Honor 6C Smartphone Review : the successor who disappoints

PROS:

  • Impeccable design and finish.
  • Screen perfectly calibrated after a little work.
  • Solid battery life.

CONS:

  • Android 6.1 and EMUI 4.1 are dangerously outdated.
  • Photo in daylight lacking punch, contrast and color.
  • Photo of night readable, but hardly more.
  • Screen limited to HD.

BOTTOM LINE :

By dint of shooting in all directions, one ends up wondering what is the logic of Huawei – and, by extension, of Honor. From a purely technical point of view, the 6C has arguments to make, but its characteristics are too far from the competition and its tariff positioning leaves it no chance against its cousin, the P8 Lite 2017 . The 6C is not a bad phone, but it is far from repeating the exploits of its elder, the fault of a competition – internal here – which has markedly raised the level.


Honor continues to release smartphones. Whether under his brand name or that of Huawei, his parent company, references from the manufacturer’s factories abound, as was recently seen with the announcement of the Honor 9 . However, the brand “young and trendy” does not forget the category that made its success, that of phones with tech sheets tempting and a price under 250$. The latest in date is the highly anticipated Honor 6C.

Successor to Honor 5C , which has its time had redefined what one could expect from a mobile to 200$, the 6C is still trying to strike hard by proposing again in 2017 an unbeatable equipment / price ratio, even if the addition has inflated by about thirty dollars compared to last year.

For this price, the mobile embodies an IPS screen of 5 inches HD (1280 x 720 px on a diagonal of 12.7 cm), a mobile chip Snapdragon 435 with its 8 cores ARM-Cortex A53 clocked with 1.4 GHz, an Adreno 505 GPU, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal memory, a main 13-megapixel camera and a 5-megapixel front end. Wireless connectivity is the usual Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.1 and two SIM card slots (or a SIM + SD card). To complete all this, a micro-USB jack under the bottom slice and a fingerprint sensor on the back – of which Honor is very proud. Finally, it is a battery of 3020 mAh that feeds the beast while Android 6.0, well buried under the overlay EMUI 4.1, animates the whole.

ERGONOMICS AND DESIGN

Honor had been one of the first manufacturers to offer metal, “noble” material, on phones less than 300$. Since then, almost the whole industry has set about it and the brand has lost its qualitative advantage. However, the Honor 6C remains a phone well finished and breathes serious. From the back, nothing suggests that this is a model under 300$. The materials used are of high quality, the finishes successful, and if we except a design now a bit agreed, the 6C does not have much to blame.

The small flats are rather on the front side. If one can not ask that all the smartphones of the market titillate the optimization of the front of the  LG G6 and Galaxy S8 , one can still regret that Honor does not really make effort on this side. The screen here occupies 69% of the front, a score similar to that of the 5C. This results in large edges all around the screen, especially at the top and bottom of the mobile.

But where Honor really tries to stand out from the competition, it’s with his fingerprint reader. The brand explains that integrating such a sensor has forced it to make a few concessions, hence the screen just HD in particular. And if it must be admitted that it is rather nice to have such a sensor, especially since this one works rather well, it is actually no longer really a luxury, as evidenced by the  Gigaset GS160 which in embarque one also in spite of its very small price of 150 $.

SCREEN

By default, the screen of the Honor 6C blows a little warm and cold … finally especially the cold, since the color temperature reaches 8500 kelvins, enough to tint the whites of a beautiful blue veil. However, the delta E is 2.6, and translates a perfect colorimetric rendering. It is however possible to do even better by going into the display settings and adopting the profile below. This will allow you to lower the color temperature to a much more tolerable 7000 kelvins while the delta E will fall to 1.7. A calibration that borders on perfection.

The reader can also read, the 6C defends itself with a generous – for IPS – contrast ratio of 1740: 1 and a maximum brightness of 443 cd / m². The reflectance disappoints with a rate around 21% which will therefore ask to do a little gymnastics if one wants to spot something on his screen in full sun. The rub is still hurt on the definition: if on 5 inches the HD just enough, we would still like a slab in 1920 x 1080 px in order to have at least a better density of information. Good news all the same, the minimal luminosity (4.6 cd / m²) does not burst the eyes of the mobinauts night owls.

As for use, nothing to report, the tactile delay and remanence times, of 15 and 88 ms respectively, are average. In the end, the 6C slab has undeniable qualities, but some technical concessions pull the whole down a bit.

INTERFACE AND NAVIGATION

While we were just beginning to get used to EMUI 5.0, better version of the builders overlay, Honor arrives on the 6C with its old 4.1 version behind which hides. Hardly understandable software choices that weigh a bit on the overall experience and do not give an excellent brand image tracking software.Since the application drawer is reserved for EMUI 5, it is necessary to be satisfied here with an interface “to the iOS”, that is to say where all the applications stack one behind the other on the various virtual desktops . Otherwise, the ergonomic codes of Android are not upset, we find the carousel of recent applications, software navigation buttons and the panel notifications / shortcuts.

Some customization options are available within the settings, such as the ability to rearrange the navigation buttons, display a floating menu, or wake the screen with a double tap. A nice feature set to have, but that does not excuse the overall software delay of the phone. It only has to see if the mobile will receive updates from the manufacturer. The 5C being receiving Nougat, one can afford to hope … Otherwise, Honor will have in its catalog a mobile 2016 more up to date than another released in 2017.

MULTIMEDIA

The 6C has no problem decoding most of the most popular video codecs in most of the qualities – even if seen from the definition of the screen, there is no point in cluttering movies in Full HD. The application also offers a windowed mode and allows to define several speeds of reading. Subtitle support point or other more advanced features on the other hand, for that we will have to go to the side of VLC and others.

On the audio side, the headphone output of the Honor 6C combines sufficient power with almost zero distortion. The dynamics is on the other hand a little weak and the crosstalk could have been a little sharper. Although two grids are present on the lower edge of the mobile, only one protects a loudspeaker. Its rendering is lacking a bit serious, but it is slightly above what the competition at this price, it is already.

With a Snapdragon 435 and an Adreno 505, the 6C does not really pose as a racing beast for the game. If most of the Play Store titles manage to get started – if you’re patient – fluidity will be assured by sacrificing a little graphics. The 6C is therefore more a machine to play Candy Crush than  Real Racing .

PHOTO

Honor has not yet found the magic recipe to produce shots at the level of those of the competition. The 13 Mpx sensor of the mobile does not do wonders. In daylight, the photos are rather clean, but the colors are washed out to the possible and visible grain. All this gives a rather dull side to the whole, although overall the details are there and everything remains legible. It is still a little natural.In low light is something else. Most of the elements remain visible, but all the edges of the stage are covered by a slight blue halo where the details are almost absent. The center of the scene manages to maintain a fairly acceptable white balance, but as soon as one tries to observe a particular element, the electronic noise is so present that one would think it would be a pointillist painting. Faced with the Huawei P8 Lite 2017 which is now more or less the same price, this 6C clearly does not keep the distance in picture.

The front sensor is also guilty of producing somewhat dull colors, but it still captures a good level of detail for 5 Mpx. On the other hand, it will be necessary to be a little pale-eyed on self-portraits. No problem with video capture, whether in HD or Full HD. Finally, a word about the application, quite comprehensive and rather well thought out and allows you to take control of a lot of settings such as shutter time, ISO, exposure correction and other things

AUTONOMY

With an HD screen and a Snapdragon 435 chip, the almost 3000 mAh battery of the 6C promised to offer a rather generous autonomy. And without much surprise this is indeed the case. With a race of 12:17 on our protocol of autonomy SmartViser, the mobile rises a little above the melee and promises not to let you go prematurely before the end of the day. In normal use, the 6C should hold a good day before claiming its charger.Good news, in streaming also the mobile defends itself for a little less than 9h of continuous reading. For recharging with the supplied cherger, it will take about 2 hours.

The Honor 6C telephony side

On EMUI 4.1, the contacts and the telephone keypad are in a single application where the different services are split into several tabs. The keyboard is all that is most basic, and the settings in the contacts section are also minimized. This is not an evil in itself and it allows to enjoy a clean interface and easy to use.

On the call side, the voices are slightly compressed on both sides of the line, but remain clear and understandable. Both SIM slots are 4G compatible and the phone hooks up mobile broadband as well as competition, but will take some time to regain 4G after passing through an uncovered area. Finally, the fix GPS is fast, accurate and efficient.

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