightly oversaturated at occasions, however not displeasing.

Maybe you are extra involved in self-portraits? In that case, then it is that entrance-dealing with digital camera that you’re going to little question be interested in. Sure, 5 megapixels are rather a lot, however as some are eager to level out, not all pixels are created equal. We took selfies with an HTC One, a Galaxy S four and the Ascend P6, and (as you possibly can see under) obtained combined outcomes. The pictures from the Huawei do seem to have extra element (seen within the T-shirt, collar, and so on.) however the brightness and shade ranges appear to wrestle a bit in comparison with its competitors. The Galaxy S four’s 2-megapixel entrance digital camera provides an analogous end result general, with roughly the identical focal vary, however barely much less element. The HTC One, however, shoots a lot wider, but in addition presents probably the most mild (potential because of its HDR performance). Past the self-portraits, we took some commonplace footage from the entrance for comparability, and located that colours are considerably extra washed out. It is notably noticeable when put towards the excessive-distinction rear-dealing with digital camera.

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

Whether or not you are proud of the outcomes of your self-portrait or not, Huawei’s there to supply a serving to hand with a facial-enhancement function to assist “Beautify” your mug. Very similar to Nokia’s Glam Me function, primarily this can be a filter that softens edges and — at the very least in concept — delivers a gorgeous visage. In follow, footage find yourself wanting unnatural, and little greater than a novelty. We tried the identical function on non-facial topics and the outcomes appeared not a lot totally different from a few fast filters you may discover in hottest picture-modifying apps. No massive deal; it’s kind of of enjoyable. However when it comes to a helpful function? It’s kind of of a miss, we worry.

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

As for the digital camera interface? It deviates from the inventory Android expertise, and bears greater than a passing resemblance to the digital camera controls you will discover in TouchWiz. Extra of the digital camera scene modes (which embrace HDR, Magnificence, Sensible and Panorama) are delivered to the highest of the interface, as are a few of the different settings corresponding to GPS tagging, contact-to-seize and object monitoring. In the event you’re extra of a moviemaker, you will discover the identical constructive notes we made concerning the stills digital camera apply to movies too. We seen a few of the footage you see under on a 37-inch TV and have been very happy with the brightness and readability. This solely improves when watching again on the telephone’s personal show. Undoubtedly a reliable performer.

Efficiency and battery life Huawei Ascend Mate Huawei Ascend P6 HTC One MediaTek MT6589 Quadrant 2 5,619 5,268 12,495 three,384 (Quadrant Normal) Vellamo 2 HTML5 1,663 1,224 2,254 1,229 AnTuTu three 15,729 14,612 19,300 12,898 SunSpider zero.9.1 (ms) 1,521 three,596 904 N/A GLBenchmark Egypt 2.5 HD Offscreen (fps) 7 N/A 27 N/A CF-Bench thirteen,424 eleven,697 20,019 N/A SunSpider: decrease scores are higher

With a quad-core SoC clocked in at 1.5GHz, this won’t be probably the most eye-watering chip on the market proper now, nevertheless it definitely should not be a sluggish coach. That stated, in contrast to a lot of the competitors that leaves the finicky topic of processors to the likes of Qualcomm and NVIDIA, Huawei needed to deal with the job itself. The result’s the K3V2, based mostly on the Cortex-A9 structure, variants of which we have seen present up in a lot of the agency’s different hardware — the MediaPad 10, Ascend D1 Quad and the aforementioned Ascend Mate. The hardware it runs may need modified, however our verdict stays largely the identical — it might do higher. With regards to basic efficiency, navigating menus and utilizing common apps (e-mail shoppers, Twitter and so forth), you will be exhausting-pressed to discover a fault, even when sometimes you’ll be able to discover the transition animations (between portrait and panorama mode, for instance) could be a little sluggish. Open up one thing a bit extra intensive, nevertheless, and that quickly modifications.

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

Whereas it isn’t a like-for-like comparability, we tried opening Actual Racing on the P6 and the Galaxy S four on the similar time. The distinction in velocity when loading the sport was, to be well mannered, fairly drastic. At some factors we weren’t positive if the P6 had given up utterly, with it simply getting previous the splash display as we have been about to pressure shut and begin once more. Gameplay, too, was a really totally different matter. The pre-put in Riptide, to be truthful, performs simply fantastic. However, it appears, the additional muscle required to play Actual Racing will get the processor sweating. Do not get us mistaken, it will open, and you may play, however the expertise (particularly when put aspect by aspect with a extra succesful SoC) could be very totally different certainly.

You’d hope that constructing your personal chip would offer scope for optimization. In that case, it is arduous to see the place that may be happening right here — it is definitely not mirrored in battery life. With a 2,000mAh battery to play with, this must be sufficient to succeed in nicely over 24 hours of utilization. Our expertise, and battery life rundown check, suggests in any other case. In common use, we discovered the battery appeared to noticeably decline at a price that, whereas not inflicting panic, did have us thumbing at our collar slightly. Maybe it is that expanded battery notification we talked about earlier; maybe we are the ones with a bent for the obsessive? Perhaps, however with solely 4 hours and forty five minutes on our typical battery rundown check (video enjoying on loop; 50 % brightness; WiFi on, however not related; and so forth.) It nonetheless falls a bit of brief in comparison with what we might anticipate from the battery’s potential. Maybe extra worrying is that it isn’t like there’s even LTE on board accountable.

The P6 sounds nice.

If you’re not enjoying video games and fixating on battery ranges although, we think about you may need to make a great, old style telephone name or two (keep in mind them?). We definitely do, and the P6 sounds nice. We discovered crisp, clear and strong sign ranges in areas the place we all know there to be good protection — take your decide from WCDMA (850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100) or GSM (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900). When it comes to knowledge, that omission of LTE may be a dealbreaker for some (although System Chairman Richard Yu did let slip that a revised model will come this yr sporting that radio), however the HSPA+ does an honest job as an alternative. We frequently hit knowledge speeds between four Mbps and 6 Mbps down, and 600-800 Kbps up at residence, which is in step with what’s sometimes out there within the space. As for media playback? Little to report aside from it labored with out problem. Likewise, audio efficiency was good, and was solely additional enhanced by the inclusion of Dolby Digital Plus.

Wrap-up

Huawei Ascend P6 review: a beautiful handset, but performance is lacking

For a telephone that had its specs pretty public for a while, it is onerous to really feel overly enthusiastic about what the Ascend P6 has to supply. That is not meant to look unkind, nevertheless. It is extra an acknowledgement that it is clear nearly all of the trouble has been put into designing an object of want, moderately than blowing our minds with numbers and options. Yu made it recognized on the London launch occasion that the P6 is not for the facility customers, with that distinction going to the Ascend P2, as an alternative. So, are attractiveness and a daringly skinny design sufficient to hold it? Probably. Extra essential than all of these issues, nevertheless, is that the P6 exhibits that Huawei can construct excessive-high quality telephones. What goes inside these telephones can extra simply be improved, however making one thing that feels and appears good is a more durable talent to nail. Huawei seems to have made good floor right here.

Pleasing because the design is, it is nonetheless exhausting to disregard the sometimes mediocre efficiency, barely dated UI (regardless of what the analysis may say), iffy battery life and lack of LTE. On extra constructive notes, the show appears nice, the primary digital camera can end up pleasing photographs and video, knowledge and name efficiency are all strong. For probably the most half, the negatives are balanced by the positives (barring no LTE, maybe). The takeaway message right here is that Huawei means enterprise. With the construct high quality and core-performance nuts cracked, most different niggles ought to be comparatively straightforward to enhance. Iron these out, and there is probably a shiny future for the model past its conventional markets.

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  • Sort Smartphone
  • Working system Android (Jelly Bean [4.1])
  • Display measurement four.7 inches
  • Inner reminiscence eight GB
  • Digital camera eight&#one hundred sixty;megapixels
  • Weight four.23 oz
  • Introduced 2013-06-18

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