Huawei's latest device, the Honor 6 Plus, has been available for a few weeks now (in limited markets) but here at CES 2015 we've actually had an opportunity to get our hands on it. The Honor 6 Plus is a step above the Honor 6, and comes in at the equivalent of about $320 unlocked. It packs a metal and glass body, 5.5-inch 1080p display, quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM. But that's not necessarily the most impressive part — it also has dual 8MP cameras that are capable of some neat tricks, too.
For a device that costs just north of $300 unlocked, the Honor 6 Plus feels great and looks nice as well. The design calls back to the look of a few different phones — the iPhone 5s, Xperia Z line and Nexus 4 come to mind immediately. There's a metal band that wraps around three sides, with full panes of glass surrounding the front and back, and it comes in both black and white. The phone feels hefty and solid thanks to the material choices, though with glass on the back it's going to get scratched up over time.
The software experience — with Huawei's customization of Android 4.4.4 — was nearly identical to what we've seen on the other recent Huawei devices, and the internals seemed to push around the pixels just fine in our short time with it. But the Honor 6 Plus is mostly about the new unique camera setup, as it has two distinct 8MP cameras on the back and a bunch of software to take advantage of them.
The pair of cameras give you access to a great shooting mode that lets you adjust the focal point and aperture after you've already taken a photo, as well as a choice of apertures — from f/0.95 to f/16. The way it works is it uses both cameras at the same time to capture several photos at different apertures — think of it as taking several "layers" of a photo in quick succession. It creates a noticeable but small bit of shutter lag, but the results are worth it.
Hop into the gallery and you can see the picture you took at the aperture you set before capture, but you can also switch to an editing mode that really takes advantage of the cameras. You can tap to focus on any area in the frame, and at the same time adjust the aperture to get the right effect. You can crank it up to f/16 and bring everything in focus, or drop all the way down to f/0.95 and get very specific about the focal point to blur everything else out.
Honestly the camera interface and experience was pretty good, and the process of playing with apertures and focal points seemed to work really well. It offered up better output than other software-based solutions, and because both cameras are the same resolution there's no compromise to having them both on the back.
We're eagerly awaiting Huawei to expand sales of the Honor 6 Plus to new markets, but in the mean time we've come away happy after our first experiences with it.
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