The Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Huawei has given us some of the most value for money smartphones with decent customer support. Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has started its 2017 with the much awaited Honor 6X, which they call “SWAG Phone.” Honor is planning to target the young smartphone users with it’s dual camera concept. They believe it has the best Camera in the budget segment. But, would it be enough to buy this Smartphone? After using the device for around few hours, here’s my first impression about it.
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Huawei Honor 6X Review
The design of the phone seems the same as Redmi Note 3 with a much better finish at the back. Honor calls the design as inspired by “Bezier curve”, as the device is curvy from all ends. The back looks different only because of the dual camera. The back finish feels bit slippery because of complete metal body. But that can be fixed with a back cover or skin. The device fits perfectly in hand and all the parts of the phone are reachable single-handedly.
The device comes in 4 variant: Gold, Silver & grey. I personally like the silver one, as gold is too main stream this days.
Talking about the front of the device, 5.5-inch, 1080p IPS LCD doesn’t seem impressive. The viewing angles were great but the display quality of the device was not as sharp as other smartphones in this segment. Honor has removed hardware buttons & placed its logo at the bottom. The big chin at the bottom doesn’t look much attractive as it makes no sense being there. They could have placed the finger print sensor at the front. Overall the design looks no new to my eyes. Everything looks normal like any other budget Chinese smartphone. The phone feels heavy in hand. Looks like Honor didn’t work on a unique & modern design.
The Kirin 655 can be called an improved version of the Kirin 650 which was launched last year in the Huawei P9 Lite. These processors are almost the same. Both have the Mali T830 MP2 graphics chip, and LPDDR3 clocked at 933 MHz. The slight difference lies between the clock speed of the processors. They are octa-core chipsets with varied clock speeds of 4+4 configuration. The four processors supposedly for low-end tasks are clocked at 1.7 GHz in both the 650 and 655, and the other four are clocked at 2.0 Ghz and 2.1 Ghz in the 650 and 655 respectively. The slight performance boost the extra 100 Mhz can give might not even be noticeable.
The 650 and 655 go in-line with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625, and 626 which are also octa-core processors and all 8 cores are clocked at 2.0 Ghz and 2.2 Ghz respectively. Kirin’s 650 and 655 and Snapdragon’s 625 and 626 are all Cortex-A53 chipsets, so they are almost neck to neck in performance with the 625 and 626 having a slight edge; since the Kirin has a lower clock-rate for 4 chips and the Snapdragon is clocked evenly. But all this speculation is based on sheer numbers on paper. The 625 comes with the Redmi Note 4 and the unconfirmed Moto G5. So how these perform will depend primarily on how the manufacturer sets them up.
The device comes with 2 variant 3GB RAM & 32GB ROM and 4GB & 64GB ROM. It comes with expandable storage upto 256GB using a microSD card. But the only issue here is, hybrid sim slot. If you run out of storage, you end up with a single sim device.
The phone seems to perform pretty well than other smartphones in this segment. I experienced no lag or frame drops even after playing Temple run & using Google Chome (with 5 open tabs). But we can’t judge the performance in a brand new device. Honor has really worked in performance field.
As device gets older, the phone starts showing signs of lag. It’s the case with almost every smartphone, isn’t it? As per Honor, it won’t be the case with 6X. In the new EMUI 5.0, they will bring a new concept of “Machine learning Algorithm” to maintain the performance through the life of the smartphone.
Google uses machine learning in its app to predict what kind of news or updates we like and gives us that in form of cards, and the more we use it, the better it gets at prediction. But the implementation of machine learning in system level is not yet here. That is what Huawei claimed to have started at the launch event. The EMUI 5.0 which is presently being beta-tested, has Machine learning feature; which will improve itself with time catering to the usage of the phone’s owner. And these tailor made changes in the platform will supposedly improve performance by 65% and graphics performance by a whopping 100% in the long run where other phones start lagging and slowing down. To test this feature we need to use the phone for a long time. So it can’t really be tested with a week or two of usage. How Huawei lives up to their claims, that only time will tell.
The fingerprint sensor seems faster as it unlocks the device within 3secs. The fingerprint sensor seemed fast as compared to Redmi Note 3, K5 Note & Moto G4 Plus. Honor has really improved its product which has very much to offer. As per the company, the fingerprint sensor works even with wet & dirty hands, which is not the case with all the smartphones. The partial fingerprint also works well & doesn’t disappoint at all.
Coming to the point which might be the major selling factor of this phone. The dual camera setup which makes this device a perfect smartphone for photographers. Although its a long way till smartphone’s camera can match the quality of professional camers, we gotta admit Cameras in smartphone have improved a lot in the past few years. Honor claims it to be the best Camera phone you can buy in this price. The 12 megapixel main sensor and 2 megapixel depth sensor does the job pretty well in giving you the best camera experience. It comes with a wide aperture, F/0.95 – F/16 Digital aperture to adjust focus point.
Below are some of the images taken by IndianExpress using the Honor 6X dual camera:
The dual camera in Honor 6X is different then the Honor 8 or Mate 9, where the second camera was used as a monochrome sensor. Whereas, the camera in 6X is very much similar to iPhone 7’s dual camera setup. The main function of the second camera is to focus on particular object & blur out the background. This adds a more professional touch to your photography. The device has very good camera in low light. The company has added new features like Beauty app, Low light adaption & more to improve the overall camera experience. The front 8MP camera doesn’t seem anything new so I won’t be talking much about it.
The Huawei Honor 6X packs a 3340mAh battery which seems small as the battery seems small for the power required for the device. Surprisingly the device seems to last a full day moderate usage without a problem. The Kirin 655 might be the reason behind this. Clocking 4 cores at lower speed was a smart move to safe battery & maintain the performance level.
In the battery department only thing that lacks in this phone is, fast charging. It might be the biggest disadvantage as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 comes with fast charging (5V/2A).
During the event, the company showed battery life comparision of Honor 6X with K5 note & Redmi Note 3. As per the comparison the Honor 6X lasted longer than the other two. But its a different story now, Xiaomi has launched Redmi Note 4 & they should have compared it with Note 4 rather than Note 3. I believe Redmi note 4 has better battery backup than Honor 6X.
New features of EMUI 5.0
- Eye Comfort mode.
- Machine learning for performance.
- Wi-Fi Bridge: You can use your device as repeater.
Huawei has certainly improved a lot from its past mistakes. The device goes head to head with Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. The Note 4 comes with better battery, display & is ₹3,000 cheaper. The Honor 6X beats Redmi Note 4 in Camera & software. The performance of the both are yet to compared but I think Redmi Note 4 might perform slightly well than Huawei 6X because of the clock speed. If you’re looking for a device with good camera, Honor 6X should be your only choice.