Huawei Ascend G6 review

The Chinese are coming, but for whom?

Huawei Ascend G6 review

Chinese Huwaei has been trying to gain a foothold on the European market for some time now, so it was time for us to challenge one of their models as well.

Our choice fell on the Ascend G6. This is basically the inexpensive brother of the Ascend P6 and was presented early this year. It has a 4.5 inch large qHD screen, 8 megapixel camera and 1.2 GHz quadcore processor. At the front is a high resolution 5 megapixel camera so that you can shoot video calls or selfies with razor-sharp clarity.

Because of its price tag, the most formidable competition for the Ascend G6 probably comes from the Motorola Moto G. This one has a better screen but a lesser camera. Another manufacturer of affordable devices is Alcatel with for example the One Touch Pop C9. The LG L90 also fits in this segment. Finally, there is the Nokia Lumia 635 under the Windows Phones. This review model of the Ascend G6 was by the way made available by Coolblue who stocks it in black and white.

What's with the device?

In the luxurious, white box where the Ascend G6 was delivered to us, was a microUSB cable with an adapter plug and a headset. The headset was a sleek looking and high quality white headset. A manual or warranty certificate was missing with our test model.


When designing the Ascend G6, the iPhone 4 and of course the Ascend P6 were clearly taken into account. For example, the device is finished with a metal rim all around, except at the bottom. There the device has a rounding. The Ascend G6 is black on the front around the screen and brown gray on the bottom and back with a matte finish. There are three touch-sensitive physical keys underneath the screen. Strangely enough, the rightmost one is not the multitask button that belongs to Android, but a, in fact, unnecessary menu button. In addition to the ear loudspeaker and a camera, there is also an LED notification light above the screen.


On the right side of the metal strip around the unit are the power button and volume buttons. The microUSB connector is located on top of the unit. On the left side, the headset socket is nicely concealed in the rounded bottom. This only makes it more difficult to use the headset other than the supplied one.


At the back of the camera is the camera with LED flash at the top of the left corner and at the bottom of the left corner is the loudspeaker. The back can be pulled off from the bottom with a bit of policy so that the entire back of the camera is exposed. This backcover can be removed to be able to insert the SIM and/or microSD card, because the battery is stuck in the camera.


This microSD card will come in handy because the internal memory is only four gigabytes, of which only two gigabytes are available for media files. In principle, the backcover is neatly clicked into place, but we can imagine that you don't have to pull it out too often or too rigorously, because then the attachment points may fail.


The Ascend G6 has a very comprehensive energy saving section in the settings menu. This includes, for example, three modes for the power plan. These adjust the CPU and network usage so that the battery lasts a little longer or shorter. Although the differences are not shocking.


When estimating the remaining time, we have our doubts. Furthermore, there is battery monitoring that can be used to detect problems that need to be optimised. A useful function although we find the term 'problems' a bit heavy because some functions are just part of the operation of the phone. Without too much detracting from the functionality of the phone, it can easily be used for more than 24 hours. By the way, the LED on the front lights up blue when the battery is completely empty and the phone has failed.

Call quality

The phone application on the Ascend G6 is completely separate from the phonebook. Of course it is possible to switch between the two apps, but they are not interwoven. In the phone app the desired contact can be found via smartdial on the numeric keypad.


A strange bug we found out about is that all the notification sounds are off even though the selected profile is set to loud. This could be solved by setting new notification sounds.

It doesn't happen often anymore that we really have to criticize the call quality of a phone, but the Ascend G6 makes the necessity of this paragraph in the review painfully clear. With every conversation we had we immediately got the comment that we were poorly understood and sounded very far away. So much so that we were almost unintelligible to our conversation partner. On our side of the line we didn't notice much of that. Although we did have to turn up the loudspeaker at its loudest and the connection was occasionally squeaky. Even after trying a second device we received complaints from our conversation partner.


Because the Ascend G6 has to have an affordable price tag, the screen has been cut back. With 960 × 540 pixels it soon turns out that text and images don't look very tight. In addition, the color reproduction is a bit too saturated. The image is also rather dark and it looks as if there is a gray-blue haze over it. Moreover, the automatic screen brightness is fickle and the touch screen sometimes does not respond accurately.



Like almost all other manufacturers of Android phones, Huawei has invested time and effort in changing the interface. They call it Emotion UI 2.0 and have done a pretty thorough job. They have built in a peculiarity that we have never seen before on an Android device. The Ascend G6 does not have an application menu. Instead, all apps are placed on one of the home screens. Just like on the iPhone. For the overview this is not really useful because a lot of apps are already in a folder by default. To make sure the icons are all the same size and shape, icons of downloaded apps are placed on a background.


If you find the default interface too dark, there are three other themes available. In addition, the individual parts of these themes can also be customized. In addition, there is a simplified display of the start screen that looks a bit like Windows Phone with its tiles. Under this shell, the Ascend G6 runs on Android 4.3. The appreciation for Emotion UI will depend on personal taste and preferences. It is most likely intended for new users of Android.


Also the notification screen behind the status bar has been transformed but has the same functionality as we are used to with Android. At the top is the time and date with a shortcut to the settings menu. Below that is a line with shortcuts to certain settings. These are up to nine of the fourteen options.


The user has up to nine start screens at his disposal. One of them is full of shortcuts from the start and newly downloaded apps are placed on the screen next to it. Furthermore, it is simply possible to place widgets and organize the home screens yourself. By default there is one large Huawei widget on a home screen that doesn't really have much added value. In general, the device responds reasonably well to input and there is not too much delay in operation.


The phone book may be separate from the phone application, but otherwise it looks almost the same as on standard Android and the functionality is exactly the same. This means that there are three tabs. Respectively for groups, all contacts and favorites. In addition to contacts on the phone or from Gmail, you can also use



The messaging app for SMS is rather basic but gives you the choice of the most frequently called contacts when creating a new message. For the e-mail app of Huawei Exchange or other accounts can be added. For other accounts you only need to enter an email address and password but for Exchange you need a little more information. Messages can only come in at fixed intervals and read messages are not synchronized with webmail.


While the English keyboard simply uses the QWERTY format, the Dutch keyboard is only available in the AZERTY format. This makes the Huawei keyboard unusable as far as we are concerned. Fortunately, the standard Google keyboard is also installed on the device. This is reasonably user-friendly and can also be used to enter text by dragging and dropping over the keyboard. Finally, there is the possibility to download a keyboard from the Play Store.



The Ascend G6 we tested could process mobile internet up to 3G speeds. There is also a slightly more expensive version that can handle the 4G network. In addition, this version has support for NFC. Bluetooth and WiFi also worked properly on our test model. Although we were confronted with an inconvenient message. Every time contact with a WiFi network is broken, the Ascend G6 gives a warning and asks for permission with the rather strange wording: "Access to the Internet leads to overcrowding. Continue?". Only then can it connect to mobile internet.


The Ascend G6 can also handle DLNA. This is a technique to play media files via WiFi on other devices connected to the same network.


In addition to Google's Chrome, the Ascend G6 also has another internet browser as standard. As far as ease of use is concerned, they do not evade each other much. Zooming is a bit more shocking with Huawei's browser, but the text reflow works better. On the other hand, it is possible to fully synchronize Chrome with the browser on your computer.


The interface of the camera is elementary but sufficient. Via the menu button you can select from the picture modes normal, smart, beautiful, HDR, panorama, effect and shutter sound. The latter means that a short sound clip is saved at the same time as the photo. A nice extra for photos of sports competitions for example, but difficult to share via social media. Between the modes normal, smart and HDR we do not notice much difference in photo quality.

We don't expect miracles from a budget phone when it comes to photo quality, but the Ascend G6's camera is satisfying. The autofocus works fast, although sometimes it prints too fast, and the colours are fresh and vivid. The camera does have some difficulty with light areas in the image. Even in low ambient light, the camera delivers sharp images, but there is a lot of noise in the image.

Normally we will leave this out, but this time we will also discuss the camera on the front of the camera. Thanks to the 5 megapixel camera there is no grainy image and because of the wide-angle lens it is possible to shoot a selfie with several friends. Nice addition is the small screen in the corner of the camera that helps you to look as natural as possible inside the camera.

Huawei Ascend G6 camera samples

Existing programs

On the home screen with the apps, the following applications are listed in random order. Themes, Gallery, Music, Maps, Email, Clock, Calendar, File Manager, Phone Manager, App Installer, Backup, Calculator, DLNA, Downloads, Flashlight, FM Radio, Notes, Profiles, SIM Toolkit, Sound Recorder, System Update, Weather, Google, Google+, Hangouts, Photos, Play, Voice Search, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Kingsoft Office and Log Tool.


One of the apps that Huawei provides and where other manufacturers can take an example is Telephone Management. This allows the phone to be optimised via a quick scan. There are also separate components to quickly set up per app whether or not they are allowed to access the internet via mobile internet and/or WiFi and to determine whether or not they are allowed to send push messages. You will also find options to clean the storage and to make the phone faster by closing apps.


Quage the appearance of the Huawei Ascend G6 as a stylish and business smartphone. By leaning heavily on the design of the more expensive Ascend P6, the G6 itself also looks fairly premium. Although it is of course plastic materials that predominate. The Ascend G6 is clearly intended and designed for beginning, perhaps younger, smartphone users. The functionality and interface is certainly tuned to that as well. The Emotion UI shell won't be a pleasure for everyone to use, but it does form a whole. Even though the keyboard is a blunder and there are still a number of bugs in it.

A compromise such as the mediocre, low-resolution display belongs a bit to a smartphone with an affordable price tag. Moreover, there are two good cameras on the opposite side, so everyone can make this decision for themselves. Unfortunately, the Ascend G6 goes completely wrong when it comes to call quality. Because of the defective microphone, it is impossible to make a normal phone call. We also had the same complaints when testing a second one. That is of course a mortal sin for a telephone. Based on our experiences with the Ascend G6, we strongly advise against purchasing this Huawei.

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