During the CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Huawei announced the international release of the Honor 6X. While the smartphone with its dual rear-facing camera and highly competitive price make the phone very attractive, we’ll let you know how the Honor 6X coped in everyday usage.
- Design and build
- Battery life
- Fingerprints noticeable on display
- Position of speaker
Honor 6X release date and price
The Honor 6X, as mentioned above, made its international debut on January 3 at the CES during a dedicated event. Designed for tech fans and younger users with a limited budget, it will be available starting January 4 in three different colors (Gold, Silver and Gray) with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of expandable internal storage for $250. A version with 4GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage will be sold for $300 and be available later this year.
There will be a flash sale on January 10, 17, 24 and 31 for a reduced price of $200. However, you can already purchase the phone on the Honor website in the US, UK, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
In the box, you’ll also find a 5V/2A charger with a micro USB cable and a pin to extract the SIM and micro SD cards.
Honor 6X design and build quality
Just like all new devices released onto the market last year, the Honor 6X also has a metal unibody. The Honor 6X's dimensions are of 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm and it weighs in at 162 g. The Honor 6X is slightly larger than the Honor 8 and weighs 10 g more.
Thanks to the housing with curved edges, the Honor 6X is ergonomic and easy to handle
Thanks to the housing with curved edges, the Honor 6X is ergonomic and easy to handle. The rear panel, which houses a dual camera, LED flash, fingerprint reader with a circular form and two bands for the antennas, is not slippery when held or placed on a flat surface. The frame around the Honor 6X adds a touch of elegance, reflecting the light to give off a very pleasant effect. The oval section for the dual camera slightly protrudes out of the device body.
The front panel is covered with 2.5D curved glass. The physical buttons, and power and volume controls, are found on the right side, while the capacitative buttons are placed at the bottom of the display. All buttons, including the fingerprint scanner, can easily be reached with one hand.
Hybrid slots were placed on the left edge of the display for either the usage of one nano SIM and one microSD card or two nano SIM cards simultaneously. The top holds one mini jack of 3.5 mm on the left side, while the mono speaker and microUSB 2.0 port are placed on the bottom. The Honor 6X does not have USB Type-C support.
The smartphone is not waterproof, so outdoor enthusiasts are advised to place their Honor 6X in a protective cover.
A microUSB port and earphones are not included in the package
Overall, the Honor 6X has a stylish design and durable body that after one week of usage shows no signs of scratches (unlike my colleague Eric experienced with the Honor 8).
Honor 6X display
The Honor 6X has a 5.5-inch display, placing it between the 5.2 inches of the Honor 8 and the 5.9 inches of the Huawei Mate 9. It offers a perfect diagonal for those who want to fully enjoy a multimedia experience, however, it could prove to be difficult to manage for small hands and is likely too big to fit in normal sized pockets.
The Honor 6X display with IPS LCD technology boasts a Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 and 403 ppi. The Honor 8 has the same resolution but on a 5.2-inch display creating a higher pixel density per inch (423 ppi).
The touch screen response is good and images appear sharp and crisp. The brightness, though I could not measure it, was good as well. By setting it half way, the display is sufficiently bright to handle any task.
Overall, the screen of the Honor 6X will satisfy the needs to users in daily usage
By going into the Settings > Display (which can also be accessed from the drop down menu of the quick settings), you can customize brightness level, color temperature (default, hot, cold), activate eye protection mode to avoid eye strain when reading and select the increase readability in the sun option. The font size and display mode can be change by choosing between small, medium or large, depending on your needs.
The viewing angles are good and overall the screen on the Honor 6X would be able to satisfy daily needs of users. A not-so-positive detail in regards to the display: there is a protective film on it that shows fingerprints. I would prefer to remove it, but this would in turn increase the risk of it getting scratches. Even without the film, the display attracts fingerprints, though not quite as noticeably.
Honor 6X software
The Honor 6X comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow right out of the box, along with version 4.1 of EMUI, Honor’s user interface. Honor's device is now presently in line for Nougat. Check out our Android Nougat review on the Honor 8 for a preview of the software features on board.
In addition, the Honor 6X received some pre-installed apps, among which you’ll find some Google apps: the phone is stocked with the most popular apps for Android (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Booking, TripAdvisor, News Republic, Opera) and a folder dedicated to games, which you can also uninstall. There are also some Honor-specific services, such as VMall Honor.
The interface displays icons with slightly rounded edges, does not include an app drawer and is smooth and fast. While testing the performance of the phone, my experience was not stunted by any crashes or lags, aside from a small pause when capturing some screenshots. Email and WhatsApp notifications also came through promptly.
The fingerprint scanner was fast and accurate, setting it up takes just a few minutes. Similar to other smartphones on the market, you can also customize the fingerprint reader to take pictures, shoot videos, answer incoming calls, block the alarm, display the notifications panel and browse photos. To do so, you simply head over to the dedicated menu in the settings.
Just like the Honor 5X, which was released with Android Lollipop and later received the update to Marshmallow, we’re sure that the Honor 6X will get Android Nougat down the road. Honor is planning to release the update in the second quarter of 2017, thus introducing the latest version’s new features in addition to version 5.0 of the EMUI user interface.
Honor 6X performance
The Honor 6X is powered by a HISILICON Kirin 655 processor with a 16 nm manufacturing process and eight cores, four of which tick at 2.1 GHz and the other four at 1.7 GHz. The graphics are taken care of by a Mali-T830 GPU. The tested device is supported by 3GB of RAM LPDDR3 and 32 GB of internal memory, the latter being expandable up to 128 GB with the use of a micro SD card.
There were no problems to report while using the Honor 6X on a daily basis. Transitioning between apps worked fluidly. Gaming sessions and charging the phone caused no overheating. I ran a benchmark test on our test device, getting the following results:
- Geekbench 4.0 single-core: 786
- Geekbench 4.0 Multi-Core: 3329
- AnTuTu: 56405
- PCMark Storage: 5456
- PCMark Work Performance: 4427
- 3DMark Slingshot OpenGL 3.0: 563
- 3DMark Slingshot OpenGL 3.1: 381.33
- Google Octane: 3921
Numbers aside, the Honor 6X is a mid-range device that is able to carry out tasks without any problem. Graphically demanding games might not perform as well, as was the case when playing Asphalt 8 where the graphic details were not excellent, but considering the price of the device, they could pass as satisfactory.
Honor 6X audio
The bottom of the Honor 6X is home two two speaker grills, and only one speaker.
Unfortunately, the positioning of the speaker limits the audio experience when watching a video or playing games since it is easily covered by the palm of the hand
The smartphone has a traditional headphone jack and the mono speaker has acceptable sound quality. The maximum volume proves to be loud enough. The microphone cancels out background noise so that calls are clear. Unfortunately, the positioning of the speaker limits the audio experience when watching a video or playing games since it is easily covered by the palm of the hand.
Honor 6X camera
The Honor 6X comes with a dual rear camera, its best feature. The main camera of 12 MP (with 1.25 micron pixels) is joined by a second 2 MP camera to create depth and background blur effects. Together the two lenses ensure an aperture that goes from f/0.95 to f/16.
The main camera of 12 MP (with 1.25 micron pixels) is joined by a second 2 MP camera
The Honor 6X is the first Chinese phone to integrate phase detection autofocus. This complex process is achieved by dividing the incoming light into pairs of images and then comparing them. It also has an LED flash. The front camera has 8 MP, and when launched starts beauty mode automatically as a preset setting, though you can either turn it off or change the degree of "beautification".
The Honor 6X is the first Chinese phone to integrate phase detection auto focus
The camera app is also simple and intuitive. After launching it, you can access different shooting modes by swiping from the bottom up. One interesting feature is the pro mode, which allows you to manually change some values such as ISO, white balance etc.
With a swipe from top to bottom, you can access to the resolution and other customizable options, such as we've seen on other brands. On the main screen, tap on the three circles on the left to get an overview of nine different Instagram-like filters before taking the picture. You can also select video mode by choosing the video icon. Videos can be shot in Full HD at 30 fps, however Video Beauty is only shot with an HD resolution of 720p.
The camera responds quickly to commands. Daytime shooting with good lighting produced crisp results. In lower lighting conditions or at night, you need to keep the phone especially still in order to prevent blur or photo noise. Details turned out blurry in some indoor shots if you use the digital zoom. The same goes for selfies.
Take a look at our Honor 6X gallery to see the camera results:
Honor 6X battery
The Honor 6X has a non-removable 3,340 mAh battery, more powerful than that of the the Honor 8 and Honor 5X. In terms of battery life, it doesn't disappoint, much like its predecessor. It stayed alive for a day and a half, after I used it for calls, video calls on WhatsApp, text messaging, emails, Facebook, Instagram, checking the weather, watching some short clips on Youtube and a few games of Hill Climb 2 and Asphalt 8. I did all this with one SIM and a MicroSD card in the phone, and with the display set to 50 percent brightness.
If you're not used to using your smartphone to play games and watch videos, you can get up to two days of battery life without any problem. In the PC Mark battery test, the Honor 6X achieved 7 hours and 33 minutes.
In the PC Mark battery test, the Honor 6X achieved 7 hours and 33 minutes.
The supplied charger uses quick charge technology to do a full recharge in just over two hours. In order to get the most out of your battery, you can access more advanced power saving settings to manage the apps which take up a lot of battery life.
Honor 6X technical specifications
Honor is once again catering to the younger generation. Digital natives, millenials and any consumer who is looking for a beautiful device that doesn't skip out on the latest innovations to achieve its affordable price tag would be happy with the Honor 6X.
The Honor 6X is a mid-range smartphone with a premium look that is characterized by its quality to price ratio. At the expected price of around $250 USD, you can have a dual camera in your pocket, like the one in the Huawei P9, Mate 9 or Honor 8. For its price, the Honor 6X is a value: good display, excellent battery life, solid overall performance with everyday use. Even the photos, especially in good lighting, won't disappoint.
What do you think of the Honor 6X? Is it missing any features that you would like to see?