Huawei Honor 6 Plus goes after iPhone 6 Plus with dual cameras (hands-on)

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BEIJING — It hasn’t been much more than a month since the launch of the Honor 6 from Huawei, but the Chinese smartphone maker is already launching a new model, the Honor 6 Plus.

Unveiled here at the 798 Arts District in the Chinese capital, the 5.5-inch smartphone clearly has Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus in its sights, with the Honor 6 Plus offering features the Apple smartphone lacks — such as dual 8-megapixel rear cameras and a large 3,600mAh battery.

If this innovation sounds familiar, well, just cast your mind back to the start of the year, to the HTC One M8. Like the M8, the Honor 6 Plus’ dual-camera system lets you take pictures where you can control the focus after the shot has been taken. But that’s not all the phone has to offer.

Huawei isn’t just chucking in a couple of cameras and calling it a day. The 7.5mm thick Honor 6 Plus shares the black glass design of the Honor 6, and has a metallic-looking strip running down the sides. My colleague Andrew Hoyle pointed out in his review that this strip is actually plastic and feels like it and, well, my experience is similar.

There’s supposed to be a pattern on the rear, but I could really only make it out when the light hits the phone at the right angle on the black and white models. It’s more readily apparent on the gold model. As part of Huawei’s branding reboot, the only brand you’ll see on the phone is Honor. The Huawei logo is not printed anywhere on the phone.

The rear 8-megapixel dual cameras and the prominent Honor branding.Aloysius Low/CNET

If you gave it a moment’s thought, you’d notice that the Honor 6 Plus shares basically the same design as the Honor 6, only slightly larger and with two cameras on the back.

It’s not a bad thing, especially if you’re a fan of the older iPhone 5S design. Given how Chinese manufacturers like to ape Apple’s design aesthetics, it’s likely we’ll start seeing rounded edges from phones coming out of China next year. I certainly won’t be too surprised when that happens.

Features

Specs-wise, the Honor 6 Plus is loaded with all the good stuff. It has a Kirin 925 octa-core processor, in a “big.LITTLE” configuration. This means it has four ARM Cortex-A7 and four Cortex-A15 processors, with the latter doing most of the work and the former coming online for less stressful tasks to save power.

The 5.5-inch display has a full-HD resolution — 1,920×1,080 pixels. That’s around 401 pixels per inch, similar to the iPhone 6 Plus, which also has a 5.5-inch screen.

The Huawei Honor 6 sports a 5.5-inch full-HD display.Aloysius Low/CNET

The display has a 1,500:1 contrast ratio and an 85 percent color gamut. Huawei showed off a simulated comparison image against the iPhone 6 Plus with the Honor 6 Plus appearing more saturated. Until I put both phones side by side to compare, though, I’m hesitant to believe the claims.

Besides the screen, the other specs of the phone include 3GB RAM, a 3,600mAh battery and 32GB of onboard storage, with support for up to 128GB of microSD storage.

For those who travel between countries regularly and find dual-SIM support useful, the good news is that Huawei has managed to squeeze in active dual-SIM support as well as 4G — often sacrificed for the second SIM slot. That means there’s one 4G connection and one 3G connection in the phone. The phone has a built-in software SIM card, with support for cheap global roaming data, costing Chinese buyers RM28 a day (around $5 or

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Science and Technology is developing, the only constant is the attitude. Do the best of yourself. Mail:suyang@qudong.com