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Feb 03

Huawei Honor 6X Unlocked Android Smartphone Review
Huawei Honor 6X Unlocked Android Smartphone Review

Huawei’s Honor 6X unlocked Android smartphone offers a few features seen in more expensive phones. The Honor phone runs Android Nougat 7 with EMUI 5, comes with multiple rear-facing cameras, a product category leading eight-core CPU, and a high-capacity 3,340 mAh battery for up to two days of use. Still want more? The Honor 6X has an 8 MP front facing camera for taking nice selfies, too.

Disclosure: I am a Huawei International Key Opinion Leader and a Best Buy consumer electronics blogger. The smartphone was provided at no cost for review. I have not been compensated for the review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Photos are courtesy of Honor.

Huawei Honor 6X Unboxing

What’s In The Box:

  • Honor 6X Android Smartphone
  • Wall Charger
  • Micro USB Cable

Honor’s release of the 6X to the US market earlier this year made a nice splash during CES. They get what the consumers here want. They want unlocked phones to take to different GSM carriers, decent cameras for photography and selfies and a price that will not break the bank. This smartphone checks all of those boxes and then some. The company has been good to keep on top of Google security updates as well. It has gone through many since release including an update to Nougat 7.

Smartphone security is being handled a number of ways now. They include fingerprint scanners, facial recognition and longer security codes. Unlock this phone in a snap with its built-in finger scanner. Its fast and slightly more accurate than what I have tested on other similarly priced smartphones.

Huawei Video Playlist

More than six months after the Honor 6X’s release, the company has kept its promise by releasing EMUI 5.0, which includes Android Nougat 7 and the latest Google security updates. Huawei also released the same EMUI 5 and Nougat 7 for the more premium unlocked dual camera Honor 8 that was released a year ago. This is highly impressive, releasing multiple devices during a twelve month period, which shows commitment to the US market. For the price and feature set, the Honor 6X is a handsomely appointed unlocked smartphone for GSM carriers.

Huawei Honor 6X Apps EMUI Firmware
Huawei Honor 6X Apps and EMUI Firmware

The Honor 6X feels comfortable in the hand, for its size and weight. A layer of glass, with a metal band surrounding the middle, gives it a slick feel. The cameras on the back are flush underneath glass. The antenna bands on both sides and on the top and bottom blend in between its metal frame. A micro USB charge and sync port is located on the bottom and middle of the device.

Honor 6X Features:

  • Dual Rear-Facing Cameras 12MP & 2MP That Work Together
  • 8MP Front Facing Camera
  • 8 Core Kirin CPU
  • 3GB RAM / 32GB of ROM
  • 3,340 mAh Battery
  • 2 Days of Power is Typical

For comparison, the iPhone 6S Plus is too big to hold for any length of time. Try to fit it into a normal sized pocket or try to take photos, while holding something else in the other hand. However, the Honor 6X’s 5.5” screen with full 1080p HD, 403ppi resolution (better than a Retina screen), and a 16:9 ratio is easy to hold and use. While most premium smartphones come with 4k HDR or quad HD screens, a full 1080p HD screen saves on battery performance and price.

The Honor 6X I tested came with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The SIM card tray has a slot for an extra 128GB micro SD card. The SanDisk 128GB A1 micro SD is perfect for this phone to capture thousands of images, view full HD video and run high-performance Android apps.

Receive up to two day of performance with its 3,340 mAh internal battery. It is important to note that during the release event at CES, to keep battery quality high in these phones, Honor tested more than 10,000 for any deficiencies. That is important for a phone that you might use for years.

Huawei Honor 6X Dual Camera Lenses
Huawei Honor 6X Dual Camera Lenses

Dual cameras were available from Huawei and Honor for almost a full year before Apple included them in their top iPhone 7 Plus. The dual camera capability of the Honor 6X also brings a portrait like focus mode, which Huawei calls aperture mode. The images taken in this mode can be modified later, such as altering the focus for another subject. That leads to the quality of photos only dual cameras can produce.

Two cameras, one 12MP and the other 2MP, on the back combine images from dedicated color and monochrome sensors producing higher contrast photos than from a single imagining sensor. After slight adjustments with the Snapseed photo editing app, I noticed darker tones and better color reproduction than from other similarly priced phones.

According to Honor, the dual lenses let in up to three times more light than phones with a single lens. I would have liked optical image stabilization for both imaging sensors, but that is a feature found on the more premium Mate 9. Though, its phase detection and image processing technology does an adequate job of producing nice photos, even in low light conditions.

On the front of the Honor 6X, an 8MP camera is ready to capture those ever important selfies. Does more megapixels mean better photos? Sometimes yes and no. The 6X’s front-facing imaging sensor does make for brighter selfies, which is always a good thing.

Huawei Honor 6X Lifestyles Photo
Huawei Honor 6X Lifestyles Photo

In addition to its 8MP front-facing camera, software from Honor will make selfies look smoother. Software is important and Huawei has engineered an interface, similar to stock Android, taking full advantage of the eight-core Kirin CPU.

Huawei Honor 6X EMUI Interface
Huawei Honor 6X EMUI Interface

With Huawei’s EMUI 5.0 interface software, the camera app has been optimized and upgraded to react even faster than before. The new firmware and the camera app have been sped up via optimizations. While the camera software offers an HDR mode, it would be great if it that mode were automatic. Posting images and HD video to social media requires a fast, wireless connection.

Connecting to the GSM carrier and wireless accessories of choice is easy with this unlocked 4G LTE smartphone from Honor. The LTE bands that this Android smartphone is compatible with are 2, 4, 5, 12, 20 and 38. Honor and Huawei know how to engineer the best wireless technology into smartphones and it shows with the Honor 6X.

To make accessing the wireless Internet even faster, the Honor 6X is outfitted with category 4 LTE hardware. The maximum speed it can theoretically connect at is 150 Mbit/s down and 50 Mbit/s up. T-Mobile customers will enjoy LTE band 12 access, important for improved range and speed. To round out its wireless capabilities, Honor has included 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi at 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz and Bluetooth 4.1.

With all of the wireless capabilities of the phone, Honor made sure to install a high capacity battery. Its 3,340 mAh battery is rated for staggering 650 hours of standby time in 3G mode and 23 hours of 3G talk time.

The Honor 6X has been quite nice to use for days at a time before needing a recharge. Its dual cameras offer something that other smartphones near the $249.99 price point do not have. Honor has updated the firmware multiple times to EMUI 5 and Nougat 7. Capture the best moments with a decent dual camera system and a best-in-class 8MP selfie camera. The Honor 6X has several advanced features, it lasts longer for a budget friendly phone, and it is ready to make you look the best for Snapchat, Instagram and plenty of selfies.

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