Alright, here’s a short version of the Honor X6a review. The Honor X6a looks pretty good on paper. But looks can be deceptive and the phone is not as great as it looked on paper, at least during our short time with the phone.
The display quality is okay for the price but the 90Hz was not as smooth as other phones and the power from the processor felt lacking. It’s not so fast in terms of performing even daily tasks which you would expect from a phone in this price range.
The saving grace, however, is that the camera was outstanding, for the most part, and the battery life was incredible.
Interestingly, in the Malaysian market, the phone lauched at RM599 for the 6/128GB variant which roughly translated to Rs. 17,000.
But for some reason, we get the 4/128GB variant in Nepal for basically the same price. We feel the phone would’ve fared a lot better had the 6/128GB variant was the one that launched in Nepal.
- Good design
- Great main camera
- Incredible battery backup
- Good software customization options
- Lacks gyroscope for gaming
- The processor lacks raw power
- The display doesn’t feel like 90Hz smooth
The Honor X6a is a budget phone. After the launch of the 90 series, the Honor X6a made its way to Nepal along with the X5 Plus. The price of the Honor X6a in Nepal is Rs. 17,490 (4/128GB). The under 20K budget category is super hot in the market and Honor looks to be trying to establish a place in it. Well, let’s see if it can crawl its way onto the best phones under Rs. 20000 in Nepal list.
Howdy, welcome to our Honor X6a review. We’ve been using the phone for about a week now and after testing it, have compiled what we think are the good and bad features of the phone. Alright, you know the drill, let’s get started by looking at the specifications below.
Honor X6a Specifications
- Body: 163.3 x 75.07 x 8.35 mm, 188gm
- SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- Display: 6.56 inches TFT LCD, HD+, 720 x 1612, 90Hz, 20.15:9
- Chipset: Mediatek Helio G36 (12 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)
- GPU: IMG GE8320
- Memory: 128GB/4GB RAM, microSD support
- OS: Android 13, MagicOS 7.1
- Rear Camera: 50 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
- 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
- 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
- Video: 1080p@30fps
- Front Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2, (wide)
- Video: 1080p@30fps
- Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5200mAh battery, 22.5W charging, 31% in 20min (claimed)
- USB: USB Type-C 2.0, OTG
- Sensors: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, light sensor
- 3.5mm Headphone Jack: Yes
- Colors: Sky Silver, Midnight Black
Honor X6a Price in Nepal: Rs. 17,490 (4/128GB)
Honor X6a Review
- 163.3 x 75.07 x 8.35 mm
- Plastic back
- Soft touch finish
As expected, the Honor X6a is made of plastic. Both the back and the sides of the phone are plastic and Honor has used a soft touch finish at the back which doesn’t catch a lot of fingerprints or smudges. The back is flat while the frame curves at the edges to make it easier to hold in your hand.
The camera island has a super glossy finish and is pretty large while housing 4 circular rings for the camera and flash. The arrangement is very reminiscent of a cooking counter really.
The Honor X6a doesn’t feel premium when held but it does feel solid. It’s got that heft to it while being comfortable to hold.
Moving on to the button placements on the phone, the right side houses the volume rockers and the power button which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor is decently fast and accurate. The buttons feel mushy and don’t have a satisfying click when you press them. The top side of the phone houses the SIM tray.
The bottom houses the 3.5mm jack, microphone, charging port, and single speaker. The left of the phone is clean without any buttons, holes, or antenna bands.
- 6.56 inches TFT LCD
- 90Hz refresh rate
- HD+ resolution
Honestly, the display is not the strong suit of this phone. It’s a TFT LCD panel with only HD+ resolution and the 90Hz refresh rate also doesn’t feel as smooth as phones from competitors.
The bezels however are quite good. The sides are very slim with the top and bottom being passable for a phone in this price bracket. The waterdrop notch is present so the phone does look a bit lower budgety.
The 90Hz was not as smooth as we’d hoped. We often felt the frame drops and small animation lags while using the phone. Maybe an update can fix this issue but as of writing, the issue persists.
The viewing angles are quite decent. Not a lot of color shift happened on our Honor x6a review unit but the brightness did go down when the phone was viewed at different angles. However, the phone gets bright enough that we can read an article under direct sunlight.
The phone comes with Widevine L3 so it’s not the perfect device for streaming Netflix or other platforms. Youtube videos can be played up to 1080p resolution and we didn’t notice frame drops during playback.
An annoying quirk is the display sharpens when you play youtube videos or any videos in general. If you use the volume controls, you’ll see the video change to a more natural look with proper Anti-Aliasing applied and it reverts back to the over-sharpened punchy mess when the volume slider toggle disappears.
Honor X6a also comes with an eye comfort option which helps improve the circadian cycle and promotes good sleeping habits, or so honor claims. Enabling this from the settings display options automatically changes the color temperature of the display to suit the lighting conditions and time of day.
- Mediatek Helio G36 (12nm)
- Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)
- IMG GE8320
Performance just might be the weakest link for the phone. It’s not very powerful as it is an entry-level chipset and that translates to real-life usage as well. It stutters here and there and apps take a while to load. It’s not the fastest phone out there in this budget range that’s for sure. App retention however is quite decent, at least for lighter apps, even with just 4GB of RAM.
Looking at the benchmark numbers really confirmed our findings. The scores are lower compared to phones in the same price range. We compared it to the Redmi 12 (Rs.17,999) and the Honor X5 Plus (Rs. 15,490). Just have a look.
Note that the phone doesn’t support all Vulkan features to test the 3D Mark Wildlife test and as such, we have placed a 0 for the scores.
The phone does benefit from the low-powered chip by having some incredible thermal management. Our unit only throttled to 94% of its max performance, albeit the “max” performance isn’t so max.
Also, talking about the read and write speeds, the phone performed relatively well in this category with around 300MBps on sequential reads and over 200MBps on sequential writes.
For our Honor X6a review, let’s start off with some Genshin Impact. Just kidding. We’ll start with PubG Mobile. You don’t get any gyro support on the game and the maximum setting you can go is balanced graphics with medium frame rate where we netted an average of 24.5 fps with frame drops and stutters here and there. Switching to Smooth graphics, you still get only the medium framerate option and we got an average fps of 24.3. The gameplay experience was the same with frequent stutters and lags here and there. Nothing changed really.
Moving on to Call of Duty, you can only play on Low graphics settings with High framerate. Doing so got us an average fps of 29.1 with lags here and there. The phone just can’t game and the whole gaming experience was not very enjoyable. The touch response also felt particularly bad in this game.
Asphalt 9 with High settings resulted in 24 avg fps. The game did have some noticeable stutters but the main issue was that even with these settings, the graphics during actual gameplay was bad. It didn’t even feel like we were playing with High settings.
- Rear Camera: 50 MP, f1.8
- Macro: 2MP, f2.4
- Video: 1080p@30fps
- Front Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2
- Video: 1080p@30fps
The phone comes with a dual-camera setup, on paper really. The 50MP f1.8 main sensor is the only noteworthy one.
Surprisingly, the photos from the main camera were outstanding for the price. They were natural-looking with good sharpness and details. When zoomed in, you do notice they lack that punchy contrast but the clarity is still pretty decent. Dynamic Range is also handled well in most shots but it does tend to crush shadows rather than blow highlights.
The photos, especially the darker areas, do have some noise even in daylight shots but only if you start pixel peeping. The 50MP shots do retain more details when zoomed but they look strikingly similar.
We also get a macro camera with the phone. It’s only really suitable for fun perspectives.
Portraits from this phone come out quite good. The edge detection is decent with skin tones looking natural, a bit on the brighter side but still pleasing nonetheless. You also get an “Aperture Mode” that provides more controls over f-stop and can be used to take object portraits.
The phone has a 5MP front camera and the selfies come out soft. There are not a lot of details on the face or the background. Also, as soon as you flip to the front camera, the phone auto-switches to portrait mode.
With all that said, the dynamic range and colors are still quite good. The skin tone is also kept natural.
You can capture up to 1080p@30fps videos. There’s no stabilization so the videos come out quite shaky even when walking with the phone.
The quality is also average at best, just about good enough for simple social media posts.
- Non-removable Li-Po 5200mAh battery
- 22.5W fast charging
The battery life on the phone is pretty incredible. It gets a large 5200mAh battery and we were getting over a day of usage with moderate use case scenarios. The idle standby is also incredible as the phone didn’t lose a single percent of charge overnight, while connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth at that.
A full-on 30 min CPU test resulted in only around a 5% charge drop while around 1.5 hours of YouTube playback using wireless earbuds resulted in about a 20% drop in battery.
We were getting about 10 hours of screen time with a mixed-use case on our Honor X6a review unit. The charging speed is quite decent at 22.5W. It takes around 1.5 hours to fully charge from 15%.
- Android 13
- MagicOS 7.1
The phone comes with Android 13 out of the box with MagicOS 7.1 on top. It’s the same experience as the more expensive Honor 90 Lite. There are a couple of bloatware apps on the phone but they can be uninstalled, thankfully.
The phone has decent customization options and features gestures like flip to mute, raise to wake, and others. We get an app lock natively with the phone which is great. One thing we noticed, there’s no “Show refresh rate” under the Developer options so we can’t be sure what refresh rate the display is running at in multiple apps.
Honor has listed the Honor X6a to receive quarterly security updates and given their policy, the phone should get at least 2 major Android updates as well but we can’t guarantee this part.
So that was our Honor X6a review? How’d you like that? Let us know in the comments below!