Honor 6 Plus Review, More Than Just A Dual Camera Beast!

Last December of 2014, Honor got the attention of the mobile world when they released their first dual camera setup in the form of the Honor 6 Plus. The Honor 6 Plus is one of the very rare smartphones in the world that has this type of technology and at that time it's also one of the sleekest looking device due to its narrow than usual bezels.
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Honor 6 Plus review

Disclaimer: This review unit was provided by Huawei Philippines for an honest review

Two months ago, Honor Philippines seeded me a unit to use and see if the hype is true and how does it perform against the newer competition in the market today. Let's go with the internals of the phone first.

Related: Huawei Honor 6 Plus Gets A Price Cut, Monster Cameras Under 12K Pesos

Honor 6 Plus Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD IPS 1920 x 1080 w/ Gorilla Glass 3 protection at 401 ppi
CPU: 1.8 GHz 64 Bit Kirin 935 octa core processor
GPU: Mali T628
RAM: 3 GB
ROM: 32 GB expandable via micro SD card up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP f/2.0 w/ AF, dual LED flash (Dual 8 MP setup)
Selfie Camera: 8 MP
Battery: 3,600 mAh Li Pol
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop w/ EMUI upgradable to Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Connectivity: WiFi a/b/g/n, 3G, HSPA+, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE Cat 6, FM Radio, OTG, NFC, Infrared, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Light, proximity, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
Dimensions: 150.46 x 75.68 x 7.5 mm
Weight: 185 g
Price: 17,490 Pesos (Sale price of 11,990 Pesos)

Unboxing / Accessories

HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
The Honor 6 Plus packaging

The Honor 6 Plus comes in a simple, small and teal colored box. Visible is the honor logo and some information about the phone at the back.
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
The package included

When it comes to the accessories included in the package, the Honor 6 Plus presents most the things needed. It contains a 2 A wall charger adapter for faster charging purposes, thick micro USB data cables, SIM ejector pin, two screen protector film for both front and back, great sounding earphones with mic and the manuals.

Build Quality / Design

HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Classy looking glass at the back

Design-wise, the Honor 6 Plus clearly borrowed some pages of the iPhone 4 but bigger. It's a well engineered smartphone that has no sharp edges and everything was well made to ensure that it would be ergonomically great to hold. I also like that it's not as thick compared to other phones of this size even against the newer phones of today. The slim bezels also added a nice classy profile and better viewing experience.
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
The side of the phone showing the buttons and SIM / microSD card slots
Build-wise, it's on a near flagship level. It's made out durable looking hard plastic, metal alloy frame on the side and have Gorilla Glass 3 protection in front. What I did not like is the addition of the fiber glass at the back as it might break when you drop it. It won't be an issue though once you protect the phone with a case.
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Mic and micro USB port below
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Mic, sensors, camera and 3.5 mm ports on top

In general, I like most of what I saw with the design and build of the Honor 6 Plus. It's elegant looking and durable at the same time.

Do not try this: One time I accidentally dropped the Honor 6 Plus face down on our marble floor quite high. Fortunately, there's no cracks and scratches. Whew! :)

Display Quality

HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
The nice near bezel-less screen of the Honor 6 Plus


One of the best things I like with the Honor 6 Plus is the near bezel-less screen. Aside from that this device also features a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 401 ppi. That makes the images look tight and sharp with almost no visible pixels on the naked eye. The default color tone of this phone is a bit on the colder side with nice close to accurate colors. The color tone can also be adjusted to both cold and warm. Lastly, like most flagship phones with IPS panel, the viewing angles of this device is excellent.

Note: I suggest to use the warmer tone at times to prevent eye strain when reading

Audio Quality

The speaker quality of the Honor 6 Plus is somehow on the average side for a smartphone that can give you nice clear tunes. However, it was able to surprise me in one part and that is in the loudness department. It's quite loud for a phone to ensure that you'll hear a call even from afar or enjoy your tunes in a nice quiet room.

The audio out thru headphones / earphones is clean and neutral sounding too! The inclusion of the DTS audio may benefit you if you want a wider concert like soundstage. However that may make the tunes sound a bit un-natural. For me it sounds best with nice balance when the DTS option is off. I also find it a bit lacking when it comes to driving some big cans and heavy impedance IEMs, it's not that much of an issue though as most headphones / earphones of today are phone friendly. The mic part of the phone is also clear enough when doing recordings and calls. Another surprise here is the inclusion of a decent sounding IEM with mic that has clear mids and not too overpowering bass.

Battery

HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Almost 8 hours of heavy usage!


At 5.5 Inch FHD with this type of specs, you might think that the 3,600 mAh Li-pol battery might be lacking, but you're wrong! The Honor 6 Plus can last for almost 8 hours of heavy usage! My settings that time is like WiFi on, Data on, Bluetooth on and GPS on while playing games and taking a lot of photos! Even the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro with 4,000 mAh of battery wasn't able to achieve that. When it comes to normal usage, the phone usually last for over 20 hours.

Huawei Honor was also able to include a nice battery management tool that notifies you to close an app that you're not using which consumes power. The Honor 6 Plus also has a built in power saving feature included in the Phone Manager that gives you the Ultra power saving, smart and normal modes.

Camera

HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Wide aperture mode with metering

The main highlight of the Honor 6 Plus the specially designed dual 8 MP camera setup that gives you up to 13 MP of image resolution. It utilizes an SLR grade ISP that can give you a pixel size of 1.98 um that enables you to take pro quality photos. The dual camera setup also let's you get twice more light compared to a regular single camera sensor that has a focus that works like the human eye.It also gives you a great depth of field range from 70 mm to infinity. That's how interesting the the camera of the Honor 6 Plus works.
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Some wide aperture effects

When it comes to the actual performance of the camera, using it is such a delight! This is arguably the best point and shoot camera I've seen on a phone. Up to now I'm still using it as my main photography phone for blogging, product reviews and events. I loved it's rich colors, details and great overall quality. It also has that fast shutter speed and focus to easily capture your subject.

The camera software is also easy to use just the way a smartphone camera should act. There's no need for manual mode as they controls using this phone is simple to use. I like how easy you can take "bokeh" shots as you can adjust the aperture size via the camera software from f/0.95 to f/16. It also has that spot metering function and quick lighting adjustment. It also has the "best photo" and burst shooting mode to make you capture multiple shots in a snap which can choose the best shot you took after. I also loved the night mode that can produce photos with nice details and less noise at night.

Not to be left behind, the selfie camera of the Honor 6 Plus is also packed with features. It has one of the nicest beautify function I've seen, can take panorama selfies and make your screen act as a flash when taking photos in the dark. One this is missing though, it doesn't have an auto focus feature. Not that much of an issue though as it can take accurate selfies very well.

As a person who don't like bringing heavy DSLR cameras for my simple photography needs, the Honor 6 Plus is perfect for my lifestyle.

Sample shots and video

HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Used wide aperture monochrome effect
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
HDR mode on a sunny afternoon
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
No spot metering used with me
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Spot metering feature used with Anicka Yu
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Nice bokeh shot
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Club lighting shot
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Dim light satchmi chocolate shot
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
With and without flash (a little overexposed)
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Night mode!
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Selfie megamall lighting
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
Selfie dim light
HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
For other camera samples, please check the review section www.gizguide.com as I'm using the Honor 6 Plus in my product shoots

Sample camera video with dim light

Performance

HONOR 6 PLUS REVIEW, MORE THAN JUST A DUAL CAMERA BEAST!
The easy to use interface
Using the Honor 6 Plus is simple and easy yet powerful. It's packed with the older Android 4.4.2 Kitkat with EMUI 3.0 skin. The EMUI reminds me of the IOS in an Android form as it has no app drawer with clean looking icons. The best part of the EMUI is it's not a bloated OS compared to others to give you a smooth experience. I would have loved this one better though if it's on Android Lollipop already. Fortunately, Honor promised a software update on this phone soon.
Gestures
Other features

The Honor 6 Plus is also loaded with features like double tap to wake, motions and gestures and smart assistance. This phone also has a phone manager pre-installed with phone accelerator, harassment filter, power saving and traffic management functions. The Honor 6 Plus also has LTE connectivity where I get more signal against the lower end Alcatel Flash Plus.
Game test
Sample gaming using the Honor 6 Plus

Powered by the Kirin 925, Mali T628 GPU and 3 GB of RAM the general performance and multi tasking of the Honor 6 Plus performed smoothly. There are only few times that I experienced app crashes and lags. The Honor 6 Plus doesn't also heat up so much compared to phones that uses an Intel or higher end Snapdragon processors. I'm sure casual even up to the heavy gamers will be satisfied with the Honor 6 Plus most of the time.

Benchmarks

Benchmarks
High antutu score and 10 point multi touch
Geekbench
Geek bench and quadrant score
GPU bench
GPU bench result

Pro's - TO NOTCH SMARTPHONE CAMERA, easy to understand interface, better than average battery life, screen to size ratio, nice loud speaker, clear microphone
Con's - Didn't like the fiber glass back, still on Android 4.4.2 Kitkat (Update is nearing though), you can't use the dual SIM function if you'll insert a microSD card
Suggestions - The next version should have a dedicated camera button, add the grid feature to the camera software

Verdict

Our review might be late, but the Honor 6 Plus is still the camera phone to beat under 20,000 Pesos and will be my phone for a long time. As a blogger and product reviewer on the go the Honor 6 Plus was able to deliver most of the things I needed on a smartphone. It has that speedy performance and responsiveness, good connectivity, nice slim bezels, great battery life and of course the amazing camera performance for a phone. Power hungry guys may say that this phone was priced a bit high for the specs, but for the camera and overall phone performance, the Honor 6 Plus is a solid solid SOLID buy.

GIZ Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars
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