Hands-on with the Honor 6 Plus
Honor is beginning to build itself a bit of a reputation in the phone world. The spin-off company of Huawei has launched three feature-packed phones in the UK, all of which have helped redefine our expectations of what an ‘affordable phone’ can be.
At the top of the phone pile is the Honor 6, a £250 smartphone with a Full HD screen, octo-core power and a decent camera. Now the company is updating its flagship phone with the Honor 6 Plus. The 5.5-inch phone features a new Kirin octo-core 925 chipset and an interesting camera setup that’s sure to raise some eyebrows.
It’s already launched in other territories under the Huawei Honor brand. and now it’s coming to the UK to join the Holly, Honor 6 and Honor 3C.
To look at, it’s not a million miles away from the Honor 6. It’s all black with flat panels on the front and the back with a fibreglass base to help the design feel a little more high end. It’s 7.5mm thick to give it a slim profile and the simple design offers the kind of class you don’t normally associate with mid-range phones. Like the 6, the 6 Plus can quickly a bit grubby around the back, but it’s comfortable to hold overall and ticks all of the most important boxes.
Honor has moved to a bigger 5.5-inch JDI screen matching the One Plus One for size and display technology. It’s Full HD as well, which is rare for a phone this price. It’s sharp, vibrant with decent viewing angles. The Honor 6 is packed with power as well, using a new Kirin Octo-core 925 chipset with 3GB of RAM. That octo-core setup reserves four core to handle the lighter phone tasks, while the other four jumps into action for things like streaming.
Like Honor’s other phones, the software is a mash-up of Android and the company’s own Huawei-inspired EM UI overlay. The 6 Plus runs Android 4.4 KitKat, so no Android Lollipop just yet with EM UI 3.0. You’ll have to live without some core Android features like the app drawer and a user interface that still doesn’t feel as sleek as something like HTC’s Sense UI.
Elsewhere, there’s 32GB of internal storage with Micro SD card support and a hefty 3,600mAh capacity battery, which should see you see through a day. If you want dual SIMs, that’s thrown in too and they are the active kind so are always available to switch between the two. There’s 4G LTE support as well, effectively letting you have one 3G and one 4G connection.
The Honor 6 Plus’s big trick is the dual 8-megapixel cameras on the back with an impressive readjustable aperture range of F0.95-F16. It’s similar to the Duo Camera setup on the One M8 and offers the same ‘bokeh’ style refocusing and should in theory offer great low-light shooting.
One of the cameras is a fixed focus one while the other packs auto focus and Honor’s algorithms create the refocusing effect. I had a quick play with it adjusting focus after taking a photo and it actually works well. With the extra resolution to play with, images appear sharper than what the One M8 manages as well.
That’s also backed up by an 8-megapixel front-facing camera so taking pictures is definitely a strong point for the 6 Plus.
As an update to the Honor 6, the 6 Plus has the makings of another great-value Android phone. Honor has yet to confirm pricing, but if it’s the same £250 as its predecessor, then that’s good news. While you’ll need to live with the quirkiness of the software, the impressive specs list including the dual cameras could be a headline-grabbing move from Honor.