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Honor 6X Review – Dual Camera Shines Out

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The wait for the swag phone is over, Honor 6X is finally launched in India at an event held in New Delhi. Despite being a midrange smartphone, Honor 6X brings flashy features and great hardware for its price. Honor 6X is the third smartphone from Honor lineup to feature dual cameras and first dual camera phone of the year 2017. Now with 32 GB storage, 2.1 GHz octa-core processor by Kirin 655, a large 3,340 mAh battery, Honor 6X is all set to take over the midrange segment. Do Honor 6X has what it takes to be to tackle the dual camera competition, we find out in the Honor 6X review.

What’s in the Box?

  • Honor 6X with built-in battery
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Power Brick (5V, 2A)
  • Screen Protector (Pre-applied)
  • SIM Tray Ejector

We received a Chinese variant, however, the box contents are likely to be the same. No earphones are provided.

Honor 6X Specifications

  • Model: BLN-L22
  • Display: 5.5-inch Full HD IPS Display (1920 x 1080 pixels resolution)
  • Software: EMUI 4.1 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, at the back, Gesture-based
  • CPU: Up to 2.1 GHz octa-core processor, Kirin 655 SoC
  • GPU: Mali-T830 MP2
  • Memory: 4 GB LPDDR3-1866 RAM
  • Storage: 64 GB internal storage, MicroSD on SIM2 (up to 256 GB)
  • Main Camera: Dual Camera 12 MP + 2 MP (Sony IMX386 Exmor RS + OmniVision OV2680), PDAF, single LED flash, 1080p video @30fps. Slow Motion 480p @120fps
  • Front Camera: 8 MP f/2.0, 1080p video
  • Connectivity: Micro USB, USB OTG, 3.5 mm audio jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • Cellular: 4G LTE support, Hybrid SIM Slot, 2x nano SIM (GSM + GSM) OR 1x nano SIM and 1x MicroSD card, VoLTE-enabled
  • Battery: 3,340 mAh (non-removable)
  • Power Supply: Output 5V, 2A
  • Dimensions: 150.9 mm x 76.2 mm x 8.2 mm
  • Weight: 162 grams
  • Colors: Silver, Gold, Gray
  • Price: ₹12,999 (32 GB), ₹15,999 (64 GB)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty

Design and Build

Honor 6X uses a sleek design with a metallic back. The design is upgraded, the chamfered edges are replaced with a curved surface. Plus, the front 5.5-inch display now offers a 2.5D glass. The design is pretty much attractive and stylish.

We received a gold 64 GB variant for the review, however, silver and gray are also available. It weighs 162 grams and 8.2 mm thin. Unlike Honor 5X which has a brushed aluminum case, the back of the Honor 6X is a smooth texture made out of metal.

The backside has two cameras, one of 12 MP utilizing Sony IMX386 Exmor RS sensor and 2 MP using OmniVision OV2680 sensor. There is still a small camera hump, unlike Honor 8 which removes the camera bump completely. The rear camera supports PDAF and a single LED flash. The dual camera is packed with features. Below the camera is the fingerprint scanner that sits right on my finger. On the front, it has an 8 MP camera (Sony IMX219 Exmor R).

There is a volume control on the right along with a power button just below it. The left side carries a SIM Hybrid tray in which you can insert two nano SIM cards or a MicroSD card on the place of SIM 2 slot. The Chinese variant doesn’t support VoLTE. We tested Reliance Jio 4G SIM card to make HD calls and it doesn’t work. Honor 8 and Honor 5C both misses out the VoLTE feature. The Indian variant of Honor 6X is likely to support VoLTE calls over the 4G network.

I noticed it still offers a regular micro USB port rather than what their rivals offer – a USB Type-C port. The two bottom grills hold a microphone and loudspeakers. The right grill has loudspeakers and left one has a microphone. The second microphone is on the top along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Honor 6X do not provide earphones in the box.

Right
Left

Display

Honor 6X is accompanied by a 5.5-inch screen having Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). The display is covered by a 2.5D curved glass with a pre-applied screen protector film. A 1080p display is right for the 5.5-inchers and it looks like many people are comfortable with this size. The brightness of the display is enough for most places. Viewing angles are also good.

The display is unquestionably great, the colors appear bright and vivid, better than we saw in the Coolpad’s Cool 1. The colors can be tweaked in the display settings panel. It allows you to set color temperatures.

Software and User Interface

Honor 6X runs on the EMUI 4.1 software out of the box which is now based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the same user interface we saw on the Honor 5C. However, unlike Honor 5C, Honor 6X comes with a few extra features like Multiwindow.

The newest EMUI 5, as seen on the Huawei Mate 9, and considering that Android 7 Nougat is the ongoing version of Android, EMUI 4.1 is not the latest user interface Honor 6X offers. But, sooner Honor 6X will receive an OTA update. The Android security patch is dated from 1st October 2016.

From out past experience, the user interface is a bit sluggish, but this is not something to get worried about, we have seen it on many Android smartphones, not a big deal. The UI experience is something that you have seen on iPhones. Not all Android phones offer stock Android interface. Due to the heavy software customization, the phone may get delays in the software updates whereas the phones with least customizations (take Pure Android for an instance), receives the update quickly.

EMUI is one of the most customized Android interfaces and we liked the customizations that stock Android phone doesn’t offer. There are many gesture-based operations, homescreen themes, smart assistance, power management and last but not the least is the split-screen. The split-screen offers running two apps simultaneously. You can run your WhatsApp or Facebook at the same time watch YouTube videos. The UI comes with some pre-installed apps (so-called bloatware) but can be removed.

There’s a built-in feature known as Wi-Fi+ found in EMUI-based phones. When you turn on Wi-Fi+ feature, it evaluates the network and smartly switches between Wi-Fi and Mobile Data to provide a smooth internet experience.

Secondly, the EMUI’s Health app is quite similar to the Samsung’s S-health but works quite well. It has the weight, distance and calories meter. If you are a fitness fanatic, this one can be a helpful trait in the smartphone.

Split-screen
Honor 6X review
Wi-Fi+
Integrated Health App
Simple UI, Smart Assistance

Fingerprint Scanner

The fingerprint scanner is pretty neat, works great in my opinion, it is fast, efficient and accurate. Mostly, all the Honor devices have one of the best fingerprint scanners of all time. They work even if you have wet fingers while many of its rivals don’t. Not just are they good at its security features, they also come with a few gestures like taking photos, browsing photos from the gallery, answering calls, stopping the alarm, and bringing the notification panel.

Hardware, Performance, and Gaming

The hardware is significantly upgraded, mostly in the storage and RAM areas. The Kirin 655 chip, although is newer, is very similar to the Kirin 650 in terms of performance. Honor 6X is powered by a Kirin 655 having eight Cortex-A53 cores in which four are clocked at 2.1 GHz whereas the rest of the four are at 1.7 GHz. It uses a Mali-T830 MP2 as graphics processing unit and 3 GB RAM. There is also a 4 GB version with 64 GB storage which makes it sound a good hardware package for a midrange device.

AnTuTu benchmark got a huge improvement scoring a decent 56,840 points, much better than its predecessor Honor 5X. Further benchmarks include Geekbench 4 which scored just 799 points on single-core CPU, but 3,341 points on multi-core CPU. The Mali-T830 GPU scored 1,927 points on Geekbench 4. Quadrant Standard Edition shows 17,124 points that look too mainstream.

The performance of Kirin 655 chip lies somewhat between Snapdragon 617 and Snapdragon 625 (utilized by ASUS ZenFone 3 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4) but way far from the Snapdragon 652 (utilized by Coolpad Cool 1 Dual and LeEco Le 2) since they use a more powerful 4x Cortex-A72 cores, the single-core application performance is much better. Thus, its main competitor Cool 1 is ahead in terms of performance.

AnTuTu Benchmark

  • 56,840 points

Geekbench 4

  • 799 points (single-core CPU)
  • 3,341 points (multi-core CPU)
  • 1,927 points (GPU)

Quadrant Standard Edition

  • 17,124 points

The Mali-T830 MP2 GPU isn’t meant for aggressive gaming, while it runs the most mainstream graphics oriented games just fine, you might want to consider a better smartphone if you are into gaming. The Mali-T830 performance is equivalent to Adreno 405 found in Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chip and that quite fits the budget, unless you want to opt a smartphone with Adreno 510 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 652) found on its main rival Coolpad Cool 1 Dual as well as LeEco Le 2.

Games Tested on Honor 6X:

  • Asphalt 8: Airborne
  • Angry Birds
  • Traffic Rider
  • Two Dots
  • Tom & Jerry

Storage and Connectivity

The Honor 6X comes with a large 64 GB EMMC 5.1 storage, but wait, a cheaper 32 GB variant with 3 GB RAM is there. Its Hybrid SIM slow carries the MicroSD card. Either you can place a SIM card in slot 2 or a MicroSD card up to 256 GB. You also get a storage cleaner that removes cache and other junk files on the phone to free up the unnecessary space. It supports USB OTG devices such as thumb drives.

Now coming to the storage performance, we benchmarked the storage speeds using AndroBench and A1 SD Bench and here are the results.

A1 SD Bench

  • 158.27 MB/s (Read)
  • 213.59 MB/s (Write)

AndroBench

  • 281.56 MB/s (Sequential Read)
  • 200.87 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 70.65 MB/s (Random Read)
  • 80.62 MB/s (Random Write)

The benchmarks are slightly above average, a tad better than Honor 5C and other ASUS ZenFones. Honor 6X performed well in the storage department.

Cameras

On the camera side, Honor 6X equips a dual camera (12 MP + 2 MP) which seems to be some kind of odd configuration. The 12 MP uses a Sony IMX386 Exmor RS sensor and the 2 MP is from OmniVision OV2680. On the front side, it has an 8 MP f/2.0 camera (Sony IMX219 Exmor R).

Dual 12 MP + 2 MP Cameras
8 MP Front

Honor 6X Camera Specifications

  • Camera: Dual 12 MP + 2MP, PDAF
  • Sensor (12 MP): Sony IMX386 Exmor RS
  • Sensor (2 MP): OmniVision OV2680
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): N/A
  • Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus, HDR, Pro Photo, Beauty, Night Shot, Panorama, Good Food, Light Painting, Time-lapse, Beauty Video, Pro Video, Slow Motion, Watermark, Audio note, Color Filters, Burst Shot
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p @30 FPS, Slow Motion 480p@120 FPS, Pro Video, Beauty Video
  • Front Camera: 8 MP f/2.0
  • Sensor: Sony IMX219 Exmor R
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p video @30fps
  • Front Flash: Screen Flash
honor 6x review
Dual Camera UI
honor 6x review
Front Camera UI

We have taken samples from Honor 6X rear camera, and the result is very satisfying. The images are realistic in color, bright with sharp details. It even plays fairly well in low light areas and best when used the long exposure Night mode. It can be a solid camera for this budget.

The camera does capture images that look like it is captured from a DSLR. The blurred background gives you the bokeh effect. The camera has a wide aperture range (f/0.95 to f/16) which eventually lets you control the amount of blur focus after the image has been captured and blur the background. While the blur effect is based on a software algorithm, the result isn’t always perfect.

While the blur effect is based on a software algorithm, the result isn’t always perfect. At some places, especially in low light, and depending on how you have captured the image, the dual camera mode, at times, blurs the edges of the focused object.

Nevertheless, the overall quality seems way better that its competitors (Coolpad Cool 1 Dual and Lenovo Phab2 Plus). Plus, the camera is backed up with tons of features including the Pro mode, Beauty video, Good food, Night mode, and the best one I like, Splash effect. Such features are found on high-end or flagship smartphones. The only two downsides are that it doesn’t have OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and can’t record 4K videos, but given the price, we can ignore it.

The 8-megapixel front-facing camera does take sharp and clear images with details. The result is more of like an image with realistic colors. Thankfully, the front camera also receives some features like Panorama, Beauty video, Time-lapse, and Makeup. To sum it all, this is the best camera package you will ever get under ₹15,000.

Honor 6X Camera Samples

Battery Runtime

The battery now carries more capacity 3,340 mAh, it lasts about a day and a half on above moderate usage. In one test, it ran 1 day 12 hours with 18% battery juice left whereas the other one shows that it ran 2 days with a little battery left giving 6 hours screen-on-time keeping in mind that it was always-on 4G Data and we used it occasionally as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Using it excessively drains the battery in less than a day, it ran roughly 14 hours on very high usage including frequent use of the camera, a couple of hours of GPS and Google Maps, and the most being used as Wi-Fi hotspot from its 4G data. While this isn’t how people will use it every day, it should last 2 days straight on a daily driver routine.

honor 6x review
6 Hours SOT
honor 6x review
Above Mainstream Usage
Extreme Use
8 Days Standby, 39% battery
honor 6x review
Power Management

Honor 6X Battery Test Results

Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
4K Video4%20 minutesMaxOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
YouTube (1080p) - Wi-Fi3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi, 4G Data)
YouTube (1080p) - 4G3%20 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)
Asphalt 8: Airborne6%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Angry Birds2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Tom & Jerry4%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Two Dots3%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music (Offline)1%1 HourAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music Streaming - SoundCloud2%30 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)
Facebook3%20 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)
Instagram4%20 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)

We checked the battery charging test by putting a stopwatch timer and it nearly took 2 and a half hours to charge it completely. Honor 6X does offer fast charging but not like the smartphones based on Qualcomm Snapdragon chip which utilizes the QuickCharge technology.

Battery Charges In 2.5 Hours

Pricing, Variants, and Availability

Honor 6X is priced at ₹12,999 for its 32 GB variant whereas the price of 64 GB is ₹15,999. It is likely to be available exclusively on Amazon on a flash sale. The registration starts from today24th January at 2 PM and flash sale will be live on 2nd February. Honor 6X is available in three color variants – Gold, Grey, and Silver.

Verdict – Is It Worth Spending ₹12,999?

Honor 6X is clearly much upgraded from the former 5X, now it comes with two rear cameras, 64 GB storage, 4 GB RAM, and increased battery life – almost have doubled its features which show a value for the money.

When we speak about the competition, the camera outperforms its rivals any day, and it is the most standout feature in the phone with tons of camera modes that gives you enough room for the creativity. The 64 GB could be a sweet spot if you are willing to spend ₹3,000, while the latter 32 GB variant is still good for the price, either way, you won’t go wrong. There’s nothing to complain about the smartphone, Honor 6X is a solid buy for ₹12,999.

Competitors

Strength

  • Amazing Camera Package, Backed up with Features
  • Good Display
  • Sleek Design
  • Fingerprint Scanner is Accurate
  • Value For Money

Weakness

  • None

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6 Comments on "Honor 6X Review – Dual Camera Shines Out"

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Ajay Thakur
Ajay Thakur

Great review! Detailed, informative and interesting. Seems like a really good phone for the price. But are you sure it doesn’t support VoLTE?

Boparai
Boparai

Ajay Thakur, yes of course it has VoLTE and OTG. Check out their announcement on their official page : https://m.facebook.com/HonorClubIndia/photos/a.861140633974260.1073741828.861136327308024/1235455329876120/?type=3&refid=17&_ft_=top_level_post_id.1235455329876120%3Atl_objid.1235455329876120%3Athid.861136327308024%3A306061129499414%3A69%3A0%3A1485935999%3A7390650967337874976&__tn__=E

Boparai
Boparai

Bro, why u deleted my comment ? :(
but anyway thanks for correcting the article :)

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