Flagship with a Reasonable Price
Through the years Huawei has made huge strides with their smartphone offerings. They’ve invested heavily in design and engineering elevating them from a “me-too” Chinese smartphone brand to an innovative global technology force to be reckoned with. The latest proof of how good they really are is with one of their newest flagship devices, the Huawei Honor 6. This beast screams of value as it delivers on specs, design, and most importantly, price. It literally has all the stuff you would want from a flagship sans the crazy 30k+ premium price tag.
Here’s a quick rundown of the specifications.
Huawei Honor 6 specs
- Kirin 920 octa-core processor (quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7)
- Mali-T624 GPU
- 3GB RAM
- 5-inch IPS LCD full HD display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 16GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 64GB
- 13-megapixel rear camera with flash, Sony IMX214 sensor with f/2.0 aperture
- 5-megapixel front camera
- 3G, LTE Cat. 6
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, NFC
- 3100mAh battery
- Android 4.4 KitKat with Emotion UI
- Price: Php13,990 (Lazada)
Now before you flame the device for just having KitKat, note that Huawei has already announced that they will be rolling out an Android 5.0 Lollipop update (OTA) for this device in Q1-Q2 this year.
Let’s jump right into our review!
Design: Dual-glass Classy But Smudgey Goodness
The Huawei Honor 6 employs the dual-glass panel set-up that the Nexus 4 and the iPhone 4 popularized a few years ago. It’s incredibly classy and elegant but it is a certified and guaranteed fingerprint and smudge magnet, especially at the back portion. If you’re the OC type you better try to get your hands on a case otherwise you’ll spend more time wiping the glass panels clear than actually using the phone, hehe.
Given the design, it’s a given that there’s no removable back plate. The micro SIM card and SD card slots are hidden away via a tray. All the other I/O and buttons like the headphone jack, volume rocker, and power wake are in their usual places.
At the back we have the camera, dual LED flash, and the sweet looking “HONOR” logo. It’s surprising that Huawei didn’t put their actual company name anywhere on the hardware of the phone. The focus and spotlight is really on the “Honor” brand.
In the hand, the Honor 6 is easy to use and navigate. The 5-inch form factor is perfect for one-handed use and it comfortably sits on the smartphone side of the size spectrum and not anywhere near the phablet category.
Boo: Paint Job Chips Easily Along the Sides
If there’s one major problem with the design, it’s that the paint chips off along the sides, especially if you use this as your daily driver without a case. As you can see in the photo above (and the one before it), there are small silver specks along the otherwise black sides of the phone. It’s NOT as bad as how the iPhone 5 gets it but it’s still quite noticeable.
Solution? Make sure you get a case. Problem? We can’t seem to find cases for the Honor 6 in malls, hehe. Hassle!
Talk about having a “chink in your armor”. If this problem wasn’t present we’d actually give the Honor 6 a very high rating for design and over-all hardware build!
Deliciously Good Full HD Display That You Would Want to Lick
One of the biggest highlights of the Huawei Honor 6 is the full HD 5.0-inch HD display. At low-medium brightness it doesn’t really stand out but when you pump it up to around 60-70% it truly shines! Colors just pop out and the level of detail and crispness is fantastic. The color balance and saturation is right on the money as well. It’s not as saturated as how Samsung does it and neither is it a little bit subdued like how LG and Sony do their color balances.
We’ve always said here in our reviews that the display is a critical piece of the device since it’s pretty much the main point of interaction you have with it. It really doesn’t matter if a phone has the best internal specs if the display is crappy. The good news is that the Honor 6 packs a very impressive display, one that you would normally just see in devices that are usually several thousand pesos more expensive.
Performance: Capable, Powerful, and Strong Diesel Engine
Now let’s talk about power! The Huawei Honor 6 has a Huawei custom octa-core processor with a very generous serving of 3GB RAM. For this review we tried pretty much everything to see how far this bad boy can go. We have good news and bad news.
Good news? It runs almost everything perfectly. Regardless if it’s gaming, media editing, or media playback, the Huawei Honor 6 is a certified screamer! Multi-tasking was also efficient mostly thanks to the 3GB of RAM that they crammed into this.
Bad news? For some insane reason there’s a 1-2 second delay from the time you press wake to the time the screen actually wakes up. We found this extremely annoying especially since this was the first time we encountered something like this. Most of the time the devices we’ve seen in the past have very minimal delay. This one there was a 1-2 second wait. We’re not sure if we got a defective unit so to those out there who have this device, please do confirm this issue via the comments below.
Other than the wake up delay, we have nothing but good words for the performance of the Honor 6.
Software Stuff, Call Quality, Music Player, etc.
Now let’s talk software. The Honor 6 runs their custom ROM which we didn’t really like. As usual we just downloaded Nova Launcher and customized it as much as we could to our liking. The only thing we don’t like that we couldn’t change was the Notifications Center. You have to switch between actual notifications and the quick settings toggles. They should just make this one page. The additional swipe left/right is totally unnecessary.
As for the core functions and features, the Honor 6 passed with flying colors. Everything from call quality to audio output (via headphones or external speakers) were great. The default apps are actually pretty good already but if you want to customize for smoother performance you might want to get Google’s Messenger to replace the SMS app and Mailwise for e-mail. Oh and for music don’t forget to get Power Amp!
Lastly, you can expect Android 5.0 Lollipop. Huawei already announced that they will offer an update sometime this year for the Honor 6. Yehey to that! 🙂
Camera: Amazingly Good
Now we go to the camera. I’d like to highlight two things. First, the camera’s autofocus and shutter are both superb! You can take pics very quickly with the Honor 6. Not as fast as the LG G3 but still better compared to a lot of its more expensive competitors.
Secondly, the image quality of the captured photos both from the rear and front cams, are fantastic! It’s truly amazing to see cameras of this caliber being put in devices that cost less than Php15,000.
Here’s a sample shot of the front-facing camera (5MP):
And here are sample shots of the primary rear-facing shooter (13MP):
Battery Life: Two Thumbs Up
The Huawei Honor 6 has a monstrous 3,100mAh battery. This was a big surprise for us considering how slim the phone is!
In our daily tests the Honor 6 clocked in easily well over 8 hours which is more than enough for a day’s use. Most of the time we would get home from work with around 25% still left. That’s with moderate-heavy usage. Of course though we did get shorter usage when we would start playing games with LTE on.
Verdict: Powerhouse Offering of Huawei
So what’s the verdict?
The Huawei Honor 6 is simply a bang-for-your-buck powerhouse offering. HOWEVER there are two things you will have to take note before you take the plunge and buy one.
1. GET A CASE. You don’t want the sides to get chipped.
2. PRAY THAT HUAWEI FIXES THE WAKE UP DELAY WITH A SOFTWARE UPDATE. In all honesty it’s not that bad but we’re very particular with the wake up so unfortunately we just can’t let that one pass. We’ll try to confirm this with them and just edit this post afterwards.
So there you go! If you want one, check out Lazada.
To end allow us to share with you guys the official international promotional video of the Honor 6.