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Monday, 6 March 2017

Honor 6X: Phone on a budget

Optimum size: The reduced bezel size and thickness of the Honor 6X makes it very easy to hold in the hand, despite having a 5.5in screen. — Photos: Tan Kit Hoong/The Star

Optimum size: The reduced bezel size and thickness of the Honor 6X makes it very easy to hold in the hand, despite having a 5.5in screen. — Photos: Tan Kit Hoong/The Star

Huawei's Honor 6X ticks most of the feature boxes for a modern smartphone without breaking the bank when it comes to price.

The Honor 6X is about giving you a good number of features without breaking the bank, and on the whole, it succeeds.

The review unit we got is the 64GB model with 4GB RAM, but you can get a cheaper version with 32GB of storage and 3GB RAM.

While the design is not as mind-blowing as the Honor 8 (which is apparently made up of 15 layers of glass), it’s still a pretty smartphone.

The 5.5in screen is identical in dimension to the one on the iPhone 7 Plus with the same 1080p resolution, but the reduced width and height of the bezel on the Honor 6X makes it easier to hold.

The screen looks pretty good – it’s great that Huawei included a full HD display and not a 720p one like most other manufacturers for its entry-level model.

Like many Android phones, the Honor 6X only has software buttons on the front, with the fingerprint sensor located at the back, below the dual ­cameras.

Twin shooters

The Honor 6X is the first entry-level model in the Honor range to get dual cameras on the back.

The Honor 6X comes with a pretty good 1080p resolution display.
The Honor 6X comes with a pretty good 1080p resolution display.

Only the main 12-megapixel camera is used to take pictures – the secondary sensor, at just 2 megapixels, is meant solely as ­support for the main one.

Just like with the flagship Huawei devices, the secondary camera is used to provide shallow depth-of-field effect – the built-in software allows you to emulate Bokeh effects with the aperture ranging from f/0.95 (very blur) to f/16 (very sharp).

It works most of the time and the built-in image viewer allows you to adjust the effect post-capture too. Sometimes it tends to look a little artificial, especially when going for the strongest f/0.95 option.

Apart from that the camera generally ­performs very well, with images that look pretty good in most situations and with no purple fringing present even with strongly backlit subjects.

In low-light situations the images came out with very low noise, although the noise reduction is sometimes a little too aggressive and removes finer detail.

The performance of the Honor 6X is good though not outstanding.

The Kirin 655 processor is okay for most day-to-day functions like web browsing and video viewing, but it may not be great for graphics-intensive ­gaming as the phone didn’t score very high on Antutu Benchmark and 3DMark.

Nevertheless, we doubt you’ll find the Honor 6X ­lacking for everything else.

The dual cameras let you create out-of-focus effect popularly known as Bokeh. — Photos: TAN KIT HOONG/The Star
The dual cameras let you create out-of-focus effect popularly known as Bokeh

Battery life is notably good – Huawei claims about two days with moderate use and more than a day with heavy use.

In our test, we found that we could stretch it to a day and a little more. That’s pretty good since most ­smartphones would be struggling to last a normal work day under heavy use.

Sound quality from the speakers ­located at the bottom of the device is ­adequate though not nearly as loud as high-end smartphones.

WiFi support is strangely enough limited to 802.11b/g/n which is a bit disappointing when most smartphones today are of the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac variety.

What does this mean? Well if you had one of the newer WiFi routers supporting 802.11ac or 802.11a running on the 5GHz band, the Honor 6X just won’t see the network since it can only detect the 2.4GHz band.

Of course, this is only an issue if you’re a networking geek or have a router that only works with the latest 802.11ac WiFi standard.

Talking about WiFi, what we did find very useful (and not very common) was the WiFi Bridge function which allows you to use the Honor 6X as a WiFi repeater.

This means you can extend your home WiFi to areas that aren’t normally reachable by your network.

Using this feature, we could extend our WiFi coverage all the way to the back of the kitchen which was previously unreachable with the router alone.

Sadly, the WiFi Bridge function is hidden under Settings > More > Tethering & Portable Hotspot.

Conclusion

The Honor 6X is a pretty good, if not outstanding, Android smartphone – while it isn’t class-leading in pure processor performance, it does make up for it with a reasonably good camera, nice screen and good battery life.

There are really no major issues with the Honor 6X that we can complain about except for the rather dated WiFi support.

If it’s a budget Android smartphone you’re looking for, this one should be on your shortlist.

Pros: Good battery life; nice screen; good camera; WiFi Bridge feature.
Cons: Processor performance is good but not outstanding.

Honor 6X
(Huawei)
Android smartphone

Network: 4G
Operating system: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Display: 5.5in (1,080 x 1,920 pixels)
Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 655 octa-core processor
Camera: 12 megapixels + 2 megapixels (rear), 8 megapixels (front)
Memory: 64GB internal storage; 4GB RAM
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, micro-USB
Battery: 3,340mAh lithiuim ion
Dimensions (W x D x H): 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2mm
Weight: 162g
Price: RM1,399 (64GB, 4GB RAM); RM1,199 (32GB, 3GB RAM)
Rating: Four and a half stars

Review unit courtesy of Huawei Technologies Malaysia, 1800-22-3366



Tags / Keywords: Science Technology , Huawei , Honor , 6X , Android 6 , smartphone

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