Hands on: Honor 6A review

The latest low-cost Honor comes with a full metal jacket

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

The Honor 6A doesn't change the world of affordable phones, but it offers everything you'd expect and probably a little bit more for a device priced under £150.

For

  • Metal design
  • Promising 13MP camera

Against

  • No NFC
  • No fingerprint scanner

If you're in the market for a cheap phone, the Honor 6A may well be one of the best options for you to buy this year.

After a launch in China back in May, the Honor 6A is now making its way to the UK as it looks to tackle the budget mobile market once again.

With a full metal body, attractive price tag and a promising 13MP camera, the Honor 6A certainly looks good on paper.

Honor 6 price and release date

  • £149.99 SIM free
  • Pre-orders from July 31

The Honor 6A price is set at £149.99, putting it in competition with the equally metal-clad Nokia 5, as well as the likes of the Moto G5 and Wileyfox Swift 2.

There's no news of a US or Australia release yet, but considering the Honor 5C didn't launch in either of those markets we can assume this will only be coming to the UK.

For those in the UK, you'll be able to pre-order it SIM-free from July 31, and Three will also be ranging the phone online and in store from August 4.

Design and display

Honor has chosen a metal design for the 6A providing a surprisingly premium finish to what is a budget handset.

The phone feels a little thick at 8.2mm, but the curved edges on the rear means it sits in the hand comfortably.

There'a a 5-inch 720p display on the front that's the perfect size and the same as you'd get on the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus.

At the bottom of a phone sits a microUSB port with two speakers either side. Then there's a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top of the phone, so you can use wired headsets as well as Bluetooth ones.

Despite the 720p resolution, in our limited testing we found the screen to be sharp and didn't notice any pixels on the screen.

Specs

The Honor 6A is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, which is the same processor as the Moto G5, and it was enough to make the Motorola a powerful device considering the price point. 

In the Honor 6A the 430 chip is paired with 2GB of RAM, while storage is limited to 16GB. On an early test device - so this may change by the time of our full review - we found there to be just over 8GB of free space on the 6A.

If you're planning to download a lot of apps, games and videos you may find that a little restricting, but you'll be able to use microSD cards up to 128GB to widen your storage capabilities.

It comes with an 3020mAh battery, which Honor says will last you up to 12 hours of constant video playback. There's also Honor's battery saving technology built in, which the company claims should last up to 800 cycles before it begins to lose charge.

The rear camera on the Honor 6A is a 13MP shooter with 0.5 second autofocus, but you won't get many of the other camera features from other Honor devices like the Honor 9.

Early verdict

Honor hasn't made any major leaps or bounds in the affordable smartphone space with the 6A, but it offers a lot for the price.

That said, there's a lot of tough competition in this area with the likes of the Moto G5, Wileyfox Swift 2, Nokia 5 and many other handsets trying to grab your attention for your next affordable purchase.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.