Honor 6X Looks Like 2017's Bargain Phone to Beat

In 2016, Huawei produced some of our favorite budget and mid-range phones, including the affordable and feature packed Honor 5X and our favorite phone under $400, the Honor 8. Now, for 2017, Huawei is wasting no time starting the year off at CES with the $249 Honor 6X, which looks like another winner.

Why You Should Care

As the name implies, the 6X is the replacement for last year's 5X, and it comes with an upscale metal design, fingerprint sensor, big 5.5-inch full HD screen and — a first for a phone this cheap — dual rear cameras.

Pricing and Availability

The 6X will be available in two colors: silver and gold, with pre-orders starting Jan. 4, prior to the official sale date of Jan 10. The 6X should be available online from many of the major retailers including, Amazon, Best Buy and Newegg, as well as direct via Huawei's own online store.

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If you thought the $249 price tag was low, Huawei says it's planning to have four flash sales that will bring the 6X's price even lower, to just $200.

Dual Rear Cameras

The reason for the dual rear cams, which feature a 12-megapixel main cam and a 2-MP depth sensing cam, is that this setup allow users to adjust depth-of-field effects on the fly.

This is a pretty smart play by Huawei, which acknowledges that people tend to use the filters and effects found in apps like Instagram and Snapchat more often than those built into the camera. So instead of wasting time creating and putting filters on the phone that probably won't get used, Huawei wanted to allow users to adjust depth of field, which is a feature still not available in most social-media apps.

Fingerprint Reader That Does More

Like other Honor phones, the 6X has the handy ability to let you navigate through pictures by swiping left and right across the rear fingerprint sensor, which is handy since this phone doesn't have any touch buttons up front.

Key Specs

Other specs include an octa-core Kirin 655 CPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot and a sizable 3340 mAh battery, which Huawei claims will deliver a full two-day battery life. We'll have to wait to put the phone through our battery test to see if that's really true.

Some Trade-offs

I'm a bit frustrated that the 6X features a microUSB port for charging and data, especially since Huawei's previous phone, the Honor 8, had already moved to USB-C.

Another small downer is that the 6X will ship with Huawei's EMUI 4.1, which is based on Android 6.0 out of the box, although the company says it's working on developing an interface based on Android 7.0 Nougat soon.

Outlook

Overall, the Honor 6X looks like it could be the bargain phone to beat for 2017. Stay tuned for our full review.