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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Honor 6 Plus user reviews
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Average rating from 3 reviews:
Reviewed by brad
on 6th Jul 2015
Loved the phone, shame the video auto focus did not work in video mode. So I sent it back. Shame had everything going for it.
Reviewed by ste
on 28th Jun 2015
Hummed and harred about getting this handset. Had other options on the cards but fancied something different. Build quality is excellent. Very solid. Does remind me of the Z3. Interface is slick with very little bloatware. Mine came unlocked on 3 pay as you go and works fine with my O2 contract. Only downside is the lack of 4G frequency for O2 but I knew that going in and it's not a deal breaker.
Battery life so far is incredible. I'm a heavy user of apps and tools plus social media and I get a good 20hrs off charge and still have over 30% charge remaining. Thats also with screen at moderately bright settings and the usual looking at my phone every few minutes throughout the day!
Call quality is top notch. I have had a few issues with SMS via Handcent SMS client but since removing it so far so good.
Camera is fast and gives great pictures. Low light response is also excellent. Plenty of tricks and tools to tweak you pictures.
Speaker is a bit naff but I don't play music other than via headphones. So an all round great handset at a decent price. Only time will tell if it proves to be reliable in the long run!
Reviewed by Lee
on 26th May 2015
I was looking to change my iPhone 5 as the battery was lucky to last a day without being tied to a wall being charged! (this is one of the reasons i needed to change from apple, as it has been like this since day 1)
I found this phone on the 3 network as i am with them on payg sim and did not want a contract but did not want to pay silly money for a phone.
i noticed that this was priced at £299 so thought i would give it a go and after reading reviews (all of them rating this phone good) I bought one.
I was skeptical as I had not really heard of them but after finding out it was made by huawei set my mind at ease.
What a phone, good quality screen, clear bright and big but not to big.
Its also lighter than what i thought it was going to be.
The user interface some reviews said was clunky but after coming from iOS it is pretty much the same but i can customize it more.
The camera is better than the iphone, more vibrant colors, better in low light.
I tested it against an iphone 6 plus in the 3 shop and the browser, apps and even the start up of the this phone was quicker than the iphone 6 plus.
Its quick and I mean quick, i have not had any crashes, like has been on my iphone 5 with any of the apps, although that will happen as computer programs will do this.
This phone is an absolute bargain.
A good thing is this a phone that does not make me a sheep by buying a iphone, samsung etc and it is just as good or even better than these.
The battery is excellent, as i write this my phone is on 26% but was charged up 2 and half days ago (although i have used it very little, so expect that to change to around a day and half with average use)
the only thing that was disappointing was with the 3 network shop not holding any accessories to a phone that is exclusive with them, but did find some on eBay.
Cost of this over 2 years on 3 = £299 + £15 bolt on = £659
Cost of iphone 6 plus over 2 years on contract for a similar plan = £1128.
So over 2 years this phone for both me and my GF will save us each £469
If you were skeptical of this phone, don't be, give it a go.
I am really glad to move away from the restrictive iOS bubble and also have a phone a that can last more than a day without having to charge it in.
Apple have fallen behind android, they offer nothing new and nothing that is not on an android phone.
But best of all I have more sense than money and that money is my back pocket and not in the big companies.