Huawei Honor 6.
Huawei is a company that was not known two years ago, despite the fact that modems are very often offered by our mobile operators and it was often only this way that any idea about this brand appeared. Now the Chinese brand is entering the world markets promoting its products and gradually gaining a better opinion in Poland.
Honor 6 is one of the most expensive products and the most efficient devices of the manufacturer. In addition, the proprietary design, i.e. HiSilicon, is responsible for the chipset. So is it worth getting interested in? See for yourself.
Contents of the box and specification
In the test model in the box, I found basically nothing but the necessary things. A device, a cable with a high-power charger (in the color of the equipment, which is really cool) and papers that will not see the light too often. I’m not even sure if the box in which I unpacked Honor was the official one from the company, because there was no information, picture, anything that would say what the inside contains (apart from the often found sticker with the IMEI series).
The device itself is already a piece of good equipment. The processor is an octa-core of its own production, i.e. HiSilicon Kirin 920 (currently the highest unit) with a clock speed of 1.7 GHz (on the fastest four cores, 4+4). There is a lot of memory, because 16 GB, and 11.44 GB can be used for our own whims. We have a considerable amount of RAM, as much as 3 GB. So no worries about it running out too quickly. The screen has 5 “and Full HD resolution, a 13 megapixel camera from Sony, and a 3100 mAh battery. The whole thing works thanks to Android 4.4.2 and the EmotionUI overlay from Huawei.
Quality of materials and design
The front and back of the device are covered with tempered glass, and the rest of the device with accessories is made of plastic. I couldn’t speak badly of one or the other, because there was nothing to say. All well saved. There are no creaks, no bends and no weaknesses to be found. It’s just a solidly made smartphone.
Most of the front panel is occupied by glass, but it is also well-balanced, offering a sufficiently large space outside the screen for our grip. It does not happen even for a moment to touch the screen unnecessarily, causing random actions on the equipment. All indicators (LED diode), sensors and earpiece are placed above the screen, so there are no variations here, such a system can be found in any other device. There are no physical or optical keys here. The right side contains the volume control and lock/power buttons, a little lower is the cover for the microSIM and microSD card. The lower edge hides only the microUSB port and the microphone, similarly the upper part where instead of the charger port there is the one for ordinary 3.5 mm headphones and there is a small IrDA eye. The back is basically the camera itself and a double LED flash and the Honor logo (just Honor, without the manufacturer’s name).
IPS panel with a full rainbow of different colors. Everything is extremely sharp (like in a very high-end smartphone) thanks to the 1080 × 1920 display on 5 inches. In addition, there is a tempered glass that covers both parts of the device (front and back). Also 10-point multitouch. Well, at this point the stairs begin, because you can get up to ten points on the entire surface of the screen, but when playing games I often had a problem with two. Such BombSquad often reminded me of this, because after some time of the game the screen stopped responding to two fingers touching the display at the same time and started to operate only one. The moment of putting the device aside to reduce the temperature helped.
The battery is 3000mAh and doesn’t cry for energy food too often. With very intensive use, with WiFi turned on and playing the BombSquad game, the battery died after 4-5 hours. With average use with calls and texting and the occasional internet, it is able to last 2 days, and with limited use and using only the most important functions, it would easily be two and a half days.
13 megapixels is something beautiful in this case. I have not been as pleased with the photos for a long time as with Honor 6. Real color reflection, full of shutter details, regardless of lighting conditions. Photos at a low level of brightness turned out to be a not very demanding opponent for the Sony optics modified by the Chinese. Of course, noise cannot be eliminated, but here it was not conspicuous, it did not spoil the whole photograph. It’s only better during the day. I must also add that the time between pressing the on-screen shutter button to animate the photo moving to the list of recently taken photos is fractions of a second and after that we are almost immediately ready to take another photo. So even if I wanted to, I can’t say a bad word about this model. The optics used are the first league in smartphone cameras.
Full HD movies can be recorded with full smoothness and very high detail. The only option that we can configure in this case is to turn the lamp on or off. A bit small, but the ability to enjoy our video via PC or other media will be tenfold.
The second photo camera, or rather a camera (because this is what the creators intended the second “eye” to be used for) is another advantage of the device. Why? Because we have a 5-megapixel matrix at our disposal, which perfectly captures all the details, so before video calls in some communicator it will require us to take care of ourselves to come out with a face.
EmotionUI 2.3 is a proprietary overlay from Huawei, which is very similar to MIUI from XIAOMI. There aren’t many differences, but they are there. In MIUI there was a night mode, here it is not (and a very useful option). But a very nice thing is the lock screen with a slide-out panel of quick functions. In addition, random wallpapers on the lock screen with the possibility of randomizing the next one, playing slides, etc., you can also add more wallpaper packs. There were also color temperature adjustment, “Do not disturb” mode, receiving calls only from a specific group of people, “hanging” button visible all the time on the screen, functions of answering calls, muting, rejecting by moving the phone, saving the screen by degrading the displayed image to extend operating time by up to 20%, extensive battery saving mode and phone optimization. A great solution is the Mirror, which, after starting and catching the sound from the outside, virtually evaporates on the screen and you should wipe it with your finger beforehand. Honor is also one of the few models originally sold with access to the Bitcasa cloud.
Honor 6 did not avoid what manufacturers have been doing for a long time, i.e. combining two browsers. It’s nice that we have two applications at our disposal, but what do we need such an Internet for, since Chrome offers more, performs comparably, and is more convenient to use, and so this application is forced to be placed in such a super-efficient device. The only thing that can stand out is the appearance adapted to the trends in the interface currently prevailing in Huawei.
The DTS mode allows you to significantly improve the sound quality and it can be heard on the speaker, which plays fine. There is no traditional low tones here, but it is still good and loud. It’s really a pity that there was no attempt to include some headphones (although this may result in sending test models to reviewers). I don’t know how it is in the original box, but unfortunately I didn’t find any here. But I must admit that on my personal headphones everything sounded great. I didn’t have the impression that something was missing with the full range of sounds, and the inclusion of DTS additionally expanded the stereo base (the so-called stage), which gives a realistic and pleasant to the ear effect.
The music playback application is not a particularly complicated creation and the only way to manipulate the sound is to enable or disable the DTS option. In addition, there is standard functionality as in most uncomplicated and nice players. Still, it was nice to use it all the time. We will not find any dedicated application for movies anymore and it’s a pity, because only the Gallery can manage our video collection without offering any more advanced functions.
Performance and games
The HiSilicon 920 processor is currently the highest module in the hierarchy of Huawei’s mobile systems. It offers top performance and that’s to be expected. The smoothness of the equipment is very high, without slowdowns or cuts. All animations were not interrupted or shortened due to chipset impediments. Really everything has been very well optimized. The heat that will accompany us at the time of high CPU usage looks much worse. You can feel it on the upper half of Honor and it strongly limits any comfort in use.
It was a bit worse with games. Because while the benchmarks gave Honor points very generously, Asphalt worked best with the medium setting. Only then was it possible to enjoy relative playability. It was similar with BombSquad, where it worked best with medium graphics settings. It surprised me very much without giving any explanation as to why this is happening.
Call quality and communication
The top-shelf chipset used offers a whole range of all wireless technologies. We have WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE, GPS with GLONASS, even IrDA, and with my version of the device only NFC was missing. There are several models available on the market and you need to make sure what you are going to buy, because different models offer different things. Anyway, I tested everything and had no issues with connecting or any unplanned dropouts.
The quality of calls is also a great quality handset and good microphones. It didn’t matter if I or the person on the other end was talking at the time, we understood each other without any obstacles. Care has been taken to ensure that such a trivial function as making calls runs smoothly and comfortably.
In this last section, it will remain for me to determine how much this device pays off and whether it lacks something for the flagship device of flesh and blood. The matter is not so simple. Of course, looking at the parameters, you can say that it is a flagship, because it has eight cores, high-end graphics, a great camera, very good materials, and high performance. But I can’t say that it belongs to this group, because it fails taking into account the games, as well as the temperature that the device generates. It is too high and games cannot enjoy the highest possible performance. Therefore, so to be fair, I must answer differently. As for me, this is the top middle shelf, in which, however, some compromises must be taken into account. People counting on a very good device with the attitude that it is to be used for work or as a handheld PC, this is the right choice. Also people who want to take great quality photos commemorating our fleeting past will be satisfied. People who want to get maximum pleasure from mobile entertainment must change their object of sighs to some other model, because this one can fail.