|Honor 4X Review, Four Multiplied By Two|
October of last year, Huawei has launched an independent brand under the smartphone segment of its consumer division, that new label is simply called Honor. In the Philippines, the Honor brand was formally introduced last month wherein they unveiled three devices, one of them is the star of this review, the Honor 4X.
The Honor 4X is one of the Android mobile phones that has a high specs-to-price ratio and considered as one of the bang for the buck devices available in the local market. It boasts a 5.5-inch HD IPS touchscreen display powered by 64-bit octa core HiSilicon processor clocked at 1.2GHz each coupled with a generous 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage.
Unboxing and hands-on video
The retail package includes the unit, charger, USB cable, headset, user manual and warranty card. To learn more, you can watch the short video we prepared above.
The front is mainly occupied by the huge screen, above it you will find the notification light, hidden sensors, earpiece grill and secondary camera. Meanwhile, the capacitive keys can be found below the display, there is no backlight of any kind, but it offers haptic feedback. Moreover, the back key is placed on the left while the menu key is on the right, this kind of placement is opposite of the usual arrangement in most Android phones.
The main camera together with the LED flash are enclosed in a metallic strip and located in the upper left portion of the back. The cover is made of plastic that has a very fine crisscross pattern that provides good grip and quite resistant to fingerprint and smudges.
|Back without cover|
Removing the back cover gives you access to the two micro SIM slots and to the micro SD slot, the latter is the only one that is hot-swappable. Although the cover is removable, the battery is not, so if you need to force-reset the phone, the only way to do it is to press and hold the power button for at least 10 seconds.
The top of the device is the home for the 3.5mm audio jack and the primary microphone while the bottom part holds the primary microphone, the micro USB port and six holes for loudspeaker.
The left side was kept bare while the right side has the volume rocker and black-colored power key.
The Honor 4X has a rigid build quality, the back cover fits nicely and there is no creaking sound when using it. In terms of design, the textured pattern on its back give its distinct difference on other rectangular bar phones.
Related: Huawei Honor 6+ Now Available for Php17,490
The 5.5-inch display has 720p resolution that translates to about 267 pixels per inch, the density may not be that high, but it still provides crisps texts and vivid images. The IPS technology also aided on having a sharp display at almost any given angle. It offers an automatic brightness with the ability to further fine tune or adjust the level of brightness. Digging on its settings gives you the control to change the color temperature from default to either warm or cold. It supports Smart Cover and can recognize up to 10 fingers at the same time. Corning Gorilla or similar protective glass is missing in the equation, thankfully, there is a pre-installed plastic cover that keeps the screen away from the usual scratches.
The electronic sensors used by the phone are light, proximity, accelerometer, orientation and magnetic, all of them works fine and responsive during the test period.
|Antutu - 31,459|
|Quadrant - 7,527|
|NenaMark2 - 59.3fps|
Even though the HiSilicon Kirin 620 chipset is clocked at 1.2GHz, it still managed to match the benchmark results of MediaTek MT6592-powered smartphones that have much higher frequency of 1.7GHz. However, it is less superior when compared to other devices that have 64-bit octa core MT6752 processor.
During first boot up, it will ask you to complete the routine of setting up your phone. It runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat with proprietary Emotion UI 3.0 on top.
It has a flat looking interface and does not have an app drawer, the apps can be arranged in the home screen by creating folders. There is also a so-called magazine unlock that allows you to have different kind of wallpapers and provide four handy app shortcuts.
|EMUI 3.0 Exclusives|
Apart from the usual Android interface, the EMUI 3.0 has lots of exclusive software tricks. You can further personalize how your phone looks like by selecting pre-installed themes or downloading new ones. Moreover, there is an option to change the home screen style from standard to simple. On top of that, there are motion and gesture features like flip to mute, double tap to unlock and draw a letter to launch application.
There is also a suspend button, which is similar to that of Assistive Touch found on iOS devices, when enabled, you have a quick access to recent tasks, screen lock and one-touch optimization plus on-screen home, menu and back buttons. Other useful tricks are the Notification Center that allows you to restrict apps on sending push messages, Protected Apps that lets you choose apps that can continue to run on background and Networked Apps wherein you can select whether a certain app can use mobile data, WiFi or both.
Related: Huawei Honor 4C, 5-inch HD 64-bit Octa Core For Php6,390
Basic functions such as messaging, contacts, telephony and email are working well. A neat addition worth mentioning is the One-Hand UI, when making calls, it allows you to position the dial pad either close to your left or near to your right. Hopefully, they can extend its functionality all throughout the whole phone interface.
The gallery handles all the photos and videos stored on the phone, you can view them by album or by time. It also offers basic photo editing, but a similar function for videos is missing.
Video Player, Music Player and FM Radio:
|Video player, music player & FM radio|
The video player is very simple, just the usual control buttons plus the options to disable/enable the audio enhancing DTS mode, thankfully, it can play different files with different extensions. The same simplicity goes to the music player. Meanwhile, the FM radio needs a headset plugged in as it serves as the antenna.
Camera and Video:
|Camera and Video Interface|
The main interface is divided into three parts, one for Beauty, Photo and Video. The Beauty mode provides a level of beautification from 0 being the least and 10 for the most enhancement. There are also available filters and several ways to trigger the shutter, such as by audio, timer, touch and smile. In terms of shooting modes, aside from the usual Panorama and HDR, there are also Audio Note wherein you can add up to 10 seconds audio to the photo, Best Photo wherein it will capture multiple photos and you can select which one is the best, All Focus wherein you can adjust the camera focus after you take the shot and Watermark wherein you can add different pre-loaded watermark designs.
|100% crop of above|
|100% crop of above|
The main camera can shoot videos up to 1080p resolution at 30fps, like the still images, the quality is also fairly decent.
The EMUI browser has a clean interface, the website loads fast, even those with lots of scripts and images. Under the menu options, you can find the full screen mode, as the name implies, it removes the status bar and utilize the whole screen for browsing.
The overall gaming performance can be considered slightly above average, titles like Despicable Me and Subway Surfer are relatively smooth. Meanwhile, more demanding games like Asphalt 7, Dead Trigger 2 and Modern Combat 5 are highly playable, although there are seldom occasions that it experience hiccups. The internal storage of the Honor 4X is 8GB and the actual available storage to the user is much less than that, the good news is, you can just insert a micro SD card and go to settings>storage>storage settings and change the default storage location to SD card, you need to restart your phone before the change can take effect.
It supports dual SIM dual standby capability with dual LTE, under the SIM card management, you can select which slot will have the 4G/3G connectivity. This fast can connection can be shared via hotspot or tethering. If you have no data plan, you can always use the reliable WiFi whenever there is an available connection. Other connectivity features are Bluetooth, wireless display, OTG-cable micro USB port and CTIA-compliant 3.5mm audio jack.
The productivity tools include the usual clock, calendar, file manager, calculator, notes and sound recorder plus WPS Office is also pre-installed for your document viewing and editing needs.
The GPS as well as the overall location mode works well without any issue or problem encountered. The GPS is able to get a satellite lock in less than 20 seconds and enabling location on apps like Facebook also shows accurate positioning.
Underneath the removable back cover is the 3000mAh battery, during everyday use, which consist of around 30 to 40 texts, about 15 to 20 minutes of call, a few minutes of browsing and some apps constantly updating in the background like email, it normally lasts the whole day with a little extra for the night. If that is not enough, you can enable the Ultra Power Saving mode that activates only the messaging and basic call functions in order for the battery to last twice as much when it is already running low on power. In our usual video-loop test, it lasted more than 11 hours.
The Honor 4X is one of the best devices that you can buy in its price range, it has a good display, lots of useful software features, very decent performance, above average camera capability and impressive battery life.
It may be slightly more expensive than some of its competitors and the HiSilicon chip may be less powerful than that of MediaTek MT6752, but with the overall user experience, you will surely forget these factors. In fact, there are times that we feel that we are using a premium high-end phone rather than a budget-minded mid-ranger.
Good build quality
Very decent overall performance
Above average battery life
No scratch-resistant glass (comes with pre-installed screen protector)
8GB ROM (but you can use the micro SD card as default storage)
No backlight for back, home and menu keys
Honor 4X Specifications:
- Dual micro SIM, dual standby, dual LTE
- 5.5-inch IPS HD (1280x720) capacitive touchscreen display
- Dimensions: 152.9mm x 77.2mm x 8.7mm
- Weight: 165 grams
- Emotion 3.0 UI based on Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- 1.2GHz 64-bit octa core Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-T450MP4 GPU, HiSilicon Kirin 620 chipset
- 2GB of RAM
- 8GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB
- 13MP auto focus main camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording
- 5MP secondary camera, 720p video recording
- Multimedia player
- FM Radio
- 3.5mm audio jack
- GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Micro USB 2.0
- Bluetooth v4.0
- Sensor: accelerometer, light, proximity, hall, gyroscope
- 3000mAh Li-Po non-removable battery
- Price: Php8,290 (introductory) Php8,990 (regular)