Honor 6 Plus review
|Review: May 2015|
In a nutshell: The Honor 6 Plus is exclusive to the Three network. It's an Android smartphone with a huge 5.5 inch screen and an elegant superslim design. It's a flagship device with an 8-core processor, dual rear cameras, plenty of memory and a whopping battery. But it's excellent value for money, selling for significantly less than rivals from other manufacturers.
The Honor 6+ is made by Huawei under the company's Honor brand, which has a strong following in Asia, and a reputation founded on delivering flagship products at affordable prices. This first Honor device in the UK is exclusive to Three.
Design & looks
You may think that the Honor 6+ looks suspiciously like the iPhone 6+. We couldn't possibly comment on that. One things's certain though - the Honor 6+ is a real beauty.
The device is smart and elegant. It feels very strong too, with a metal chassis. The front and back panels are both glass, similar in feel to Sony's Xperia Z3, and the edging is a smart metal strip. At 165g, it's on the heavy side, and yet it feels light in the hand, partly due to its ultraslim design. It's certainly very light compared with other phablet-sized devices, and is one of the easiest to handle.
The IPS screen is exceptionally large, measuring 5.5 inches (identical to the iPhone 6+), and it really fills the front face of the phone, leaving a very narrow bezel on each side. Naturally, it's a full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel display, making it very sharp, with a 401ppi resolution. It's an excellent screen all round, with a high contrast ratio and wide viewing angles. It's bright too. An anti-fingerprint coating helps to keep it clean.
Audio is less than stellar, however, thanks to a single rear-facing speaker.
The phone is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 925 octa-core processor running four 1.8GHz A15 cores and four 1.3GHz A7 cores. HiSilicon may not be a familiar brand, but this is a very fast device. It runs Android KitKat at lightning speed, and can handle demanding 3G graphics too. There are none of the issues with over-heating that have marred the latest Snapdragon chips.
The onboard memory is a very substantial 32GB, and there's a huge 3GB of RAM available. In addition, the phone accepts microSD memory cards up to 128GB.
Dual rear cameras
The phone is equipped with dual 8 megapixel HDR rear cameras. Both cameras feature autofocus and dual LED flash. Response time is fast, with autofocus requiring just 0.1 seconds.
The dual cameras enable you to modify the focus of a photo after taking the shot, which is a nice effect, and the cameras offer good night-time photography too, although optical image stabilization is missing.
The cameras can also be combined to capture a single 13 megapixel image, and by using two cameras, more light can be captured for a better result.
Video capture is at 1080p resolution.
The front camera is a single 8 megapixel camera - excellent for selfies.
The Honor 6+ is a 4G-compatible phone, although with a limited number of bands. It also supports 3G and GSM networks. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, NFC and GPS.
One of the most impressive features of the 6+ is the enormous battery that Huawei has packed inside. It's a whopping 3,600mAh battery - enough to provide up to 2 full days of battery life, and not many smartphones can boast that. In fact, this is the largest battery in any phone we've ever reviewed.
Power saving software is available to extend battery life, and when it does eventually run low, the fast charging battery can be fully recharged in just 2 hours.
Another feature of the 6+ is reverse charging, where the battery's charge can be used to charge another device, such as a tablet or phone.
If all Honor smartphones are as good as the 6 Plus, then we welcome their arrival in the UK with open arms. The 6+ is a treat to look at and to use. Selling on pay monthly contracts for around £25 per month, or around £300 sim-free, we'd classify the 6+ as "Expensive", but not "Top of the Range". In fact, for what you get, it's excellent value for money.
That's the Honor promise in a nutshell - a flagship phone at an affordable price. There are many features here that mark out the 6+ as a flagship device - in particular, the design, the incredible screen, the 8-core processor, the triple 8MP cameras, the memory capacity and the exceptional battery. There are also one or two features that hold it back - the inadequate speaker in particular - but for many users that will be a minor point.
Honor 6 Plus features include:
- Operating system: Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) with Huawei Emotion UI
- Dual 8 megapixel HDR cameras with autofocus and flash, 1080p video
- 8 megapixel front camera, fixed focus
- Display: Touchscreen with 1920 x 1080 pixels (5.5 inches)
- GPS positioning
- Music player
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, Email, Google Talk (Instant Messaging)
- Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 925 octa-core processor with 4x 1.8GHz A15 and 4x 1.3GHz A7
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack
- Memory: 32GB, microSD memory card slot, 3GB RAM
- 4G LTE (Bands 1, 3, 7), quadband 3G, quadband GSM
- Size: 150.4 x 75.7 x 7.5 mm
- Weight: 165g
- Battery: 3600 mAh
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