Huawei tends to make budget smartphones for the UK scene, but the Ascend P6 is a shot at the big guns. Take a look at Group test: What's the best smartphone?

It's off to a great start then when we tell you it cost just £309 on a SIM-free basis which is cheaper than a lot of mid-ranged handsets, let alone flagship devices. See also Group test: what's the best Android phone?

The Ascend P6 is 6.18mm thick (hence the model name) making it the thinnest smartphone in the world. You might be begging for more battery life rather than a thinner phone but nevertheless, its size certainly helps it seem smaller than it is.

There's no escaping that a lot of the Ascend P6 design looks like it's been borrowed from the iPhone 5. The big difference is its rounded bottom edge.

Whether the iPhone-esque appearance is it put-off or not is ultimately your decision. We happen to think it's one of the best looking Android smartphones on the market.

A SIM and SD tray removal tool is cleverly integrated into the phone but we're not sure what you're supposed to do with it when you plug some headphones in.

As well as some design elements, the P6 shares the iPhone's excellent build quality and feels far more premium than what the price tag suggests.

Specs-wise, the Ascend P6 doesn't quite match up to the other flagship device on the market. We knew Huawei had to save some money somewhere.

The screen is lower res than flagship rivals but still looks good and the phone lacks some features including NFC and support for 4G networks.

Storage is also limited at just 8GB with much less available to the user but there's a microSD card slot for adding up to 32GB.

Internally, the Ascend P6 is well-equipped and is no slough in the performance stakes.

Both cameras are excellent with a special mention to the impressive macro mode. The front camera is simply the best we've seen on any smartphone but we've got no time for the gimmicky beauty mode.

Huawei has heavily modified Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with its Emotion user interface. The amount of customisation available is brilliant including themes, lock screens, screen transitions and even app icons.

There's also customisable profiles which provide an easy way of changing settings for a meeting or when you jump in the car, for example.
The sections of the 'Me Widget' can also be chopped, changed and rearranged to your liking.

We're not so convinced about the complete lack of an app menu which is a fundamental part of Android; instead the apps are simply placed on home screens like iOS.

We managed to get one and a half working days out of the handset but with fairly light usage so we expect the majority of users will only get one a typical one day. The phone holds its charge well when on standby but using it for tasks like gaming, web browsing or watching video drains it quickly.

The Huawei Ascend P6 is a fantastic and desirable smartphone, whether it's an iPhone copy or not. It provides real value for money even if it is lacking NFC and 4G support. We particularly like the cameras and the vastly customisable user interface. We award four stars and our recommended award.