Announced back in February during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Huawei Ascend G6 was finally launched in the Philippines a couple of weeks ago. Originally announced to have LTE capability, Huawei Philippines released the 3G-capable model, most likely to keep the price more attractive.
At only P8,990, the G6 is very competitively priced, given its mid-range specs. We reviewed a white Ascend G6 for a couple of weeks to see how this mid-range model would fare.
Design and Construction
At only P8,990, you essentially get what you pay for. The G6 has an all plastic construction, with a solid metal-colored plastic band rounding the circumference of the phone.
But its simple styling, solid construction and sleek design, makes the G6 look more expensive than its price tag. At a very sexy 7.85mm and 114 grams, the G6 felt amazingly easy to operate with one hand. With its premium feel, it kind of reminded us of a smaller Apple iPhone 5.
At the top of 4.5-inch qHD IPS LCD screen (960×540 pixels, 245ppi) are the green notification light, speaker, sensors and the 5MP front-facing camera. The microphone is at the lower left, just below the 3 capacitive buttons.
We believe that the G6 would look more premium if they didn’t place any logos up front.
The backside is flat, has a matte finish and the speaker is positioned in the bottom left corner. The 8MP Sony IMX134 sensor f/2.0 AF BSI rear camera and the single LED flash are flushed on the top left corner, while the noise cancelling mike is right beside it. The power button and volume controls are on the right side.
Pop out the back cover, and you’ll see the micro-SIM slot and micro-SD at the right side, while the non-removable battery is at the left.
Display and Multimedia
While the 960×540 4.5-inch display (245 ppi) isn’t the best screen in the market, it is perfectly acceptable, and is enough to make casual surfing and games enjoyable. The IPS panel, with its wide viewing angles, makes sharing movies with a friend or two fun.
OS, UI and Apps
Although the phone runs on Android 4.3 Jellybean, Huawei made the G6’s Emotion user interface (UI) easy to use for anyone who has used Apple IOS, Android, or Windows-equipped smartphones.
There are two home screen styles: Standard, and Simple.
The Standard style removes the application list, where all your apps are on the home screen. Now, there’s no more confusion for first time users when they see the same app on a home screen and in the app list; which makes this sort of like the Apple IOS, and a bit different from the usual Android experience. There are also four customizable themes to suite your taste: Breeze, Taste, Pure, and Elegant.
On the other hand, the Simple style removes all the widgets and app icons, and uses a large, tile based interface, which is quite similar to the Windows Phone home screen setup.
For those who still want the usual Android experience, where you have total control on how you organize applications, we recommend installing a third-party launcher.
Built-in software include a very intuitive Phone Manager and Weather apps. Facebook, Kingsoft Office and Twitter also come pre-installed.
Performance and Benchmark
With its 1.2GHz quadcore CPU from Qualcomm, 1GB of RAM and lack of bloatware, the G6 is steady as a rock, and we didn’t really notice any lag.
We did a number of benchmark tests, and here are the results:
• Quadrant 7903
• Antutu 16550
• Vellamo 1850(HTML5) 454 (Metal)
• NenaMark2 53.4fps
• 3dmark 4028 (Ice Storm Unlimited), 2365 (Ice Storm Extreme)
Just like Apple with its IPhones, Huawei used Sony for the G6’s rear camera.
The MP size may be a bit on the “low” side, but the 8MP Sony IMX134 sensor f/2.0 AF BSI rear camera, with the single LED flash and the ability to record full HD video, is actually pretty decent!
And here’s a big plus for those who love taking selfies, the G6 has a 5MP front-facing camera.
Here are some pictures and video:
Connectivity Call Quality and Battery Life
The G6 handled calls normally as expected. We can be heard clearly on the other line and vice versa.
The GPS worked well with Waze. Its Bluetooth connected well with our Polaroid Smart watch. The built in FM radio worked as expected.
The 3G/H+ service provided by the network (Sun Cellular) was more than adequate for normal browsing. We didn’t wait too long to download apps from Google Play Store.
You may want to install a reliable data widget/app switch from the Google Play Store. The built-in switch didn’t work as well as we wanted (data service didn’t turn on, even if it said it was on)
With screws holding it down, the G6’s battery is not easily removed (and would probably void warranty).
Although it only has a 2,000mAh Li-Ion battery, the qHD screen, the energy-efficient Snapdragon processor and the built in settings that optimize the battery, all contributed to make the battery last as long as it had.
In our usual battery test which includes playing a movie file in Airplane mode with volume set to 50% and brightness at 50%, the result was 6.5 hours’ worth of movie playback.
As our daily driver, we had mobile data always on, turned on the Bluetooth to connect to a smart watch, surfed the web, checked and replied to emails, took photos and videos, played games, texted and made phone calls, the Ascend G6 lasted a decent 16 hours.
The battery had a base temperature of only 25.00 C. But after running a few apps / casual games, the temp increased to 30.80 C. And after using processor intensive apps (Dead Trigger 2, 3DMark benchmark app), the temp soared to 38.60 C.
At P8,990, the Huawei Ascend G6 has decent specs, unique user interface, premium look and feel. For those who feel that a lack of LTE capability is not a deal breaker, and are looking for a competitively priced and good looking smartphone, with a strong front camera, and good value for money, the G6 may be the phone for you.
Huawei Ascend G6 specs:
4.5-inch qHD IPS LCD @ 960×540 pixels, 245ppi
Qualcomm MSM8926 Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz quad core
8GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD card
HSDPA 42 Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
GPS with aGPS support
Li-Ion 2,000mAh battery
8MP Sony IMX134 sensor f/2.0 AF BSI rear camera, LED flash
5MP front-facing camera
Android 4.3 Jellybean
Emotion UI 2.0
The Ascend G6 has a suggested retail price of Php8,990.