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The Honor 6 is good but came out too late (Review)

by Frank Tu 1

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I.                   An Improvement for Huawei

      Restricted by its microchip strategy, for more than three years, Huawei has not had a flagship phone in the truest sense even though the company has been targeting the high-end market since Yu Chengdong’s arrival.

After HiSilicon started producing microchips faster, the Honor 6 finally had standard cell phone functions. Besides its processor, Huawei has improved a lot in the last two years.

The base band of Huawei’s processors has surpassed Qualcomm’s and Huawei is the third company in the industry to integrate 4G base bands into their processors.

       Regarding ISP, their processors use Altek-based technology, improving the quality of photos.

As for videos, video processors and codecs can be customized and tests show that they are pretty good.

Regarding the software, the UI is pretty fluid even though it’s not exactly aesthetically pleasing. Huawei has also improved several small personalized functions.

Like the Oneplus, there are not any clear flaws with the Honor 6. ON the contrary, it has some amazing features. Its most useful feature is the Wifi. Xiaomi’s attempts at taking advantage of public WiFi and shared passwords has been criticized for privacy and safety problems and, as a result, failed. Huawei, though, could easily do this with the help of internet providers. Huawei’s partnership with providers is one of their strengths.

The Huawei 6 is the result of progress made by Huawei in the last two years and is an excellent product.

II.                Late opportunity

The Honor 6 was released on June 24, 2014, the end of the second quarter of the year.

Other cell phones with similar specs (four A15 cores, the Snapdragon 800 and more powerful processors) were released as early as the third quarter of 2013, but most appeared in the fourth quarter.

New phones have been coming out non-stop since late 2013, i.e. ZTE U988S, Mi 3, Nubia Z5S, ELIFE E7, ZTE Grand SII, OPPO Find 7, vivo Xplay 3S, Xshot, OnePlus One, Smartisan T1…

Costing 1999 RMB, the Honor 6’s biggest rivals are the OnePlus One, the cheaper Mi 3, and ZTE Grand SII. Costing 1499 RMB (241.62 USD), the Mi 3 should have a fighting chance.

The ZTE Grand SII has a replaceable battery. Although the Honor 6 is a great step forward for Huawei, but it does not have much a great advantage over the Oneplus One, with its design, craftsmanship, texture, and the Mi 3 with its cheap price.

If the Honor 6 was released in the fourth quarter of 2013 or the first quarter of 2014, it might have a bigger chance. But as it’s being released in the second quarter, it might not have much of a chance as its competitors are starting to cut prices.

What’s even more unfortunate is that MT6595 will be shipped in the third quarter of the year. Its features are excellent and it does not use too much power. Its low price should also lower the prices of powerful devices that will use it to around 1000 RMB (161.08 USD). This won’t leave the Honor 6 with a lot of time to get ready.

The Honor 6 is a great product but unfortunately it has come out at the wrong time. If Huawei really wants to fight back, they would continue to push HiSilicon to make better processors and catch up with Samsung and Qualcomm. At the same time, they should create more processors that use A57 cores and use the most advanced technology.

Things might just turn around in 2015 if Xiaomi and Huawei release products that use a 64-bit A57-core processor in the first quarter.

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  • Vladnar

    Great article, thanks.
    Yet, I believe there is a growing demand for high end smartphones with a 5″ screen. And in that sense, there aren’t a lot of manufacturer who offer that:
    Yes, the Mi3 is 5″ but its overall size is quite big, and it doesn’t support 4G so far. I know 4g is still limited, but still, I would “feel bad” to invest in a 3G only phone while the 4G is available. And here, the Huawei Honor 6 is the first phone in the world which offers Category 6 4G, which is a great asset for the phone.
    And finally, the Honor 6’s build is not in plastic… it’s subjective but I like that

    So I actually think it wasn’t such a bad choice to release it now. One Plus One, Oppo, etc are releasing 5.5″ phones with great specs but too big for some people, while Huawei is tackling a different segment.

    I have heard rumors stating that Xiaomi is going to release a 5″ smartphone as well, so maybe it was best for Huawei to do it now.