Huawei actually makes a lot of good stuff. From phone network hardware, right through to the modems that run on them. It’s having another crack at the mid-range Android market with the Ascend G6, and from our time with it, we’ve found it has the best build quality of any Huawei device we’ve yet used.
What Is It?
The G6 is Huawei’s cheap, mid-range play for Australia that certainly isn’t short on features.
It’s packing a 4.5-inch display with a 960×540 resolution, with 245 pixels per inch. Under the hood you’ve got a quad-core 1.2GHz processor developed in-house by Huawei, as well as 1GB of RAM.
There’s also an 8-megapixel camera on the back, and a 5-megapixel camera on the front for great selfies.
The G6’s real calling-card comes in the form of super-fast 4G support thanks to a Category 4 antenna allowing the phone to pull down a theoretical maximum speed of 150Mbps.
The G6 won’t break the bank, either, coming in at just $329.
What Does It Do Well?
Huawei likes making its own phones. Not content with just making the equipment that makes some of Australia’s biggest phone networks go ’round, it wants to have its logo right there in your pocket 24/7.
They were mostly forgettable thanks to a mix of bad software and patchy designs. All of that is in the past with the Ascend G6, however. It’s the best build quality we’ve seen from Huawei in ages, both inside and out.
The G6 is thin and sleek, with an excellent rounded edge on the bottom making it great to hold. The power button and volume rockers are also finely textured so you’ll never lose them on the phone.
The Emotion UI — Huawei’s skin on top of Android — has also had a tune up for the 2.0 Lite version on the G6. There’s still no app drawer, which means first-time Android users won’t have to worry about losing their apps or learning complicated menus.
Battery on the G6 is also impressive for a quad-core phone, with life extending out to about a day and a half with heavy usage.
What’s Not So Good?
While it’s certainly the best-built Huawei phone in recent memory, it still feels a little cheap. Sure, it’s a mid-range phone at a mid-range price point, but is it too much to ask not to bathe the thing in bland, black matte plastic? The Nexus 5, for example, overcame the plastic feel by covering the handset in a tactile, almost rubbery material which felt great in the hand.
Also, the lack of an app drawer on the G6’s Emotion UI is certainly going to frustrate the unorganised user. Because the UI simply dumps apps wherever it can find a spot, installing tonnes of apps at once means that you’re going to be left with an icon crisis if you don’t perform routine clean-ups.
The only other concern is the placement of the ports. The headphone jack is on the bottom left side of the G6, which means it’s going to poke out awkwardly when it’s in your pocket. Meanwhile, the USB port is on the top of the device. Surely those two should be swapped?
Should You Buy It?
If you’re after a cheap, well-made Android phone, look no further than the Huawei G6. The UI and the hardware can be a little bit low-rent for Android power-users, but that’s a good thing for the target market. This isn’t the Android phone of choice for the power user, instead it’s the Android phone of choice for the power user’s parents who may not be as familiar with a smartphone as you are.