Can you sell a flagship phone at half the price? Honor, Huawei’s ‘online front’ parallel, are on a mission to prove that yes, it is. The Honor 6+, or 6 plus, or 6 Plus even, is their flagship offering, and it does not disappoint. Featuring a fast processor, a dual camera that lets you adjust f-numbers (aperture) and get extra light in the sensor for great night shots, as well as a big battery and screen, it ticks all the boxes.
Quick look at the specs
- Android 4.4 with planned upgrade to Android L (unsure whether 5, or 5.1)
- Huawei’s Emotion UI
- 3600mAh battery
- 5.5 inch Full HD screen
- 8MP Dual Camera, featuring super-night mode for great ‘dark’ photos
- Dual SIM, a nano SIM and a micro SIM
- Kirin 925 Processor (OctaCore)
- 3GB RAM/32GB Drive/microSD card
Look and feel
Flagships tend to offer you a great under the bonnet spec, but they are mostly defined and known by their looks. The Honor 6+ does not disappoint. With a fibre glass back, beautiful brushed metal finish on the sides and top, and lovely glass front, it ticks all the boxes of the premium look and feel phone.
The front has no buttons, and the buttons take up the bottom of the screen, which is quite common these days. Apart from the lovely screen, you have a front camera and a multi-colour LED that blinks in a gradual bright/fade manner to indicate notifications.
The right side allows you to insert both your SIMs, as well as features the power and the volume rocker keys. Brushed aluminium shows off beautiful detail and quality. The left is just a smooth face with the same finish.
The top has the 3.5mm port and an IR port for your remote control, while the bottom has the micro USB port for charging and other shenanigans.
The back is where it gets interesting.
Featuring a dual camera setup, dual flash, and a fiber glass finish, it is almost too easy to miss the speaker mesh at the bottom. Speaking of which, the speaker is rather impressive on this phone too, something a lot of phones fail to achieve.
Much like the Honor 4X, this runs on Huawei’s Emotion UI. However, unlike the 4X this was not a trial pre-release unit, rather the finished product, with a smoother software experience. In fact, the software is extremely polished, and adds certain subtle touches which makes this one go way beyond the 4X experience.
A faster processor and 3GB of RAM means the whole experience is a lot smoother. In fact, while some people may have suggested that the experience is a bit clunky, I did not find much of that. Apps load up straight away, and Honor’s own loaded apps give you a good set of controls and features.
For example, the IR app actually allows you to control air conditioners as well as the usual TV/DVD options. I could not find options for SKY or Virgin in their though, and most of the makes were Chinese.
My favourite feature for the phone was definitely the ‘magazine view’ on the lock screen, a bunch of random images that would change every time you saw your lock screen. They were beautiful, impressive, and showed off how good the screen also was. I am not sure if the images were taken by the phone, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I often locked and unlocked my screen, for the heck of it, just to see those images.
Speaking of lock screen, you also get ‘knock’ which means a double tap on the locked phone will wake it up, a feature I think should be part of every phone.
So, have Honor sorted all the ‘quirks’ that were nagging me with the 4X? Not all, sadly. One thing I mentioned was that due to battery saving features, I often had to open apps to make them sync, such as email on Type Mail (which constantly keeps changing its name), or do Camera Upload on Dropbox. That one still remains, despite me allowing those apps to run even with the screen on.
Despite that little niggle, I am not bothered. I like the experience. It is good. It is smooth. It works. It is enjoyable.
Before I move on, are those niggles actually worth the battery life? Yes. Most days, after heavy use through out the day, I come home with about 40% or more battery life, while weekends I was around 70% at the end of the days. Two days will always be a stretch in my mind when it comes to smart phones, but I will happily take a comfortable one day from a smartphone.
One of the things Honor has been pretty proud of when it comes to this phone has been the photography, and they are not messing about. You get great results, great photos, and the dual camera is not just a gimmick.
Here are some sample photos:
As you can see, give it a sunny day, a beautiful cricket pitch, and you will not be disappointed.
The camera is rather quick, as I tried to take a quick shot while we were in a bus. It works great, though a bit of shake, urgency and jitter is evident in the photo.
Instagram is great on this. The camera does seem to suffer with a bit of saturation with close up flashes. Here is the same image with the flash on.
And what about night shots? The phone automatically kicks into what they call ‘Super Night Mode’. Best served in a tripod flavoured dish, it gives you a long exposure, giving great results. Here are a couple of my efforts:
Both shots are by hand.
The phone also features a wide-aperture mode which lets you not only choose your F number between f0.95 to F16. This is done by using two cameras, and some clever software magic. The best part is that those shots actually allow you to adjust your focus afterwards. Of course, this is what clearly states that the f-adjustment is done by software.
More information and buying options
You can find out more about the phone from their website:
With an exclusive contract with THREE, you can buy this phone directly from them:
Or you can buy it off of Amazon:
It retails for just shy of £299, putting it in a mid-range price bracket with flagship range specs.
I will be honest. I was just a tad disappointed with the OS on the 4X, and expected the same on this. Somehow, Honor have gone and polished the whole experience, made it look pretty and awesome, and thrown in a great camera and battery life, all at under £300. What’s not to love!