To get a stronger foothold in the youngsters demographic of the smartphone market, Huawei has introduced a new brand called Honor. The Honor brand and series of smartphones is meant to delivery good quality, stylish smartphones for a competitive price.
This time we are doing a duo review: Two Honor smartphones have made it from China to our review offices. They are the Honor 6 and the Honor 3C. The Honor 6 sells for about 300 euro, and the 3C for 140 euro. The 6 was introduced in June 2014 and the 3C in December 2013, so they have been on the market for a while now.
The Honor 6 specifications:
– 5 inch screen, full HD
– 1,7GHz octacore Kirin 920 CPU
– Android 4.4.2
– 3 GB RAM
– 16GB internal storage, + microSD
– Camera: 13MP Primary camera, 5MP secondary
– Battery: non–removable, Li–Po 3100mAh
– Dual SIM
– Weight: 130 grams
Honor 3c specifications:
– 5 inch screen, HD
– 1,3GHz quad–core Cortex A7
– Android 4.2.2
– 2 GB RAM
– 8GB internal storage, + microSD
– Camera: 8MP Primary camera, 5MP secondary
– Battery: Li–Po 2300mAh
– Dual SIM
– Weight: 140 grams
As a side note, the Honor 6 battery is indeed non–removable, but the Honor 3C’s battery is. Both devices are dual SIM: more on that later.
In the box
|Both bright cyan/blue boxes contain the following:
– Honor smartphone
– Charger and cable
– Battery (in case of the Honor 3C)
– Quick start guide
– Ear buds
Here’s the contents of the 3C box:
After unboxing both the Honor 6 and Honor 3C, first impressions are good. Both are ‘serious’ smartphones so to speak, from the start. Large, well finished and no fuss looks. The biggest difference between the two is that the Honor 6 is full glass, front and back, while the 3C is of a shiny plastic type. Startup and set–up of both smartphones is very straightforward: you’ll be up and running in a few minutes.
When holding the Honor 6 there’s a sense of luxury, yet the glass on the front and back is also very smudge and scratch–prone. If you’re used to smudging all glass surfaces like tabletops, other backsidesmartphones and tablets, then the Honor 6 might not be for you: after a day or two of heavy use it’ll be smudge central. If not, then it’s a stylish sleek phone. More on the outside later.
The 3C on the other hand feels a bit cheaper, in a way: not just because of the plastic casing instead of glass, but also because of its shape. A rounded, slick plastic rear doesn’t make for much grip. A more rough rear like the Motorola Moto G or other smartphones would make for better grip and holding it one hand.
The size of both doesn’t help either: they are both 5 inch phones, and even for the bigger than average hands which I have, they don’t fit just as nice as a 4 inch or 4,5 inch (the aforementioned Moto G is 4,5 inch) does.
Onward to the interface and UI!
Interface and Emotion UI
If you are used to the regular Android UI then you’ll quickly get to grips with the so–called Emotion UI (version 3.0 in this case) that Huawei has developed. It’s on the Honor smartphones as well, and is a overlay of sorts on top of Android. Comparable with HTC’s Sense or with Samsung’s UI for the Galaxy models. The Emotion UI is brightly colored, with several tricks up its sleeve for the user. More on that later.
Here’s an example of the Honor 3C’s interface:
As you can see, bright colors, a separate widget screen and such. Not too different from a stock Android smartphone.
The Honor 6 has a nifty feature when it comes to picture taking: when it is in locked mode with screen off, it has a quickshot feature: tap twice quickly on the volume down button and it takes a picture, often within a second. A nice and useful feature, of which I wish more smartphones would employ it. Weirdly enough, the 3C didn’t have it enabled even though it’s the same phone series (Honor) and the same Emotion UI. Maybe with an Emotion UI update it will have the quickshot feature enabled.
Under the hood – Screen, processing power, storage etc.
Both the Honor 6 and 3C are well–specced phones. Basic specs include a 5 inch display, more than enough processing power and ample storage. The Honor 6 has especially impressive specs: its 5 inch screen is full HD, it has an octacore processor developed by Huawei themselves running at 1,7GHz and an impressive 3GB of RAM. This means that, even with many apps and services open, it won’t go lagging on you.
The same holds true for the 3C, however. Not being outfitted with best–in–class specs like the 6, it still has enough power to even satisfy the most demanding users. Both phones have ample storage as well: the 6 has 16GB of internal storage while the 3C has 8GB. If this is not enough, both have room for a microSD–card to be inserted to expand that storage to your needs.flat
The cameras on both phones are pretty good, with the 6 squeezing out a bit more resolution because of the 13MP sensor compared to the 8MP on the 3C. Images are of good quality with enough sharpness. White balance is good too, if the lighting isn’t too difficult to handle for the sensor.
With the 3C, battery life is pretty good. With normal use, it lasts about 2 to 3 days. And even with heavy use, you shouldn’t be worried about not making it to the end of the day.
However, with the Honor 6, it’s a different story. Both its higher resolution screen and the octacore processor are more power–hungry. This reflects in the battery usage. Even though the 6 has a higher capacity battery (3100 mAh vs 2300 mAh for the 3C), it doesn’t last as long. Regular use allows you to use it for about a day and a half, and with minimal use nearly 2. However, heavy use makes its battery run down within a day, which is not too great of a performance, especially for a smartphone in the mid–range of budgets.
All in all, both Honor models are a pleasant surprise. There are a few minor niggles, but those are mostly personal. If you are in the market for an affordable yet powerful Android smartphone, be sure to check out the 3C. And if you have a bit more cash to spend (still ‘only’ 200 euros), then the 6 has an excellent set of features to offer which will last several years.
I must say that, as a new brand within the Huawei brand, both the Honor 3C and Honor 6 are worthy entries. Be sure to check them out and compare them to the well known brand names in the market.
+ Price / performance ratio
+ Good screen brightness and resolution
+ Good battery life
– Plastic casing feels a bit slippery and cheap
+ Very fast
+ Full HD screen
+ Plenty of storage
+ Very good camera
– smudge and scratch prone front and back
– Average battery life