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Honor 6X vs Honor 8: What’s the difference?

Honor 6X vs Honor 8: We take a look at how these Chinese mid-range handsets stack up.

Huawei has been trying to wow millennials with its Honor spin-off brand for some time, and it’s just gone and released a new phone to help it in that mission: the Honor 6X.

It’s a nice little mid-ranger with a dual-camera setup on the rear, but how does it stack up against another solid mid-range offering, the Honor 8 from last year?

Allow us to explain…

Related: CES 2017

WATCH: Honor 6X hands-on

Honor 6X vs Honor 8 – Design & Screen

There’s not a whole lot to get excited about with the 6X design. Honor has opted for a curved metal back with rounded corners and a very sparse look around the front. You can choose between silver, grey and gold finishes, but it’s hardly the most innovative design we’ve ever seen.

The Honor 8, on the other hand, takes a lot of its cues from the Huawei P9. It’s almost identical in size and weighs in at 153g, which is lighter than the 6X’s 162g. The thin bezels around the display immediately make the phone look more premium, and there’s a glass back with prism lines that refract and disperse the light in an eye-catching manner.

Related: Best Smartphone to Buy

6x 9

When it comes to the screens, the 6X packs a 5.5-inch 1080p display, which is one of the best we’ve seen at this price point. It’s detailed, seems accurate, and is intensely bright when you crank it up. It’s also bigger than the 5.2-inch offering on the Honor 8, but thanks to the smaller size, the 1080p resolution on the 8 should be a tad sharper than on the larger 6X screen.

Honor 6X vs Honor 8 – Hardware

While the Honor 6X comes with some high-end features, such as the dual-camera setup, its internals are decidedly mid-range. Powering the phone is a middling Kirin 655 CPU, but there is the option to choose between 3GB or 4GB of RAM. We tried out the latter and it seemed smooth and nippy, even with the issues that come with the outdated EMUI 4.1 (more on that later).

Things look a tad better on the Honor 8, which features the octa-core Kirin 950 processor with i5 co-processor. This is paired with 4GB of RAM, which makes for little to no stutter or slowdown in day-to-day use. In our experience, apps were quick to open and pages fast to load.

Honor 8

While the Honor 8 has more impressive internals, then, you’re not likely to experience many issues with either handset. What you might notice is the difference in ports. The Honor 8 comes with a USB Type-C connection, adding an element of future-proofing, while the 6X only comes with a Micro USB port. It’s not a major issue, but seems strange for a phone that is apparently targeted at the forward-looking younger generation.

You will, however, find a fingerprint scanner on both the 6X and the Honor 8, along with a microSD card slot, and either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.

Honor 6X vs Honor 8 – Software

For some reason, Honor has neglected to provide its latest handset, the 6X, with the latest version of its proprietary Android UI, EMUI. While the Honor 8 comes with the much improved EMUI 5 and Android Nougat, the Honor 6X features the inferior EMUI 4.1. That means icons are much uglier on the 6X, while the stock apps feel like iPhone rip-offs and the notification panel struggles with Google notifications.

Honor 6X vs Honor 8 – Camera

One of the big surprises with the Honor 6X is the inclusion of a dual-camera setup on the rear. It’s a feature usually reserved for higher-end handsets – the iPhone 7 Plus is just one example – but both the Honor 6X and Honor 8 come with the double-lens setups.

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On the Honor 8, Sony’s 12-megapixel IMX286 sensors are used – one RGB, one monochrome – and they have 1.25um-sized pixels. The monochrome sensor can capture more light, which should make for punchier, more contrast-packed photos. In our experience, the photos produced by the Honor 8’s camera seemed generally more washed-out compared to the Huawei P9, however.

Honor has decided not to use two 12-megapixel sensors on the Honor 6X, instead including one 12-megapixel sensor backed up by another 2-megapixel offering. Rather than using a monochrome sensor for the second, as with the Honor 8, the setup on the Honor 6X helps create the ‘depth-effect’ you get with the two cameras on the rear of the iPhone 7 Plus.

Honor 6X vs Honor 8 – Price and Release

Honor 8

Many will have already picked up the Honor 8, which has been available in Europe since last November for around £370. The 6X is also now available in Europe through Huawei’s vMall online store for £224. Considering the price difference, there’s a lot to be said for the 6X in this category.

Honor 6X vs Honor 8 – Summary

Both these phones are mid-range offerings, although the hardware in the Honor 8 is more respectable than the 6X’s internals. That said, the price is much lower for the 6X, and from what we’ve seen there are no major performance differences to worry about between the two. You will, however, have to put up with the older EMUI 4.1 Android skin if you opt for the 6X, but we’re hoping that will be upgraded soon.

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Let us know which you think comes out on top in the comments below.

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