Huawei Honor 6X review: It's cheap, but I'd rather have the Moto G5 Plus

This seriously budget phone has dual cameras and a fast, accurate fingerprint reader right where I want it. Unfortunately, that's about the best it can offer.

Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt

Editorial Director / CNET Money, How-To & Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Money, How-To, and Performance teams. A California native who grew up in Silicon Valley, she's passionate about connecting people with the highest standard of advice to help them reach their goals.

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The Huawei Honor 6X has two things that the Galaxy S8 does not: dual rear cameras and a fast, accurate rear-mounted fingerprint reader that's actually easy to reach. (Samsung's Galaxy S8 has a single camera lens on the back and awkwardly puts its fingerprint reader to the left of the camera.)


Huawei Honor 6X

The Good

The Huawei Honor 6X has a dual rear camera, a ton of advanced camera tools and it's way cheap.

The Bad

It runs an older version of Android and sometimes lags when launching or switching apps. Photo quality doesn't live up to the tools.

The Bottom Line

The Motorola Moto G5 Plus is the better budget phone in nearly every way. Get the Huawei Honor 6X only if you really want a dual rear camera.

Huawei's play here is simple: Bring some of the advanced features you'd otherwise find only on a top-tier device to a seriously budget phone -- one that costs $250 or £225, which converts to about AU$331. So to "beat" the Galaxy S8 in this fashion -- and to be clear, the Honor 6X is absolutely not in the S8's league -- is a feather in Huawei's cap. It's also a way to put other affordable phones, such as the Motorola Moto G5 Plus, on notice.

The problem is, the Honor 6X falls short of the G5 Plus, its true competitor, in nearly every way. Even the 6X's double rear cameras and higher-resolution front-facing camera (8-megapixel versus the G5 Plus' 5-megapixel lens) produce less distinct and detailed shots than the G5 Plus. For roughly the same price, the Moto G5 Plus is the clear budget winner.

Huawei Honor 6X wants to be your two-camera budget buddy

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If you live in the UK, the smaller, cheaper Moto G5 is another affordable option. Scroll to the end for a full specs comparison of all three phones.

The dual cameras didn't wow me

Huawei warned us not to expect dual-camera image quality as good as its midrange Honor 8 and it's certainly not up there with the excellent P10.

The 12-megapixel and 2-megapixel lenses are there to add depth of field, a bit like the artsy "bokeh" effect on the iPhone 7 Plus that blurs the background and helps the subject pop. But in almost every comparison with the Moto G5 Plus, Motorola's photos were sharper and more detailed, and that goes for selfies, too. (The Honor 6X did have warmer colors, though.)

Huawei Honor 6X camera test (versus Moto G5 Plus)

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I will give Huawei a lot of credit for including a ton of photo tools and modes, from pro photo and video modes to "light painting," a food mode, document scanning and time-lapse. And of course you'll find HDR, Panorama and the other usual filters. There are also plenty of neat, very specific editing tools, including one that highlights a single color and keeps everything else black and white.

There's even a tool that helps you manually adjust depth-of-field with a slider that picks f-stops. But if you're into camera photography enough to know what that last sentence even meant, you'd probably be happier saving up for something like the midrange Honor 8, whose superior image quality is a better match for all the 6X's cool tools.

Where the Honor 6X falls short compared to the Moto G5 Plus

  • More slippery and less comfortable to hold
  • Display isn't as sharp (fewer pixels per inch)
  • Runs Android 6.0 instead of Android 7.0
  • Shorter battery life (12 hours on our looping video drain test compared to roughly 13.5 hours on the G5 plus)
  • Not splash-proof
  • Sometimes laggy and unresponsive (despite better scores on benchmarking apps)
  • Takes longer to get to quick settings (in notifications shade)

Where the Honor 6X beats the Moto G5 Plus

  • Larger screen and only slightly larger body (5.5 versus 5-inch)
  • More creative photo editing tools
  • More photography modes (for example, pro photo and pro video)

Other things to know about the Honor 6X

  • 128GB microSD card support
  • Dual-SIM support
  • Supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks, like other budget phones (not 5GHz; this is expected)
  • No NFC (Moto G5 Plus for UK supports this, not for US)

Huawei Honor 6X versus Motorola Moto G5 and G5 Plus

Huawei Honor 6XMotorola Moto G5Motorola Moto G5 Plus
Display size, resolution 5.5-inch, 1,920x1,080 pixels5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels
Pixel density 403ppi440ppi424ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.9x3x0.3 inches5.7x2.9x0.37 inches5.9x2.9x0.3 inches
Dimensions (Millimeters) 151x76x8.2 mm144.3x73x9.5 mm150.2x74x7.7 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.7 oz, 162g5.1 oz, 145g5.5 oz, 155g
Mobile software Android 6.0 MarshmallowAndroid 7.0 NougatAndroid 7.0 Nougat
Camera 12-megapixel + 2-megapixel13-megapixel12-megapixel
Front-facing camera 8-megapixel5-megapixel5-megapixel
Video capture 1080p1080p1080p
Processor 2.1GHz octa-core Huawei Kirin 6551.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 4302GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Storage 32GB16GB, 32GB (varies by region)32GB (UK & US), 64GB (US only)
RAM 3GB2GB or 3GB, based on region2GB or 32GB (US model), 3GB or 32GB (UK model) or 4GB or 64GB (US model)
Expandable storage 128GB128GB128GB
Battery 3,340 mAh2,800 mAh (removable)3,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Back coverBelow screenBelow screen
Connector Micro-USBMicro-USBMicro-USB
Special features Dual SIMDual SIM, splash-proofDual SIM, splash-proof
Price off-contract (USD) $250Converts to $216 (2GB model)$229 (32GB); $299 (64GB)
Price (GBP) £225£169 (16GB or 2GB RAM); £179 (16GB or 3GB RAM)£249 (32GB)
Price (AUD) Converts to AU$330Converts to AU$290 (16GB)Converts to AU$300 (32GB) or AU$390 (64GB)

Huawei Honor 6X

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 6Camera 7Battery 8