Hands on review: Huawei Ascend P6, the world's slimmest smartphone

Camera

The Huawei P6's 8MP camera takes decent shots in good lighting conditions from what we've seen so far, with a HDR mode that emphasises the difference between light and dark areas quite well. There's plenty of effects on hand for Instagram-loving shutterbugs and you can add even more filters after a shot has been taken in the image editor. A auto-focus mode which tracks subjects is also a potentially useful feature and did a decent job of following out hands around during our brief test.

Low light performance also is also quite good with the bright flash bringing up plenty of detail even in a completely dark room, though naturally there's still noise present. Hold on for our full review for a proper comparison to the likes of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One's cameras.

Panorama mode is impressive, with consistent stitching and an easy to use sweep function. 1080p video also seems clear enough after recording for a short while, though we sometimes found ourselves having to manually maintain focus. The ability to pause and resume recording is also a handy feature.

The front 5MP camera, coupled with the beauty function, does well to soften our crow's feet and will be a welcome bonus for image-concious video callers.

More after the break...

Software and OS

Hands on review: Huawei Ascend P6, the world's slimmest smartphone  - Software and OS 2Hands on review: Huawei Ascend P6, the world's slimmest smartphone  - Software and OS 3Hands on review: Huawei Ascend P6, the world's slimmest smartphone  - Software and OS 4

Huawei has heavily skinned Android with its Emotion UI, but it's actually rather impressive if you can get past the initial shock of no app drawer.

Its drag-down settings bar is useful, with all the options you could ever want, and you can even tweak it with your most used shortcuts if you prefer.

Huawei's home screen widget is also rather pretty, displaying the weather, a clock, frequent contacts and a gallery slideshow.

The music player is more attractive than the stock Android one and has the same handy Dolby virtual effects as the Huawei Ascend Mate for you to play around with to enhance your music. Though most genres are covered, we found the default Dolby setting worked best for most songs.

There are also a few pre-loaded themes ranging from the subtle zen-like offering to the plain crazy cookie icon pack. Handy, if you like to change the feel of your phone on a regular basis. You fashion victim, you.

One thing that's a little annoying is that you cant minimise the soft keys like you can on the Ascend Mate – it would make even more sense on the P6's smaller screen.

A quick scroll through the setting reveals a handy power manager which lets you choose normal, smart and endurance modes and shows how much time you've got left for each one, along with the ability to choose which apps load at start up.

Motion controls like flip to mute, shake to change wallpaper and raising the phone to your ear to make calls are also present.

Lastly, there's a gloves mode which increases the screen sensitivity for glove use. All in all the P6 is far from the stock Android experience, but it looks slick and offers some genuinely useful features for the most part.

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