- Lackluster camera performance
- Emotion UI 3.0
- Screen viewing angles
- Large for one-handed operation
- Older Android OS (4.4.4)
The budget market for smartphones seems to be cranking out phones with bigger specs by the day. While Huawei has made some serious progress on establishing their brand, their budget offerings haven’t always hit the mark. They’re hoping to fix this with their latest release, the Honor 4X.
While the specs look good on paper, this doesn’t always provide the full picture. So we jumped in and analyzed reviews from across the web. Does the Honor 4X stand out and offer good value? Let’s dig in and find out!
Like many of its competitors, the 4X features an all-plastic chassis with a removable back plate. To help you keep your grip on this large handset, you’ll find a textured back that most reviews seemed to like. While they all noted that it wasn’t exactly a premium feel, it was much better than your typical budget phone.
Many reviews also pointed out how much they liked the placement of buttons on the phone. While a 5.5-inch phone isn’t ideal for one-handed usage, Honor’s placement of the power and volume buttons lower on the phone’s side seems to help. FirstPost noted, “Overall build quality is quite good.”
Of course, with a phone that large, you’re looking at a large display to go with it. The phones 1280-by-720 pixel IPS display received generally positive reviews. While most were quick to point out that this isn’t a flagship screen, they also noted that it was quite good for the price.
Times of India “noticed colour distortion when the screen was viewed at a tilt.” Trusted Reviews stated that “limited pixel density becomes fairly obvious at this size.” However, for color, brightness and day to day usage, the screen received rave reviews.
Powering the phone, you’ll find a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and a dedicated GPU. Combined with 2GB of RAM, the phone did well with reviewers. Most mentioned the phone did warm up slightly under heavy use. FirstPost stated, “The user interface is quite smooth despite the Emotion UI 3.0 skin. I did not notice any slowdown of the phone while swiping through the home screen or switching between apps.”
You’ll find 8GB of internal storage with support for microSD cards up to 32GB to help you make the most of the big display. Reviewers noted that bloatware was kept to a minimum, so that leaves enough room for the standard social media apps and such. However, if you’re looking to play games or keep your media collection in your pocket, a microSD card will be needed.
One area where the phone shows its budget roots is the software. Running Android 4.4.4 KitKat with version 3 of Huawei’s Emotion UI, the handset is a full release behind much of its competition. Fortunately, reviews of the Emotion UI were generally positive. However, it does heavily stylize the default Android UI. Most reviews were on the fence about the missing app drawer and condensed options available.
Reviews on the 13MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera on the 4X are a mixed bag.
Virtually every review praised the quality of the images as well as the color and light balance of images. PhoneRadar declared that it, “captures brilliant pictures in bright light, and doesn’t disappoint in low light as well.”
Unfortunately, this comes at a cost--camera performance. This isn’t a rapid-fire SLR or even your average point-and-click. Many reviews noted a delay in autofocus times, a complete failure to capture images on occasion and the lackluster interface of the phone’s camera app. Trusted Reviews called the camera “annoyingly slow.”
One nice perk to the budget-friendly phone is dual SIM support. Both slots support 4G LTE though you can only enable one at 4G speeds at a time. However, if you’re looking to consolidate work and business phones or you’re planning to travel, it’s a rare perk in this price bracket.
Providing juice for the phone, you’ll find a 3,000mAh battery. Even among flagship devices, that’s a pretty massive battery. Reviews on battery life reflect this as well. While it is unclear if the device will receive Android updates, an update to Lollipop could further improve the already stellar reviews.
TrustedReviews declared, “You should be able to get away with charging it every other day unless you stream video or play games.” However, reviewers stated that even power users should find a full day’s use with no problems.
In all, reviews for the phone are positive. While the camera and screen resolution were mentioned by most, the sheer value in terms of performance and features won most reviewers over in the end. TechRadar summed up reviews well, calling it, “A powerful big-screen experience and an advanced feature set make the Honor 4X a budget winner for anyone other than the most resolute of Android purists.”