There is a new generation of phones around and each of them is out there to prove a point. Well, ever since the Xiaomi saga began, every company is trying to come out with the out-of-the-box phones. Huawei has also put its horse in the race and has landed in India with the Huawei Honor 6 smartphone.
This is Huawei’s first phone based on big.LITTLE technology and comes with a Hisilicon Kirin 920 chipset and 3 GB RAM. If those terms do not make sense to you, just think about it as the Land Cruiser of smartphones. It also sports 4G LTE, although that currently holds little relevance in the Indian scenario.
Yes, the phone has an overwhelming 3 GB RAM, more than what most run-of-the-mill laptops have. Apart from that, the Honor 6 smartphone comes with regular phablet features such as a 5-inch 1080p display, 13-megapixel rear snapper and 3100 mAh battery.
Huawei Honor 6 specs
- 5-inch 1080p display
- 3 GB RAM; 16 GB internal memory
- HiSilicon Kirin 920 Hi 3630 processor
- 4G LTE
- 13-megapixel rear cam; 5-megapixel front cam
- Android 4.4.2; Emotion UI 2.3
- 3100 mAh battery
The first look at the Huawei Honor 6 will make you think of the iPhone. I could say so since I got my hands on a white one, it felt exactly like that. The front looks pretty smooth. The surprising thing is that you won’t find any logo of Huawei all over the phone, only an Honor logo, that too at the back.
But, then it begins settling in. This is a unibody phone made of plastic and the back feels like glass. Although there is no home button, but it still looks pretty damn cool. But a detailed look will tell you the difference. The first difference would be a cheap looking plastic lining on the side. This is what doesn’t gel well with the rest of the phone. The metallic buttons on the side though look pretty great. The rest of the phone is praiseworthy. The speaker at the top and back is pretty great. So does the 13-megapixel snapper at the back and the speaker at the top and the MicroUSB slot at the bottom. One side has been left completely plain. When you open up the slot on the side which shows the MicroSIM slot and the MicroSD slot looks good.
There are also infrared slots located atop the handset and near the front cam which should be very helpful in using applications such as QuickRemote.
The display, though, feels like plastic even though it is a Gorilla Glass display instead. It is a full HD one and a pretty good display at that. The display comes with an oleophobic layer, which keeps it smudge free. The back is a little smudgy though. The whole phone is pretty delicate on the whole and prone to damage. It is also pretty slippery. The battery is non-removable and you will mostly resign to that fate since it has a huge 3100 mAh battery inside.
But it is the internals that will be the best part of this phone. I should stop gushing over the 3 GB RAM, but I just can’t. It is awesome.
The internals work like a charm and will make you fall in love with this phone. Whatever you throw at it, it will not disappoint.
The Huawei Honor 6 possesses a 5-inch full HD display, which looks pretty well. It looks awesome indoors, but suffers in sunlight visibility.
In fact, it is not the credit of the display, but of the Huawei Emotion UI, which makes it look amazing with wallpaper playback and themes. In regular use, you will find it more than satisfactory. I would rate it as better than most mid-range phones.
However, there is something you will find amazing about the display. Huawei has endowed this phone with Rog technology. You can actually switch to a 720p mode!
This is actually unprecedented for the smartphone industry. It actually rests the Normal Android window to 720 x 1280p. You can use this mode in case you find the normal mode jarring.
Company UIs are actually gaining a lot of weight ever since the MiUi became a massive success. I have experienced the Huawei Emotion UI before and was actually not expecting much out of it. But, I was in for a surprise. The Huawei Emotion UI 2.3 is something different than run-of-the-mill smartphone UIs, thankfully.
Huawei has thankfully not stuffed up its OS with useless and kept it pretty clean, to its credit.
The default UI has many colorful elements inside. Generally the UI compresses of Blue and White elements. The notification panel and the shortcut menu looks pretty clean.
You need to use two fingers to slide down the menu and swipe right to unlock.
But the best part of the software is wallpaper playback. Every time you power on the display it will light up with an awesome wallpaper. The wallpapers are pretty awesome looking and this phone has a great collection of them. The application drawer looks pretty cool and will remind you of other no-nose UIs out there.
The settings offer some other things. It comes with a phone accelerator that cleans up the phone and frees the RAM. The storage cleaner cleans the cache. There is also a ‘Harassment filter’ on board which lets you block calls and messages from unwanted numbers.
There are a lot of power saving modes on board. The normal mode is cool, the smart mode gives you balanced performance. The Ultra saving mode though is something you will love. It can make a little battery last for long. There is also a built in virus scanner on board, which lets you scan the phone for viruses, a permission manager that will monitor the permissions accorded to different apps. Other than that, the notification and startup manager let you easily customize the phone.
We have seen the permission manager before in MiUi and it is no different on the Emotion UI 2.3.
Huawei has also added value applications on board, such as Mirror, Magnifier, a smart control remote and cast application for syncing with other smart devices.
There is absolutely no lag on the phone. How can it be? 3 GB RAM, for god’s sake!
Generally, the whole Emotion UI 2.3 works amazingly well and you will like this phone for it. The software backs the internals and the internals back the software and therefore this phone works amazingly well.
The Huawei Honor 6 comes with a 13-megapixel rear cam and a 5-megapixel front cam. It comes with a Sony IMX214 and a f/2.0 0.28 mm lens. The camera design is pretty simplistic, although there is a lot of stuff on offer.
There are a lot of modes on offer, although the smart, normal and HDR modes will be the ones that you will like the most. The phone generally takes pretty good shots in the normal mode.
The defocus mode isn’t worth much though, Huawei fails at aping Sony and Samsung.
The camera generally has no issues of exposure and you have pretty smooth images without any fuzziness. I would prefer the smart mode to the HDR mode, which is too bright for good shots since it kind of overexposes everything. The video capture generally works well.
The Huawei Honor 6 camera, generally works well, although it is not an out-of-the-world camera in comparison to the high-end cameras.
Performance and Battery Life
Let me just say it again – 3 GB RAM!
The performance of this phone is flawless and you will be happy with what it offers in terms of performance. Let that be attested by the fact that I am writing this piece on PC with 2 GB RAM. The Huawei Honor might be the fastest and most powerful phone that we have come across this year.
Huawei has borrowed the big.LITTLE technology from Samsung. But Huawei’s implementation seems better since it does not exert extra burden on the phone with useless apps. The battery life too is pretty great. The only sore point is the Mali T628MP4 GPU.
In totality, Kirin 920 SoC works well and this phone is amazingly fast in regular usage.
In terms of connectivity, it offers 4G connectivity. But, that is something that might be great in the future, but is sadly, not available to us right now.
The battery life on this does pretty well for itself and will more than get you through a regular day. The Ultra power saving mode is worth its name since, it does in fact give a lot of juice from 5-10 percent battery.
The Huawei Honor 6 definitely managed to impress. Not just its hardware, but even the Emotion 2.3 UI is pretty damn awesome. The Huawei Kirin SoC is amazing. There are little glitches here and there with the external hardware, but you will mostly love what it offers.
The phone looks pretty good, the build quality is of little concern, but that might be the only concern I have for this phone. The phone has mostly done well for itself, but it remains to be seen how Huawei prices it. The Huawei Honor 6 is definitely something to look at if you are in the market.
While I am writing this review, the pricing of this phone hasn’t been revealed.
I did expect Huawei to price this phone around 20K and I have been proven right. The Rs. 19,999 price tag should be attractive for anyone who wants to consider this as their next phone. This will also be a great alternative for people who want a high-performance phone at a minimalistic price. Huawei has ticked the right boxes in the pricing department. What remains to be seen is how Huawei markets this phone to make it a hot sell. If you haven’t already given it a look, do it as soon as possible.