Gadget review: Wait and watch for Huawei's Honor 6 Plus
After one of the most efficient budget 4G smartphones last week, Huawei wows us again with the premium Honor 6 Plus, yet, finding ground in the 20k-30k range might not be a cakewalk
Last week, Huawei launched two new smart phones under the Honor brand — the Honor 4X and Honor 6 Plus. We have already spelt out what makes the Honor 4X the best budget 4G smart phone in the market. Since the Honor 6 Plus unit hadn't arrived then, we withheld our comments and now, after spending a week with this premium sibling of the Honor 4X, we have to admit that the advantages for Huawei seem to have diminished with the Honor 6 Plus. Yet, there's plenty to be happy about. Let's see how:
What we liked
Price, build and design: Honor 6 Plus makes for great eye candy. An absolute beauty from top to toe, it is lightweight, and also easy to handle with a single hand. Despite the fact that it comes with glass panels (on front and back) similar to what we have seen with the Sony Z3 range of devices, it's solid. While a special glass fibre rear panel adds strength and style to the body, a metal bracket on the sides and top offers protection from any unfortunate falls on hard concrete surfaces. As for protecting these glass panels from scratches, the box included two complementary scratch guards with the device along with a charger, no headphones, though.
Hardware: Deep inside its chic body, the Honor 6 Plus gets plenty of hardware to boast about. The phone comes equipped with the Super Octa-core System on Chip (SoC) Kirin 925, developed by HiSilicon, a subsidiary of Huawei. This 64-bit SoC has eight cores featuring A15 and A7 processors along with Mali T628MP4 Graphic Processing Unit. Coupled with 3GB LPDDR3 RAM and 3600mAH battery, the Honor 6 Plus becomes a computing powerhouse instantly.
The battery wowed us as it lasts easily for more than one and half day with Wi-Fi on throughout the period. The display is a 5.5-inch FHD screen with 1920x1080 resolution and pixel density of 480ppi. It's comfortable to read in low-light conditions, in shade (or indoors), as well as in broad daylight as the light sensor is super-receptive. The in-built storage stands at 32GB, which should be sufficient for most, and can support up to 128GB external SD card. As for connectivity, the device supports 2G and 3G as well as 4G LTE bands.
It also supports Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct. The 8MP front camera is an absolute joy to work with — a feature that we will enjoy. Unfortunately, we can't say the same about the rear camera. We were also impressed by the user interface (UI) of the Huawei, like we did of the Honor 4X, but were disappointed to find a missing settings key from the shortcuts drop down menu.
What we didn't like?
The 8MP rear camera looks impressive — an aperture support range from f0.95 to f16 is a dream, and that's what Huawei Honor 6 Plus manages to fulfill. However, its dual camera setup (the device uses two 8MP rear cameras working simultaneously like the human eye) to capture images doesn't bring any difference in image quality.
In fact, it slows down in the wide-aperture mode; the rear camera takes slightly longer time to capture an image, and often results in hazy and blurred images, irrespective of the aperture size. And, we aren't talking about night shots but in day shots as well. Besides, the smart phone heats up while the camera is on. Also, the UI of the camera is a bit difficult to work around; a separate capture key could have made things much easier.
There's no doubt that Huawei has made a lot of effort to offer a mix of premium features and revolutionary technology within 27K in the Honor 6 Plus, but its most important tech — the dual rear cameras — isn't very impressive. Only time will tell whether or not it will lead the 20K-30K range, but it's a definite attraction in the price bracket, which also includes two incredibly popular devices — One Plus One and Motorola X2.
Will be Available on Flipkart.com
Display: 5.5-inch 1920x1080 TFT screen, 403ppi
Processor: Octa Core Kirin 925 with Mali T628MP4 GPU
Memory: 3GB RAM, 32GB (ROM), supports 128GB MicroSD
Camera: 8MP (rear and front)
Connectivity: 4G LTE (TDDB40+FDD B3), 3G, 2G, GPS,Wi-Fi (b/g/n), NFC, Bluetooth
Price: Rs 26,499