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Honor 4X review

Katharine Byrne
14 Jun 2015
Honor 4X header
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
145
inc VAT SIM-free

Page 1 of 2Honor 4X review

The Honor 4X could be better made, but this is a fast budget phone with a great camera and excellent battery life

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Specifications

Processor: Octa-core 1.2GHz Kirin 620, Screen Size: 5.5in, Screen resolution: 1,280x720, Rear camera: 13-megapixel, Storage: 8GB, Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 153x77x8.6mm, Weight: 170g, Operating system: Android 4.4.2

We've seen several smartphones try to take on the mighty Moto G this year, but so far none have succeeded in claiming its crown for best budget smartphone, including Honor's own £90 Holly. The Honor 4X, however, might have finally bucked the trend, matching Motorola on price but adding a larger 5.5in screen, 13-megapixel camera and a larger, longer-lasting battery.

Camera

We were particularly impressed with the camera, as our outdoor shots were much brighter and more vivid than those we took on the Moto G. This helped accentuate finer detail in each shot, like the individual bricks in buildings, and dark areas of shadow were well illuminated. It did have a tendency to overexpose light areas of cloud, but this was easily corrected by switching to the HDR mode. Here, colours were richer and areas of shadow looked far more natural than the Moto G's HDR mode.

Honor 4X camera test

^ On Auto mode, the Honor 4X produced great-looking photos with plenty of detail and bright colours

Honor 4X camera test HDR mode

^ HDR mode, however, corrected the overexposed sky and darkened shadows for a more natural image

The Honor 4X's camera also has a fun All Focus mode, which lets you change the focal point after the photo's been taken. It works best with close-up shots where you want to blur the background, but we were pleased to see it kept noise to a minimum when focusing on objects further away.

Watermark mode also lets you add various different stamps to your photos, such as the time, weather, location (if you have GPS enabled) and funky phrase and food icons. While they're not huge selling points, it's certainly let you get a lot more creative with your shots than Motorola's rather basic camera.

Honor 4X camera test All Focus mode

^ All Focus mode works best when you're focusing on objects in the foreground. When we tried focusing on the buffalos in the background, they were nowhere near as sharp

Honor 4X camera test watermark mode

^ Watermarks add a touch of personality to your photos and are great for uploading to social networks

Battery Life & Performance

The 4X's 3,000mAh battery gives it plenty of stamina, too, as it lasted 10h 28m in our continuous video playback test with the screen set to 170cd/m2. This is almost another hour more than the Moto G under the same conditions, so it should definitely get you through a full day's use.

In terms of raw speed, the octa-core, 1.2GHz Kirin 620 processor and 2GB of RAM compare well with the Moto G's quad-core, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 chipset and 1GB of RAM. In Geekbench 3, for instance, it scored 547 in the single core test and 1,580 in the multicore test, putting it a long way ahead of the Moto G's 341 and 1,156. While we're not huge fans of Huawei's Emotion UI, the 4X felt lightning fast in day to day use and apps opened promptly in Android 4.4.

Honor 4X rear

Web browsing was also very smooth. It may only score 569 in FutureMark's Peacekeeper browser test, but it handled complex web pages with ease. Scrolling was responsive and we only saw it stutter on a few occasions.

Graphics performance was pretty decent for an entry-level handset. While we weren't able to run the Manhattan test in GFX Bench GL 3.1, it finished the T-Rex test in 858 frames onscreen and 518 frames offscreen, which is faster than the Moto G's scores of 609 frames onscreen and 321 off. When we loaded up Blizzard's Hearthstone, battle animations were smooth and we were able to move cards round the screen with very little judder.

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