The Huawei Honor 6X has two things that the Galaxy S8 ($669.88 at Amazon Marketplace) does not: dual rear cameras and a fast, accurate rear-mounted fingerprint reader that’s actually easy to reach. (Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has a single camera lens on the back and awkwardly puts its fingerprint reader to the left of the camera.)
Huawei’s play here is simple: Bring some of the advanced features you’d otherwise find only on a top-tier device to a seriously budget phone — one that costs $250 or £225, which converts to about AU$331. So to “beat” the Galaxy S8 in this fashion — and to be clear, the Honor 6X is absolutely not in the S8’s league — is a feather in Huawei’s cap. It’s also a way to put other affordable phones, such as the Motorola Moto G5 Plus ($229.99 at Amazon.com), on notice.
The problem is, the Honor 6X falls short of the G5 Plus, its true competitor, in nearly every way. Even the 6X’s double rear cameras and higher-resolution front-facing camera (8-megapixel versus the G5 Plus’ 5-megapixel lens) produce less distinct and detailed shots than the G5 Plus. For roughly the same price, the Moto G5 Plus is the clear budget winner.
Huawei Honor 6X wants to be your two-camera budget buddy
If you live in the UK, the smaller, cheaper Moto G5 is another affordable option. Scroll to the end for a full specs comparison of all three phones.
The dual cameras didn’t wow me
Huawei warned us not to expect dual-camera image quality as good as its midrange Honor 8 ($348.00 at Amazon.com) and it’s certainly not up there with the excellent P10 ($649.99 at Amazon Marketplace).
The 12-megapixel and 2-megapixel lenses are there to add depth of field, a bit like the artsy “bokeh” effect on the iPhone 7 Plus ($826.89 at Amazon Marketplace) that blurs the background and helps the subject pop. But in almost every comparison with the Moto G5 Plus, Motorola’s photos were sharper and more detailed, and that goes for selfies, too. (The Honor 6X did have warmer colors, though.)
Huawei Honor 6X camera test (versus Moto G5 Plus)
I will give Huawei a lot of credit for including a ton of photo tools and modes, from pro photo and video modes to “light painting,” a food mode, document scanning and time-lapse. And of course you’ll find HDR, Panorama and the other usual filters. There are also plenty of neat, very specific editing tools, including one that highlights a single color and keeps everything else black and white.
There’s even a tool that helps you manually adjust depth-of-field with a slider that picks f-stops. But if you’re into camera photography enough to know what that last sentence even meant, you’d probably be happier saving up for something like the midrange Honor 8, whose superior image quality is a better match for all the 6X’s cool tools.
Where the Honor 6X falls short compared to the Moto G5 Plus
- More slippery and less comfortable to hold
- Display isn’t as sharp (fewer pixels per inch)
- Runs Android 6.0 instead of Android 7.0
- Shorter battery life (12 hours on our looping video drain test compared to roughly 13.5 hours on the G5 plus)
- Not splash-proof
- Sometimes laggy and unresponsive (despite better scores on benchmarking apps)
- Takes longer to get to quick settings (in notifications shade)
Where the Honor 6X beats the Moto G5 Plus
- Larger screen and only slightly larger body (5.5 versus 5-inch)
- More creative photo editing tools
- More photography modes (for example, pro photo and pro video)
Other things to know about the Honor 6X
- 128GB microSD card support
- Dual-SIM support
- Supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks, like other budget phones (not 5GHz; this is expected)
- No NFC (Moto G5 Plus for UK supports this, not for US)