Honor might sound like a familiar name now, since almost a year, they have been selling their phones exclusively through flipkart and are doing so pretty well. Today the company announced two new smartphones for the Indian market – the Honor 6 Plus and the Honor 4X. The Honor brand is a separate brand that the company says stands for on its own and its latest offering – the Honor 4X has made its way to our office. The Honor 4X has been priced at a modest Rs. 10,499 and at that price it faces heavy competition, so lets see how it stacks up.
Honor 4X : Build Quality and Design
The Honor 4X comes with a white back with a fine thread like texture on the back. It looks very different and feels different in the hand compared to other devices. The grip is re-ensuring and the back, although removal, doesn’t feel squeaky like some other not-so-well made devices in this price range. The Honor 4X comes with a 5.5 inch HD LCD display. Size wise, it is then very similar to the Yu Yureka from Micromax, but this is where the similarities end.
The design adds a layer of contrast to it with the front section – the bezzel surrounding the display being black in color. The right side of the 4X has a conveniently placed power button with a volume rocker above it. The back being removable, gives access to three elements – the SIM 1 slot, SIM 2 slot and the mircoSD card slot. At 8.7 mm it is not really slim, but it doesn’t have to be, because it is carrying a 3000 mAh battery on board. The battery is non removable in nature but we are not complaining. The bottom edge of the device houses the single mono speaker, we are pleased to say that it is a decent speaker, better than what the competition has to offer.
Honor 4X : Specifications and Performance
The Honor 4X comes with a beefy set of internals. The processor powering this device is an QuadCore Snapdragon 410. This CPU is a 64 bit SoC and it is paired along with 2 GB of RAM which is a very good addition. What is also good is the set of cameras we have here. The Honor 4X comes with a 13 MP rear camera and a 5 MP front camera. Honor has gathered a lot of expertise when it comes to camera technology and it shows. The Honor 6 Plus is making headlines for the cameras it has and some of that shrinks down to the Honor 4X as well. The image processing is decent enough, The interface is extremely clean and easy to use with manual options hidden in settings. The 5 MP front cameras comes handy to click selfies which are relatively clear and noise free. Honor has been using Sony IMX sensors on this device and the results are impressive, not mind blowing, but for the price you are paying you are really getting good value.
The front of the device houses a 5.5 inch HD display. At the resolution of 1280*720 pixels, the PPI is 267. Using QuadHD displays since a few months, I was expecting a pixelated display that would be very unimpressive to use. It disappointed me and I am happy that it did. The display is reasonable sharp to look at and streaming YouTube videos made it look like I could get used to it without any complaints. Whatever you do, you will always feel thankful that Honor put that massive 3000 mAh battery inside. Playing videos is a breeze and doing so for long hours will not make you rush to the power outlet. The Snapdragon 410 also brings the improved Adreno 305 GPU so the gaming experience is what you would expect. What I was amazed with is how well Honor has tuned its “EMUI” – the custom Android skin on which their devices run. EMUI is similar to MIUI from Xiaomi but has its unique elements. The interface has flat design cues and animations are slick.
Dual SIM 4G support is one of the key highlights of the phone. While flagships from brands have started catching up with 4G, Honor has a device which is not 4G enabled on both the SIMs. Being a traveler myself, I really appreciated that both SIMs are treated equally unlike previously where even 3G was supported on a single slot.
Honor 4X : User Interface
EMUI from Honor is an interesting operating system. It has features that most high end OEMs implement in their systems. Naming a few, there is double-tap to wake, I am very much used to this from the times of the LG G2. Magazine lockscreen as they call it, is designed to have a flair of its own with a new picture displayed everytime one unlocks the display. Also, EMUI makes the Honor 4X highly customizable. Everything from the icons to animations and even lock screen effects can be mixed and matched till one feels that they have done everything to their liking. The display looks good, something I must point out is that one has the ability to tune the white balance and even color temperature – a whole professional calibration suite is available. The level of fine tuning is rare and it makes the Honor 4X a gem.
The EMUI or Emotion UI 3.0 is based on Android Kitkat 4.4.4 with the company promising monthly updates for the next couple of months. Such commitment is welcome. Navigation through the UI is done with the help of capacitive buttons at the bottom. However, the buttons do not have back lighting and makes it a tad bit difficult to use in complete darkness.
Honor 4x : Camera
The camera interface on the Honor 4X is very clean and minimalistic. This creates for a clutter free experience. Focus is quick and on the spot. If you are one of those who likes to take control of the picture themselves then there is a pro mode along with settings of exposure, sharpness and saturation available to fine tune. The different modes are available as follows :
We particularly liked the all focus mode and Best photo. On holding down the shutter the camera takes a burst shot. Video recording is available in Full HD as well. The images are are very attractive and sharp in daylight and decent in low light. The gallery app is easy to navigate around and offers a photo editing suite as well.
Honor 4X : Conclusion
The Honor 4X is a very compelling phone at the price point it comes. It comes with a decent set of cameras, a speedy processing package with a Snapdragon 410 and 2 GB of RAM. Multi-tasking is fluid thanks to a fluid Emotion UI and there is much future-proofing with the commitment of regular updates. The build is likable and the dual SIM 4G is the winning finishing move. For Rs. 10,499 in the Indian market, Honor is set out to establish a strong hold of the entry-mid level segment and we are sure it will indeed succeed at it.
- Dual SIM 4G
- Decent Build and Design
- Large Battery
- Large Display
- Capacitive buttons are not backlit.
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