Notebookcheck

Honor 6X Smartphone Review

Manuel Masiero (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 03/15/2017

Good and affordable. Although Honor's 6X does not cost much, it is a serious competition for considerably more expensive smartphones in terms of configuration and performance. It is even equipped with a dual-camera. Our review reveals how the Android phone of Huawei's subsidiary Honor fares in our tests.

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For the original German review, see here.

It does not always have to be the latest iPhone or the premium model of Samsung's Galaxy lineup. Buyers who are not willing to spend 500 Euros (~$536) or, as is often the case, even considerably more for a high-end smartphone can find interesting alternatives in the mid-range. One of these is Honor's 6X. Huawei's subsidiary Honor officially sells its 5.5-inch smartphone for 249 Euros (~$267), which comes with an extensive configuration.

The most exciting feature of the 6X is certainly the dual camera that is normally only found in much higher-priced models. The dual camera in the 6X consists of a 12-megapixel primary camera and a second, 2-megapixel lens that captures the corresponding depth of field. This combination allows refocusing the image afterwards and images can be modified extensively. An 8-megapixel front camera completes the camera module, and provides a good diversity of selfie features.

The other configuration features of Honor's 6X are also impressive and correspond to a solid mid-range standard. The octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 655 SoC together with the integrated ARM Mali-T830 MP2 graphics chip, 3 GB of RAM, and 32-GB of storage create its base. A Full HD screen, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth and NFC, dual SIM support, fingerprint sensor, and a relatively up-to-date Android 6.0 operating system complement this.

Honor's 6X has also been available in the official, 319-Euro (~$342) ProKit Edition since early March. It comes with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. A headset, a selfie stick, and a USB Type-C adapter are also included.

Our review sample, which is the standard edition of Honor's 6X, competes against its predecessor Honor 5X. The following smartphones also participate due to their similar configuration and performance: the HTC One A9s, the Huawei P8 lite, the Samsung Galaxy J7, and the Sony Xperia XA.

Honor 6X (6 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
, LPDDR3
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 401 PPI, abgerundetes 2,5D-Glas, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 22.9 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headset jack, Card Reader: micro-SD cards max. 128 GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Hall sensor, proximity sensor, compass, gravity sensor, micro-USB 2.0, USB OTG, WiFi Direct, GLONASS, BeiDou
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), UMTS tri-band (900, 1900, 2100 MHz), LTE Cat.6 (800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz), downloads/uploads max. 300/50 MBit/s, nano-SIM, head SAR 1.23 W/kg, body SAR 1.16 W/kg, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.2 x 150.9 x 76.2 ( = 0.32 x 5.94 x 3 in)
Battery
3340 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix LED flash, phase detection autofocus, videos max. 1920x1080 pixels at 30 FPS, lens: Sony IMX386
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix videos max. 1280x720 pixels at 30 FPS
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker lower edge, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, USB cable, modular power supply, quick start guide, EMUI 4.1, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
162 g ( = 5.71 oz / 0.36 pounds), Power Supply: 35 g ( = 1.23 oz / 0.08 pounds)
Price
249 Euro

 

Case

Honor covers the 6X in a metal casing that is kept in place by a plastic frame which is of a slightly different color. Curved and scratch-resistant 2.5D glass covers the entire front and gives Honor's 6X a stylish and high-quality appearance. The 162-gram (~5.7 oz) light-weight smartphone with a thickness of just 8.2 millimeters (~0.3 in) is pleasant to hold, and needs a lot of effort to warp it.

In addition to the easy to find fingerprint sensor that is in a recess, the slightly protruding dual-camera is found on the back. The smartphone will thus rock a bit on an even surface when the display is tapped on its sides or in the corners.

Honor's 6X is available in gold, silver, and gray. The front is white in the first two cases, and it is black in the gray version.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

Honor's 6X offers a solid configuration with HiSilicon's Kirin 655 octa-core SoC, the integrated ARM Mali-T830 MP2 graphics chip, 3 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage. The ProKit edition comes with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage.

The storage can be expanded by up to 128 GB via a microSD card. Moving apps to the microSD card is not possible as only media data can be saved on it. On the other hand, the smartphone supports USB OTG for connecting external peripherals.

The smartphone cannot be used in dual SIM mode when a microSD card is inserted. The slot is designed for either two nano SIM cards or one nano SIM and one microSD card. Compared with Honor, this is a step back considering that the latter has two full-fledged SIM card slots plus a microSD slot rather than a hybrid SIM slot.

Left: MicroSD/SIM slot
Left: MicroSD/SIM slot
Right: Power button, volume control
Right: Power button, volume control
Upper edge: Headset jack
Upper edge: Headset jack
Lower edge: micro USB 2.0 port, speaker
Lower edge: micro USB 2.0 port, speaker

Software

Android 6.0 Marshmallow runs on Honor's 6X. It is covered by Huawei's latest user interface, EMUI 4.1, familiar from other smartphones. Fortunately, the preloaded games and apps, such as "Dragon Mania", "Spider Man: Ultimate Power", Booking.com, Twitter, and Opera, are easy to uninstall if the user does not want them.

An update to Android 7.0 Nougat was in the beta-phase at the time of testing, and should be released soon. This also involves an update to EMUI 5.0.

Communication and GPS

Equipped with LTE Cat.6, Honor's 6X allows download speeds of up to 300 MBit/s and maximum upload speeds of 50 MBit/s. The smartphone's four GSM, three UMTS and six LTE bands cover all mobile network frequencies relevant for Europe.

The 6X transmits data over short distances via NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. The 5.0 GHz frequency band cannot be used, and thus, even though the transmission rates are decent, they are not outstanding. At a Wi-Fi speed of up to 57.9 MBit/s, the 6X is virtually just as fast as Huawei's P8 lite that is equipped with the same SoC. Samsung's Galaxy J7 is slightly slower than both handsets, while HTC's One A9s has a clear lead with a three digit transmission rate.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HTC One A9s
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 32 GB eMMC Flash
102 MBit/s ∼100% +87%
Honor 6X
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 32 GB eMMC Flash
54.6 MBit/s ∼54%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 16 GB eMMC Flash
54.5 MBit/s ∼53% 0%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Mali-T830 MP2, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
42.9 MBit/s ∼42% -21%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HTC One A9s
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 32 GB eMMC Flash
109 MBit/s ∼100% +88%
Honor 6X
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 32 GB eMMC Flash
57.9 MBit/s ∼53%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 16 GB eMMC Flash
53.9 MBit/s ∼49% -7%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Mali-T830 MP2, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
43.1 MBit/s ∼40% -26%
GPS: Outdoors
GPS: Outdoors
GPS: Indoors
GPS: Indoors

Honor's 6X located us with an accuracy of 5 meters (~16 ft) indoors and outside, which is quite accurate. Thus, our expectations were also high as we took the smartphone on a roughly 12 kilometer (~704 mi) long bike ride alongside Garmin's Edge 500 professional navigation system. Honor's 6X also did a good job compared with the navigation system, although it was slightly off track in difficult sectors, such as bridges, woods or turning points. However, the difference between the two was only about 300 meters (~328 yd) over the entire route. Other smartphones might be even more accurate, but the app on Honor's 6X provides sufficient accuracy for everyday use.

Honor 6x: Total route
Honor 6x: Total route
Honor 6x: Turning point
Honor 6x: Turning point
Honor 6x: Bridge
Honor 6x: Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Total route
Garmin Edge 500: Total route
Garmin Edge 500: Turning point
Garmin Edge 500: Turning point
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge
Garmin Edge 500: Bridge

Telephone and Call Quality

The phone app of Honor's 6X looks slightly different from Google's standard app due to the EMUI interface, but it ultimately provides exactly the same functions. The reception quality was good in both landline calls and via mobile network. The caller and the contact sometimes sounded a bit muffled and in high volumes voices quickly sounded shaky.

Cameras

Primary camera photo (click for original)
Primary camera photo (click for original)

Although Honor has officially priced the 6X at only 250 Euros (~$268), the 5.5-inch Android handset has a special feature that the former 5X did not have, and which is normally only found in considerably higher priced smartphones: A dual-camera with an aperture range of f/0.95 to f/16. Here is how it functions: A second, 2-megapixel camera is installed below the 12-megapixel primary camera, which is exclusively responsible for capturing the field of depth. This dual setup allows editing the focus of a photo manually afterward. For example, the background can be taken out of focus for bringing people or objects into the foreground more strongly.

Several convenient aids for the photographer are found in the clearly arranged camera menu, among them programs for panorama, night mode, and HDR. All relevant photo parameters such as sensitivity, white balance, and shutter time can be adjusted manually in the "Professional Photo" mode. An audio-release that either responds to "cheese" or is enabled when the ambient noise reaches a specified decibel level is also installed. A timer, object tracking, and smile detection are also found. Photos have a resolution of up to 3968x2979 pixels (4:3 format). Videos can be recorded in Full HD at 30 frames per second.

Honor has included several selfie functions in the 8-megapixel front camera, such as a 10-level touch-up filter and 9 make-up overlays. Shooting the "perfect selfie" is also possible. The user photographs several views of themselves and can narrow their face or add larger and brighter eyes as well as smoothing and softening the portrait. The front camera records video in 720p at 30 frames per second.

Honor's 6X shoots decent photos with pleasantly high dynamics and sharpness. The colors are also good - they are not too strong or too weak, and look natural and overall, at most a touch too high in terms of contrast. However, this is not perceived as a disadvantage or exaggerated. The image looks rather blurred in some places in low-light conditions, but this does not ruin the overall good impression.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the zoom step. 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

We photographed ColorChecker Passport and our test chart under controlled light condition with Honor's 6X. The camera's automatic mode is used and the photo is not edited afterwards. As the ColorChecker photo illustrates, the smartphone reproduces colors quite well, even though they are always a bit too vivid.

The smartphone reproduces the test chart sharply and does not have problems with color gradients or outlines. Although the sharpness decreases toward the test chart's edges, professional cameras do not do a better job either.

Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Test photo section
Test photo section
Test photo (click for original)
Test photo (click for original)

Accessories and Warranty

Honor's 6X comes with a modular power supply, a USB cable, and a quick start guide. Honor does not offer any smartphone specific accessories. The manufacturer includes a 24-month warranty on the 6X. This is limited to 6 months on the battery and the charger.

Input Devices and Handling

Not only does the curved 2.5D glass surface look good, it also provides the touchscreen with good gliding properties. The screen identifies up to 10 fingers at the same time and is accurate into its four corners. Honor relies on the familiar Swype keyboard as the screen keyboard. Its layout is designed well and allows, for example, directly accessing the umlauts in the German layout. However, its many fields and functions also give a slightly cramped impression. Users can always replace the keyboard with one from Google's Play Store if preferred.

Both the physical power button and volume control make a high-quality impression. They do not have lateral play in the casing and present an accurate pressure point. The fingerprint scanner below the dual camera functions just as fast and reliably. Up to 5 fingerprints can be saved in the fingerprint manager. The sensor can also be used for accepting calls or taking a photo/video.

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

Display

Subpixels
Subpixels

As with its predecessor, Honor's 6X scores with a very bright Full HD panel that is even a bit higher with 540.1 cd/m² compared with the 5X. We still measured a very good 534 cd/m² using a more realistic illumination with evenly distributed bright and dark image areas. Only the company's own Huawei P8 lite rival and Sony's Xperia XA can compete here among the comparison devices, while the brightness of HTC's One A9s and Samsung's Galaxy J7 is much lower.

The IPS panel in the 6X also delivers good outcomes in contrast ratio (960:1) and black level (0.57 cd/m²). Although Honor's 5X is significantly better here, the naked eye cannot see any real differences. Honor's 6X has a clear lead in illumination. With 94%, the backlight is distributed very evenly over the screen (5X: 85%); this rate is the highest in the comparison.

551
cd/m²
547
cd/m²
539
cd/m²
556
cd/m²
547
cd/m²
545
cd/m²
533
cd/m²
520
cd/m²
523
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 556 cd/m² Average: 540.1 cd/m² Minimum: 7.34 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 547 cd/m²
Contrast: 960:1 (Black: 0.57 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.1 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 6.2 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.09
Honor 6X
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Honor 5X
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Huawei P8 lite 2017
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
HTC One A9s
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Super AMOLED, 1280x720, 5.5
Sony Xperia XA
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Screen
10%
12%
22%
15%
-15%
Brightness
540
521
-4%
559
4%
320
-41%
289
-46%
475
-12%
Brightness Distribution
94
85
-10%
91
-3%
85
-10%
91
-3%
81
-14%
Black Level *
0.57
0.43
25%
0.39
32%
0.23
60%
0.61
-7%
Contrast
960
1244
30%
1474
54%
1513
58%
849
-12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.1
4.88
4%
5.2
-2%
3.5
31%
2.9
43%
6.8
-33%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.2
5.2
16%
7.2
-16%
4
35%
2.1
66%
7
-13%
Gamma
2.09 115%
2.26 106%
2.4 100%
2.3 104%
2.05 117%
2.35 102%
CCT
6546 99%
7766 84%
7224 90%
6527 100%
6228 104%
8151 80%

* ... smaller is better

Adjustable color temperature
Adjustable color temperature

The color temperature can be adapted in the display settings. This can be done by either changing the default mode "Standard" to "Warm" or "Cool" or by tapping on a point in the color circle.

Examined with the photospectrometer and CalMAN software, the image parameters in the "Standard" and "Warm" profiles selected for the test clearly exceed the ideal rate (DeltaE < 3). The color temperature of 8112 K is also much too high in the "Standard" setting. On the other hand, "Warm" is almost perfect with 6546 K – actually, the two profile names should have been swapped. Overall, the deviations are acceptable for the smartphone's screen. The accuracy of Honor's 6X is roughly midfield among the comparison devices.

ColorChecker (color profile:Standard; target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (color profile:Standard; target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (color profile: Warm; target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (color profile: Warm; target color space: sRGB)
Colorspace (color profile: Standard; target color space: sRGB)
Colorspace (color profile: Standard; target color space: sRGB)
Colorspace (color profile: Warm; target color space: AdobeRGB)
Colorspace (color profile: Warm; target color space: AdobeRGB)
Grayscale (color profile: Standard; target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (color profile: Standard; target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (color profile: Warm; target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (color profile: Warm; target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (color profile: Standard; target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (color profile: Standard; target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (color profile: Warm; target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (color profile: Warm; target color space: sRGB)

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 58 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 5069 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 27 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12 ms rise
↘ 29 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 46 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (43.4 ms).

Honor's 6X is quite suitable for outdoor use, thanks to its high brightness of up to 566 cd/m². The smartphone can also be used on sunny days or in especially bright environments when reflections are avoided on the screen.

The viewing angle stability is typically high for an IPS panel. Although the screen sometimes brightens up slightly in extreme lateral views, the displayed content remains impeccably legible.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

HiSilicon's Kirin 655 is an ARM-based mid-range SoC with eight Cortex A53 cores. They are divided into two clusters of 4 cores each. The first cluster takes care of performance-driven tasks and clocks at up to 2.1 GHz. The second cluster is responsible for standard tasks and clocks at 1.7 GHz. An integrated ARM Mali-T830 MP2 graphics unit supports the SoC. 3 GB of RAM complements this in our standard model. The ProKit edition has 4 GB.

Subjectively, stutters or other lags rarely occurred during use. This is reflected in the synthetic benchmarks. Overall, Honor's 6X achieves a good system performance. It clearly outruns it 5X predecessor that was based on a Qualcomm SoC and passes the finishing line as one of the fastest smartphones. It is almost in a tie with Huawei's P8 lite that also uses HiSilicon's Kirin 655 SoC. However, the lead over some rivals is very narrow. Sony's Xperia XA in particular proves to be an intractable pursuer.

AnTuTu Benchmark v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
56764 Points ∼25%
Honor 5X
37152 Points ∼16% -35%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
56798 Points ∼25% 0%
HTC One A9s
51330 Points ∼23% -10%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
45234 Points ∼20% -20%
Sony Xperia XA
48331 Points ∼21% -15%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
3341 Points ∼12%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3240 Points ∼12% -3%
HTC One A9s
2936 Points ∼11% -12%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3277 Points ∼12% -2%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
788 Points ∼14%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
780 Points ∼14% -1%
HTC One A9s
711 Points ∼13% -10%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
680 Points ∼12% -14%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Honor 6X
1440 Points ∼48%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1532 Points ∼51% +6%
HTC One A9s
1175 Points ∼39% -18%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
1681 Points ∼56% +17%
Sony Xperia XA
1236 Points ∼41% -14%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Honor 6X
318 Points ∼6%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
321 Points ∼6% +1%
HTC One A9s
359 Points ∼7% +13%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
242 Points ∼4% -24%
Sony Xperia XA
306 Points ∼6% -4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Honor 6X
385 Points ∼10%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
389 Points ∼10% +1%
HTC One A9s
425 Points ∼11% +10%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
299 Points ∼8% -22%
Sony Xperia XA
422 Points ∼11% +10%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Honor 6X
1433 Points ∼49%
Honor 5X
1089 Points ∼37% -24%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1547 Points ∼53% +8%
HTC One A9s
1269 Points ∼43% -11%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
303 Points ∼10% -79%
Sony Xperia XA
1259 Points ∼43% -12%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Honor 6X
468 Points ∼6%
Honor 5X
103 Points ∼1% -78%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
516 Points ∼7% +10%
HTC One A9s
524 Points ∼7% +12%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
1687 Points ∼22% +260%
Sony Xperia XA
525 Points ∼7% +12%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Honor 6X
550 Points ∼11%
Honor 5X
129 Points ∼3% -77%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
606 Points ∼12% +10%
HTC One A9s
603 Points ∼12% +10%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
394 Points ∼8% -28%
Sony Xperia XA
603 Points ∼12% +10%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Honor 6X
13535 Points ∼20%
Honor 6X
13535 Points ∼20% 0%
Honor 5X
8174 Points ∼12% -40%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
13590 Points ∼20% 0%
HTC One A9s
12025 Points ∼17% -11%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
12949 Points ∼19% -4%
Sony Xperia XA
12138 Points ∼18% -10%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
11353 Points ∼2%
Honor 6X
11353 Points ∼2% 0%
Honor 5X
7764 Points ∼2% -32%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
11147 Points ∼2% -2%
HTC One A9s
10453 Points ∼2% -8%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
7746 Points ∼2% -32%
Sony Xperia XA
10916 Points ∼2% -4%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
11775 Points ∼6%
Honor 6X
11775 Points ∼6% 0%
Honor 5X
7852 Points ∼4% -33%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
11611 Points ∼6% -1%
HTC One A9s
10766 Points ∼5% -9%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
8505 Points ∼4% -28%
Sony Xperia XA
11156 Points ∼6% -5%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Honor 6X
18 fps ∼1%
Honor 5X
14 fps ∼1% -22%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
18 fps ∼1% 0%
HTC One A9s
18 fps ∼1% 0%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
12 fps ∼1% -33%
Sony Xperia XA
18 fps ∼1% 0%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Honor 6X
19 fps ∼4%
Honor 5X
14 fps ∼3% -26%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
19 fps ∼4% 0%
HTC One A9s
27 fps ∼6% +42%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
19 fps ∼4% 0%
Sony Xperia XA
28 fps ∼6% +47%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Honor 6X
4.6 fps ∼1%
Honor 5X
5.4 fps ∼1% +17%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
7.9 fps ∼1% +72%
HTC One A9s
7.2 fps ∼1% +57%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
9.4 fps ∼2% +104%
Sony Xperia XA
7.2 fps ∼1% +57%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Honor 6X
8.5 fps ∼2%
Honor 5X
5.9 fps ∼2% -31%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8.5 fps ∼2% 0%
HTC One A9s
14 fps ∼4% +65%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
4.9 fps ∼1% -42%
Sony Xperia XA
15 fps ∼4% +76%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Honor 6X
2.5 fps ∼1%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4.6 fps ∼1% +84%
HTC One A9s
2.6 fps ∼1% +4%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3.2 fps ∼1% +28%
Sony Xperia XA
4.8 fps ∼1% +92%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Honor 6X
4.9 fps ∼3%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
5 fps ∼3% +2%
HTC One A9s
11 fps ∼6% +124%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
7.2 fps ∼4% +47%
Sony Xperia XA
11 fps ∼6% +124%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
4383 Points ∼53%
Honor 5X
3794 Points ∼46% -13%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4419 Points ∼53% +1%
HTC One A9s
3350 Points ∼40% -24%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3691 Points ∼44% -16%
Sony Xperia XA
4685 Points ∼56% +7%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Honor 6X
720 Points ∼47%
Honor 5X
9 Points ∼1% -99%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
10 Points ∼1% -99%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
624 Points ∼40% -13%
Sony Xperia XA
717 Points ∼46% 0%
Graphics (sort by value)
Honor 6X
819 Points ∼10%
Honor 5X
763 Points ∼9% -7%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
826 Points ∼10% +1%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
512 Points ∼6% -37%
Sony Xperia XA
669 Points ∼8% -18%
Memory (sort by value)
Honor 6X
1779 Points ∼42%
Honor 5X
787 Points ∼18% -56%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
1658 Points ∼39% -7%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
1319 Points ∼31% -26%
Sony Xperia XA
1076 Points ∼25% -40%
System (sort by value)
Honor 6X
2721 Points ∼41%
Honor 5X
1378 Points ∼21% -49%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
2694 Points ∼41% -1%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
2127 Points ∼32% -22%
Sony Xperia XA
2289 Points ∼35% -16%
Overall (sort by value)
Honor 6X
1300 Points ∼35%
Honor 5X
297 Points ∼8% -77%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
435 Points ∼12% -67%
HTC One A9s
Points ∼0% -100%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
973 Points ∼26% -25%
Sony Xperia XA
1043 Points ∼28% -20%

Legend

 
Honor 6X HiSilicon Kirin 655, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 5X Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 MSM8939v2, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P8 lite 2017 HiSilicon Kirin 655, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC One A9s Mediatek Helio P10 MT6755, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016 Samsung Exynos 7870 Octa, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia XA Mediatek Helio P10 MT6755, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash

Honor's 6X and the comparison devices are even closer together in the browser benchmarks. Browsing on the Internet is fast with all handsets. This is also true for Honor's 5X that only falls behind slightly in the Mozilla Kraken 1.1 benchmark.

Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
4199 Points ∼8%
Honor 5X
3595 Points ∼7% -14%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
4630 Points ∼9% +10%
HTC One A9s
4395 Points ∼9% +5%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3905 Points ∼8% -7%
Sony Xperia XA
4046 Points ∼8% -4%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
9373.3 ms * ∼16%
Honor 5X
12510 ms * ∼21% -33%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
8768.2 ms * ∼15% +6%
HTC One A9s
9346 ms * ∼16% -0%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
9670.9 ms * ∼16% -3%
Sony Xperia XA
9609.8 ms * ∼16% -3%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
73 Points ∼10%
Honor 5X
65 Points ∼9% -11%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
62 Points ∼8% -15%
HTC One A9s
69 Points ∼9% -5%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
66 Points ∼9% -10%
Sony Xperia XA
72 Points ∼10% -1%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Honor 6X
26.464 Points ∼8%
Honor 5X
21.92 Points ∼7% -17%
Huawei P8 lite 2017
29.499 Points ∼9% +11%
HTC One A9s
27.48 Points ∼8% +4%
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
24.119 Points ∼7% -9%
Sony Xperia XA
27.5 Points ∼8% +4%

* ... smaller is better

Honor's 6X again proves to be a fast smartphone in the read and write benchmarks. It can even clearly outperform some rivals. The 5X is affected most here as it does not come even close to its successor, apart from in sequential write. Samsung's Galaxy J7 and Sony's Xperia XA are almost just as fast as Honor's 6X. However, none of the comparison devices can exhaust the performance of our Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 (max. read: 95 MB/s, max: write: 80 MB/s) reference card. Sony and Samsung's smartphones still utilize the performance best. Honor's 6X presents decent rates with 34.5 MB/s in read and 52 MB/s in write, but it is nevertheless only enough for a place in the midfield.

Honor 6X
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Honor 5X
Adreno 405, 616 MSM8939v2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Huawei P8 lite 2017
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 655, 16 GB eMMC Flash
HTC One A9s
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
Mali-T830 MP2, 7870 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia XA
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 16 GB eMMC Flash
AndroBench 3-5
-45%
-29%
-25%
-13%
-9%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
34.53
32.1
-7%
25.6
-26%
58.24
69%
50.68
47%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
52.02
53.1
2%
39.6
-24%
75.54
45%
72.87
40%
Random Write 4KB
45.05
10
-78%
8
-82%
34.6
-23%
10.11
-78%
10.6
-76%
Random Read 4KB
39.55
17
-57%
38.7
-2%
21.3
-46%
22.33
-44%
22.05
-44%
Sequential Write 256KB
73.85
78
6%
42
-43%
68.6
-7%
46.24
-37%
68.64
-7%
Sequential Read 256KB
283.37
144
-49%
165.8
-41%
210.2
-26%
189.35
-33%
240.43
-15%

Games

It is possible to play up-to-date Android games smoothly on Honor's 6X, but not always in maximum details. Only an average of 25 frames per second was achieved in the highest detail level in the demanding "Asphalt 8: Airborne". An occasional stutter in some scenes made this evident. On the other hand, there were no performance losses in "Dead Trigger 2" that ran quite smoothly even in maximum details. Touchscreen and position sensor control functioned impeccably.

"Dead Trigger 2"
"Dead Trigger 2"
"Asphalt 8: Airborne"
"Asphalt 8: Airborne"
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high25 fps
 very low30 fps
in comparison
Lenovo B (min)
 MT6735M, Mali-T720
10
   ...
Lenovo Moto G4 Plus
 617 MSM8952, Adreno 405
25
Huawei P8 lite 2017
 Kirin 655, Mali-T830 MP2
25
Honor 6X
 Kirin 655, Mali-T830 MP2
25
Asus ZenPad 3s 10 Z500M
 MT8176, PowerVR GX6250
26
Honor 5C
 Kirin 650, Mali-T830 MP2
26
   ...
HTC 10 (max)
 820 MSM8996, Adreno 530
48
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high57 fps

Emissions

Temperature

Honor's 6X heated up to a maximum of 37.5 °C (~99.5 °F) even after a one-hour stress test with the Stability Test app, which is hardly more than lukewarm. It was an average of 33.8 °C (~93 °F) on the upper side and underside during load and just 29.4 °C (~85 °F) while idling.

We examined whether Honor's 6X throttles due to too high internal temperatures with the GFXBench battery test. Here, the T-Rex game scene is rendered thirty times in succession. The frame rate remained stable up to about the 17th run before it started to decrease slightly. However, the reduction was so slight that we cannot speak of throttling or a real performance fluctuation.

GFXBench Performance
GFXBench Performance
GFXBench Battery
GFXBench Battery
GFXBench Frametimes
GFXBench Frametimes
Max. Load
 35.9 °C34.8 °C37.1 °C 
 35.2 °C35.1 °C37.5 °C 
 34.1 °C33.7 °C36 °C 
Maximum: 37.5 °C
Average: 35.5 °C
31.7 °C32.2 °C32.5 °C
31.7 °C31.7 °C32.4 °C
32.1 °C31.5 °C32 °C
Maximum: 32.5 °C
Average: 32 °C
Room Temperature 21.4 °C | Voltcraft IR-260

Speaker

Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics

The mono speaker in Honor's 6X can reach a volume of 81.9 dB(A), but it sounds tinny and tends to distort quickly at maximum volume. Not much bass is audible in any volume setting. On the other hand, the high tones are all the more present, which could become strenuous in long music pieces or videos.

The sound quality is significantly better via the 3.5-mm jack and Bluetooth connection. However, a headset is not included.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.642.62525.437.53125.334.64032.931.35033.630.96331.632.48028.429.71002728.412520.829.21602231.720021.336.925020.84631521.252.340019.455.850019.559.163017.760.880017.966.6100017.871.5125017.375160017.472.3200016.772.7250017.271.6315018.270.7400017.967.6500017.666.6630017.761.6800017.856.51000017.957.11250018.156.91600018.242.2SPL3081.9N1.346.3median 17.9Honor 6Xmedian 59.1Delta1.31134.139.435.734.134.432.132.434.432.729.727.532.728.635.927.528.631.937.935.431.934.131.429.734.129.326.529.229.325.525.825.325.527.925.724.127.935.628.62335.640.535.223.140.548.943.418.548.953.945.720.553.95748.518.75760.150.218.160.159.750.918.259.75750.319.15764.457.11764.471.362.717.371.374.765.917.474.775.767.517.575.776.267.217.376.279.169.617.279.181.171.917.281.180.170.617.280.176.567.317.676.574.665.117.774.66757.917.86757.547.11857.541.931.417.941.988.279.129.988.265.638.11.365.6median 60.1Honor 5Xmedian 50.9median 17.9median 60.114.713.91.514.73629.93642.228.342.238.229.238.231.730.331.731.229.731.227.925.827.931.823.531.827.72427.731.125.131.126.121.826.132.221.732.237.324.737.34524.14551.521.851.557.922.457.963.219.863.26518.56565.318.465.367.11967.168.717.268.768.316.168.369.51669.570.916.470.97515.87577.214.677.272.514.672.572.914.772.974.514.974.569.414.769.455.514.755.583.629.883.653.11.353.1median 65.3Huawei P8 lite 2017median 18.4median 65.312.93.212.9hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Honor 6X audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (81.88 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 59% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 31% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 78% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 16% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Honor 5X audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(-) | very high highs - on average 16.3% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (32.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 82% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 9% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 91% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 5% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Huawei P8 lite 2017 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 32.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.9% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 56% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 26%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 77% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 18% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Honor's 6X presents itself as quite restrained in terms of power consumption. It is considerably more energy efficient than Honor's 5X with almost 5 watts in full load. Only Samsung's Galaxy J7 is even more economical among the comparison devices. Furthermore, Honor's 6X has the best requisites for a long battery life as it has the highest capacity battery. Unfortunately, we cannot make any statements concerning the charging time since a charger was not included with our review sample.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.11 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.82 / 2 / 2.03 Watt
Load midlight 3.34 / 4.92 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Honor 6X
3340 mAh
Honor 5X
3000 mAh
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3000 mAh
HTC One A9s
2300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3300 mAh
Sony Xperia XA
2300 mAh
Power Consumption
-21%
-38%
-27%
21%
7%
Idle Minimum *
0.82
0.87
-6%
1.44
-76%
1.29
-57%
0.67
18%
0.72
12%
Idle Average *
2
2.08
-4%
2.47
-24%
2.28
-14%
1.71
14%
1.5
25%
Idle Maximum *
2.03
2.22
-9%
2.58
-27%
2.52
-24%
1.83
10%
1.57
23%
Load Average *
3.34
5.26
-57%
4.55
-36%
4.06
-22%
2.37
29%
3.48
-4%
Load Maximum *
4.92
6.34
-29%
6.3
-28%
5.91
-20%
3.31
33%
6.04
-23%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The non-removable lithium polymer battery in Honor's 6X has a capacity of 3340 mAh, which is 340 mAh more than that of Honor's 5X. According to the manufacturer, this is enough for over 2 days of moderate use and even 1.5 days of intense use. However, Honor does not define what "moderate" and "intense" exactly mean and thus there is plenty of room for speculation. Our battery tests show that the smartphone has altogether enough reserves to achieve these runtimes in practice.

Honor's 6X shut down after almost 16 hours in the realistic Wi-Fi test. It still lasted on average for over 14:45 hours when playing an H.264 video. Thus, it proves to be a real endurance device that could easily last one or two workdays away from an outlet. Only Samsung's Galaxy J7 lasts even longer. The other rivals all have to line in behind them. Honor's 5X and Sony's Xperia XA come in last with approximately half the runtime of the 6X on average.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
37h 30min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
15h 57min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
14h 45min
Load (maximum brightness)
6h 15min
Honor 6X
3340 mAh
Honor 5X
3000 mAh
Huawei P8 lite 2017
3000 mAh
HTC One A9s
2300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy J7 2016
3300 mAh
Sony Xperia XA
2300 mAh
Battery Runtime
-45%
-33%
-37%
29%
-58%
Reader / Idle
2250
1053
-53%
1326
-41%
1543
-31%
2030
-10%
775
-66%
H.264
885
602
-32%
644
-27%
587
-34%
1220
38%
460
-48%
WiFi v1.3
957
643
-33%
604
-37%
517
-46%
1025
7%
353
-63%
Load
375
144
-62%
283
-25%
245
-35%
681
82%
170
-55%

Pros

+ affordable
+ high-quality casing
+ LTE Cat.6 and NFC
+ dual-SIM
+ fingerprint sensor
+ dual-camera with good image quality
+ bright Full HD screen
+ high system performance
+ no throttling during load
+ long battery life

Cons

- App2SD not possible
- no 5-GHz WiFi
- hybrid dual-SIM only
- games do not always run smoothly
- mediocre mono speaker

Verdict

In review: Honor 6X. Review sample courtesy of Honor Germany.
In review: Honor 6X. Review sample courtesy of Honor Germany.

Honor has a well-conceived total package in its lineup with the 5.5-inch 6X. At an official price of 249 Euros (~$268), the buyer gets a fast mid-range smartphone with a high-quality build that does many things better than its predecessor 5X, and which convinces with its decent configuration.

Foremost among these is definitely the dual-camera with its movable focus - a feature that is normally found in considerably more expensive smartphones. The Full HD panel, LTE Cat.6, NFC, dual SIM support, and 32 GB of storage, of which 22.9 GB can be used, are further plus points. Honor's 6X can easily last two days in a row, thanks to its strong battery.

Honor's 6X combines its low price with a configuration that is almost worthy of the premium class.

However, the low price also involves making some compromises: Honor's 6X only transmits in the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and achieves good but not outstanding transmission rates. Furthermore, up-to-date games do not always run smoothly when the details are set to maximum despite, an octa-core SoC and 3 GB of RAM. The mono speaker sounds mediocre at most and unfortunately calls also sound muffled every now and again.

Not really a minus point, but nevertheless an important detail: Honor's 6X still used Android 6.0 at the time of testing. However, an update to Android 7.0 has been announced and should be rolled out within the next few weeks.

Honor 6X - 03/06/2017 v6
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
83%
Keyboard
72 / 75 → 95%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
42 / 60 → 70%
Weight
91%
Battery
97%
Display
84%
Games Performance
19 / 63 → 30%
Application Performance
47 / 70 → 67%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
66 / 91 → 73%
Camera
73%
Average
73%
83%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Honor 6X Smartphone Review
Manuel Masiero, 2017-03-15 (Update: 2017-03-16)