Huawei Honor 6 review: Virtue in disguise

GSMArena team, 9 March 2015.

Standard phonebook

The Huawei Honor 6 phonebook is laid out across three tabs that can be navigated by swipes. An alphabetical list on the right can help you jump to a specific letter or you can just use the search function. Tapping on a contact image brings up a tabbed popup, that'll contain additional tabs if the contact has more information.

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The tabbed phonebook

As on most Android launchers, you can assign a plethora of contact information including custom ringtones and images. You can link contacts too, if you've added the same person on multiple services.

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You can add tons of extra contact information

Telephony is excellent

The Huawei Honor 6 held on to signal well and in-call sound was just fine. The proximity sensor makes sure the screen stays off when you hold the phone to your ear.

Picking the phone to your ear while it's ringing automatically answers the call. Oddly, it doesn't work the other way around and flipping the phone on its face while it's ringing doesn't mute the ringing.

The secondary noise cancelling microphone ensures a quieter background for your voice while in call.

The dialer and the call log share the same screen. The dialer offers smart dialing and it works both with names and numbers.

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Smart dial works for both names and numbers

We put the Honor 6 through our traditional loudspeaker test and it posted an Average overall score. It's an improvement over the Ascend P7, but still not great. You shouldn't miss any calls though, even if the phone is lying on a table, when its speaker is in an unfavorable position.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Xiaomi Mi 4 62 62.1 66.6 Below Average
Huawei Ascend P7 63.9 66.1 70.9 Below Average
Lenovo Vibe X2 66 67.7 71.8 Average
Huawei Honor 6 65.9 64.6 75.6 Average
Sony Xperia Z2 66.7 64.6 75.7 Average
Lenovo S90 Sisley 66.6 65.9 75.7 Good
HTC One mini 2 69.3 66.6 75.9 Good
Motorola Moto G 81.6 75.7 82.7 Excellent
Meizu MX4 81.3 75.8 83.6 Excellent


Messaging

The messaging section is business as usual with all SMS/MMS communication is organized into threads. Attaching a photo, video, audio recording or the like automatically turns your message into an MMS.

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The standard messaging app

The Honor 6 also comes with Hangouts, which is another way to handle texts. The latest update lets Hangouts integrate your SMS and MMS messages in addition to Gtalk and Google+ conversations.

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The Hangouts app can also be used for messaging

For email, the Gmail app includes the four inbox options (Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates) that Google recently introduced in their online interface. The default Email app is similar to Gmail, except that it can handle multiple POP or IMAP inboxes, which is useful for when you want to keep track of multiple accounts from one place. Huawei have incorporated more elements from the Gmail app than most manufacturers, so it's an excellent alternative if you need to keep connected several email accounts.

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The Gmail app The generic email client has the same functionality but also with a combined inbox

The Honor 6 keyboard features some additional settings thanks to its Swype integration, including themes, split keyboard modes, and keyboard height, but sadly many of them are hidden within the input settings menu rather than as shortcuts from the keyboard like on most interfaces. Still, there is support for gestures as well as integration of Google's voice typing with their downloadable language packs.

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Huawei keyboard with Swype integration and themes