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Huawei Ascend P6 review

Huawei takes on the Android big guns with its strongest smartphone yet

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Our Verdict

The Ascend P6 shows that the Chinese manufacturer can really make an impression on the Android market with its stunningly slim - if slightly derivative - design, as well as some quirky features that mark it out as a little bit different. But it's playing catch-up to an ever strengthening pack.

For

  • Sharp design
  • Extremely thin and light
  • Strong screen

Against

  • Small internal storage
  • Weak apps and widgets
  • App compatibility issues

Battery life

The Huawei Ascend P6's 2000mAh battery is about right for a modern quad-core smartphone with a bright 720p HD display, sitting somewhere between the similar Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X.

That this average battery size didn't impact on the device's below-average size and weight is a tribute to Huawei's engineers.

Huawei Ascend P6 review

We managed to wring a full day's usage out of the phone when used normally (a bit of web browsing, light gaming, a few calls and lots of emails and messages) with a reasonable amount left in the tank. Huawei claims to have implemented a couple of energy-saving technologies into the Ascend P6 to facilitate this.

For one thing, it utilises Huawei's Quick Power Control (QPC) and Automated Discontinuous Reception (ADRX) tech to optimise power usage. Huawei also claims that packing all the antennae equipment into the plastic section on the bottom of the device preserves battery life.

In our standard battery test, which involves running a 90 minute 720p video with the screen set to full brightness and all push notifications on, we were left with an average of 78 percent battery life left in the tank.

That's pretty strong. For example, it's exactly the same as the similarly specced Asus PadFone 2 (the 'Fone' part, obviously), despite that device having a larger battery to call upon. Impressive.

Connectivity

There are no surprises on the connectivity front - the Huawei Ascend P6 is every inch the modern upper-mid-range Android phone. This means that all of the main connection options are present and accounted for, but you'll miss out on NFC and 4G.

Huawei Ascend P6 review

Given the lack of widespread support for both standards here in the UK, we'd argue that neither is a massive loss - especially if, as is likely, their absence is a contributing factor to the Ascend P6's super-slim body and adequate battery life.

Although if mobile payments finally take off nationwide over the course of your two year contract, you might come to curse Huawei's decision to omit NFC.

Otherwise you get Wi-Fi, GPS, HSPA+ (21 Mbit/s download, 5.76 Mbit/s upload) and Bluetooth connectivity.

There's also a prominent portable Wi-Fi hotspot utility featured on one of the homescreens, enabling you to connect your laptop or tablet up to the internet using the Ascend P6's network connection.

As mentioned already, you also get DLNA connectivity for wireless media streaming to your smart TV, console, or set-top box, and you can charge and hook up to your computer via a microUSB slot on top of the phone.

Hooking up to your computer presents a familiar drag-and-drop interface whether you opt for Media Device or USB storage. What's more, the File Manager app that Huawei provides an easy way to access any files you bring across without having to go searching for the appropriate app to access them with.