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Huawei Ascend P6 launch as it happened: World's thinnest smartphone unveiled

Note: The event has now ended. Check out our hands-on of the Huawei Ascend P6 smartphone here.

ITProPortal will be at an event later at The Roundhouse in London to cover the launch of Huawei’s new flagship smartphone, the Ascend P6.. Our host will be Richard Yu, Chief Executive Offer, Huawei Consumer Business Group. The invitation mentions a celebration of “a new era of elegance in technology”.

Huawei has been on a roll since the beginning of the year with the launch of the Ascend D2, the Ascend Mate, the Ascend W1 (its first Windows Phone 8 device), the Ascend P2, the Ascend G510, the Ascend G330 and last but not least, the Ascend Y300.

So what could the device arm of the Chinese telecommunication giant announce? Well, other than the Ascend D2 Mini and the (official unveiling of) the Ascend P2, we’d certainly expect to see more tablet devices and possibly some 4G LTE advanced dongles as well.

Huawei has been fairly quiet when it comes to tablets, possibly because of the challenge Samsung and Asus pose at the lower end of the spectrum with the Galaxy Tab 7 and the Nexus 7.

  • 18 June
  • 15:57

    So there were no tablets, no Ascend D2 Mini and definitely no "another thing" a la Apple. Huawei has pulled all the stops to make this event a memorable one. Hopefully, the next one will be even better.

  • 15:12

    And we're off now. Going to take some pictures. Do some hands on. P6, Elegance with Edge.

  • 15:10

    The P2 is on sale at 3 for £300 on PAYG FYI.

  • 15:10

    Q from me about Emotion UI and how will the P6 be pitched the P2. All Huawei Ascend will get the newer version of EM UI. P2 is best in class. P6 is ultimate fashion. P2 is "not beautiful enough".

  • 15:05

    Q about Stock Android version, without Emotion UI. They could do that but they won't. Given that the EM UI is one of their USPs.

  • 15:04

    Power consumption reduced by 30 per cent apparently compared to competitors. No real benchmarks here.

  • 15:03

    Q about LTE. The phone doesn't offer LTE yet, only 3G HSPA+. From October to November, there will be an upgrade to LTE.

  • 15:03

    Talking about brand and trust. Acknowledges that Huawei needs to do a lot more to become more of a house name.

  • 15:00

    Another Q. Huawei's marketing budget.... Interesting question about branding. Huawei won't spend more necessarily on branding but "prefer to provide better products at a reasonable price".

  • 14:58

    Says that more than 70,000 people work in R&D at Huawei, globally.

  • 14:57

    Yu wants the P6 to compete with the S4 and the iPhone 5. He wants people to know that the best smartphones are from Huawei.

  • 14:56

    Q&A time now. First question is a long one and in Chinese. How will P6 compete with Samsung products? Quotes the S4 Mini.

  • 14:55

    So you're literally paying for the craftsmanship and the higher camera resolution.

  • 14:54

    In the hindsight makes sense. This is a phone with a HD display and a quad-core Cortex-A9 SoC. Same as the £225 LG Optimus 4X HD.

  • 14:53

    P6 will roll out in 100 countries by end of the year. As for the RRP, it will stand at 449 Euros around £400.

  • 14:52

    Mr Richard Yu is back again to discuss about the launch. 19 countries to get the P6 by end of July. All major retailer and mobile operators in the UK. Including Talk Talk.

  • 14:51

    Hand clapping all round again. MCback on stage.

  • 14:51

    MC back on stage. Having a recap with a short video. Quad-core SoC clocked at 1.5GHz and in-cell HD display. Clearly it is a more refined version of the Ascend Mate/Ascend P2 and will carry a price tag much nearer to (and potentially higher than) £500.

  • 14:49

    Huawei builds the Youview STB for Talktalk BTW. "Huawei will be a very very big player in the marketplace for many years to come" says Mr Dunstone.

  • 14:48

    Going wax lyrical about long term partner Huawei. He is talking a lot about the more boring infrastructure-led Huawei.

  • 14:47

    Dunstone just let slip that Talk Talk sell 12,000 Youview boxes per week.

  • 14:46

    Mr Poon leaves the floor and the MC now welcomes Sir Charles Dunstone, head of Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk Telecoms.

  • 14:45

    3 colour variations on the P6. Black, Pink and White.

  • 14:44

    Airshare allows you to share content on your wide screen with almost zero lag. China Unicom will also be a carrier. Dennis talks about an online themes library. More than a 1000 themes online, more than 100 for the Ascend p6.

  • 14:42

    Now talking about power management with a 3-step power saving (with chip, firmware and software). Next, Permission manager (Private Data Access permission, Notification message permission, Network permission). Phone will be available on China Mobile according to a previous slide.

  • 14:40

    Me widget adds a second clock when you travel to other places. There are 8 core apps (Call, Contact, Camera, Gallery etc), 4 Cloud Services (Cloud+, App Center, Music+ and Accelerator). Plus four experience innovations. AirSharing, Magic Touch, Smart Reading and AR Navigator. There is also a Huawei Club, a social network for Huawei Users. A bit like a Ford Vauxhall forum.

  • 14:38

    Dennis Poon, Global UI Design Director, comes to stage to talk about Emotion UI. A new version of EM UI being launched with more than 300 enhancements like Me Widget. BTW, check out the "Beauty Level" feature below.

  • 14:36

    Now, more about the 5mp camera. It comes with auto face enhancement (10 levels of Beauty Level); Level 10 is 10 years longer... Apparently... Use it with parsimony.

  • 14:34

    Macro View is apparently important for taking close-up pictures of fooooddddd.

  • 14:33

    Compared to the S4 and the iP5, the camera of the P6 is claimed to be better in a number of scenarios. Huawei says that it worked on 200 scenarios. The camera is a BSI model with an F2.0 aperture, HDR video recording and a 40mm Macro View.

  • 14:32

    The phone will come with an Auto Scene Recognition feature which will allow users to bypass the whole process of selecting choices.

  • 14:31

    Makes taking pictures easier and smarter. Another feature introduced is one which solves the paradox of choices.

  • 14:30

    Clement Wong, Global, Go-To-Market director, is now talking about camera experience. New imaging software, IMAGESmart Engine.

  • 14:29

    The Chief Designer of the P6, Wu Guoping, made a very brief appearance on stage.

  • 14:28

    Hand clapping all around.

  • 14:27

    The logo is laser etched. a 5mp front facing camera is surely the highest resolution FF model of any smartphone on the market.

  • 14:26

    6.18mm is 0.2433in.

  • 14:25

    A pink and a white version will be available. 6.18mm thin without any bulges... .Now showing how they did crammed everything in less than a quarter of an inch.

  • 14:24

    Video of the design process that the Huawei team went through to design the P6. Always interesting to find out how companies like Apple and Huawei need to reinvent themselves each and every time to surprise their audiences and capture new users.

  • 14:23

    Impossibly thin, incredibly powerful.... 2,000mAh battery, 5mp front facing, 8mp rear, 4.7in HD display, microSD, quad-core SoC, 2GB of RAM, full metal body.

  • 14:21

  • 14:20

    Smartphone has replaced our "paper", he says. Paper has a beautiful curve also, Nick adds.

  • 14:19

    Nick Woodley, lead designer, London Design Centre for Huawei Technologies comes to stage. Basically, Huawei's very own Jonathan Ive.

  • 14:18

    Talking about the Ascend D P G Y series. P is for ultimate fashion, Yu says.

    And there comes the P6. And no, they didn't choose thename because of the Apple iPhone 6. But more because it is 6mm thick.

  • 14:13

  • 14:12

    Says that 6/18 (18 June) is an important number for the P6.

  • 14:11

    Huawei will also talk about its business strategy later after the launch of the P6. Plus Q&As. Richard Yu now coming onstage.

  • 14:09

    Loud music with a random piece of video. Looks like the surface of the Sun.

  • 14:07

    And we're on now in London for the launch of the Huawei Ascend P6 and perhaps more. Lights going out...

  • 14:03

    Someone may just have switched on the Wi-Fi here.

  • 13:57

    Huawei's launch comes a week after Apple's CEO Tim Cook stood on stage at the keynote of company' Worldwide Developer Conference. While today's gathering has little in common with last week's messe, Huawei may well use the stage to demonstrate that it is more than a potent rival to Apple and other device competitors. Less than five minutes to go live now.

  • 13:46

    Wi-Fi is a bit of an issue here to say the least and I have to rely on 3G. Inside a building with an iron frame and thick walls, this is turning out to be a real challenge.

  • 13:38

    First rule of reporting from anywhere. Never trust the Wi-Fi indoors.

  • 13:22

    And this is the Round House where the event will take place.

  • 13:21

    Just to confirm. The press conference starts at 1400 and is scheduled to last 75 minutes. It will be followed by a "product demonstration and experience" roundup followed by an "after-party" until 1800.

  • 13:19

    Huawei chose London and the swanky Camden area to launch this new flagship smartphone. This is a global product launch rather than a Pan-European or EMEA one, which explains the constant flow of media and analysts currently lined up in the lounge area.

  • 10:51

    In other related Huawei news, the company opened a new HQ in Reading, one that comes as part of the firm's commitment to invest £1.3bn in the UK by 2017.

  • 10:46

    A few titbits from the web. BBC Business says that Huawei will launch the Ascend P6. A high end device that from what we can gather is a smaller version of the Huawei Ascend Mate.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.