Last year Huawei had announced the Honor series in India with the launch of Honor 6 and Honor Holly. Now, the company is expanding the Honor series in India with two new devices, the Honor 6 Plus and Honor 4X which were launched in India. The Honor 4X is a budget phone with impressive specs and competes with Yu Yureka and Redmi Note in the sub 10k price category.
The Honor 4X features a 5.5 inch HD display and is powered by 1.2Ghz Snapdragon 410 64 bit Quad core processor with 2GB RAM and 8GB internal storage. The phone also features 13MP rear camera with flash and 5MP front camera. The phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat and has the custom Emotion UI 3.0. The device also comes dual 4G enabled SIM cards and also has 3000mAh battery. The phone is priced Rs 10499 and available exclusively on Flipkart.
So does the phone live up to the expectations of the pricing and also compare with the competition? Lets find out in the detailed review of the device.
Related Reading: Honor 4X Limited Edition Unboxing
Here is the video review of the device.
Design and Build:
Design wise, although the Honor 4X does not offer anything new, it is a fairly good looking phone. There are few similarities with respect to the Yureka design especially the three capacitive touch buttons. The rear panel comes with great quality matte finish with pattern and an engraved Honor branding. The finishing is much better than what is offered on Redmi Note and Yu Yureka. The power and volume buttons are on the right side with power button getting a chrome finish. The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top while the micro USB charging slot is at the bottom.
The speaker unit is located at the bottom to the side of the micro USB slot. The rear panel also houses the 13MP camera along with flash into a single unit with a metallic finish. The front panel has the 5.5inch HD display which has slim bezels on the sides. Below the display is the three capacitive buttons which mimic lollipop buttons, but they are not backlit. The 5MP front camera and the sensors are above the display. Overall, the build quality is very good on the device.
Honor 4X is not a device which can be used with single hand, just like the Yu Yureka and Redmi Note.
The phone comes with a 5.5 inch HD display (1280 X 720p) with 267ppi. The display size is similar to what is offered on Redmi Note and Yu Yureka. The display is pretty sharp and have great colors. The viewing angles are also good, thanks to the IPS display. The sunlight readability was also pretty decent. The touch response was very smooth without any lags. But unlike the Yu Yureka, this device does not offer any additional protection in the form of Corning Gorilla glass.
Watching movies on the 5.5 inch display is definitely a great experience on the device. Overall, the display on Honor 4X is pretty good and is similar to what the competition offers.
Software and Performance:
Honor 4X runs on Android 4.4 KitKat and has the custom UI from Huawei, the Emotion UI 3.0. EMUI 3.0 is a custom interface and comes with additional tools and options like the MIUI and Lenovo’s Vibe UI. The phone comes with multiple home screen and it does not feature an app launcher.
The notification center has dual screens, one for notifications which are arranged with time stamp. The shortcuts tab shows all the quick toggles. You can also edit and toggles available in the shortcuts. The lock screen has an option which shows different image whenever you turn on the display.
You can access the camera from the lock screen. If you double tap on the lock screen, it brings up the music player. If you swipe from the bottom of the lock screen, you get access to some useful functions like recorder, calculator, torch, music controls and more.
Similar to Yu Yureka and Redmi Note, the EMUI on Honor 4X also offers themes to customize. The themes app allows you to download themes and install them. You can also change the layout of apps on the home screens. The phone comes pre-installed with few tools like Weather, Mirror, Magnifier, calculator, Notepad, FM Radio, Recorder and backup tool.
The phone comes with 8GB internal storage and there is only less than 4GB available which is kind of disappointing as most of the 8GB devices have 4.5 to 5GB user available. You can expand the storage via micro SD card to 32GB.
The call quality on the device was pretty good and so was the signal strength. We couldn’t test the 4G LTE speeds on this device as there is no 4G support in our location. The device supports 4G LTE on both the SIM cards which is very good considering most of the other devices offers only on first SIM card.
The phone runs on 1.2Ghz Snapdragon 410 Quad core processor which is 64 bit processor and also features 2GB RAM and the overall performance of the device was very good. We never encountered lags or issues when running or switching apps. The multi tasking was also pretty good on the device.
We played 5 games on the device (ranging from low end to high end graphics) and found that the gaming performance was really good for the games whcih were playable. But having said that there are issues with high end games like Dead Trigger 2 and GTA which were crashing on the device. We are sure this is something related to EMUI as the Snapdragon 410 is very good for gaming. The heating on the device while playing games was on the lower side.
The phone also comes with Motions and gestures like Flip to mute, shake to rearrange, Double tap to wake, draw letter to open apps, one hand UI, smart cover and more. These are very useful add-ons from EMUI which makes the phone better to use.
Honor 4X comes with a 13MP rear camera with auto focus and flash and a 5MP front facing camera for selfies and video calls. The camera is similar to what is being offered in Redmi Note and Yu Yureka. The camera interface is also feature rich and comes with options like HDR, Panorama, Audio Note, Best Photo, All Focus and Watermark photos. The All Focus mode allows you to change the focus after taking the photos and this is particularly useful when taking close up photos.
For the images taken in daylight, there is good amount of detailing available in the photo. The colors look pretty good and the overall clarity is pretty good for a budget smartphone. Huawei claims that Honor 4X is the best camera smartphone in this price. The macro captures have come really good and the detailing is very good, again the colors look vivid and are closer to real colors. We were impressed with the photo quality offered by this 13MP shooter.
While most of the budget smartphone cameras mainly concentrate on day light photography, Honor 4X impresses with good low light photos. The clarity is pretty decent in low light as well. While there is noise in extreme low light captures, it is still one of the best cameras in budget category with great performance. The flash unit also works very well. For low light photos, there was a slight tint of blue, but it is again acceptable since this is a budget smartphone.
The Front camera on the phone is a 5MP fixed focus unit and here again the camera impresses. The 5MP front shooter also produces photos with decent clarity and the colors have come very good. It is pretty good camera for selfies and video calls.
The phone can record videos in 1080p (Full HD) and the quality is again pretty good. Overall, we were pretty impressed by the camera quality and we can easily say it is one of the best in the category.
The phone comes with a 3000mAh battery and the performance is pretty good on the device. The capacity is similar to Redmi Note and higher than Yu Yureka. We tested the battery by using the 3G SIM card and few social apps configured and running in the background along with email accounts. We were able to get more than a day of battery life with average usage and the stand by time is also very good on the device.
The phone also comes with battery saver mode where in you can get additional battery life by disabling network services. There are three power modes- Ultra, Smart and Normal. The ultra power saver turns the screen into a lite mode with greyscale display and gets you access only for basic phone needs. Then there is smart mode which optimizes the CPU for better performance and battery life.
So is the Honor 4X worth the money? Yes, it is with the excellent camera, battery life, build quality and above average software. But there are still some areas which needs improvement, especially the gaming performance which we feel can be fixed with software updates and also software which is not as feature rich as the Cyanogen or the MIUI.
Also, the Honor 4X sells almost 1.5k more than Yureka and Rs 500 more than Redmi Note and available only via flash sale. While there are some areas where the Honor 4X is superior to Redmi Note and Yu Yureka, it is up to the user to decide on which is their priority when buying the device. All in all, we feel Huawei has done pretty good work with Honor 4X.