Honor 6X vs Huawei Mate 9 – Is the High end Really Better?

by Nicole on March 12, 2017

Sometimes you’re a high-class girl with a high-class Smartphone and other times you’re a poor but stylish hipster. I’ve got two smartphones the Huawei Mate 9 which is $600 and the Honor 6X which is also made by Huawei but only $250. If you want to make the decision that’s friendlier on your wallet, let’s find out what you’re giving up

As your read down the list comparing the different features of each Smartphone it’s easy to see why a phone that is 3 times the price easily takes it in pretty much category. What it’s important to note as you read through is that the Honor 6X isn’t a slouch

Design – Winner Mate 9

Just looking at the back it’ll be hard to tell which one is these is the midrange smartphone, the metal on both looks and feels premium. The Mate 9 has a unibody metal chassis and its design goes toe to toe with any smartphone on the market. The honor 6x has a metal back but its face isn’t quite as high end with it’s big bezels and display that’s just sitting on top and isn’t nestle inside the metal frame in quite the same way. It looks good, but it’s lacking a certain elegance.

Display -Tie

The displays are very different in size, 5.5 vs 5.9 but the body on the Mate 9 isn’t that much larger and the display itself isn’t as good, for the price a 1080p IPS display is also very good both have crisp, clear and colourful, with wide viewing angles but the LCD IPS just doesn’t quite have the same punch as an AMOLED display.

In terms of usability they are both quite bright and have good viewing angles, where the Mate 9 pulls ahead is the bezels around the display are tighter and more polished which makes me favor it.

Hardware – Mate 9

When it comes to build quality, I should be clear, that both of handsets are well-built tanks. The Honor 6X is midrange and has spec sheet that goes along with the price tag, it’s got a less powerful processor, RAM, storage and the battery is much larger on the Mate 9 as well. Though when we get to the battery life section you’ll be surprised to see how they compare.

The Mate 9 includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and the latest Galileo European GPS, the 6X tops out at 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and no Galileo.

We should also point out that the Honor 6X does not come with USB Type C, which in 2017 feels very behind the times.

Honor 6X vs Huawei Mate 9 Specification

Honor 6XHuawei Mate 9
Physical size5.5 inches5.9 inches
Resolution1080 x 1920 pixels1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density
402 ppi373 ppi
Screen-to-body ratio76.09 %77.39 %
FeaturesLight sensor, Proximity sensorLight sensor, Proximity sensor

Camera12 megapixels12 megapixels
FlashLEDDual LED
Aperture sizeF2.2F2.2
Optical zoom2.0 x
Hardware FeaturesDual-camera (2-megapixel), Autofocus (Phase detection)Dual-camera (20-megapixel, F2.2 aperture), Optical image stabilization, Autofocus (Phase detection, Laser), CMOS image sensor, Back-illuminated sensor (BSI)
Software FeaturesTouch to focus, Smile detection, Face detection, Voice activation, Self-timer, Digital zoom, Geo taggingManual focus, Face detection, Self-timer, Digital zoom, Geo tagging
SettingsExposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets, Shutter speed controlExposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets, Shutter speed control
Shooting ModesBurst mode, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama, Night mode, EffectsBurst mode, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama, Macro mode, Effects
Camcorder1920×1080 (1080p HD)3840×2160 (4K)
FeaturesVideo calling, Video sharingDigital image stabilization, Video calling, Video sharing
Front-facing camera8 megapixels8 megapixels
FeaturesWide AngleAutofocus

Honor 6XHuawei Mate 9
OSAndroid (6.0), Emotion 4.1 UIAndroid (7.0), Emotion UI
Dimensions5.94 x 3.00 x 0.32 inches (150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm)6.18 x 3.11 x 0.31 inches (156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm)
Weight5.71 oz (162 g)
the average is 5.3 oz (151 g)
6.70 oz (190 g)
the average is 5.3 oz (151 g)
MaterialsMain body: AluminumMain body: Metal
FeaturesFingerprint (touch)Fingerprint (touch)
ColorsGold, Gray, SilverGold, Gray, Silver, Brown, White
System chip
HiSilicon Kirin 655HiSilicon Kirin 960
Octa-core, 2100 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bitOcta-core, 2400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A73 and ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit
Graphics processorMali-T830 MP2Mali-G71 MP8
System memory
Built-in storage32 GB64 GB
Storage expansionmicroSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 128 GBmicroSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 256 GB
Capacity3340 mAh4000 mAh

Performance – Mate 9

Technically speaking I have to give performance to the Mate 9, when opening up Asphalt 8 or Mortal Combat X the Mate 9 opening the big games twice as fast. The Mate 9 also slays the Honor 6X which it comes to benchmarks.

Honor 6X Huawei Mate 9
HiSilicon Kirin 655 Octa-core, 2100 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bitHiSilicon Kirin 960 Octa-core, 2400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A73 and ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit
Vellamo- Browser 31307140

But this is only half the story, if you don’t care about opening big games and just want a phone that opens Instagram and Facebook quickly, EMUI works well on both so everyday navigation is evenly matched.

Camera – Mate 9

Taking photos is arguably one of the Smartphones most key features and the moment when Smartphone usually show their true colors. On paper, we have two handsets have similar specifications, but the Mate 9 comes with Optical Image stabilization, OIS is key in taking better photos in low light and lets you focus on objects faster resulting in faster photos. We do notice this in terms of shutter speed, the Mate 9 was faster. Taking a look at the photos sometimes the Honor 6X feels a little washed out, but it’s actually not the Mate 9 has just over saturated their photos, which is actually pretty standard these days, the color accuracy I’d say is a bit close to the 6X, but the Mate 9 just feels like it offers more detail in the photos.

In the Mate 9, the RGB sensor is a 12-megapixel unit behind an f/2.2 lens with OIS and it’s backed up by a 20-megapixel black-and-white sensor, with a f/2.2 lens. This setup allows it to capture clear low-light shots while also picking up enough fine detail to implement a “hybrid zoom” feature.

The Honor 6X is the only budget phone at $250 that comes with a dual camera, but it’s not as high-end as the one on the Mate 9. The Honor 6X combines a 12MP camera on the back of the phone that’s paired with a 2MP wide-aperture lens. It allows you to blur the background of images for an interesting effect.

Digital Bokeh isn’t our favorite and you can see in both that the software doesn’t follow the edges often including or excluding parts fo the background.

Honor 6X

Huawei Mate 9

Honor 6X Action Shots

Huawei Mate 9 Action Shots

Side by side comparison photos betwee the Honor 6X & Mate 9

On the front, we have 8MP cameras which both perform quite well, like most we’re big on selfies and the performance is good and of course, there is the beautify mode which works the same on each.

Software – Mate 9

The Honor 6x is behind on the times when it comes to having the latest software, it’s only running EMUI 4.1 and Android 6.0 which is why you’ll see subtle differences in navigation and EMUI 5 give you the option the add an app drawer for those of you looking for more of a stock android feel there is much more customization. The older EMUI on the 6X doesn’t use an app drawer or make provision for handedness. There is no doubt that the software on the Mate 9 is more refined.

The major difference is that Android 7.0 has Doze mode which optimized battery life when the device was asleep, but the Home Screen, Notification Shade, App Drawer, Recent Apps and Twin apps are enough to make the software feel a lot more polished on the Mate 9.

Battery Life – Honor 6X

The Mate 9 has a much larger battery but the bigger display and more powerful processor are going to eat through that battery faster. It’s very interesting that though the Honor 6X has a smaller battery it gets better battery life than the Mate 9, it regularly gets me through a day and a half while the Mate 9 will just me through the day.

The Mate 9’s 4000mAh battery took 5 hours to drain from 100% to 20% percent, at which point the battery savings algorithms kicked in and required an additional 5 hours to drop to 10%.

The Honor 6X’s battery is 3340mAh, but that’s nothing to complain about. Our battery drain test took 7 hours to drop from 100% to 20%.

The Bottom Line.

When it comes down to it, the Mate 9 is the better phone, the photos are more saturated and offer a little more detail and its got faster reflexes, a better speaker for sharing music and a more refined design.  But it’s over twice the price, so if you pick up the Honor 6X you’ve got bigger battery life and a decent enough camera. In terms of performance if you put it up beside today’s flagship Smarpthone you’ll see a difference, but if you’re upgrading from one of a last years (or two a two year old) phone you’ll think it’s great. If money is no object, obviously go with the Mate 9 but if you’re price conscious the Honor 6X is the way to go, and at this price point you can pick up next years model guilt free!

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