Honor 6 review

A near high-end Android phone at half the price

Honor 6 review
Another surprisingly affordable handset from China

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As we've already mentioned, Huawei is marketing the Honor 6 as the world's fastest smartphone - a bold claim indeed in this time of 64-bit powerhouse processors like Apple's A8 and Nvidia's Tegra K1.

We'll deal with the Honor 6's custom octa-core Kirin 920 CPU in the next section, because Huawei isn't really referring to its processing performance here. More specifically, it's referring to the chip's in-built CAT 6 LTE network compatibility.

This advanced 4G standard will allow download speeds of up to 300Mbps. That's double the speed of the current widespread CAT 4 LTE standard in this country.

Is that last statement ringing any alarm bells with you? It should do. If CAT 4 LTE is the current widespread standard in the UK and Europe, of what use is a phone with CAT 6 LTE capabilities?

The brutal answer to that is 'very little at all,' aside from giving the phone a degree of future-proofing for when 4G speeds inevitably crank up. EE is known to be testing such network speeds, so stay tuned.

Of course, even if the UK did have CAT 6 LTE, the Honor 6 would hardly be out on its own for download speeds. Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Huawei's own Ascend P7 are compatible with the network standard, among others.

One of the biggest boasts for the Honor 6 is related to its new brand name. Huawei has set Honor up as an internet-only operation - you won't be able to find the phone (or any future Honor phone) in any shop. This is how the company has kept costs down, resulting in a premium-specced phone for £250.

Honor 6 review

Elsewhere, the Honor 6 may not have quite the impressive 8MP front-facing camera of the Huawei Ascend P7, but it still has a better-than-average 5MP example. Other manufacturers have dubbed their handsets 'selfie phones' for offering such a component.

Not only does the Honor 6's front-facing camera take good pictures (more on this in the camera section), it also allows you to take panoramic selfies. Because apparently that's a thing now.

Sticking with photographic matters, but swinging around to the main one, the Honor 6 offers the same Ultra Snapshot feature as the Ascend P7. Double tap the volume down key, and the phone will instantly take a snap from sleep. Huawei claims this will take 0.6 of a second, and in practice I managed to get near that, but generally found it taking around a second.

Honor 6 review

That's still far quicker than the typical process of fiddling around with power buttons and lock screen shortcuts. The quality of the images in this super-quick snapshot mode is reasonable too, though the megapixel count is bumped down and there's no autofocusing.

It really is a case of point, shoot and hope for the best, but it means you have a chance of capturing those spontaneous instant shot scenarios at least.