Huawei Ascend P6 Review: Just Like A Shiny Black iPhone Only Android...And Bad

You want your knock-offs? Look no further than the Huawei P6: a window into a weird world of hardware crossover.

What Is It?

An iPhone 4. Oh wait. No. Sorry, I was just looking at it from the side and got confused.

The Huawei Ascend P6 is a super-thin addition to the line-up, measuring in at 6.18mm thick.

In terms of hardware, the Ascend P6 packs a home-grown 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM a 4.7-inch screen as well as a 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

It will set you back $499 from Dick Smith Electronics from today in either black or white colours.

As you can also tell by now, it looks almost exactly like a slightly thinner iPhone 4, complete with metal banding on black bodywork, cuts in all the right places and a brushed aluminium finish. Honestly, I thought it was just me who said it looked like an iPhone, but I took it around the office and handed it to others who all confirmed my hypothesis.

What's Good?

Not much. That seems unfair to lead with, but it's true.

Sure, the specs are ok and the device looks good on paper, but using it is a bit of a pain. Apps crash, the P6 throws random reboot tantrums and even transitions are sluggish.

Emotion UI looks great and the new animations Huawei have been working on are mighty nifty, but that's where the fun stops. Nice little additions to the Emotion UI include a download time estimate on your apps and file downloads. It estimates how long stuff will take to download to the split second.

Other good stuff includes a beautiful design — no matter how much it looks like the competition — dual-SIM slots, a built-in SIM tool for swapping your gear on the go and a battery that seems to last for ages. We a surprisingly long stand-by time on the P6. The camera is also impressive, if a little oversaturated at times. The speaker is also really loud despite the real estate it has to live in, but the flat back design means you muffle it on a surface whenever it's put down. The Dolby Digital Plus equaliser is back on the P6, and it's much-improved over the tinny sounding sound in the Huawei Mate.

The P6 also has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera designed for "selfies". There's also a feature similar to Samsung's "Beauty Face" (as in, exactly the same) which magnifies the smoothing of your face and takes out the darkness under your eyes. As a selfie-addict, I can tell you this is a good thing.

I'd love to tell you how it benchmarks, but the Huawei P6 simply decides to kill itself and reboot whenever I try to run Geekbench 2, or any other testing software for that matter.

That's the problem with this thing: it's a great-looking device with a few good features going for it, but if it had stock Android rather than the less-than-stellar Emotion UI, it'd be a much better phone. That's presuming the issues come from software-based issues, of course. We haven't had the time to pull the Emotion UI off the device completely and retest it due to the quick turnaround time requested on this device.

What's Bad?

Aside from the aforementioned issues?

It gets weirdly hot on the right-hand side of the device, which I assume is to do with a big processor generating boatloads of heat and having nowhere to go, so it sizzles the right-hand side of the device.

Also, the built-in SIM tool is tough to get out at first and then never really sits back in the device exactly as it should. It always feels loose and I imagine one day it's just going to pop right out of its slot by accident, never to be seen again. That leaves a gaping big circular hole in the side of your phone you can't do anything with.

That SIM tool also shields the headphone jack when it's in, which means that to use your headphones, you need to remove the tool. There's nowhere intelligent to put it while the headphones are in use, so you'll just cast it to the side and lose it faster.

Should You Buy It?

Probably not.

It's nifty in terms of a few software transitions and the fact that it eliminates the app drawer completely — which is good for first-time Android users — but that doesn't excuse the performance flaws we found after just a week of testing.

If you're deadset on buying a super-thin Android device and know how to root and replace the Emotion UI on here, you're golden with the Huawei Ascend P6. Otherwise, this handset is aiming for design success and nothing else.

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