The Indian smartphone market has been flooded with mid-range smartphones packing heavy specs like a flagship. It all started with the Xiaomi Mi3, which was launched last year. All the cravenness for this kind of handset took jump when company discontinued the sale of MI3 in India, making a way to other brands come up and fill the hole. At that time, Huawei launched its Honor 6 with an aggressive pricing of INR 20K while it was little more pricey than Mi3; it did succeed in wooing customers.
Coming back to the 2015, Huawei has now a new mid-ranger called Honor 4X that packs great specs and still up against Xiaomi device, but this time its Redmi Note 4G. While contenders like Yu Yureka are also in the same league to defend the title of being most affordable and best mid-range phablet. Though, Honor 4X isn’t that affordable, as it is priced at INR 10,499. And in this review we found out if it’s worth the price or not.
After using it for a couple of days, we have changed our initial thoughts about the design of Honor 4X. At first we though, it was not a smart move my company that they price the device little around INR 2K extra than what Xiaomi and Yu are offering on their Redmi Note 4G and Yureka. Now it all makes sense; the device is just all suave and svelte. And probably that may be the reason for little higher pricing of the 4X. The build quality is surely better than Redmi Note and Yureka. The most interesting thing to note about the device is its textured back, which makes it quite beautiful and smudge free, as no fingerprints are visible on the device. The camera module on the back particularly looks premium, which is great. Overall, it is a great design for a phablet, it is solid, elegant, although, a bit uncomfortable holding it in one hand. It might have been little small in size if the company has given the screen buttons instead of the capacitive ones.
Talking about the display on the Honor 4X, it sport a 5.5-inch 720p resolution display, which is not the best resolution for a large screen display. The color saturation output is pretty good, supporting the argument that 720p is good enough for media viewing. While if you are looking for it to be visible in the outside conditions where sun is at the peak, then, that might be a let-down. As when we tried to use it under the sunlight, we were barely able to see anything at all when brightness was at around 75%, and it was still not clear what was happening on the screen when brightness was full.
The interface on 4X reminds you of the iOS elements. It runs on customized UI from Huawei named Emotion UI, and it is the latest 3.0 version that can be found on the last year’s Honor 6 flagship, which we liked a lot. And there are not much custom UIs from Chinese manufacturers that are likable at all. On top of the clean and beautiful UI, company also offers theme store, where you can enjoy the large amount of themes for free.
There are certain pre-installed apps on the device that would be certainly of your help, like the phone manager, files manager, music, videos and the Kingsoft office. We liked that the bloatware on device was limited to few necessary apps only. You would be amazed to see a lot of quick settings in the shortcuts panel, we were able to add up to 20 shortcuts. Using the Emotion UI 3.0, we felt like it can do a lot of things.
Hardware & Performance
The Honor 4X is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon chipset, which clocks at 1.2 GHz, it is the same processor that is found in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G, while Yureka has Snapdragon 615. The 4X packs 2GB of RAM and is low on internal storage when compared to the Yureka’s 16GB. Though, it does makeup in that area by supporting a microSD card up to 32GB. While working the graphical processing on the device is the Adreno 306, which holds up good in UI animations, but not so much in gameplay. Particularly in games like Asphalt 8 when played with high graphics and normal battery mode. There was a noticeable lag between the gameplay. On the other hand, when we installed the Dead trigger, we had high hopes that it would be playable, but instead every time we tried opening the game, it would get stuck at loading page and then close automatically. That was not fixed even after reinstalling the game. It makes you think that the device is not capable to play games. Or that may have been an issue of storage, as there was any space left on the internal storage that we could install another game.
Talking about the battery stats, we saw the drain of 20% when playing Subway Surfer for about 1 hour, while it was 25% when we played Asphalt for 1 hour. Clearly the graphics load on the device had an impact on battery life. The overall performance of the OS is okay-ish, but that should technically improve when 64-bit compatible Lollipop update rolls out to the Honor 4X.
The camera department on the Honor 4X was one of the good parts that we liked. Apart from the fact that it has 13MP camera on the back of the device, the device has quite a number of modes like All-focus, HRD, Watermark, Best Photo, as well as panorama. These days, photography has become a profession for users who own a smartphone, and that’s why most of the brands focus in offering better cameras on their smartphones. The camera on 4X is what you call a great shooter, which will give a photo quality that you wouldn’t hesitate to share with social media for both personal uses. The 5MP front facing camera is also good, but not as you would think. Although, the beauty mode on selfie cam is something we liked. See few camera samples of the rear camera of the Honor 4X.
The Huawei Honor 4X is the real deal if you are in the market for a mid-ranger that has the specs of a high-end device. Though, it is priced little higher than its competition, but it probably is because of the premium build quality that is nowhere to be found on Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G, and especially on the Yu Yureka. Though, the most issue we faced about this device was with gameplay; it was dissatisfied that with a decently powerful specs, you cannot play the games of your choice. That would be hurting to the game lovers. Other than that there is not much to dislike about this device. We will recommend this device if you are not a dedicated game lover because other than that, it satisfies all the needs of being a budget phablet.