Huawei Honor 4X review: Lots to like about big-screen budget smartphone
While Huawei has increasingly been making waves with premium devices such as the Prestige P8, its dizzying rise is largely thanks to its impressive budget smartphones, such as the popular Honor 4C.
Huawei’s new Honor 4X is an upgrade of sorts to the 4C, offering a bigger display and 4G capability, all for a very competitive Dh599. Like its mid-range cousin the Honor 6 Plus, it’s available in the UAE only via the online retailer souq.com.
The 4X has many strong points, but design is not one of them. The 5.5-inch display is offset by an all-encompassing plastic back section that looks and feels cheap. Perhaps an unfair criticism for a budget phone, but the likes of Microsoft and Lenovo have learnt to deliver better designs at the same price. If you can get past the aesthetics though, there’s a lot to like about the 4X. While its design may feel cheap, the rest of it feels surprisingly assured for a budget device.
The user interface, often the Achilles heel of budget phones, is smooth, with next to no lag when scrolling between screens and loading apps – very close to the performance you’d expect on a far more expensive device.
The 4X’s display performs as well as those of its budget peers, without offering the wow factor of more expensive smartphones. While videos like the Spectre trailer may lack the stunning colours of other premium devices, they’re rendered smoothly.
Camera-wise the 4X offers very good value for money, sporting a 13MP rear-facing snapper and a full suite of HDR, panorama and video modes. While the image quality in both fair and low light conditions falls short of premium devices, it compares well with mid-range smartphones double the 4X’s price.
All in all, the 4X represents great value for those looking for a big-screen budget phone, undercut by a subpar design. If, however, you’re able to tolerate its plasticky finish, its user interface and camera make it an otherwise compelling choice.
q&a striking gold in the UAE
John Everington reveals more about Huawei’s new Honor 4X:
What do you mean by “dizzying rise”?
Just that. Huawei’s global market share has more than doubled over the past three years, making it the biggest shipper of phones after Samsung and Apple, accounting for 8.7 per cent of global shipments in the second quarter of the year.
And how’s it doing in the UAE?
Not quite as well it seems. According to TRA data, Huawei accounted for just 1.5 per cent of phones used in the UAE at the end of June, putting it in eighth place overall. But that figure is for all phones, not just new ones, with an awful lot of Nokias still in people’s pockets.
Looking at the 4X, I couldn’t see Huawei written anywhere. Do I need my eyes tested?
Your eyes are fine. It seems as if despite spending a lot on boosting recognition of its main company brand, Huawei is now happy enough with the strength of its budget and mid-range Honor brand and its premium Prestige brand to let them do the talking on their own. And also, let’s face it, Honor and Prestige are still easier to say than “Huawei” (pronounced “Wah Way”, if you’re interested).
Now for the most important question. Does it come in gold?
Yes, it is indeed available in gold, as well as black and white. Huawei says that 58 per cent of the 4Xs sold in the UAE so far were gold, “a much higher amount than any other region”.
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Updated: October 5, 2015 04:00 AM