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Honor 4X Review: High-end Experience for Less

Huawei Honor 4X 02

We review Huawei’s Honor 4X!

The past few months have been good for the Philippine consumer – multiple lower mid-range, bang for the buck devices have been released and teased by several companies including Alcatel, Lenovo and Huawei. The Honor 4X isn’t the newest product in the category, as it was officially released in Beijing last year but it’s only now that the company has released the device for the Philippine market. The Honor 4X aims to make a dent in the already crowded lower mid-range market that is also occupied by the Alcatel Flash Plus, Lenovo A7000 and the Meizu M1 Note.

Honor 4X specs:

  • 1.2GHz Kirin 620 octa-core 64-bit A53 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch HD IPS display, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 8GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with Emotion UI 3.0

Huawei Honor 4X 05

A plastic build that’s as good, if not better, than its competitors

A lot of the phones that play in the same price range that the Honor 4X is in utilize plastic bodies to keep manufacturing costs down. While Meizu’s M1 Note is probably the best
looking of the bunch, the Honor 4X comes at a near second. It’s pretty difficult to make a smartphone stand out from the crowd in this price range since you can’t start using exotic materials like metal and risk raising prices, so manufacturers try a different gimmick to give their offerings an edge.  Huawei’s solution is to make a removable back cover with a rather unique texture that aids in overall grip, and gives the phone a stand-out appearance.

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Aside from that, the Honor 4X looks like your typical 5.5-inch phone. The volume and power buttons are located in the right side in shallow scallops. The 3.5mm jack is on the top
of the phone, while the USB slot is on the bottom, along with the speaker. We’re happy that the 4X has its speaker on the bottom, which allows for full sound even when the phone is
lying on its back. Right below the 5.5-inch display is the Lollipop-ish capacitive buttons. Don’t be fooled though – the Honor 4X is still on KitKat.

Huawei Honor 4X 06

The back cover of the Honor 4X is removable, which exposes the two micro SIM slots (both of which are LTE capable) and the microSD expansion slot. The Honor 4X uses a non-removable
3000mAh battery. The overall build quality is top notch, and is a stark contrast to Alcatel’s Flash Plus which was a little too flimsy for our liking.

The Honor 4X has Huawei’s Emotion UI 3.0 overlay on top. It’s the same UI that we’ve seen before in the company’s other phones, which essentially strips your Android app drawer and
lays everything out in the open. It’s an acquired taste for sure and it’s definitely not for everyone but the implementation is pretty good. Just a few more improvements and Huawei
may just be able to match Xiaomi’s MIUI offering.

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The 5.5-inch HD display isn’t anything special to be honest – it has good viewing angles, color accuracy and brightness, but isn’t as sharp as the other Huawei made products that
we’ve seen before.

Most Chinese manufacturers make an effort to differentiate their mobile products from their rivals by making distinctive UI overlays, and Huawei’s no exception. The Honor 4X sports
the company’s Emotion UI, which is currently in its third version. We’ve spoken about Huawei’s efforts in length before, so the key takeaway here is that it’s fast, easy to use and
is becoming as good as Xiaomi’s own MIUI without the same phone locking bugs.

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Kirin 620 gets the job done, but it could be faster

The Honor 4X that Huawei is offering in the Philippines uses the company’s home grown Kirin 620 octa-core processor instead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 processor. While the Kirin
620 SoC is still relatively unknown since it’s almost exclusively used by Huawei, it nevertheless delivers rather decent performance, especially when compared to Qualcomm’s
offering. Its AnTuTu scores are decent (around 30K points in AnTuTu), but not mind-blowing compared to MediaTek’s 6572 and 6572M that’s used by other bang for the buck smartphones from international brands. The Kirin 620’s strong suit, as you’ll find out later is its power efficiency – it’s comparatively more efficient than MediaTek’s offering, giving the Honor 4X longer run times
compared to other smartphones.

As far as actual use goes, the Honor 4X manages to deliver a fast, consistent experience, which is pretty par for the course for Huawei’s current offerings. After theirunderpowered
Kirin 910T, Huawei has strived to deliver better performing processors and it seems that they’ve delivered just that with the 620.

The biggest issue that you’ll have with the Honor 4X is the paltry 8GB of storage, and you only have access to around 4GB of that to use for apps, photos and videos. If you do
decide to grab the Honor 4X, make sure to buy a microSD card with it.

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Good camera overall

The Honor 4X’s 13-megapixel camera is a decent performer, especially when there’s plenty of light available. Take the phone indoors with limited lighting, then the 4X starts to struggle. Photos taken indoors with artificial light aren’t as sharply focused, though the photos taken by the camera are still quite satisfactory.

A phone that just won’t quit

If there’s one thing we really like about the Honor 4X is its very long battery life. In our HD video battery drain test (50% brightness, WiFi on) the Honor 4X managed to clock in 10 hours and 10 minutes of continuous use before the battery quit. In real world terms, that translated to almost two days of use (the phone finally quit on us at the end of the second day). If you’re wondering, that’s calls, texts, a bit of gaming and videos thrown in.

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Verdict: the phone to get if you value performance and battery life

Huawei’s Honor 4X may not be the fastest of the international bang for the buck phones currently out in the market today, but raw processing power isn’t the only measure of a good phone. The Honor 4X has a good mix of camera, performance and battery endurance in a relatively affordable package.

The Huawei Honor 4X retails for Php 8,290.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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23 Comments

  1. Isa pang panira sa mga plano ng myphone. hahahaha! Lalong lumalaki ang kanilang problema. :)

    1. Agree with Asus, Huawei, Alcatel, Lenovo present on the local phone wars. Myphone could bid their goodbye

    1. sa Lazada lang yan na price. Pero kung sa mga Mall kana bibili, nasa 8,800 na. Yung akin nga, 8,990 na bili ko.

    2. try mo pc express sa megamall, 8290 lang daw. some novotech stores offer honor 4x at 8990 with a free 10,400 mAh xiaomi powerbank. not sure if that promo is still ongoing, though.

      1. I got my phone at PC express two days ago and it’s for P8290, cash. Tumawag muna ako to confirm kung may units.

  2. I have this phone for 2 days now. I’m not getting Smart LTE signals anywhere in Makati. I had no issues naman getting LTE signal with my Lumia 1020 before. Sa mga users, nakakasagap ba kayo? TIA.

  3. I wonder if there’s any downside on Kirin SoC’s since I don’t have any knowledge about Huawei’s own SoC. Huawei and other international brands are giving the local brands a very tough competition. And sure its win situation to us consumers.

  4. I purchased one a few weeks back only to return it after 5 days. This would’ve been a solid fone if it weren’t for someone in Honor’s distribution channel who was quite stupid to allow this fone to be sold in the Philippines despite the 4x unit not being compatible with the LTE network of Smart. This was confirmed by a rep from Honor Philippines to me. The fone is only compatible with the LTE network of Globe.

  5. Bount this last december, few days palang notice ko na na mabilis ma-lobat. Ngayon ko lang nabasa ung blog which says na “If there’s one thing we really like about the Honor 4X is its very long battery life” ….But I don’t think it is or maybe there will always be lemons? Do you advice to have mine checked by their service center for a possible battery change?

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