Honor 6X: Android Bliss on a Budget
Huawei’s Honor line has blazing forward in the budget smartphone market and the Honor 6X leads the way. With a solid build, slew of premium features and affordable price point, the Honor 6X sets the bar high as we enter 2017.
The Honor 6X brings back the metallic design handed down by its predecessor, with subtle plastic capping the top and bottom. The plastic aids in network reception without detracting from the overall look and feel of the phone. The metal and plastic blend together to produce a solid phone that is both durable and scores well in the looks department. On top, we have a soon-to-be antiquated 3.5mm audio port and an infrared port, something the Honor 5X did not have. Laying it face down, we can see the dual camera setup that strikes an imposing figure for a budget smartphone. The fingerprint sensor nestles right below, a staple in any smartphone at this point.
Travelling further down, we see a microUSB port and two grills on either side – one of which is a speaker while the other contains the microphone. While I was secretly pleased that I wouldn’t have to swap out my old microUSB charging cable, not seeing a USB Type-C port is a bit of a letdown.
The majority of smartphone manufacturers have already started the transition, so while it’s still in its basic stages of adoption, Huawei could have pushed for the inclusion of faster charging options with the new standard. The Honor 6X sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display that has a resolution of 1080x1920. There’s not much to complain about as the large display has ample brightness and clarity, even in sunlight. There are settings that let you adjust the color reproduction, for those who prefer warmer or cooler colors. The viewing angles are great as well, making the display about as good as you get when it comes to a budget smartphone.
Hardware, Battery and Camera
The phone comes with one of those fancy hybrid dual-SIM card slots, where you can either have two Nano-SIMs or replace one with a Micro-SD card for additional storage. The Honor 6X has a not-so-modest 3340mAh battery inside that lasts longer than even some high-end flagship phones available in the market. While the speaker on the bottom seems a little quieter than most single phone speakers I’ve used, it still faces the issue of being muffled by my hand when watching videos in landscape mode. Personally, this is the reason why I’ve never liked speakers jutting out of the bottom of a phone. Similar to the micro-USB port, another glaring omission of new technology is the lack of NFC (Near-field Communication). It’s odd that the software shows NFC support even when the phone isn’t capable.
Unsurprisingly, the dual-sensor camera is one of the best features of the Honor 6X. It may not be as powerful as the Huawei Mate 9, but it still offers bokeh effects and a manual mode for finetuning your shots. The rear camera comes with a 12-megapixel and a 2-megapixel sensor, resulting in clear and detailed photos. The wide aperture shots range from f/0.95 to f/16 and lets you toy with the depth of field to your heart’s content. Given the price point, the camera is certainly impressive and does a nice job in well-lit situations. While it does struggle a bit in dim lighting, changing some settings and adding some manual tuning lets you get the most out of your camera. The front-facing camera comes in at 8-megapixels and is more than capable of taking selfies to fill up your social media pages.
The Honor 6X packs Huawei’s proprietary Kirin 655, which is a snazzy mid-range processor. Paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage space, it’s a significant upgrade from the 5X. There is a version of the phone with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage space as well, which would be just about perfect for mid-range specifications.
The benchmarks show appropriate levels of performance for a budge smartphone, providing more than enough value for the price you’re paying.
The Honor 6X ships out with Huawei’s Emotion UI or EMUI 4.1, which is based off of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. While that is a little disappointing, they have slated an official update to Android Nougat coming to the Honor 6X soon.
The Honor 6X packs a ton of Android goodness in a budget smartphone, with its camera standing out as a clear winner among its competitors. Priced at AED 919, while it’s not completely future-proof, with its micro USB port and Android Lollipop OS, there is still an unbelievable amount of value wrapped into one device.