Yesterday evening, Honor unveiled their Honor 6+ and Honor 4x devices to the world. MobileTechTalk attended to get the low-down on these devices and get some hands on time. Let’s take a look at them!
Firstly, a shout out to Honor for inviting us to the event that was running in parallel to their MWC announcement, so that those less privileged could get hands on with the new devices also. Excellent work there Honor; you’ve made some new friends already with that stunt.
If you’re not sure who Honor are, here’s the quick summary. They are a start-up backed by Chinese giants, Huawei. Their mission statement suggests the brand is aimed squarely at the younger generation; a demographic they refer to as the “Digital Natives”. The devices they showcased could be broadly classified as mid-range and flagship devices respectively and should sport pocket friendly pricing. More to follow on that.
Let’s start with the Honor 4x. The 4x starts with something interesting; a Kirin 620 chip-set with an Octa-core A53 64-bit Processor running at 1.2Ghz. The 4x continues with full dual SIM capability (both 4G/LTE rated), 2GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage with a microSD card for additional storage. The battery is considerable at 3000mAh and with a 720p 5.5″ display, Honor are suggesting up to 72 hours of continuous use under ‘moderate usage’ scenarios. Finally, the optics on the 4x consist of a 5MP front camera and 13MP rear camera. The Honor 4x has capacitive, non-backlit buttons at the bottom of the screen, and a volume rocker and power button on the right side of the device.
The Honor 4’s design is lovely. A textured, cloth-like plastic coats the backside of the device and is extremely grippy and comfortable in the hand. Those who have used Oneplus’ One device, and enjoyed the differing textures on show there, will appreciate Honor’s choice.
Now, on to the Honor 6+. The 6+ delivers a Kirin 925 chipset with a similar Octa-core configuration. This time there are 4 Cortex A15 cores along with 4 Cortex A7 cores powering the device. The 6+ has 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage as standard. There is a whopping 3600mAh battery inside powering a 5.5″ 1080p display. Dual SIM is also present on this device. All of this is crammed into a sleek glass-coated chassis which feels very “iPhone 4” in texture. It’s a nice feeling, if a little slippery. The metal band also emphasises the iPhone comparisons, but there is no doubting that it gives the device a slightly more premium feel than it’s 4x little brother. One further change from the 4x is the inclusion of virtual on-screen buttons which should please a large section of the Android community.
The big changes are with the cameras. The optics on the 6+ deliver an 8MP front facing camera, whilst around back, there are dual 8MP cameras. The purpose of these cameras is to take simultaneous shots at varying apertures to enable the user to vary the aperture after the picture has been taken. The aperture range itself is pretty stunning for a smartphone. f/0.96 to f/16 is a very interesting range for a smartphone and allows great close-ups and wider scenes to be snapped with ease. We were impressed! Whilst you’d expect this technology to delay the shutter speed, if it did, it’s not noticeable which proved to be a very neat trick indeed. The results are lovely, but we would need more time under a review period to gauge the results in a variety of other use cases.
On top of both devices runs EMUI (Emotion UI), Honor’s Android skin which is very similar top that of MIUI, and to non-Android users, Apple’s iOS. There is no app drawer, instead your apps present as icons on the various home screens. Folders can be made, widgets can be added, and all can, as you’d expect, be themed. Whilst many Android purists will bemoan the lack of an app drawer, during our albeit brief usage, we didn’t find this a particular stumbling block due to the folders. There are also some neat little tricks hidden in there. Examples of such are Motion gestures that allow the launching of an application, from screen-off by drawing the starting letter, shaking the device to align the icons on a home screen for those who like their screens organised, energy-saving modes than claim to increase the usage of the device by at least 50% in some circumstances, and also a simple mode, which allows users to ‘dumb down’ the user experience to allow first time smartphone users or children to access core applications with ease.
Both Honor devices will ship with Android Kit-Kat with a promised Android Lollipop upgrade within 60 days of the release of the device.
Finally, we get to pricing. The Honor 4x will be available in April for the just £149. The Honor 6+ will be available in May and whilst pricing has not been officially confirmed, the general rumours suggest an approximate £300 price point.
Al of this helps Honor aim the device squarely at its key demographic of the younger generation and we’re excited to see these devices launched and get some more time with them for review.
Thanks again to Honor EU for inviting us and providing a warm, community spirited environment in which to discuss the devices.