Chinese telecom giant Huawei unveiled a new smartphone, called “Ascend P6,” on Tuesday in London, which it claimed is the world’s slimmest smartphone.
The new Ascend P6 is only 6.18 millimeters (0.24 inch) thick and weighs about 120 grams. In addition to its ultra-slim body, “it is small enough to slip into the tiniest of pockets or clutch bags,” the company said. In comparison, the iPhone 5 is 7.6 millimeters thick and weighs 112 grams.
The smartphone, which features a sleek metallic body, has a 4.7-inch HD in-cell LCD screen technology and a feature called “MagicTouch,” which makes the phone’s touch-screen sensitive enough to respond even when the user is wearing gloves.
Inside the Ascend P6, there lies a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2000mAh battery and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system. The phone has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with F2.0 aperture and 4cm macro view, enabling 1080P full HD video recording.
The phone comes with 8GB of internal storage and supports external storage up to 32GB through microSD cards. Huawei has used its experience as one of the biggest telecoms equipment makers to incorporate various power-saving technologies in the device.
According to the company, its Automated Discontinuous Reception (ADRX) and Quick Power Control (QPC) battery optimization and power-saving technologies improve the phone’s performance by more than 30 percent, compared with smartphone batteries of equal size.
Huawei touted the new smartphone as perfect for “selfies,” a genre of self-portrait photographs, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. These types of photos are commonly associated with social networking and photo-sharing services, such as Facebook, Instagram and MySpace.
The Huawei Ascend P6 will be available in black, white and pink with matching color cases. It will be released in China this month and will start shipping to Western Europe from July through Vodafone, Telefonica, Orange, H3G, O2, Carphone Warehouse, TalkTalk, Media Markt & Saturn and TIM, and online via Amazon and CDiscount with other markets to follow.
In the UK, Ascend P6 is expected to cost €449 ($601) or €24.53 a month with a carrier contract, which is cheaper than the price of the iPhone 5 (€618 or $828) in the UK.
"The keen price is evidence that Huawei is prepared to use pricing as a way of building share in major European markets," said analyst Ben Wood at CCS Insight. "Huawei has made substantial progress in design and quality, but the big unanswered question is whether consumers will accept a product from an almost unknown name in preference to established brands."
Huawei is China’s biggest maker of telecoms equipment. But, the company is now counting on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets as its sales of network equipment in the U.S. have been blocked by the U.S. government over concerns that the company helps intelligence agencies. Huawei, however, has denied the claim, Bloomberg reported.
Huawei’s recent shift into Android phones has helped the company to gain some foothold in the highly competitive smartphone market. An IDC research report said in April that the Chinese firm shipped 9.9 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2013, making it the fourth largest smartphone vendor in the world after biggies like Samsung, Apple and LG.
"This year Huawei is expected to sell 60 million units - double what it did last year - with the lion's share of that coming from China," Wood said. "So, when competing with companies like Sony or Nokia it has an inherent advantage which will help with cost.”