Just this morning over at Grand Hyatt KL, Huawei Malaysia launched its Ascend P6 smartphone to the Malaysian market. Said to be the world’s slimmest smartphone commercially available in the market, the 6.18 mm thin device was first announced just last month.
Its thin, brushed metallic design is reflected on the overall dimensions too, at 132.6 x 65.5mm. It doesn’t feel like a phone with a 4.7-inch display because of the almost edge-to-edge bezels. The top and bottom of the display are equally spaced too, which is nice.
Part of the technology that allows Huawei to be able to push a new standard on how thin a smartphone could get is because of the in-cell touch display technology it’s using. A regular capacitive touch panel has three layers: the protective glass cover (Gorilla Glass), the panel to detect touches, and the LCD screen itself. In-cell touch combines the touch panel to the LCD screen allowing the whole assembly to be thinner. I should point out that the iPhone 5 at 7.6 mm thin also uses the same display technology.
Besides being impossibly thin, the display is only at a 1280 x 720 resolution, but with 312 PPI no less. It also support Huawei’s ‘MagicTouch’ technology allowing the display to still be responsive even when operating it with gloves on.
The main camera is an 8-megapixel BSI sensor with an F2.0 aperture and a 4 cm macro view lens. What’s most interesting is, how Huawei is bumping the front-facing camera to be one of the highest resolution in the industry, a 5-megapixel camera capable of shooting 720p videos and of course, lots of selfies.
Ascend P6 is running on Huawei’s own K3V2 processor, a quad-core 1.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM, and just 8 GB of ROM (only 4.7 GB user-available). The small storage capacity is disappointing, but there’s a microSD card slot supporting cards up to 32 GB. There is no LTE radio in this device as well.
Speaking of card slots, there is a plug in the 3.5 mm port, that can be removed and used as a pin to poke the micro-SIM and microSD card slots out. Not very practical for folks who listen to music on their phones a lot, not to mention loosing that thing. The volume rocker and the power button is also n the left side of the phone above the slots.
Considering its 720p display and a 2,000 mAh battery that’s larger than other Android devices at this display size, the battery life should last a little longer than usual. Huawei is also throwing in its Automated Discontinuous Reception (ADRX) and Quick Power Control (QPC) battery optimization and power saving technologies that is said to be able to increase battery life by 30% longer than smartphones with equal-sized batteries.
Though Android 4.3 was just released for Nexus devices this morning, 4.2.2 is still the latest for the rest and the Ascend P6 ships with this version of the OS. It has its proprietary Emotion UI skin that removes the App Drawer to just have a single ‘Uni-Home’ Screen, ala iOS, but with the addition of widgets. Some of its unique features include enhanced security, a ‘Me Widget’, SmartReading (to zoom it and lookup definitions), and MagicTouch which we’ve mentioned earlier.
Camera-side is handled by the IMAGESmart software to offer panoramic shots, facial recognition functions, contrast and color enhancements, auto scene recognition, object tracing focus, and ‘instant facial beauty’ support. Not sure how I feel about the last one.
Huawei is also talking about its AirSharing feature (not to be confused with Apple’s Air Sharing) that could push or mirror contents to an external display, possibly via DLNA. We have yet to see this in action as of now.
“Although we are still building the foundation for the Huawei brand in Malaysia, we are encouraged to see positive response to our products by consumers here. This timely launch of the HUAWEI Ascend P6, our latest flagship smartphone, is a firm demonstration of our commitment to growing the brand and our market share in this country,” said Gary Xu, Country Head, Consumer Business Group, Huawei Malaysia.
Huawei Ascend P6 comes in Black and White models, are already available at Huawei authorized dealers nationwide for RM1,399. More information on the P6 here.