- Big, decent-quality screen
- Strong battery life
- Relatively strong processor
- A bit buggy in parts
- Slow camera
- Dated Android, some customisation contentious
- Review Price: £144.99
- 5.5-inch 1,280 x 720 pixel IPS screen
- 8GB storage with microSD
What is the Honor 4X?
The Honor 4X is one of the lowest-cost giant-screen phones in the world. It has a 5.5-inch screen like the LG G4, but costs less than £150.
Factor-in 4G, a 64-bit processor, 3000mAh and dual-SIM support, and the Honor 4X starts to sound like a pretty great alternative to phones like the Motorola Moto G for power users on a tight budget. Sure enough, it is.
There are a few budget cuts evident in the screen and hardware design, but none that should deter you completely if the idea of being able to downgrade to a £10-or-so SIM-only contract sounds like heaven. Funnily enough, the Honor 4X’s most serious competition comes from Honor’s parent company Huawei. Its Huawei Ascend G7 costs just £40-50 more and gets you a fancier metal design.
Honor 4X: Design
That this is not one of Honor’s most expensive and fancy phones become obvious as soon as you hold the thing. The Honor 4X is a plastic phone, using a fairly thin plastic backplate. No unibody design here.
Of course, Samsung used such things even in its £500 phones until recently, and Honor has given it a rough texture to avoid it being too slippy or tacky-feeling. It’s not an impersonation of leather, it is not trying to convince us it’s something it is not: just a rough criss-cross pattern.
You can get the Honor 4X in black or white and, judging by our experience with this white version, black might be the better-looking of the two.
These are all surface concerns, of course. What really matters is whether you can hack the Honor 4X’s size. With a 5.5-inch screen and 8.7mm-thick body, it’s not seriously chunky but will certainly be large enough to turn off some of you. We find the back soft key just that bit too far to reach easily, for example. The phone uses separate off-display soft keys, which seems like a bit of an odd choice when it must add to the cost a bit. They don’t light-up, though.
Aside from filling the palm, reaching the soft keys is the main size concern, though. The Honor 4X has brought down the power button down the side, so you don’t have to reach for it.
Just like the back, all the hardware buttons are plastic. There’s no hint of high-end flashiness here. Even the screen comes with a plastic screen protector applied, although underneath it is trusty old Gorilla Glass 3.
Unless you drop the Honor 4X the rest of the phone is likely to get a few battlescars way before the screen. Gorilla Glass is very strong and hard enough to avoid picking up 99 per cent of scratches from keys and coins in your pocket. In other words, feel free to rip the screen protector off if you prefer. We did.
Honor 4X: Connections
This isn’t a phone that feels high-end, but it does get you some features rarely seen elsewhere, let alone in cheaper phones. Under the plastic battery cover are two microSIM slots, both go which take 4G SIMs.
Want a work/home phone or now you’ll use in two different countries regularly? The Honor 4X has your back. And yes, it’s fully 4G-capable.
There’s also a microSD slot under here, to add to the 8GB of storage. That 8GB gets eaten up after installing a top-tier 3D game or two, so you’ll probably need a memory card if you want to store games, music or video.
Before we move onto some more interesting bits, wireless connections are otherwise pretty standard. There’s Wi-Fi n, not ac, and no IR transmitter, but you do get the usual array of Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and so on. And even an FM radio.
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.