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Honor 4X provides big screen on a budget (hands-on)

The Honor 4X packs a huge 5.5-inch display and a 13-megapixel camera but should still come with a low price tag.

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Andrew Lanxon
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Andrew Lanxon

Lead Editor, CNET Advice, Europe; Lead Photographer, Europe

Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

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BARCELONA -- I've previously been impressed with Huawei's Honor brand of phones. The Honor 6 was a particular gem, with great specs for an extremely competitive price. At this year's Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, Honor showed off its new 4X phones, a 5.5-inch Android KitKat device that's set to come with a similarly affordable price.

The 4X sits below the Honor 6 in its range of phones, so its specs and its design have been pared down slightly. Instead of a glossy glass back and metallic edges, the 4X has a black plastic back that's been given a rough texture to give a little interest. It's not the prettiest phone around, but it's certainly functional, and if you're not that fussed about having the most stylish tech anyway, it's probably fine.

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It feels fairly sturdy, although the plastic does feel a little on the cheap side. The 6 Plus is the one for you if you're after a more luxurious design. The Honor 4X is 153mm long, 77mm wide and 8.6mm thick, meaning it's far from tiny, but it's still comfortable to hold. You'll still need two hands to type though.

Its 5.5-inch display has a 720p resolution, which is a step down from the Honor 6 Plus -- a 5.5-inch, 1080p phone, Honor has previously shown off and will soon be coming to Europe. Still, it seemed sharp enough for the basics, and its sheer size will help make videos a little more immersive. If you're after pin-sharp images, then prepare to spend a little more on a full HD phone.

Up close with the affordable, 5.5-inch Honor 4X (pictures)

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Inside, it's running a 16-bit octa-core processor, clocked at 1.2GHz, which should have enough power to keep the essential social networking and Web browsing ticking along nicely. Meanwhile, a 13-megapixel camera sits on the back, and there's a 5-megapixel camera on the front, a generous helping of pixels for those embarrassing selfies.

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It runs Android 4.4 KitKat, rather than the more up-to-date version 5.0. That's a bit of a shame, but if it comes with a cheap enough price tag, I'm willing to forgive that somewhat -- Honor did mention an update to 5.0 Lollipop is coming, although didn't give any dates as to when.

Outlook

Although it won't excite those of you looking for the latest, greatest tech (why don't you pop over to our reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9), it has a decent lineup of specs and with a low price attached, may be a good choice for anyone after a good everyday performer.

Take a tour of the phones at Mobile World Congress 2015

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Check out the rest of CNET's coverage of Mobile World Congress 2015.