Huawei's Honor: small on price, big on features

Huawei's Honor: small on price, big on features

Google may have led the way in creating cheap flagships, but after the Nexus 6 exited the "affordable" scene, many have stepped up to follow in Google's footsteps such as One Plus, XiaoMi, Oppo and now Honor.

Honor may sound like a new name, but it's actually created by Chinese manufacturer Huawei. Perhaps to avoid being associated with its previous line of smartphones, Huawei has now released its latest smartphone line called the Honor.

Huawei's latest brand of smartphones is cheap flagship packed with features that can match almost any smartphone out there, but the Honor smartphone series is relatively new, and still needs to prove itself.

The Honor 6's name may give you the impression that it's a device with a 6-inch display, however it only has a full High Definition 5-inch display.

It also comes with a 13-megapixel camera, and one of the first octa-core processors along with categoray 6 Long Term Evolution (LTE) radio with speeds up to 300 Mbps.

My main problem is that the Honor 6 looks like an iPhone, more specifically the iPhone 4 with a glass front and back encasing its black internals with a metal strip along the sides.

Along with that problem is that the square-shaped phones such as the iPhone 4/4S and Sony's line of Xperia Z flagships are not the nicest phones to hold in your palm.

Honor has done well though to include an expandable microSD card slot to accompany the 16GB storage of the device. The Honor 6's screen is also impressive, with a full-HD 1920x1080 pixels that gives it 440 pixels per inch. To put that in context, the Galaxy S5 has a 432 ppi screen and the iPhone 6 Plus at 401 ppi, whilst the Galaxy Note 4 and the LG G3 has a 515 ppi and 538 ppi respectively.

That makes the Honor 6 rather impressive with its cheaper price tag, and text looks absolutely crisp with icons looking shard along the edges.

Other hardware include the octa-core Kirin 920 processor, made up of two quad-core chips. These two chips are clocked in at two different speeds 1.3GHz and 1.7GHz, along with a hearty 3GB of RAM.

The 5-inch smartphone comes with a 3,100 mAh battery, which is plenty for the size. Honor says that will be able to give you a full-day use under heavy loads.

As for the Honor's 13-megapixel camera on the rear, it's surprisingly good. Many manufacturers put a 13-megapixel camera on the back and expect it to do well, but the Honor 6 is genuinely clear. Indoor shots are low on noise and have little distortion. In the dark, the camera is not too shabby either, but when the flash is on, the colours get washed out. The bad part of the camera is its sluggish auto focus, especially in low-light, so close-ups are harder to do on the Honor 6.

In terms of software, that's where the Honor suffers. It has an older Android 4.4.2 KitKat and my biggest gripe is the "Emotion UI's" absence of an application tray, just like the Alcatel phones. This means all the applications are laid across all the pages of your home screen. This is definitely a big No-no for me. When phones come like that, I immediately download Nova Launcher or any other launcher and get rid of the stock launcher.

The Honor 6 is priced at about $450-$500 (after conversion from American and European prices), and it's one of the top-specced devices in the market. This puts it in direct competition with the other cheap "flagship killers". This, however, comes with LTE Cat 6, which currently not many countries offer, and it does have an octa-core processor. So until LTE 6 comes into play, the Honor 6 is on par with many of the other smartphones already in the market, so consumers now have another brand of mobile devices to add onto their list.

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