A deliciously thin form factor and elegant hardware design contrasts an unfortunately outdated UI, which tastes far too similar to its competition.
Firstly, the Ascend P6 sports excellent hardware with a unique curved bottom which has a nice effect of linking the front and back of the device. The ridiculously slim, beautifully brushed, aluminium clad casing is very pleasing to the eye and I had quite a few people actually staring at the device whilst in use. My hands did not share the same sentiments as my eyes however, they found the device to be too hot at times and the corners a tad too sharp to hold for extended periods, especially without the included cover.
Both Wi-Fi and network signal were usually strong even in areas where other devices struggled. The phone lacks LTE, limiting you to HSPA+ connectivity, it also omits NFC. The UI feels like an uncomfortable mash-up of iOS 5 and Samsung’s TouchWiz. It can either be a confusing horrible mess or a beautiful amalgam of apps with fittingly informative widgets (dependant on the severity of your OCD and amount of free time on your hands). It is, unfortunately, a far cry from the clean, minimalist design movement most modern UIs seem to be following. The keyboard lacks gesture or trace typing, a la Swype, but does have an intuitive swipe down gesture that replaces a long press to input punctuation and numbers.
The 8MP camera impressed me, especially the detail and focusing in close up shots. Editing options were good, allowing a number of Instagram-inspired filters, contrast settings and other tweaks to be applied to the countless pictures of your meals and pets before deeming them Facebook worthy.
Sound quality was nothing to write home about and the speaker and headphone jack placement seemed illogical. If you are right handed your hand will muffle the speakers sound. Whereas lefties will have a hard time using the phone with headphones jutting out of the bottom left corner.
The screen ticks all the necessary boxes. Away from the damaging sun the screen displayed natural colours and struck a decent balance between brightness and saturation. Overall it is a great piece of hardware crippled by software. Luckily, being an Android device the software issues can quickly be resolved with a (possibly free) shopping spree in the Play Store.