Huawei puts its Honor on the line

Honor 6 smartphone launches in the UK, offering Cat 6 LTE connectivity and a two-day battery life
Honor 6

If you're sick of constantly eyeing the battery level on your smartphone, Honor could have the answer to your prayers.

The smartphone brand has taken the wraps off the Honor 6, the first of its line of devices to launch in the UK; the phone delivers a claimed two-day battery life thanks to its 3,100mAh battery and SmartPower 2.0 technology.

Honor's an offshoot of Huawei, so unsurprisingly the Honor 6 is powered by Huawei's octa-core Kirin920 processor. That should mean that it'll zip along, bolstered as it is with 3GB RAM and a Mali T628MP4 GPU, plus 16GB onboard storage (expandable via microSD). The Honor 6 packs Cat6 LTE connectivity, too, for download speeds of up to 300Mbps; you also get a 5in Full HD screen delivering 445ppi, a 13MP f2.0 rear camera with HDR and a dual-LED flash, and a 5MP front snapper with a 1.4μm pixel size and an 88° field of view for panoramic selfies.

Honor 6

The Honor 6 doesn't have the latest version of Android, though; it makes do with version 4.4.2 KitKat, skinned with Huawei's EmotionUI 2.3. Huawei's made some tweaks to the skin, which looks a lot better than previous iterations; it packs a rather iOS-like control centre that enables you to get at key functions like the calculator, torch and music controls from the lockscreen.

That battery life looks to be the main selling point, though; Huawei claims that it'll last for more than a full day with heavy usage, or over two days with normal usage. An ultra power saver mode enables you to eke that battery life out even more, with 24 hours standby time on 10% charge.

The Honor 6 is available from 29 October, priced £250 (RM1318) in the UK but local pricing is yet to be disclosed; stay tuned for our hands-on impressions.

READ MORE: 7 things you need to know about the new Google Nexus 6


Honor 6 hands on: sturdy, sharp and speedy

Honor 6 hands on review
Honor 6 hands on review
Honor 6 hands on review
Honor 6 hands on review

The Honor 6 feels like anything but a Huawei phone.

A cross between a small Sony Xperia Z3 and a Nexus 4, it is solid in the hand, doesn't creak and apart from the power and volume buttons feels quite expensive. It's blocky, to be sure, in the same way Xperias are. It has a flap, too, to hide the microSD card slot and SIM slot plus the (Sony) camera is right in the top right hand corner just like on the Z3. 

The Full HD screen is lovely, too, on first glance. Text looks sharp, colours look accurate, though not dazzling, and whites look clean head on. Tilt the Honor side to side or up and down and the viewing angles aren't the best but hey, we're comparing it to £550 smartphones. 

How about that power? Moving around the homescreens, browsing and diving into settings we've had a lag free Honor 6 experience so far, apart from taking screenshots weirdly which oddly takes a splitsecond longer than we'd expect. It can also run small apps, such as calculator, calendar and a music player, over the main app onscreen without a stutter via the Suspend Button feature.

The AnTuTu score confirms our suspicions that the Honor 6 packs more power than it has any right to at £250. It scores a mighty 36519, more than rival buget phones the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One and close to the likes of the Galaxy S5 and LG G3.

Equally fast is focusing with the 13MP camera and in our short snapping sesson it did a reasonable, if not jaw dropping job, of taking clear pics indoors. We will put the camera further to the test in our full review as it has long been a weakness on the Nexus line. 

Initial Verdict

On first impressions, and if that two day battery life is true, the Honor 6 will be the new budget smartphone to beat. 

It joins the Nexus and OnePlus club in a very special category: good value smartphones that act like flagships. Our unit has only dropped 10% in the past hour of hammering it, too, so we've no reason to believe Huawei/Honor isn't telling the truth about the Honor 6's stamina. 

Stick to for a full, in depth review very soon.