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Honor 6 Plus: greater than the sum of its parts

|June 10 2015 |Android Phones, Huawei

“The Honor 6 Plus isn’t exactly cheap, but offers very good value for money”

The term ‘value for money’ in the context of smartphones is usually associated with budget devices. However, the fact is that it’s a very relative term, and value for money could be different for different individuals. One could opt for the most expensive smartphone out there and yet get his or her money’s worth if the offered capabilities and features (not to mention flaunt value) match expectations. Users in India however, do care about smartphone specs quite a bit, and while deciding upon a new daily driver, tend to weigh them against the sticker price as carefully as a jeweller weighing gold. The sub-Rs 15,000 price band is witnessing a lot of action as far as the specs to price ratio is concerned, but another interesting segment is the Rs 25,000 league. Interestingly, there are quite a few compelling smartphones if you have around Rs 25,000 to spend, covering the likes of the Xiaomi Mi 4 64GB, the OnePlus One 64GB, the top-end variant of the ASUS ZenFone 2 and the Honor 6 Plus. We decided to delve a little deeper into the specs of these smartphones to check out how they stack up against each other.

Core specs

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Looking at the Xiaomi Mi 4, the OnePlus One, the ASUS ZenFone 2 and the Honor 6 Plus, all of them come with 1080p displays, but while the Xiaomi Mi 4 offers a 5-inch screen, the other three sport 5.5-inch screens. Unless a compact device is top priority for you, the 5.5-inch display size is a good balance… giving you ample screen real estate without affecting usability drastically. When it comes to the innards though, the ASUS ZenFone 2 stands out with its 4GB RAM, while the other three come with 3GB of RAM. As far as horsepower is concerned, the Mi 4 and the OnePlus One are both powered by quad-core Snapdragon 801 processors, the ZenFone 2 is powered by a quad-core Intel chip, but the Honor 6 Plus (pictured above) is the only one to offer eight cores, thanks to its octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 925 chipset.

Storage

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Coming to the storage, the Xiaomi (pictured above) and OnePlus offerings provide a fixed 64GB of space, without any option to add more. The ASUS and Honor smartphones do let you add more… with the former offering 64GB and the latter offering 32GB of internal memory. The Honor 6 Plus offers the most potential in terms of storage, as it supports microSD cards of up to 128GB, so you could have up to 160GB of storage on your smartphone.

SIM and networks

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The Xiaomi Mi 4 loses out here, as it doesn’t support 4G. The rest do support 4G LTE, but the ASUS ZenFone 2 (pictured here) manages to edge out the rest since it’s the only dual-SIM device among the four.

Design and Build

So far, we’ve seen the ASUS ZenFone 2 stand out thanks to its 4GB RAM and dual-SIM support, but compared to the rest, it does feel a tad plasticky. The OnePlus One offers a nice sandstone finish at the rear and a superb build, but we think it’s the Xiaomi Mi 4 and the Honor 6 Plus that bring the oomph, not to mention metal frames that make them quite sturdy.

Battery

The Xiaomi Mi 4 sips juice from a 3,080mAh battery, the OnePlus One packs in a 3,100mAh unit, the ASUS ZenFone 2 has a 3,000mAh pack, while the Honor 6 Plus is powered by a 3,600mAh battery. No ambiguity on who’s the winner here – at least on paper.

Cameras

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Both the Honor 6 Plus and the Xiaomi Mi 4 come with 8-megapixel front cameras, while the OnePlus One and the ASUS ZenFone 2 feature 5MP snappers at the front. When it comes to the primary camera, all except the Honor 6 Plus come with 13-meg sensors. The Honor 6 Plus manages to leave others behind, as it’s the only one to boast dual parallel shooters at the rear. There’s no doubt that all four devices can shoot well, but the pair of 8-megapixel cameras on the Honor 6 Plus (as seen above) not only generate native 13-megapixel images, but also enable some very cool wide aperture effects.

Software

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We’ve covered the crux as far as specs are concerned, but it’s also important to touch upon the software platforms. The OnePlus One and the ASUS ZenFone 2 both use Android Lollipop as the base (the former has just received the update), but only the OnePlus One (pictured here) gives you a true Android experience since it doesn’t play around with Google’s Material Design language. ASUS’ ZenUI on the ZenFone 2, on the other hand, hides this almost completely. The Honor 6 Plus and the Mi 4 use Android KitKat as base, but their custom ROMs, dubbed Emotion UI and MIUI respectively, also cover most aspects related to stock Android. All four platforms are quite feature rich, so it probably comes down to personal preference as far as software is concerned.

Verdict

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Overall, we’ve weighed most key parameters on all four devices against each other, and it’s clear that each device has its own advantages. The Xiaomi Mi 4 (priced at Rs 21,999) is compact, well-built and stylish, but doesn’t offer 4G support. The OnePlus One 64GB, which costs exactly the same, is a worthy all-rounder, and should be your choice if you prefer a near-stock Android platform. The ASUS ZenFone 2 is very compelling because of its 4GB RAM, generous out-of-the-box storage and dual-SIM support. It can be yours for Rs 22,999. However, looking at the big picture, the Honor 6 Plus may be priced slightly higher at Rs 26,499, stands out as a smartphone that can face the rest without flinching, and boast about its unique camera capabilities and high-power battery as two vital aspects where it just leaves the others far behind.



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