Honor 6X review: Premium dual camera smartphone priced at one third of an iPhone

  • Editors' rating
    8.2 Excellent

Pros

  • High quality design, fit, and finish
  • Extremely low price
  • MicroSD expansion card
  • Long battery life
  • Loud mono speaker

Cons

  • No NFC for wireless payments
  • No water resistance

At the beginning of January I posted my first impressions of the Honor 6X and since then have had the opportunity to use the device as my daily driver for a couple of weeks.

While I personally tend to spend $800 or more on flagship phones, I thoroughly enjoyed using the $250 Honor 6X and think many people will be perfectly satisfied with a phone priced a third of today's high end smartphones from Apple, Google, and Samsung.

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There are some compromises that are made at this price, but the masses may never even notice them. The pros far outweigh the cons and when you realize the Honor 6X is priced at just $250 you may even pick one up for a friend.

Specifications

  • Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 655 octa-core
  • Display: 5.5 inch 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution IPS LCD, 403 ppi
  • Operating system: Emotion UI 4.1 built on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Storage: 32 GB internal storage with microSD storage card
  • Cameras: 12 megapixel and 2 megapixel dual rear cameras. 8 megapixel front facing camera
  • Wireless technology: FM radio, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery: 3,340 mAh battery with fast charging technology
  • Dimensions: 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm and 162 grams

Huawei stated that the Honor 6X should get the Android 7.0 and EMUI 5.x upgrade in the first half of this year. The one missing basic specification is NFC so you will not be able to use Android Pay for any wireless payments with the Honor 6X.

As we get ready for the first pitch of Major League Baseball, it's nice to see a FM radio on this device that will allow me to listen to the Mariners all season long.

Hardware

Huawei builds gorgeous hardware and their typical design language that includes a brushed aluminum shell, snappy rear fingerprint scanner, curved glass edges, and rock solid construction is present here on the Honor 6X.

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The Honor 6X has a large 5.5 inch 1080p LCD display that looks great with vibrant colors and good viewing angles. Honor implemented curved metal back sides so that the Honor 6X rests very comfortably in your hand and presents a very clean appearance.

The cameras work well with the dual camera setup supporting bokeh effects like we see on higher end devices like the Honor 8, P9, and Mate 9. You usually end up with limited camera functionality at this price, but the Honor 6X offers a ton of modes and settings to give you the flagship camera experience at a low price.

You can expand your storage with a microSD card. The mono speaker blows away what we saw on the low cost Moto devices and lets you enjoy music or make speakerphone calls comfortably.

Honor advertises a two day battery life and even as a fairly heavy smartphone user I am almost able to go a full two days. We often see claims of multi-day battery, but I tend to kill a smartphone in a day. That just isn't the case with the Honor 6X and the 1080p display, Kirin 655 processor, and large 3,340 mAh battery proves to keep you going through at least a day or two.

Software

The Honor 6X currently runs EMUI 4.1 on top of Android 6 Marshmallow. This interface is fine, but the upgrade to EMUI 5 and Android Nougat will definitely be a welcome addition. Given that the price is $250, I think consumers can enjoy the current version of the software without complaint.

This is sold as a GSM unlocked phone so it is free of carrier bloatware. There are a few Honor apps, but you don't have to use them and they don't slow down the phone at all.

The Honor 6X is quite zippy and I never experienced any lag in my daily use. I personally enjoy using the image editing tools found in the Gallery app while the available settings let me easily customize the device to my specific preferences.

Pricing and competition

Flagship smartphones are priced at $700 to nearly $1,000, but over the past couple of years we have seen lots of competition in the $400 price range. The Honor 6X is even more competitive at a low $250 price.

Looking across the market for phones in this $250 range, we see the outstanding Moto G4 Play at $150 and Moto G4 and G4 Plus at $230 and $300. These Moto phones are an outstanding value, but the fit and finish, rear fingerprint scanner, and dual camera of the Honor 6X are a bit more compelling.

Daily usage experiences and conclusions

While using the Honor 6X as my daily driver, I completely forgot it was priced at just $250. It feels like a much more expensive phone and performs at a level competitive with those at $500 or more.

I'm a fan of the 2.5D curved glass on displays and this combined with the curved back metal edges make the Honor 6X a real joy to hold in your hand. It has a top headphone jack and a great sounding bottom mono speaker that I used to enjoy my podcasts and music.

At the end of my very long work day, I looked down at the remaining battery capacity and saw the number 67. I couldn't believe that the phone had lasted that long without being charged and was going to take me into the next day. Most of my phones are in the 20s or 30s at the end of my long work days.

Dual cameras from Honor and Huawei offer some fun effects and once you spend the time to learn some of the different modes you will come to really enjoy using your phone for photography. You can get creative with the camera and the image editing software too.

The Honor 6X is an outstanding Android smartphone and is tough to beat at the low $250 price. If I didn't write about phones for a job, I think I could honestly do all I needed with the Honor 6X.

Specifications

Cellular
Type Phones

Topics: Mobility, Huawei, Reviews, Smartphones

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