Huawei Honor 6 in-depth review - Top of the line specs marred by UI

 Huawei Honor 6 Review - Top of the line specs marred by UI
3.5

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,11/10/2014 12:36:31 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

9

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Full HD screen. Competitive price. CAT 6 LTE

Cons:

Amateurish UI. Bland design.

By Sunetra Chakravarti

---

Honor is a new entrant on European shores and this is their first phone to go on sale here, albeit via Amazon. Manufactured by Huawei, even though you will not find any Huawei branding on the phone itself, and at a very attractive price point, we think Honor 6 has what it takes to make it big here that previous Huawei branded phones have not been able to achieve.

Honor 6: Look and Feel

The first thing that came to mind when I slipped the phone out of its turquoise box was, 'Have they sent me an iPhone 4S by mistake?' Think the dark glass front and back panels of the iPhone 4S and the rim and sides of a Sony Z series and you are there. Only issue is, it is not really glass. The back of the Honor 6 is a dark glass lookalike flat plastic which even the manufacturers are not sure will be able to repel scratches and prints and hence sent two plastic protectors alongside.

For want of a better word, I will call the design of the phone uninspiring. It is a slab of black (or white) with a grey rim. Not only did my review sample constantly slide off even slightly polished surfaces, but the prints it picked up were phenomenal. I really wish Huawei had tried to do something different with the look and feel of the Honor 6... 

The advantage to having all that plastic is: the phone is very light- 130gms. And because it isnt massive- 5-inches, it is very easy to use and carry around without being in a trousers falling off situation or unintentionally bending them ;)

The volume rocker and the power button are on the right along with the long flap that opens to reveal the microSD card slot and the microSIM drawer. 

Honor 6: Display & Screen

For the price (£249.99), Honor 6 packs an outstanding pixel density. 445ppi and a full HD resolution of 1080 X 1920 on the 5in display is staggering and exactly the same as the flagships from Sony, Samsung and Apple.

I usually prefer phones to phablets and the size of the phone was perfect for me. The display is also light and bright without being fuzzy and I would recommend it highly for this. 

Honor 6: Software & Performance

Huawei's Emotion UI 2.3 overlays Andorid 4.4.2 Kitkat and envelops it in a childish cloak. Icons are cartoonish, fuzzy and amateurish and Honor 6 comes packed with an astounding amount of bloat comprising of further cartoonish games and apps like Kingsoft Office, Highlights (picks out free apps from the Play Store) Bitcasa and Bubble Bash Mania. The interface may please soft but it feels unresearched and lacking in finesse in comparison to those on other Android overlays like HTC Sense UI, Samsung's TouchWiz and even stock Android on Motorola's devices. 

Like in iOS, the apps are segregated into drawers based on categories but unlike regular Android, there is no central apps drawer. 

Internally, there is 3GB RAM, which is a lot more than what a lot of flagships pack and there is 16GB of internal storage expandable to 64GB via microSD card. Again blemish-free. I did not experience any lag during browsing or moving between apps. Apps were quick to load and even though I was extra cautious, I noticed no lags at all.

Two quad-core processor (1.7 and 1.3GHz) were sandwiched to create the octa-core processor and coupled with the astounding RAM the Honor 6 deliered a seam-free performance. 

Honor 6: Camera

The phone rocks a 13-megapixel rear camera while the front-facing one is 5-megapixels. There is dual-LED flash on the rear cam and pictures taken on it came out as expected. There are the usual post-processing filters for photo editing but nothing out of ordinary. 

As with other Huawei-manufactured phones, a double click on the volume key in standby mode takes an ultra-snaphot and we succeeded in taking several coherent ones with good depth of field in 0.7 seconds. This is one of the coolest camera features I have seen and I was very impressed. 

 

 

Honor 6: The Verdict

 

Honor 6, on paper, is a no-brainer. It has premium features at a brilliant price- but, we expected a little more. We have recently seen a surfeit of mid-range devices with premium specs like the HTC Desire Eye which go even further. In the looks department, the Honor 6 isnt going to win any awards- it is a bland and boring slab of plastic and the camera, even though the same in specs as the HTC Desire Eye left us unsated. The UI doesnt help its cause with its home-grown architecture.

It is a great phone for the price, dont get us wrong. But it is just that- it doesnt reinvent the equation for its stablemates...

Being available only on Amazon will not help its cause either.