Review Huawei Ascend P6 Smartphone

Florian Wimmer (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 08/05/2013

Aluminum and more. Huawei has sent a stylish phone to our lab: An aluminum casing available in three different colors, quad-core SoC and a slim profile. Huawei's P6 should convince across the board with that, shouldn't it?

In review: Huawei Ascend P6. Review sample courtesy of Huawei

For the original German review, see here.

It has become a fact that Chinese manufacturers are almost on a par with Samsung, Sony and Co. in terms of build quality and the overall impression of their smartphones. Huawei has proved this again and again in the last months in our tests. The Ascend P6 could successfully boost it to the front row of smartphone manufacturers once and for all. This looks quite good at first glance. The phone features stylish looks, is pleasant to hold and it is light and thin. Huawei even speaks of the slimmest smartphone in the world. The self-appointed high-end smartphone also convinces with its quad-core SoC and the comparatively low starting price of 449 Euros (~$598).

We compared the smartphone with premium range smartphones to find out what Huawei offers for this price,: Google's Nexus 4, the iPhone 5, Sony's Xperia Z and Xperia ZL, Samsung's Galaxy S4, HTC's One and LG's Optimus G. However, since the price range corresponds more with devices from the midrange, such as Nokia's Lumia 820, Samsung's Galaxy Express or Sony's Xperia T, we will also include them in our comparison.

Case

The casing resembles Apple's design language to a certain extent.
The casing resembles Apple's design language to a certain extent.

The first thing that struck us was the packaging of Huawei's Ascend P6. Samsung's S4 comes in a somewhat eccentric packaging in a wooden design and both Apple's iPhone 5 and Google's Nexus 4 appear in a rather conventional rectangular box, Huawei takes a different approach. The user is confronted with a sleek white box that looks like a high-quality DVD or book slipcase. The inner part is pulled out via a small textile loop on the right. The package makes an overall high-quality impression.

A black, pale pink or, as in our case, white phone featuring a 4.7-inch screen awaits the user after unboxing. The chassis is almost completely made of aluminum that runs around the lower edge in an elegant arc. Huawei applies a protective pane of Gorilla Glass on the front. When looking down from the upper edge, the user might think that the designers have been inspired by the iPhone. The silver-colored, encompassing bezel and rounded edges speak for this. However, the rounded lower side and the slightly angular feel give the Ascend P6 enough individuality.

The phone is comfortable to hold although a few hard edges do not really make it a hand-charmer. Samsung does a better job with its rather organic forms on the Galaxy S4. The phone's slim profile is truly remarkable. In fact, Huawei's P6 is the slimmest smartphone that we have ever tested. It is only 6.18 millimeters thick and thus more than 1.4 millimeters thinner than the iPhone 5. Our review sample is a bit heavier than the ultra-light 112 grams of Apple's smartphone. However, 120 grams is still enough for an impressive second place. Also, the casing is very rigid. Only high pressure on the back becomes visible to a small extent on the screen.

Connectivity

The interfaces also feature a few peculiarities. For example, the USB 2.0 port is not found on the bottom as in many cases but on the phone's top. In our opinion, this is no problem in landscape mode but the cord wouldn't be quite as interfering on the bottom in portrait mode. The user will likely first have to look for the audio jack because it is hidden behind a metal flap on the left. This flap is also conveniently used as an eject tool for the micro-SIM card and micro-SD card on the right.

Bottom: No interfaces
Bottom: No interfaces
Top: USB 2.0 port
Top: USB 2.0 port
Left: 3.5 mm combo audio jack incl. flap and eject tool
Left: 3.5 mm combo audio jack incl. flap and eject tool
Right: Standby button, volume rocker, micro SD-slot, micro-SIM slot
Right: Standby button, volume rocker, micro SD-slot, micro-SIM slot
Many things can be customized in the Emotion UI.
Many things can be customized in the Emotion UI.

Software

Huawei installs Android 4.2 with its proprietary user interface "Emotion UI 1.6". The user interface's colors match the casing's color. This was a light-colored background and gold-brown logos in our white device. The looks can be quickly changed via the app "Designs" and even be customized although the elements are always tied to the installed templates.

The Emotion UI 1.6 offers the usual Android combination of widgets and logos on the screen. The centerpiece is a big widget on the home screen where contacts for speed dialing, audio player or slideshows can be integrated. Folders for categorizing apps can be created and many features can be disabled and enabled via the quick access tool bar. Apps are always located on one of the right or left screens; there is no "show all apps" feature. Convenient: New apps are marked by a banner on the icon.

Emotion UI generally includes some graphical as well as some substantial changes that alter the utilization of Android. The system can be used very intuitively. Huawei includes the free game Riptide GP that is a lot like Wave Race from Nintendo 64. Besides that, Polaris Office 4.0, a video editing app and a few small helpful programs are installed, which add up to an overall decent software bundle.

Outdoors: Many satellites, but insufficient signal strength
Outdoors: Many satellites, but insufficient signal strength
Indoors: Still many satellites, but too low reception
Indoors: Still many satellites, but too low reception

Communication & GPS

One thing first: Huawei's Ascend P6 will currently not be an option for users who are looking for a phone featuring LTE support. The smartphone supports four different radio bands in the GSM range and five different UMTS radio bands but HSPA is the fastest possible wireless standard. We had a very good reception in the D1 network in both the 3G and the 2G network.

A Wi-Fi module that sends and receives in the 802.11 b/g/n standard is also installed. The module displayed a good signal strength with three out of four bars at a distance of ten meters from the router and through three walls. Only Bluetooth version 3.0 is available although a more current standard exists that is superior particularly in security issues. In addition to support for the DLNA standard, other wireless interfaces such as NFC are also not installed.

Telephony and Speech Quality

The phone app's design differs quite strongly from the standard Android app. However, its bright green dial button doesn't really fit in to the very restrained style of the Emotion UI. However, the app is quite easy to use and allows switching between contacts, dial lists and the dialpad quickly.

We found the speech quality to be very good. The called party came across very loud and clear on Huawei's Ascend P6 and our voice was also perceived as clear.

Cameras & Multimedia

Huawei particularly highlights the installed cameras and it wants to score with the 5 megapixel front-facing camera. In fact, no other smartphone features such a high-resolution front-facing camera since it is usually only used for video calls. However, Huawei promises that it makes the "best self portraits" possible. The 8 megapixel rear-facing camera is on a par with most current high-end phones. Sony's Xperia Z and ZL models offer 13 megapixels and Nokia's new Lumia 1020 comes with a 41 megapixel camera.

But not only megapixels are important for picture quality. The image sensor, lens and the picture processing in the casing are also vital. The overall result of both cameras in Huawei's Ascend P6 is quite impressive. Image details are rendered accurately, colors are rich but not overemphasized and bright areas are not overexposed. Both cameras take acceptable pictures even in unfavorable light, although they show a certain degree of color noise. Nevertheless, they are still very appealing for smartphone cameras.

Huawei P6 (8 megapixel): Plant
Huawei P6 (8 megapixel): Plant
Huawei P6 (8 megapixel): Scene
Huawei P6 (8 megapixel): Scene
Huawei P6 (8 megapixel): Surroundings
Huawei P6 (8 megapixel): Surroundings
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel): Plant
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel): Plant
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel): Scene
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel): Scene
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel): Surroundings
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel): Surroundings
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel): Plant
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel): Plant
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel): Scene
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel): Scene
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel): Surroundings
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel): Surroundings
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel): Plant
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel): Plant
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel): Scene
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel): Scene
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel): Surroundings
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel): Surroundings
Reference Sony A57 (16 megapixel): Plant
Reference Sony A57 (16 megapixel): Plant
Reference Sony A57 (16 megapixel): Scene
Reference Sony A57 (16 megapixel): Scene
Reference Sony A57 (16 megapixel): Surroundings
Reference Sony A57 (16 megapixel): Surroundings

Accessories

Huawei is quite generous with accessories. The stylishly lettered and clearly arranged boxes beneath the smartphone contain the power supply, USB cord and a protective sleeve in the matching color for the phone. Of course, the usual quick start guides and even a headset are included. The phone itself sports the flap for the microphone port which is also the eject tool for the SIM and SD cards. This is actually a clever idea but a place for the flap always has to be found when on the go.

Warranty

A defect device can be sent in for 24 months and will come back repaired or replaced. Huawei has a good US website where hotline numbers and contact forms or links to service providers are listed. Service orders can also be placed online for the latter.

Input Devices & Controls

The keyboard...
The keyboard...
changes depending on the input field.
changes depending on the input field.

The touchscreen's operation is excellent and accurate. It also supports multi-touch gestures using up to 10 fingers at the same time. The buttons on the casing's right make a very high-quality impression and feature a clear pressure point.

Although the keyboard looks a lot like Google's default Android model, Huawei has modified the details to a great extent. It changes depending on the field that an input is made. For example, when entering a name in the message app, digits can be accessed by pressing the upper letter row for a longer time. When the same app is used for writing a message, the keyboard only offers a few options and allows easier typing. Voice input or handwriting detection are not available here but changing the language or inserting smileys is implemented quickly.

A so-called "Glove Mode" enables using the phone with gloves. That actually works quite well after the smartphone learns that it has to increase its responsiveness. The motion controller offers the usual options like turning the phone to mute or holding it to an ear to answer a call.

The overall use of Huawei's P6 is very good. However, users who like diverse input options will be disappointed. In contrast, Samsung's Galaxy S4 offers a real torrent of options.

Display

The 4.7-inch screen in Huawei's Ascend P6 is based on IPS+ technology and has a rather low resolutionof 1280x720 pixels. Of course some other premium devices, like Google's Nexus 4 or Apple's iPhone 5, do not feature a higher resolution either, but slightly more up to date phones, such as Sony's Xperia Z, HTC's One or Samsung's Galaxy S4, clearly show that a Full HD screen is now a must in this sector. Naturally, the sense of such a high resolution on a relatively small screen is doubtful. The images on Huawei's Ascend P6 look razor-sharp and single pixels are not visible.

Huawei does not blunder with the maximum brightness and achieves an average of 486.8 cd/m² which is exactly on a par with the iPhone 5. Consequently, Huawei's Ascend P6 features a very bright screen. The illumination of 92% is also very homogeneous but not quite as accurate as in the iPhone 5 or Nexus 4.

494
cd/m²
501
cd/m²
461
cd/m²
500
cd/m²
499
cd/m²
468
cd/m²
495
cd/m²
495
cd/m²
468
cd/m²
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 501 cd/m²
Average: 486.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 499 cd/m²
Black: 0.58 cd/m²
Contrast: 860:1
Distribution of brightness

The contrast of our review sample is not as high as the iPhone 5, Google Nexus 4 or Sony Xperia Z contenders. Nevertheless, 860:1 is still a decent rate. The black value is also a bit higher than in the mentioned devices but 0.58 cd/m² is still acceptable. Subjectively, the image even makes a very good impression. Black areas look saturated and do not show visible brightness differences and colors look crisp.

One special feature is found in the settings menu. It is not only possible to manually adjust the brightness, the color temperature can also be changed when desired. Thus, it is possible to customize the color reproduction and also align it quite close to the reference color spaces.

In our test with the colorimeter and CalMAN software, we achieved much more accurate rates than in the default settings by setting the color temperature control to approximately 20%. The average DeltaE rate, so the deviation from the sRGB color space, dropped from 5.31 to 3.54. Although this is not quite as good as Samsung's Galaxy S4 in the setting "Video" mode, the rate is very good. The grayscale accuracy is even better with the 20% setting of the color temperature control. Everything is then within the green field of the deviation.

CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Color Accuracy
CalMAN Color Accuracy
CalMAN Color Accuracy (color temperature control: 20%)
CalMAN Color Accuracy (color temperature control: 20%)
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale (color temperature control: 20%)
CalMAN Grayscale (color temperature control: 20%)
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation
Outdoors
Outdoors

The high brightness enables a relatively good view of what is happening on the screen even in very bright sunlight. However, the eyes are strained after a while so that a place in the shade is recommendable. A considerably lower brightness setting is sufficient to see the content clearly indoors. The automatic brightness control works quite reliably here.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

The screen's underlying IPS technology makes it possible to view the image without brightness losses or contrast deviations in the most acute angles. The picture remains clear and well-legible when looking at the screen from a very flat angle.

Performance

HiSilicon Technologies is named as the SoC's manufacturer, but the company is a subsidiary of Huawei. The HiSilicon k3v2 Hi3620 SoC installed in our review sample clocks with the maximum specified clock rate of 1.5 GHz. It features four computing cores and was launched in early 2012.

That this is almost an eternity in the fast-paced smartphone market can be quickly seen in the benchmark scores. Particularly HTC's One and the Galaxy S4 clearly set themselves apart in terms of system performance. Only Samsung's Galaxy Express lags behind marginally. A look at the processor's pure power using Linpack quickly proves that the SoC does not stand a chance here against modern phones. Premium smartphones partly surpass it by a factor of seven. Again, the Ascend P6 is more on a par with the Xperia T and Galaxy Express and consequently in the midrange.

However, stutters are very rare in practical use. Huawei's Ascend P6 is perfectly equipped for navigating through the operating system and not at all slow. The "poor" scores in this part are rather due to Huawei's own claim that the Ascend P6 can compete with other premium smartphones.

Smartbench 2012 - default
Huawei Ascend P6
2923 points ∼28%
Sony Xperia ZL
5031 points ∼48% +72%
Sony Xperia Z
4831 points ∼47% +65%
Sony Xperia T
3387 points ∼33% +16%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
7353 points ∼71% +152%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
2697 points ∼26% -8%
LG Optimus G E975
4951 points ∼48% +69%
Google Nexus 4
3178 points ∼31% +9%
HTC One
6850 points ∼66% +134%
Quadrant Standard Edition 2.0
Huawei Ascend P6
5068 points ∼21%
Sony Xperia ZL
7821 points ∼33% +54%
Sony Xperia Z
7964 points ∼33% +57%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
12566 points ∼52% +148%
Google Nexus 4
4552 points ∼19% -10%
HTC One
12049 points ∼50% +138%
Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Total Score
Huawei Ascend P6
1671 Points ∼13%
Sony Xperia ZL
2036 Points ∼16% +22%
Sony Xperia Z
1918 Points ∼15% +15%
Sony Xperia T
1556 Points ∼13% -7%
Apple iPhone 5
1648 Points ∼13% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
3216 Points ∼26% +92%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
1248 Points ∼10% -25%
LG Optimus G E975
1831 Points ∼15% +10%
Google Nexus 4
2054 Points ∼17% +23%
HTC One
2332 Points ∼19% +40%
AnTuTu Benchmark v3 - Total Score
Huawei Ascend P6
13166 Points ∼37%
Sony Xperia ZL
19942 Points ∼56% +51%
Sony Xperia Z
14244 Points ∼40% +8%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
23181 Points ∼65% +76%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
11326 Points ∼32% -14%
LG Optimus G E975
17554 Points ∼49% +33%
Google Nexus 4
17555 Points ∼49% +33%
HTC One
23500 Points ∼66% +78%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - System
Huawei Ascend P6
1989 Points ∼37%
Apple iPhone 5
3490 Points ∼64% +75%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
3430 Points ∼63% +72%
Google Nexus 4
2638 Points ∼49% +33%
Linpack for Android
Huawei Ascend P6
46.574 MFLOPS ∼7%
Sony Xperia ZL
227.808 MFLOPS ∼33% +389%
Sony Xperia Z
210.109 MFLOPS ∼31% +351%
Sony Xperia T
102.486 MFLOPS ∼15% +120%
Apple iPhone 5
365.18 MFLOPS ∼54% +684%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
304.848 MFLOPS ∼45% +555%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
144.291 MFLOPS ∼21% +210%
LG Optimus G E975
232.225 MFLOPS ∼34% +399%
Google Nexus 4
76.841 MFLOPS ∼11% +65%
HTC One
308.211 MFLOPS ∼45% +562%
Huawei Ascend P6
149.793 MFLOPS ∼14%
Sony Xperia ZL
587.689 MFLOPS ∼54% +292%
Sony Xperia Z
569.82 MFLOPS ∼52% +280%
Sony Xperia T
172.461 MFLOPS ∼16% +15%
Apple iPhone 5
574.95 MFLOPS ∼52% +284%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
617.879 MFLOPS ∼56% +312%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
211.627 MFLOPS ∼19% +41%
LG Optimus G E975
540.598 MFLOPS ∼49% +261%
Google Nexus 4
221.638 MFLOPS ∼20% +48%
HTC One
733.333 MFLOPS ∼67% +390%
Legend
      Huawei Ascend P6 HiSilicon k3v2 Hi3620, Vivante GC4000, 8 GB SSD
      Sony Xperia ZL Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
      Sony Xperia Z Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
      Sony Xperia T Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8260A, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 16 GB SSD
      Apple iPhone 5 Apple A6, PowerVR SGX543MP3, 32 GB SSD
      Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB iNAND Flash
      Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8930, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
      LG Optimus G E975 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 32 GB SSD
      Google Nexus 4 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
      HTC One Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 32 GB SSD
      Nokia Lumia 820 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 8 GB SSD

This looks similar in the synthetic 3D benchmarks. The system can only keep up with the midrange smartphones to some extent. But even the Galaxy Express achieves a higher performance of at least 50% in the benchmarks. Huawei states that the graphics unit calculates with 16 cores, which is likely to only look good on paper. We checked what the performance looks like in real games further below in "Games".

Antutu 3DRating
Huawei Ascend P6
4676 Points ∼41%
Sony Xperia ZL
5218 Points ∼46% +12%
Sony Xperia Z
4151 Points ∼37% -11%
Apple iPhone 5
11353 Points ∼100% +143%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
5243 Points ∼46% +12%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
4216 Points ∼37% -10%
LG Optimus G E975
5532 Points ∼49% +18%
Google Nexus 4
5731 Points ∼50% +23%
HTC One
5459 Points ∼48% +17%
1024x2048 Off-screen
Huawei Ascend P6
1764 Points ∼61%
Sony Xperia ZL
2132 Points ∼74% +21%
Sony Xperia Z
1856 Points ∼64% +5%
Apple iPhone 5
1373 Points ∼48% -22%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2037 Points ∼71% +15%
LG Optimus G E975
1809 Points ∼63% +3%
Google Nexus 4
1702 Points ∼59% -4%
HTC One
2377 Points ∼83% +35%
NenaMark2
Huawei Ascend P6
60.9 fps ∼90%
Sony Xperia ZL
59.7 fps ∼89% -2%
Sony Xperia Z
60 fps ∼89% -1%
Sony Xperia T
59 fps ∼88% -3%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
60.2 fps ∼89% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
60.8 fps ∼90% 0%
LG Optimus G E975
59.8 fps ∼89% -2%
Google Nexus 4
59 fps ∼88% -3%
HTC One
60.4 fps ∼90% -1%
Epic Citadel
High Performance
Huawei Ascend P6
20.3 fps ∼33%
Sony Xperia ZL
56.5 fps ∼93% +178%
Sony Xperia Z
57.1 fps ∼94% +181%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
59 fps ∼97% +191%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
54.1 fps ∼89% +167%
LG Optimus G E975
57.3 fps ∼95% +182%
Google Nexus 4
54.9 fps ∼91% +170%
HTC One
57.5 fps ∼95% +183%
High Quality
Huawei Ascend P6
19.2 fps ∼32%
Sony Xperia ZL
54.8 fps ∼92% +185%
Sony Xperia Z
51.1 fps ∼85% +166%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
58.7 fps ∼98% +206%
Google Nexus 4
54.3 fps ∼91% +183%
HTC One
57.1 fps ∼95% +197%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Huawei Ascend P6
2.9 fps ∼0%
Sony Xperia ZL
13 fps ∼2% +348%
Sony Xperia Z
13 fps ∼2% +348%
Apple iPhone 5
6.7 fps ∼1% +131%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
15 fps ∼2% +417%
LG Optimus G E975
9.3 fps ∼1% +221%
Google Nexus 4
13 fps ∼2% +348%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Huawei Ascend P6
5.3 fps ∼9%
Sony Xperia ZL
13 fps ∼22% +145%
Sony Xperia Z
14 fps ∼23% +164%
Apple iPhone 5
13.6 fps ∼23% +157%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
15 fps ∼25% +183%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
13 fps ∼22% +145%
LG Optimus G E975
17 fps ∼28% +221%
Google Nexus 4
20 fps ∼33% +277%
Basemark ES 2.0 - Taiji Free
Huawei Ascend P6
10.67 fps ∼18%
Sony Xperia ZL
38.23 fps ∼63% +258%
Sony Xperia Z
38.14 fps ∼63% +257%
Sony Xperia T
28.25 fps ∼47% +165%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
47.24 fps ∼78% +343%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
39.44 fps ∼65% +270%
LG Optimus G E975
45.7 fps ∼75% +328%
Google Nexus 4
53.54 fps ∼88% +402%
HTC One
41.08 fps ∼68% +285%
Basemark X 1.0
On-Screen
Huawei Ascend P6
3.932 fps ∼12%
Sony Xperia ZL
7.5 fps ∼23% +91%
Apple iPhone 5
18.077 fps ∼55% +360%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
8.608 fps ∼26% +119%
Google Nexus 4
15.7 fps ∼48% +299%
Off-Screen
Huawei Ascend P6
1.092 fps ∼5%
Sony Xperia ZL
6.4 fps ∼30% +486%
Apple iPhone 5
7.562 fps ∼36% +592%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
8.015 fps ∼38% +634%
Google Nexus 4
6.8 fps ∼32% +523%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score
Huawei Ascend P6
2930 Points ∼2%
Sony Xperia ZL
8971 Points ∼6% +206%
Apple iPhone 5
5721 Points ∼4% +95%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
11344 Points ∼8% +287%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
4463 Points ∼3% +52%
LG Optimus G E975
10233 Points ∼7% +249%
Google Nexus 4
11396 Points ∼8% +289%
HTC One
10752 Points ∼7% +267%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics
Huawei Ascend P6
2859 Points ∼1%
Sony Xperia ZL
10382 Points ∼3% +263%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
11395 Points ∼3% +299%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
4415 Points ∼1% +54%
LG Optimus G E975
10616 Points ∼3% +271%
Google Nexus 4
11625 Points ∼3% +307%
HTC One
11192 Points ∼3% +291%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics
Huawei Ascend P6
3209 Points ∼6%
Sony Xperia ZL
6080 Points ∼11% +89%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
11170 Points ∼21% +248%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
4641 Points ∼9% +45%
LG Optimus G E975
9087 Points ∼17% +183%
Google Nexus 4
10660 Points ∼20% +232%
HTC One
9451 Points ∼17% +195%

Huawei's Ascend P6 also lags behind in the browser benchmarks. The Galaxy Express, as the slowest contender, is twice as fast in some cases. This is noticed in the partly slow page loading and lower performance, for example, in HTML 5 videos and animations. The performance is just still acceptable for occasionally browsing on the internet on the go but users who use mobile internet more intensely will find considerably faster phones.

Vellamo Mobile Benchmark 2.0
Metal
Huawei Ascend P6
429 Points ∼30%
Sony Xperia ZL
627 Points ∼43% +46%
Sony Xperia Z
632 Points ∼43% +47%
Sony Xperia T
587 Points ∼40% +37%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
835 Points ∼57% +95%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
515 Points ∼35% +20%
LG Optimus G E975
589 Points ∼41% +37%
Google Nexus 4
625 Points ∼43% +46%
HTC One
788 Points ∼54% +84%
HTML5
Huawei Ascend P6
1302 Points ∼42%
Sony Xperia ZL
2194 Points ∼71% +69%
Sony Xperia Z
2186 Points ∼70% +68%
Sony Xperia T
1809 Points ∼58% +39%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2105 Points ∼68% +62%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
1657 Points ∼53% +27%
LG Optimus G E975
1756 Points ∼56% +35%
Google Nexus 4
1339 Points ∼43% +3%
HTC One
2375 Points ∼76% +82%
Octane V1 - Total Score
Huawei Ascend P6
571 Points ∼3%
Sony Xperia ZL
1182 Points ∼6% +107%
Sony Xperia Z
1214 Points ∼6% +113%
Apple iPhone 5
1663 Points ∼8% +191%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2290 Points ∼11% +301%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
1170 Points ∼6% +105%
LG Optimus G E975
1163 Points ∼6% +104%
Google Nexus 4
1248 Points ∼6% +119%
HTC One
1986 Points ∼9% +248%
Nokia Lumia 820
618 Points ∼3% +8%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score
Huawei Ascend P6
633 Points ∼3%
Sony Xperia ZL
1271 Points ∼7% +101%
Sony Xperia Z
1279 Points ∼7% +102%
Sony Xperia T
1540 Points ∼8% +143%
Apple iPhone 5
1457 Points ∼8% +130%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2222 Points ∼12% +251%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
1169 Points ∼6% +85%
LG Optimus G E975
1479 Points ∼8% +134%
Google Nexus 4
1381 Points ∼8% +118%
HTC One
1899 Points ∼10% +200%
Nokia Lumia 820
783 Points ∼4% +24%
Sunspider
Huawei Ascend P6
4026.3 ms * ∼100%
Apple iPhone 5
714 ms * ∼18% +82%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
1168.2 ms * ∼29% +71%
Google Nexus 4
1580.6 ms * ∼39% +61%
Peacekeeper
Huawei Ascend P6
228 Points ∼4%
Sony Xperia ZL
386 Points ∼6% +69%
Sony Xperia Z
388 Points ∼6% +70%
Apple iPhone 5
863 Points ∼14% +279%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
555 Points ∼9% +143%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
405 Points ∼7% +78%
LG Optimus G E975
545 Points ∼9% +139%
Google Nexus 4
236 Points ∼4% +4%
HTC One
683 Points ∼11% +200%
Nokia Lumia 820
333 Points ∼5% +46%
Mozilla Kraken 1.0 - Total Score
Huawei Ascend P6
78147.5 ms * ∼46%
Sony Xperia ZL
22540.3 ms * ∼13% +71%
Sony Xperia Z
21140.9 ms * ∼12% +73%
Apple iPhone 5
20380.2 ms * ∼12% +74%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
13779.3 ms * ∼8% +82%
LG Optimus G E975
23662.7 ms * ∼14% +70%
Google Nexus 4
21389 ms * ∼12% +73%
HTC One
13058.6 ms * ∼8% +83%
Nokia Lumia 820
44716.5 ms * ∼26% +43%

* ... smaller is better

This pattern is continued with the internal storage. The Ascend P6 seems to access the 8 GB much slower than all compared devices. Sony's Xperia T and Samsung's Galaxy Express are once again the next fastest phones; all premium smartphones have a large lead.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB
Huawei Ascend P6
27.36 MB/s ∼20%
Sony Xperia ZL
48.71 MB/s ∼36% +78%
Sony Xperia Z
48.79 MB/s ∼37% +78%
Sony Xperia T
40.45 MB/s ∼30% +48%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
75.1 MB/s ∼56% +174%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
52.79 MB/s ∼40% +93%
LG Optimus G E975
60.08 MB/s ∼45% +120%
Google Nexus 4
49.7 MB/s ∼37% +82%
HTC One
58.75 MB/s ∼44% +115%
Sequential Write 256KB
Huawei Ascend P6
5.08 MB/s ∼9%
Sony Xperia ZL
13.55 MB/s ∼23% +167%
Sony Xperia Z
14.49 MB/s ∼25% +185%
Sony Xperia T
11.09 MB/s ∼19% +118%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
13.11 MB/s ∼23% +158%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
9.32 MB/s ∼16% +83%
LG Optimus G E975
13.88 MB/s ∼24% +173%
Google Nexus 4
13.97 MB/s ∼24% +175%
HTC One
16.37 MB/s ∼28% +222%
Random Read 4KB
Huawei Ascend P6
7.56 MB/s ∼45%
Sony Xperia ZL
11.65 MB/s ∼70% +54%
Sony Xperia Z
12.84 MB/s ∼77% +70%
Sony Xperia T
4.99 MB/s ∼30% -34%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
12.28 MB/s ∼74% +62%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
8.42 MB/s ∼51% +11%
LG Optimus G E975
11.64 MB/s ∼70% +54%
Google Nexus 4
12.14 MB/s ∼73% +61%
HTC One
11.83 MB/s ∼71% +56%
Random Write 4KB
Huawei Ascend P6
0.26 MB/s ∼9%
Sony Xperia ZL
1.12 MB/s ∼38% +331%
Sony Xperia Z
1.15 MB/s ∼39% +342%
Sony Xperia T
0.26 MB/s ∼9% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
1.13 MB/s ∼39% +335%
Samsung Galaxy Express GT-I8730
0.42 MB/s ∼14% +62%
LG Optimus G E975
1.06 MB/s ∼36% +308%
Google Nexus 4
1.07 MB/s ∼37% +312%
HTC One
1.19 MB/s ∼41% +358%

Games

As we observed in the synthetic 3D benchmarks, the graphics unit integrated in the SoC is not the strongest of its kind. At least the included and very fun Riptide GT runs with nice graphics and almost always smoothly.

However, this looks different when other games are downloaded from Google's Play Store. Iron Man 3 is playable but stutters noticeably and also produces the odd graphics bug. The power is enough for casual games like Angry Birds: Star Wars but the graphics unit is not very future-proof.

Runs mostly smoothly: The included game Riptide GT
Runs mostly smoothly: The included game Riptide GT
Only runs with stutters and graphics bugs: Iron Man 3
Only runs with stutters and graphics bugs: Iron Man 3

Emissions

Temperature

The conductive metal chassis could dissipate the heat produced during use out of the case well. Then again, it could get quite warm. This is fortunately only true to a certain extent. A maximum of 42.3 °C is a higher rate than, for example, from the Galaxy Express or even HTC's One. However, this temperature is very limited to the backside's center right section and is only produced during full load. The temperatures even drop to below 30 °C over a large area in idle and the heat is barely noticed.

Of course, some smartphones reach a lower temperature and many of them are more powerful than the Huawei's Ascend P6. Nevertheless, the temperatures stay on an overall quite low and thus good level.

Max. Load
 34.9 °C34.5 °C33.7 °C 
 35.9 °C36.3 °C35.2 °C 
 36.2 °C40 °C36.2 °C 
 
33.3 °C35 °C32.6 °C
34.7 °C36.4 °C34.2 °C
36.4 °C42.3 °C34.9 °C
Maximum: 40 °C
Average: 35.9 °C
 Maximum: 42.3 °C
Average: 35.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  34.4 °C | Room Temperature 23 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The little speaker on the back might seem a bit unremarkable but it produces a very good sound for a smartphone. Trebles and mids are well defined, nothing overdrives and everything sounds balanced. Naturally, the low-ranges are very thin but the rest is quite worth listening to. Since the entire casing is used as a sound box, it does not even matter if the speaker is covered by a finger or the phone is placed on its back on a table. Settings for Dolby Digital Plus are available under the "General" menu tab. It audibly enhances the sound for music or videos.

Energy Management

Huawei's Ascend P6 still consumes 0.8 watts from the mains when it is in standby. This is definitely too much and results in the battery draining faster than expected even when the smartphone is not used. Huawei's Ascend P6 is not exactly energy-efficient in other regards either. It consumes a minimum of 1.3 watts and a maximum of 2.8 watts in idle. Google's Nexus 4 maximum idle consumption is 1.4 watts, which is only half the power.

Huawei's Ascend P6 reaches a similar maximum rate as most other devices during full load, which is 6.1 watts. Compared with the admittedly slightly stronger Samsung Galaxy Express, the Ascend P6 is clearly defeated. Samsung's midrange phone has an absolute maximum consumption of 2.2 watts. Another sign that the SoC in the Ascend P6 is no longer up to date.

Power consumption

Off / Standby 0.4 / 0.8 Watt
Idle 1.3 / 2.5 / 2.8 Watt
Load 5.2 / 6.1 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Correspondingly, the runtimes of Huawei's Ascend P6 are quite suitable. The user will survive the day owing to an idle runtime of 10:23 hours. Samsung's Galaxy Express clearly surpasses the just over six hours in the Wi-Fi test with 10:30 hours. All other smartphones we used for comparison could also surpass this by at least one or two hours.

Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 23min
WiFi Surfing
6h 05min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 15min

Verdict

What is a premium smartphone made of? It is of course the sum of first-rate components that ensure a high-end and swift system. But there is more: This feeling that you are holding a piece of technology which is absolutely innovative and which opens innumerable possibilities.

Huawei manages to create this feeling right away from the outside: The extremely slim, stylishly designed, high-quality and very rigid metal chassis is convincing. There are even three colors to choose from: pale pink, white and black. The elegant packaging also contributes to the A-one first impression. Then there is the good operation, clear speech quality, the consistently good signal strength of almost all modules, a lot of accessories and the decent software.

The low-resolution screen, the swift but ultimately weak GPS module and the lack of LTE support are negative points. The money saved when buying Huawei's Ascend P6 is thus noticed. Above all in the power: The installed SoC is now simply too old to keep up with the current premium range.

Overall, the Ascend P6 lags behind the current first league of smartphones in a few points. Nevertheless, it is an impressive phone but not only because of its very slim build and good workmanship. Users who do not need LTE or a Full HD screen and can accept a lower performance will get a good smartphone for just under 450 Euros (~$599), which is more located in the midrange than the premium range.

In review: Huawei Ascend P6. Review sample courtesy of Huawei.
In review: Huawei Ascend P6. Review sample courtesy of Huawei.

Comment this article:

In Review: Huawei Ascend P6. Review sample courtesy of Huawei.
In Review: Huawei Ascend P6. Review sample courtesy of Huawei.

Specifications

Huawei Ascend P6

:: Processor
HiSilicon k3v2 Hi3620 1.5 GHz
:: Memory
2048 MB
:: Graphics adapter
Vivante GC4000
:: Display
4.7 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, IPS+, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
8 GB SSD, 8 GB , 4.7 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio jack, Card Reader: microSD card reader max. 32 GByte, Sensors: proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, digital compass, accelerometer, position, temperature,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 3.0 Bluetooth, 2G: quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, 3G: penta-band 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz, HSDPA: 21.6 MBit/s, HSUPA: 5.76 MBit/s
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6.18 x 132.6 x 65.5
:: Weight
0.12 kg Power Supply: 0.045 kg
:: Battery
7.39 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 2000 mAh, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 416 h 0 min, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 315 h 0 min
:: Price
500 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.2
:: Additional features
Webcam: Rear: 8 MP (3264 x 2448), Front: 5 MP (2560 x 1920), Speakers: rear-facing speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, power cord, USB cord, stereo headphone, cap for headphone jack (incl. card eject tool), sleeve, FM radio, flashlight, Polaris-Office 4.0, 24 Months Warranty

 

Huawei's Ascend P6 challenges premium smartphones.
Huawei's Ascend P6 challenges premium smartphones.
The boxing makes a very high-quality impression at the outset.
The boxing makes a very high-quality impression at the outset.
A tug at the textile loop...
A tug at the textile loop...
and the device is unboxed.
and the device is unboxed.
The quite diverse, clearly arranged accessories are found underneath that.
The quite diverse, clearly arranged accessories are found underneath that.
The casing even passes a closer examination:
The casing even passes a closer examination:
Completely made of aluminum, quality build and rigid.
Completely made of aluminum, quality build and rigid.
The phone also has an extremely slim profile.
The phone also has an extremely slim profile.
The buttons are also high-quality and feature a good pressure point.
The buttons are also high-quality and feature a good pressure point.
A small detail in design and convenient: The flap for the audio jack wards off dirt and is also the eject tool for the SIM and SD card.
A small detail in design and convenient: The flap for the audio jack wards off dirt and is also the eject tool for the SIM and SD card.
Low-resolution front-facing camera? Not in this case. It features 5 megapixels.
Low-resolution front-facing camera? Not in this case. It features 5 megapixels.
The front-facing camera also shoots decent pictures.
The front-facing camera also shoots decent pictures.
There is a shutter delay and countdown when pictures are taken with the front-facing camera.
There is a shutter delay and countdown when pictures are taken with the front-facing camera.
The rear-facing camera even features 8 megapixels.
The rear-facing camera even features 8 megapixels.
Its pictures are also good.
Its pictures are also good.
Also on the back: The decent speaker.
Also on the back: The decent speaker.
There wasn't room for the buttons on the casing. They are implemented as virtual buttons on the screen.
There wasn't room for the buttons on the casing. They are implemented as virtual buttons on the screen.
The so-called "Emotion UI" interface for Android already has a uniquely designed lock screen.
The so-called "Emotion UI" interface for Android already has a uniquely designed lock screen.
It can be largely customized via themes.
It can be largely customized via themes.
The app "Designs" has to be opened first.
The app "Designs" has to be opened first.
The icons for the preinstalled apps also change with the themes.
The icons for the preinstalled apps also change with the themes.
Nice detail: New apps are marked with a banner.
Nice detail: New apps are marked with a banner.
It is possible to create folders and categorize the apps.
It is possible to create folders and categorize the apps.
The centerpiece is this widget that can be extensively configured. This is the dark design.
The centerpiece is this widget that can be extensively configured. This is the dark design.
A personal design can be developed from single parts of the designs.
A personal design can be developed from single parts of the designs.
The phone app doesn't quite fit to the design with its grass green dial button. However, it is very intuitive to use.
The phone app doesn't quite fit to the design with its grass green dial button. However, it is very intuitive to use.
A tab dubbed "General" with frequently used options is found in the settings.
A tab dubbed "General" with frequently used options is found in the settings.
The settings also offer slightly extended options.
The settings also offer slightly extended options.
One example is the "Glove" mode that allows use with gloves.
One example is the "Glove" mode that allows use with gloves.
The quick access bar can also be customized.
The quick access bar can also be customized.
The power is only enough for games to a certain extent. The SoC is an older model.
The power is only enough for games to a certain extent. The SoC is an older model.
Thus, browsing on the internet is a bit slower than on more up to date phones.
Thus, browsing on the internet is a bit slower than on more up to date phones.
The screen's high brightness is convincing but it could have a higher resolution.
The screen's high brightness is convincing but it could have a higher resolution.
Overall, Huawei's Ascend P6 is a very impressive phone. However, it lacks the final touch for the premium range.
Overall, Huawei's Ascend P6 is a very impressive phone. However, it lacks the final touch for the premium range.

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Compare Prices

Pro

+Very nice aluminum casing
+Solid build
+Extremely slim profile
+Clearly arranged operating system
+Good software add-ons
+Many included accessories
+Bright screen
+Adaptable color temperature
+Good Wi-Fi and phone signal
+Cameras shoot pictures in a decent quality
 

Contra

-Outdated SoC
-Screen's low resolution
-No LTE
-Unsatisfactory GPS signal
-High power consumption
-Too low gaming performance

Shortcut

What we like

The very stylish design, the slim build, the aluminum chassis, the clearly arranged operating system. In a nutshell - quite a lot.

What we'd like to see

LTE support, a higher resolution screen and a bit more power would have boosted the smartphone to the top.

What surprises us

That Huawei's Ascend P6 puts the established competitors in an unfavorable light in some categories.

The competition

Apple iPhone 5, Google Nexus 4, Sony Xperia T, Sony Xperia Z, Sony Xperia ZL, LG Optimus G, HTC One, Nokia Lumia 820, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Express.

Rating

Huawei Ascend P6
08/05/2013 v3
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
94%
Keyboard
51%
Pointing Device
87%
Connectivity
42%
Weight
100%
Battery
91%
Display
88%
Games Performance
26%
Application Performance
43%
Temperature
83%
Noise
100%
Add Points
78%
Average
74%
86%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Huawei Ascend P6 Smartphone
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2013-08- 5 (Update: 2013-08- 7)