Honor 6A Smartphone Review: a return to roots for the Chinese manufacturer


  • Endurance of competition.
  • Quality metal construction.
  • OS rich in customization capabilities.
  • Successful multimedia component.


  • Poor rendering of photos (especially in low light).
  • Calibration of the screen to be corrected.
  • Glass that grips very easily the fingerprints.
  • No fingerprint reader.


Going slowly into the range over the years, we might have feared that Honor lost the formula to make good phones less than 200$, but this 6A is proof to the contrary. Without being transcendent, it ensures quite correct performance and will satisfy those who have basic needs. However, in this game the mobile has competition in the person of the GS160 Gigaset, which it, is a little cheaper and produces pictures a little more pleasant.

At the beginning, Honor’s catalog was simple: the N series (for “Number”) represented the top-of-the-range (Honor 7, Honor 8, Honor 9), the X was looking for mid-range balance and C aimed to offer unbeatable value for money. But in this beautiful harmony, here comes the Honor 6A, which tries to propose a tariff still lower than the motives of the lineage of C.

Like many low-cost carmakers, Honor has, over the years, made his telephone tariffs rise a bit, with the aim of creating a margin a little more comfortable than at the beginning; proof is with the 9 and 8 Pro which exceed respectively the 400 and 500$. The other series also got a bit of a gentrification, Honor just decided to launch another series more affordable, to offer again a mobile below the 200$ mark. This motive is precisely Honor 6A.

For this price, the 6A comes with an IPS 5-inch HD (1280 x 720 by 12.7 cm), behind which hides a mobile chip Snapdragon 430 with its 8 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz, 2 GB RAM and an Adreno 505 GPU. The 6A can hold up to 16GB of data in its internal memory and also has a microSD slot. On the photo side, a module of 13 Mpx finds its place on the back, whereas a second of 5 Mpx is installed on the facade. All the usual connectivity is part with Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.1 and an FM chip and A-GPS. Only small regret, the European version, unlike the Chinese, has no fingerprint reader, and it is a micro-USB port rather than USB Type-C which is used for charging and transferring data. Finally, a battery of 3 020 mAh takes care of


Honor was one of the first manufacturers to use metal finishes on entry-level phones, and if the practice is now democratized, it is always nice to see that a phone below 200$ no longer automatically inherits a shiny plastic shell. The aesthetic is not the most original, but the whole remains pleasant in hand and rather successful. Even the plastic strips intended to pass the waves do not detonate too much. We really regret, however, the absence of fingerprint reader, yet present on the Chinese version. With phones like the Gigaset GS160 which offers this sensor for less than 150$, it now becomes difficult to justify its absence on phones,

The front side, on the other hand, is about 68% occupied by the screen, a reasonable percentage for a phone at this price. Where the rub is hurt, it is more on the side of the quality of the glass that protects the screen itself. The latter very quickly catches the fingerprints, apparently due to the absence of an oleophobic treatment. This degrades a little the overall experience and will have the gift of exasperating the maniacs.

Apart from that, there is not much else to reproach this mobile, the experience is correct and nothing creaks or cracks. The heater is also rather mastered and fortunately, since the phone does not deploy a monstrous power. We are therefore faced with a mobile without defects that are unacceptable, but which does not revolutionize the sector either. For 169$, we did not really expect anything else.


As is often the case on the market, the Honor 6A arrives with a screen whose calibration is slightly distorted. By default, the color temperature reaches 7,301 kelvins and delta E is 5.2. And if it is possible to go from 7 300 K to 6 480 K by choosing the “hot” profile within the display parameters, the delta E never falls below 5, whatever the configuration adopted. No chance to have perfect colors so, it will live with a slightly distorted rendering.

Readability is not transcendent either, with a contrast limited to 1132: 1, a maximum brightness of 404 cd / m² (and 4.5 minimal) and a reflectance ratio of about 12%. Perfectly average values ​​in just about every case.

In use, finally, with a tactile delay of 128 ms and a remanence of 18 ms, the mobile is doing pretty well, without sparking again. The definition of the screen sometimes leaves a little blur around the characters, but this will remain sufficient for most uses.


Unlike Honor 6C , tested by us recently, the 6A happily works with Android 7 and EMUI 5.1. By default, we find ourselves in front of an interface inspired by that of iOS, where the application drawer is absent and the icons aligned one behind the other along virtual desktops. It is nevertheless possible to make appear the drawer of applications and to find thus a more ergonomic Android “traditional”.

The rest of the OS is relatively expected: panel notifications with customizable shortcuts, multi-window mode, possibility to arrange the order of virtual buttons … A package of features now prevalent on Honor mobiles, but always appreciable to have. There is also a floating menu for accessing certain OS functions from any application, motion control (double tap for waking), or even a one-handed operation.

The system runs smoothly, and if the phone is certainly not made to juggle between heavy tasks, it is effective enough for everyday simple tasks.


On the video playback side, although the 6A is not a racing beast, it will have no problem reading most codecs in most formats. The screen of the mobile is however limited to the HD, it does not serve to clutter its memory with files to the higher definition if one plans to visualize them directly on this one.


On the audio side, the 6A produces a rather clean and powerful signal where the dynamic is wide and crosstalk rather well marked. Nothing to say about it so, the latest born of Honor will feed even the most gourmands audio equipment. The loudspeaker, on the other hand, produces a brilliant and loud sound, concentrated only on the upper part of the spectrum. To avoid, then.

Not surprisingly, the 6A is not a gaming monster and will be much better able to run small games to pass the time than big titles greedy. A game like Real Racing 3 can nevertheless start without worries, but it will be necessary to make some sacrifices on the quality to turn the title pretty much cleanly.


Photo is often the Achilles heel of entry-level mobiles, and this 6A unfortunately does not escape. The pictures taken in broad daylight are fairly clean and legible as long as one does not observe all the small details of the scene. The reproduction of the colors is fair enough and the contrast as the dive are well present. On the other hand, there are some areas of blurring, as if the mobile was struggling to make a clean focus, and on certain flat areas one easily notices the presence of grain.

But where the 6A really gets its feet in the carpet, it is, as often, in the art of night photography. Indeed, as soon as the light fails, the mobile Honor loses foot and reproduces a scene to the tones much too cold and where the details are obliterated behind a thick layer of digital noise. This is particularly noticeable on the sides and corners of the stage.

The front sensor, on the other hand, does not get too bad for 5 Mpx, but tends to force a little with the contrast and to strengthen the blacks, which can give a somewhat dark air. As for the video capture in Full HD, it is fluid, but deserves to have a focus a little faster.


With its relatively large battery, its energy-efficient mobile chip and its HD screen, the 6A has all the cards in hand to be a champion of autonomy, and that’s just what we were able to verify. On our hybrid autonomy test SmartViser, Honor’s last born held 15 hours and 9 minutes; enough to ensure a small day and a half of autonomy in normal use.

On Netflix, the mobile was fierce for 9 hours and 45 minutes before surrendering weapons; a rather admirable score in this energetic discipline.

Like many other mobiles in its range, the 6A can accommodate two SIM cards, but in this case it will be necessary to do without the microSD card, since the two cards share a same location. These two SIM cards operate dual-standby , that is, they can both listen to the reception of a call, but when one is in communication, the other will ring busy.

On the 4G reception side, the phone has no difficulty in hooking up mobile broadband, but it will take a little time to find the connection in case of passing through a white area. The GPS, meanwhile, is rather fast and efficient. The calls, finally, appear clear on both sides of the line.

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