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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The Honor 6 offers some strong specs for a decent mid-range price, and as such is worthy of consideration for those on a budget who still demand top performance.

However it feels as cheap as it is, and Huawei's Emotion UI is aging rapidly next to fresher, sharper alternatives.

We liked

The Honor 6 is undoubtedly great value for money, with specs that not so long ago would have been considered cutting edge.

I was pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of Huawei's custom CPU, which handles general navigation and complex 3D games with equal aplomb.

Meanwhile, the Honor 6's 5-inch 1080p display is crisp and colourful, and its 13MP camera takes decent pictures.

We disliked

While the Honor 6 performs like a more expensive phone, it looks and feels every inch the mid-range Android phone: cheap, plasticky, and generic.

It's a feeling that seeps through to the Emotion UI, which is starting to feel dated and stifling. Huawei's Android rivals have upped their game by either getting closer to stock Android or generally sharpening up - it's time Huawei did something similar.

Then there's the simple fact that for all its impressive features, the Honor 6 still isn't as good as the OnePlus One.

Final verdict

I appreciate what Huawei has done with the Honor 6. It has created a near-high-end Android phone that comes in at around half the price of most flagships.

While the result feels slightly dull, cheap, and derivative in the hand, it doesn't disappoint when you start using it. This is a fast, capable smartphone that covers all of the bases in terms of performance.

However, Huawei should have gone one step further in shedding its own brand name - it should have scared the Emotion UI. What once was a functional splicing of Android and iOS now feels dated and overly busy.

If you demand a high-end Android experience for £250 or less, we'd still recommend trying to go through the process to secure a 16GB OnePlus One. If you're impatient or want to go with a more established manufacturer, though, you can rely on Huawei and its Honor 6, even if the company doesn't want to put its name to it.

First reviewed: November 2014