Review: Honor 4X, big performance, small price
Aimed squarely at a younger demographic and with pricing to suit the Honor range offers much premium features at a fraction of what other high end devices cost.
There are now four Honor devices with more coming, from the budget Holly, to the mid-range 4X with its large 5.5" display, followed by two excellent models, the Honor 6 and then the current flagship, the 6 Plus with not one but two rear cameras.
Honor have the demographic tied up nicely with this range and so far all their devices have been very impressive, so this leads me nicely into the Honor 4X, how does it fair, lets find out.
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Outward facing the Honor 4X is a fairly standard affair, black front, with hardware keys. These hardware keys unfortunately do not light up, much the same as the Honor Holly’s didn’t. This is a pain at night and one aspect of design that I hope Honor change, not being able to see the keys in the dark is an issue.
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Other than that one niggle the rest of the design is pretty good, on the front there is a 5MP camera which takes decent shots and is great for video calls. The rear cover is removable but the battery is not and it features good grip thanks to a kind of cross stitch pattern that is on the back cover. On the rear is a 13MP camera with single LED flash which takes good pictures but more on that later.
Buttons are kept to the right hand side and consist of just the volume rockers and power key, no dedicated camera button despite the fact the design could have accommodated it. The bottom of the 4X has a now familiar iPhone style speaker grill to the left and a standard microUSB just off centre to the right.
Under the rear cover you will find a home for two sim cards and a microSD slot which can take cards up to 32GB, just as well too as on board memory is only 8GB.
Performance and Software
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The Honor 4X costs only €199 so it is classed as a budget phone, but it packs in some impressive internals including a 64-bit 1.2 GHz Octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM. This means that performance is smooth and pretty much anything or any game you throw at it will work well. Benchmarking returned a very impressive score of 30507 which places the 4x just behind LG’s LG G3 which is excellent to say the least.
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On the software side the 4X is running the EMUI 3.0 UI which means it is very far removed from stock Android, in the case of some manufactures this is a bad thing, but with Honor, the UI is nice, slick and not packed full of bloatware. EMUI 3.0 does away with the traditional app drawer so any installed apps will just appear on your homescreen. This means you will need to keep on top of your housekeeping so you don’t end up with a mess, thankfully folders are easy to create and look pretty slick. Virtually every operation is your typical Android affair, there is a multitasking layout which shows you what you have open and you can close individual apps or flick up and close them all.
Performance of EMUI 3.0 is smooth and fluid and there are plenty of nice graphical touches here and there. You also have double table to wake and many gestures that you can add such as tracing an ‘M’ on the locked screen to open music.
The 13MP camera on the 4X is of very good quality and can take pictures in 0.6 seconds which by any standards is pretty quick. The camera UI is still a bit clunky however especially changing between photo mode and video mode but this is a minor issue.
Below are some sample taken using different options, unedited and all on auto.
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Standard Auto Mode 16:9 ratio
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Native HDR mode (it’s very mild)
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The battery on the 4X is 3,000mAh which Honor say is is a 48hr battery and for the most part they are not far wrong. I found that getting through a day was no issue with moderate use but by 11am the next day a charge was needed.
At €199 the Honor 4X is a great value smartphone with big performance and a small price. There is competition for though with a strong new entry from Motorola with the new Moto G and a host of other low end budget Windows Phones.
I can recommend the Honor 4X to anyone, even those looking for a flagship, this does virtually everything a Galaxy Edge 6 does, but if its style and substance you want then keep saving.