On June 24, Huawei released the newest member of its flagship Honor series, the Honor 6. Besides being the first device to use Huawei’s Kirin 920 octa-core processor, it is also the first LTE Cat6-supported phone in China and has an internet speed of up to 300 Mbps.
The Honor 6 sports a 5-inch 1080p JDI display screen which uses in-cell display technology and a very thin bezel at only 2.86mm. It also has 3GB RAM and different versions have 16GB or 32GB internal memory storage. It also sports a 5mp/13mp camera and runs on a 3100mAh battery that has integrated Smart 2.0 power management technology. The 16GB version costs 1999 RMB (321.46 USD) and 2299 RMB (369.70 USD).
I. Huawei takes a leap
Restricted by Huawei’s microchip strategy, for more than three years, Huawei has not had a flagship phone in the truest sense even though the company has been targeting the high-end market since Yu Chengdong’s arrival.
After HiSilicon started producing microchips faster, the Honor 6 finally had standard cell phone functions. Besides its processor, Huawei has improved a lot in the last two years.
The base band of Huawei’s processors has surpassed Qualcomm’s and Huawei is the third company in the industry to integrate 4G base bands into their processors.
Regarding ISP, their processors use Altek-based technology, improving the quality of photos.
As for videos, video processors and codecs can be customized and tests show that they are pretty good.
Regarding the software, the UI is pretty fluid even though it’s not exactly aesthetically pleasing. Huawei has also improved several small personalized functions.
Like the Oneplus, there are not any clear flaws with the Honor 6. ON the contrary, it has some amazing features. Its most useful feature is the Wifi. Xiaomi’s attempts at taking advantage of public WiFi and shared passwords has been criticized for privacy and safety problems and, as a result, failed. Huawei, though, could easily do this with the help of internet providers. Huawei’s partnership with providers is one of their strengths.
The Huawei 6 is the result of progress made by Huawei in the last two years and is an excellent product.
II. Late opportunity
The Honor 6 was released on June 24, 2014, the end of the second quarter of the year.
Other cell phones with similar specs (four A15 cores, the Snapdragon 800 and more powerful processors) were released as early as the third quarter of 2013, but most appeared in the fourth quarter.
New phones have been coming out non-stop since late 2013, i.e. ZTE U988S, Mi 3, Nubia Z5S, ELIFE E7, ZTE Grand SII, OPPO Find 7, vivo Xplay 3S, Xshot, OnePlus One, Smartisan T1…
Costing 1999 RMB, the Honor 6’s biggest rivals are the OnePlus One, the cheaper Mi 3, and ZTE Grand SII. Costing 1499 RMB (241.62 USD), the Mi 3 should have a fighting chance.
The ZTE Grand SII has a replaceable battery. Although the Honor 6 is a great step forward for Huawei, but it does not have much a great advantage over the Oneplus One, with its design, craftsmanship, texture, and the Mi 3 with its cheap price.
If the Honor 6 was released in the fourth quarter of 2013 or the first quarter of 2014, it might have a bigger chance. But as it’s being released in the second quarter, it might not have much of a chance as its competitors are starting to cut prices.
What’s even more unfortunate is that MT6595 will be shipped in the third quarter of the year. Its features are excellent and it does not use too much power. Its low price should also lower the prices of powerful devices that will use it to around 1000 RMB (161.08 USD). This won’t leave the Honor 6 with a lot of time to get ready.
The Honor 6 is a great product but unfortunately it has come out at the wrong time. If Huawei really wants to fight back, they would continue to push HiSilicon to make better processors and catch up with Samsung and Qualcomm. At the same time, they should create more processors that use A57 cores and use the most advanced technology.
Things might just turn around in 2015 if Xiaomi and Huawei release products that use a 64-bit A57-core processor in the first quarter.