Our hands-on Honor 6A review takes a close look at the latest budget Honor handset, which is just launching here in the UK.
The Honor 6A smartphone was launched over in Asia a few months back, with the aim of replacing the existing (and rather excellent) Honor 5C handset from last year. Yet it's only just hitting the UK at the tail end of July.
This latest budget release is a compact 5-inch handset offering HD visuals, a big battery and what seems to be a solid 13-megapixel camera, for a low asking price of £150. That means it's a serious rival to the likes of the Moto G5, Lenovo P2 and Vodafone's Smart V8, which also offer a dependable everyday experience for under £200.
In other words, if you're after a good starter smartphone, a dependable secondary handset or even just a great-value everyday mobile, the Honor 6A is one to check out.
We had a chance to go hands-on at an Honor preview, so here's our first look Honor 6A review, to reveal our initial impressions. We've also compared the 6A to other budget Honor phones, so you can see how it stacks up to its siblings.
If you want more inspiration, check out our round-up of the best budget smartphones you can buy in 2017.
Hands-on Honor 6A review: Specs
|OS||Android 7.0 + EMUI 5.1|
|microSD?||Yes (up to 128GB)|
|Rear camera||13MP (PDAF)|
Hands-on Honor 6A review: Design
The Honor 6A very much follows the company’s usual design ethos for its more budget models. This is a metal handset which proves pleasingly compact, at just 5-inches in size, while the curved edges make for a very comfortable fit in the palm. Sure it’s quite a chunky handset at 8.2mm, although that’s to be expected given the other dimensions. Meanwhile the 150g weight adds a reassuring heft, so you know this isn’t a ‘cheap’ device.
If you’re after an affordable phone that’s easy to use with a single hand, the Honor 6A certainly seems to be a thumbs up.
Hands-on Honor 6A review: Screen and media
A 5-inch IPS screen fills most of the front panel, and at this price point it seems to be a more than respectable display.
The 720p HD resolution means images aren’t quite as sharp as some rivals manage, such as the Full HD Moto G5 and Vodafone Smart V8. However, the compact nature of the display ensures that you won’t be put off by blocky visuals. Detail levels are perfectly fine for enjoying YouTube videos and the rest, while colours are reasonably punchy and brightness levels are acceptable.
As is standard with the Emotion UI software, you have an Eye Comfort mode for those long night time browsing sessions. This produces warmer visuals by filtering blue light, which means less eye strain and less disruption, allowing you to slip off to slumber land when you finally tire of Instagram.
Hands-on Honor 6A review: Features
Android Nougat is topped off with Huawei’s Emotion UI 5.1, so the Honor 6A sports the same interface and general software features as other Honor handsets (as well as many of Huawei’s smartphones). Check out our full EMUI review if you want to find out all about our favourite bits.
You get 16GB of built-in storage, which can be expanded any time you like with a microSD memory card up to 128GB. Just as well, as over half of that space is taken up by the OS and various pre-installed apps.
There’s also dual SIM support, so you can rock a work and a personal SIM in one device.
Sadly there’s no support for NFC in the 6A, which means no contactless payments. If that’s a dealbreaker, check out Nokia’s new mid-range mobiles instead.
Hands-on Honor 6A review: Performance and battery life
We’ve only played with the Honor 6A for an hour thus far, although the performance certainly seems to be dependable. A basic 1.5GHz Snapdragon 430 platform provides the power, backed up by just 2GB RAM. That’s very similar to the setup in the Nokia 5, yet Honor’s phone appears to be much smoother for everyday operation. Here’s hoping the 6A continues to impress, while we fully review it.
A 3020mAh battery is crammed inside, which is pleasing considering the 5-inch frame. We can’t speak for the battery life so far, although the meter barely ticked down during our hands-on session.
Hands-on Honor 6A review: Cameras
A 13-megapixel single-lens rear camera with a fast Phase Detection Autofocus is the main Honor 6A snapper, which is pretty typical specs for a phone around this price point. You don’t get the dual-lens tech of the Honor 6X here, although in our tests the 6A seems well up to the job of everyday snaps.
You can quick launch the camera with a double-push of the volume down button, using Honor’s Ultra Snapshot feature. The camera interface is exactly as expected, with a swipe right bringing up different camera modes (including the usual timelapse, slow motion and so on) and a swipe left to access all of the options.
Tap-to-focus and autofocus are certainly nippy and results seem good for this level. Our quick test shots looked good, while you can also shoot up to Full HD video with some reasonable image stabilisation.
You also of course have a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, with the obligatory beauty mode and a ‘flash’ feature which lights up the screen.
Stay tuned for our in-depth Honor 6A camera review for samples and our full analysis.
Hands-on Honor 6A review: UK price and release date
Pre-orders for the Honor 6A will open online on Monday July 31, so you can bag your own handset on Honor’s website. If you’d rather buy it through a UK provider, Three UK will be storing the new phone from August 4.
The UK asking price is £150, which makes this phone a direct competitor to the likes of the Moto G5 and Nokia 5.
Honor 6A hands-on video review
Want to see the Honor 6A in action? Check out our full Honor 6A hands-on review in video form below.