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

We wrap our mitts around the world's thinnest smartphone – Huawei's all-metal, premium Ascend P6

The newly unveiled Huawei Ascend P6 has been hailed as the thinnest phone in the world.

It's the Chinese company's first foray into the premium market, with a metal build and an emphasis on quality – but has it got what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the fiercest Android competition to date?

Design and build

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

From the sides, the 6.18mm P6 looks like an iPhone that's had a run in with a rolling pin, with brushed steel banding sandwiched between the screen and black brushed-metal rear. Its edges are almost sharp when rubbed with the fingertips but not enough to cause any real concern.  

Save for the rounded plastic strip at the bottom (which we presume houses the antennas), the P6 does feel like a truly premium device – it's definitely the best looking phone to come out of Huawei's doors to date. Our thumbs prefer the smoothness of the iPhone 5 and HTC One's aluminium to the slightly rough brushed metal back of the P6, but all in all it feels very solid premium device.

The only niggle we have with it is that the micro SD slot cover isn't quite flush with the side of the device. That's the sort of attention to detail that puts the likes of HTC and Apple at the top of the design pile, and consistency is key if you want to make a name for yourself in the premium category.  

The P6's brushed metal back also looks like it'll be prone to scratches (just like the black iPhone 5), so you might be better off getting the white (or pink) version if you decide to spring for it. It's non-removable though, so let's hope that 2,000mAh battery is big enough to last a full day's use.

Its 120g weight is light in the hands and overall this is definitely a phone you'll take pleasure in holding and caressing. Slip in into your pocket and you could forget that it's even there.  

Oddly, the micro USB port is on top, though volume and power buttons are where you'd expect them to be on the right, along with micro SIM and micro SD slots on the same side.

There's an odd circular metal protrusion on the bottom left, which we initially thought was a lanyard attachment. A bit of fiddling and pulling to detach it reveals a headphone port, as well as a handy tool for opening up the SIM and SD slots on the right. A nice touch – though we'd lose it within the first hour, knowing our luck.

More after the break...

Screen

The P6's 4.7in 720p LCD screen is nice and bright with excellent viewing angles, and colours are vivid without the over-saturated cartoon-like quality of an AMOLED display. It might not be as pixel-packed as the 1080p HTC One, Sony Xperia Z or Samsung Galaxy S4 on paper (with 312 ppi), but it's not far off the iPhone 5's 326ppi count.

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

Even with our noses pressed against the glass, we can't find much to complain about and it's more than sharp enough at this screen size.

It's also easy for one-handed use and it hits the screen size sweet spot for most people.

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