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Honor 4X Smartphone Review

Michael Moser, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 05/21/2015

Big meets affordable. Honor, Huawei's subsidiary, launches a device in the growing phablet sector with its new Honor 4X. The austerely designed casing contains a lot for approximately 200 Euros (~$220): LTE Cat4, a sufficiently fast octa-core SoC, dual-SIM functionality, and a bright IPS screen. A well-rounded package.

For the original German review, see here.

The Chinese manufacturer Huawei throws another smartphone on the local market after we tested the Honor HollyHonor 3C and Honor 6. The Honor 4X is located in the highly competitive 200 Euro (~$220) sector, and wants to score with its big 5.5-inch IPS screen, a HiSilicon Kirin 620 octa-core SoC that clocks at 1.2 GHz, dual-SIM functionality, and LTE. Android 4.4.2 KitKat is the implemented user interface. An update to Android 5.0 Lollipop has been announced for the second quarter of 2015.

We consider the Xiaomi Redmi NoteMicrosoft Lumia 640 XLAsus Zenfone 6 A600CG, and Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime as direct contenders from this price range in this test.

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Honor 4X (4 Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 3.35 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio jack, Card Reader: micro-SD (max. 64 GB), Sensors: A-GPS, GLONASS; gravity sensor, brightness sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, compass, SIM form factor: micro-SIM; dual-SIM ports
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), UMTS dual-band (900/2100 MHz), LTE quad-band (800/900/1800/2600 MHz), network standards: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+, bandwidth (download/upload): 150MBps/50MBps (LTE Cat4)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.65 x 152.9 x 77.2 ( = 0.34 x 6.02 x 3.04 in)
Battery
Lithium-Polymer, 3000 mAh, non-removable, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 48 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 15 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 200 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: 5.0 MP; primary camera: 13 MP, AF, LED flash, videos @1080p/30fps
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual Android keyboard, Keyboard Light: yes, USB charger, USB cable, quick start guide, Android 4.4.2 + EMUI 3.0, 24 Months Warranty, App2SD not for all Apps!
Weight
173 g ( = 6.1 oz / 0.38 pounds), Power Supply: 58 g ( = 2.05 oz / 0.13 pounds)
Price
200 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

As appropriate for its price range, the Honor 4X also uses a simple casing made of polycarbonate. It barely warped and convinced with even gaps in the test. The screen exhibits light discolorations only under high pressure or extreme twisting attempts. The removable back cover of the review sample is made of white, lightly roughened plastic. It has a good feel and does not make a cheap impression. The build is good overall. In addition to white, the Honor 4X is also available in gold.

The height of 8.65 millimeters (~0.34 in) is only bested by the smaller Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime; the other devices have a higher build. The other dimensions are also relatively compact, and the weight of 173 grams (~6.1 oz) is quite low in view of the large screen. Rivals like Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4G or Asus' Zenfone 6 A600CG are considerably heavier.

The non-removable battery and the slots for both micro-SIM cards and the microSD card are under the removable back cover.

Lower edge: Microphone, micro-USB 2.0, speaker
Lower edge: Microphone, micro-USB 2.0, speaker
Left: Volume rocker, power button
Left: Volume rocker, power button
Upper edge: Microphone, 3.5 mm jack
Upper edge: Microphone, 3.5 mm jack
Right: No interfaces
Right: No interfaces
166.9 mm / 6.57 inch 84.3 mm / 3.32 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 200 g0.4409 lbs157.9 mm / 6.22 inch 81.5 mm / 3.21 inch 9 mm / 0.3543 inch 171 g0.377 lbs154 mm / 6.06 inch 78.7 mm / 3.1 inch 9.45 mm / 0.372 inch 199 g0.4387 lbs152.9 mm / 6.02 inch 77.2 mm / 3.04 inch 8.65 mm / 0.3406 inch 173 g0.3814 lbs144.8 mm / 5.7 inch 72.1 mm / 2.84 inch 8.6 mm / 0.3386 inch 156 g0.3439 lbs

Connectivity

The Honor 4X features impressive connectivity for its price range. It is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 620 octa-core SoC with a clock rate of 1.2 GHz and integrated Mali-450 MP4 graphics card. Beyond that, a lush 2 GB of working memory is available. Although the storage capacity of 8 GB is standard in the 200 Euro (~$220) price range, not all apps can be moved to a microSD card via App2SD. We could not move some games in the test and thus the actual available capacity of only 3.35 GB might soon get tight. The review sample can score with its dual-SIM feature and LTE in both SIM slots. As expected, NFC is not installed.

Android 4.4 KitKat
Android 4.4 KitKat

Software

The Honor 4X relies on the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system. An update to Android 5.0 Lollipop is to be implemented in the second quarter of 2015. The manufacturer's Emotion UI 3.0 user interface only subtly alters the stock Android and offers a very clearly arranged quick setting menu via downward flick for example. As is now common, the familiar Google package and a phone manager are preloaded.

GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors

Communication & GPS 

Although dual-band Wi-Fi and NFC are not installed in the Honor 4X, the smartphone transmits in the high-speed LTE network via SIM slot 1 and 2 (Cat4; max. 150 MBps download). The review sample also supports UMTS dual-band (900/2100 MHz) and GSM quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz). In addition to Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 is also available. The review sample's signal was always decent and stable at a distance of approximately 10 meters (~33 feet) and through three walls to the router in the test.

Although the GPS reception needs one to two minutes for linking, its connection is stable. The accuracy of 6 meters (~20 feet) is convincing outdoors. Localization in the apartment was not possible. We performed our compulsory bike tour with the Honor 4X for a more detailed categorization. It had to compete with the Garmin eTrex 30 navigation system, and it failed miserably. The overview shows that the review sample simply did not record approximately 9 km (~5.6 miles) of the route. A tendency to make shortcuts is seen in the GPS detail images. We would thus only recommend navigating with the Honor 4X in emergencies.

GPS overview Garmin eTrex30
GPS overview Garmin eTrex30
GPS intersection Garmin eTrex30
GPS intersection Garmin eTrex30
GPS bridge Garmin eTrex30
GPS bridge Garmin eTrex30
GPS overview Honor 4X
GPS overview Honor 4X
GPS intersection Honor 4X
GPS intersection Honor 4X
GPS bridge Honor 4X
GPS bridge Honor 4X
Phone app
Phone app
Primary camera with flash
Primary camera with flash
Front-facing camera
Front-facing camera

Telephone & Voice Quality

The phone app largely corresponds to Google's stock version, and has familiar features like favorites, quick dial and filters. The dual-SIM functionality has been implemented well in the system.

The voice quality in our test call was decent. The contact criticized static and interference noise particularly in high volumes, though. The hands-free feature was only really useful in quiet surroundings.

Cameras & Multimedia

The Honor 4X features appropriate equipment for the price range in the device comparison. Only Samsung's Galaxy Grand Prime has inferior equipment. The primary camera has an autofocus and an LED flash, as well as a relatively high resolution of 13 megapixels. Videos are recorded in 1080p at 30 fps. The video quality is acceptable as long as there is enough light.

Pictures look quite decent in good light; only the color reproduction and detail resolution could be better. That is obvious in scene 1 where the review sample displays the green leaves and violet flowers with a light discoloration. Thus, the low-light performance is only mediocre. Scene 2 underlines that. Heavy noise is visible particularly the single-colored area of the ship and the outlines of objects are frayed and blurred. Lastly, Scene 3 shows the lack of focus and faded color reproduction in an outdoor blowup.

The front-facing camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels and is quite suitable for selfies in good light. The low-light performance is not as appealing and suffers under heavy image noise and lightly distorted color reproduction.

In total, the review sample delivers acceptable pictures that are roughly on par with the contenders.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories

Frugality is the motto: Besides the smartphone, a quick start guide and a modular USB power supply are in the box. The optional accessories on the Honor website are limited to the soon to be available Honor Turbine in-ear headphone.

Warranty

Huawei includes a 12-month warranty on the Honor 4X. The 2-year retailer warranty takes effect when necessary; see our warranty FAQ article for more information.

Input Devices & Handling

The preloaded "Swype for Huawei" keyboard offers multiple setting options. The familiar swype input clearly speeds up tapping but also needs some time for familiarization. Unfortunately, the lack of direct number access and the somewhat cramped keys still mar input flow. Alternatively, the stock keyboard can be enabled.

The touchscreen responds relatively swiftly to inputs, and the sleek surface barely slows down the finger. Its sensitivity up into the corners rounds off the good presentation. A glove mode is also available. Screen rotation is agreeably fast.

Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode

Display

A 5.5-inch, IPS screen with 1280x720 pixels is installed in the Honor 4X, like in most contenders. Solely Samsung's Galaxy Grand Prime has a lower resolution (960x540 pixels), but it also has a smaller 5-inch screen. The review sample stands out with its maximum resolution of a high 537 cd/m². The illumination of 89% is also very homogeneous. Only Samsung's Galaxy Grand Prime is marginally better with 90%.

522
cd/m²
486
cd/m²
478
cd/m²
530
cd/m²
522
cd/m²
508
cd/m²
537
cd/m²
523
cd/m²
517
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 537 cd/m² Average: 513.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 522 cd/m²
Contrast: 842:1 (Black: 0.62 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.36 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 6.51 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.17
Honor 4X
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 620, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Zenfone 6
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8928, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
-2%
19%
4%
-14%
Brightness middle
522
372
-29%
501
-4%
446
-15%
426
-18%
Brightness
514
360
-30%
492
-4%
418
-19%
415
-19%
Brightness Distribution
89
86
-3%
86
-3%
87
-2%
90
1%
Black Level *
0.62
0.44
29%
0.44
29%
0.47
24%
0.83
-34%
Contrast
842
845
0%
1139
35%
949
13%
513
-39%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.36
5.7
10%
3.89
39%
5.1
20%
5.98
6%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.51
5.97
8%
3.97
39%
5.93
9%
6.03
7%
Gamma
2.17 101%
2.94 75%
2.34 94%
3.46 64%
2.48 89%
CCT
8044 81%
7286 89%
6657 98%
7350 88%
7983 81%

* ... smaller is better

The black level of 0.62 cd/m² and the resulting contrast of 842:1 are decent. However, the contenders can outclass the Honor 4X almost completely here. Again, only Samsung's Galaxy Grand Prime scores worse. Our subjective impression: The displayed content is very vivid, but black looks more like dark gray.

The detailed analysis with CalMAN reveals that some colors strongly deviate from the sRGB reference color space. Particularly the range around green and yellow are striking here. The brightness of colors is also slightly too low. The grayscale curve exhibits a clear bluish cast, especially in the lighter area. The color temperature is too high, but it can be adjusted a bit in the settings.

CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Color Management
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps

The high brightness should make outdoor use possible. However, the intensely reflective screen prevented that to some extent in the practical test. However, its legibility was impeccable in semi-shade.

Since an IPS screen is installed in the Honor 4X, the smartphone offers very high viewing angle stability. Content only darkens in very acute viewing angles, but colors do not invert.

Outdoors in the shade
Outdoors in the shade
Outdoors in the sun
Outdoors in the sun
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The HiSilicon Kirin 620 octa-core SoC clocks each core at a frequency of 1.2 GHz and is based on a 64-bit architecture. The Honor 4X shows good processor performance in the comparison. The review sample stands out particularly in the LINPACK and the Basemark OSII test.

The integrated Mali-450 MP4 graphics card can render most up-to-date games from Google's Play Store smoothly. However, modern benchmarks, such as GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan, cannot be performed since the GPU does not yet support OpenGL ES 3.0. The Honor 4X sometimes takes a clear lead in the graphic benchmarks and only is defeated by Asus' Zenfone 6 A600CG (Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core processor and PowerVR SGX544MP2 graphics chip).

AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
30558 Points ∼31%
Asus Zenfone 6
25966 Points ∼26% -15%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Honor 4X
6861 Points ∼8%
Asus Zenfone 6
10877 Points ∼13% +59%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
9761 Points ∼11% +42%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
9264 Points ∼11% +35%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
4997 Points ∼1%
Asus Zenfone 6
6665 Points ∼1% +33%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
4225 Points ∼1% -15%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
3954 Points ∼1% -21%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
5318 Points ∼2%
Asus Zenfone 6
7293 Points ∼3% +37%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
4834 Points ∼2% -9%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
4531 Points ∼2% -15%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Honor 4X
6434 Points ∼8%
Asus Zenfone 6
10707 Points ∼13% +66%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
8791 Points ∼10% +37%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Honor 4X
3411 Points ∼0%
Asus Zenfone 6
6671 Points ∼1% +96%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
2207 Points ∼0% -35%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
3809 Points ∼2%
Asus Zenfone 6
7281 Points ∼3% +91%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
2648 Points ∼1% -30%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Honor 4X
6531 Points ∼4%
Asus Zenfone 6
9540 Points ∼6% +46%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
8894 Points ∼6% +36%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Honor 4X
5562 Points ∼1%
Asus Zenfone 6
7708 Points ∼1% +39%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
4838 Points ∼1% -13%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
5752 Points ∼1%
Asus Zenfone 6
8052 Points ∼1% +40%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
5384 Points ∼0% -6%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Honor 4X
9.2 fps ∼0%
Asus Zenfone 6
9.2 fps ∼0% 0%
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
4.1 fps ∼0% -55%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
5.9 fps ∼0% -36%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Honor 4X
15 fps ∼0%
Asus Zenfone 6
15.9 fps ∼0% +6%
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
7.3 fps ∼0% -51%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
11 fps ∼0% -27%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Honor 4X
0 fps ∼0%
Asus Zenfone 6
0 fps ∼0%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
1.8 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
1.8 fps ∼0%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Honor 4X
0 fps ∼0%
Asus Zenfone 6
0 fps ∼0%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
3.9 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
6.4 fps ∼2%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Honor 4X
166.01 MFLOPS ∼6%
Asus Zenfone 6
301.19 MFLOPS ∼10% +81%
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
211 MFLOPS ∼7% +27%
Single Thread (sort by value)
Honor 4X
52.006 MFLOPS ∼5%
Asus Zenfone 6
142.09 MFLOPS ∼14% +173%
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
52.7 MFLOPS ∼5% +1%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Honor 4X
592 Points ∼29%
Asus Zenfone 6
352 Points ∼17% -41%
Graphics (sort by value)
Honor 4X
268 Points ∼1%
Asus Zenfone 6
370 Points ∼1% +38%
Memory (sort by value)
Honor 4X
597 Points ∼8%
Asus Zenfone 6
449 Points ∼6% -25%
System (sort by value)
Honor 4X
1355 Points ∼8%
Asus Zenfone 6
680 Points ∼4% -50%
Overall (sort by value)
Honor 4X
598 Points ∼7%
Asus Zenfone 6
447 Points ∼5% -25%
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
0 Points ∼0% -100%

Legend

 
Honor 4X HiSilicon Kirin 620, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus Zenfone 6 Intel Atom Z2580, PowerVR SGX544MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8928, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 8 GB eMMC Flash

A mixed impression is seen in Internet performance. The review sample can outperform most contenders in the older Sunspider 1.0, Kraken 1.1 and Google v8 benchmarks. Modern benchmarks show varying results. In particular, Asus' Zenfone 6 A600CG achieves a clearly better performance in some cases. Subjectively, websites open quickly when browsing.

Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
1373.1 ms * ∼15%
Asus Zenfone 6
836.8 ms * ∼9% +39%
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
1235 ms * ∼14% +10%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
1207 ms * ∼13% +12%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
1400 ms * ∼15% -2%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
18885.1 ms * ∼32%
Asus Zenfone 6
11767.4 ms * ∼20% +38%
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
26376 ms * ∼44% -40%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
12714 ms * ∼21% +33%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
18882 ms * ∼32% -0%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
1857 Points ∼4%
Asus Zenfone 6
2822 Points ∼5% +52%
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
1235 Points ∼2% -33%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
2428 Points ∼5% +31%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
1447 Points ∼3% -22%
Vellamo 3.x
Metal (sort by value)
Honor 4X
907 Points ∼24%
Asus Zenfone 6
922 Points ∼25% +2%
Multicore Beta (sort by value)
Honor 4X
1104 Points ∼25%
Asus Zenfone 6
1149 Points ∼26% +4%
Browser (sort by value)
Honor 4X
1146 Points ∼15%
Asus Zenfone 6
2151 Points ∼28% +88%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
1654 Points ∼8%
Asus Zenfone 6
2904 Points ∼15% +76%
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
1067 Points ∼5% -35%
WebXPRT 2013
Offline Notes (sort by value)
Honor 4X
2279 ms * ∼48%
Asus Zenfone 6
1367.3 ms * ∼29% +40%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
Honor 4X
2485.4 ms * ∼66%
Asus Zenfone 6
1160.4 ms * ∼31% +53%
Face Detection (sort by value)
Honor 4X
10129.3 ms * ∼84%
Asus Zenfone 6
2657.5 ms * ∼22% +74%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
Honor 4X
1321.9 ms * ∼15%
Asus Zenfone 6
1986.7 ms * ∼22% -50%
Overall Score (sort by value)
Honor 4X
141 Points ∼6%
Asus Zenfone 6
244 Points ∼11% +73%

* ... smaller is better

The 8 GB flash memory's performance is very good according to the AndroBench 3 benchmark. The Honor 4X is clearly the leader in the comparison group. Both the write and read speeds are convincing. The quite limited internal storage (3.35 GB) can be expanded via a microSD card, but not all applications can be moved via App2SD and thus the capacity might soon be too tight.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Honor 4X
3.83 MB/s ∼2%
Asus Zenfone 6
0.73 MB/s ∼0% -81%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
1.1 MB/s ∼0% -71%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
2.3 MB/s ∼1% -40%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Honor 4X
19.47 MB/s ∼10%
Asus Zenfone 6
10.23 MB/s ∼5% -47%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
8 MB/s ∼4% -59%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
17.5 MB/s ∼9% -10%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Honor 4X
19.02 MB/s ∼3%
Asus Zenfone 6
19.2 MB/s ∼3% +1%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
17 MB/s ∼3% -11%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
18 MB/s ∼3% -5%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Honor 4X
136.13 MB/s ∼9%
Asus Zenfone 6
70.27 MB/s ∼5% -48%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
110 MB/s ∼7% -19%
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
103 MB/s ∼7% -24%

Games

The installed quad-core Mali-450 MP4 graphics chip can render most up-to-date games smoothly. Lags were not noticed in the test, even in more demanding tracks like Modern Combat 5. The precise control via the touchscreen and position sensor contributes to gaming fun.

Angry Birds Transformers
Angry Birds Transformers
Modern Combat 5
Modern Combat 5
Trials Frontier
Trials Frontier

Emissions

GFXBench battery diagram
GFXBench battery diagram

Temperature

The casing of the Honor 4X reached a moderate maximum temperature of 33.4 °C (92.12 °F) under constant full load. The device always remained within an agreeable range. The smartphone's low idle temperatures of 26 °C (78.8 °F) on the underside to 28.2 °C (82.76 °F) on the upper side were convincing. Furthermore, the battery test of GFXBench 3.0 shows that the review sample's performance is very stable and does not decrease even during high load.

Max. Load
 30.6 °C
87 F
31.9 °C
89 F
33 °C
91 F
 
 29.6 °C
85 F
31.2 °C
88 F
33.4 °C
92 F
 
 29.1 °C
84 F
29.6 °C
85 F
32.3 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 33.4 °C = 92 F
Average: 31.2 °C = 88 F
28.5 °C
83 F
32 °C
90 F
32.8 °C
91 F
29 °C
84 F
29.7 °C
85 F
29.6 °C
85 F
28.4 °C
83 F
29.1 °C
84 F
28.4 °C
83 F
Maximum: 32.8 °C = 91 F
Average: 29.7 °C = 85 F
Power Supply (max.)  33.7 °C = 93 F | Room Temperature 22.2 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 31.2 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 33.4 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 32.8 °C / 91 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.2 °C / 83 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speaker

Like in Apple's iPhone 6, the speaker has been installed in the casing's lower edge. Consequently, the sound is not affected even when the device is placed on a table. While the sound is decent, low pitches are barely audible and trebles are too prevalent on higher volume settings. The maximum possible volume is good but soon gets unpleasant due to the tinny sound. Enabling DTS mode only helps marginally. Users who want a really good sound will thus have to connect an external device. Audio quality from the 3.5 mm jack is decent with minimal bass.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Honor 4X's standby consumption of 0.4 watts is too high. The review sample is roughly on par with the contenders with 0.8 to 2 watts when idle. 3.6 to 5.5 watts are consumed during load, which places the Honor in the midfield. However, an ultra-energy-saving mode is present that should only be used in emergencies. The smartphone then only displays content in black and white and the applications are limited to calls, notifications and accessing contacts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.8 / 1.7 / 2 Watt
Load midlight 3.6 / 5.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 870

Battery Runtime

The non-removable 3000 mAh battery allows the Honor 4X to achieve better battery runtimes than the stronger batteries in some contenders despite the power-hungry screen.

The review sample lasted for over two workdays in minimum brightness and energy-saving mode while running our Wi-Fi script. The smartphone also enabled almost 9.5 hours of Wi-Fi browsing using a brightness set to 65% (150 cd/m²) and energy-saving mode. Different websites are continuously opened via a script here. Only Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4G lasted longer (11:02 hours) in our older and less intensive Wi-Fi test. A full load runtime of approximately 4.5 hours is also unrivaled. That easily allows even longer gaming sessions. Watching videos is possible for over 6 hours, making a long train journey endurable.

A superb presentation in this section - well done!

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
18h 25min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 29min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
6h 13min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 27min
Honor 4X
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 620, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Zenfone 6
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8928, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
-23%
-27%
-32%
-11%
Reader / Idle
1105
904
-18%
985
-11%
986
-11%
WiFi v1.3
569
432
-24%
512
-10%
Load
267
196
-27%
152
-43%
159
-40%
WiFi
518
662

Pros

+ Large, bright IPS screen
+ Swift octa-core SoC
+ Regular Android updates
+ Fast use
+ Long battery life
+ LTE Cat.4
+ Rigid casing
+ Dual-SIM feature

Cons

- Much too tight internal storage
- App2SD not for all apps
- Screen resolution
- No NFC
- Poor speaker
- GPS performance

Verdict

In review: Honor 4X. Review sample courtesy of Honor Germany.
In review: Honor 4X. Review sample courtesy of Honor Germany.

Honor's pithy slogan "Power up" on the product website likely relates to the good application performance of the 64-bit SoC and the very long-lasting battery. The phablet admittedly did not achieve the manufacturer's specified runtime of 48 hours, but up to 7 days in the ultra-energy saving mode seems quite plausible.

The smartphone also shines with its generous configuration: A bright HD IPS screen, high-speed LTE Cat4 and stable Wi-Fi, dual-SIM functionality, and regularly updated as well as smooth and intuitive to use software are also appealing. Furthermore, the installed camera modules shoot decent pictures in good light. The plain design of the rigid casing rounds off the good impression.

Cutbacks naturally have to be made at an RRP of 200 Euros (~$220). NFC has been omitted in the Honor 4X's case. Beyond that, the internal storage (net) is much too tight and App2SD does not function for all applications. A higher resolution for the large screen would also be desirable. It can still be tolerated that the GPS module is not the most accurate of its kind. The weak speaker and mediocre microphone are more severe.

The points of criticism are not noticed much in everyday use, and so we give the Honor 4X a purchase recommendation as a solid mid-range smartphone with many assets. It is nevertheless worthwhile to examine the competition in this price range.

Honor 4X - 05/08/2015 v4(old)
Michael Moser

Chassis
75%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
84%
Connectivity
44 / 60 → 73%
Weight
90%
Battery
92%
Display
80%
Games Performance
55 / 63 → 87%
Application Performance
24 / 70 → 34%
Temperature
93%
Noise
100%
Audio
53 / 91 → 58%
Camera
54%
Add Points
+2%
Average
65%
81%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Honor 4X Smartphone Review
Michael Moser, 2015-05-21 (Update: 2018-05-15)