Buying a budget smartphone may not seem as daunting a task as dropping a massive wad of cash for a pricey flagship, but shopping from the low-cost device market can be quite a doozy when you consider the breadth of offerings. There are some genuinely decent device deals out there.
Motorola and Honor are two of those particular smartphone manufacturers that have leaned in wholly to the idea of the budget device, so much so that their respective names are synonymous with the phrase "a very good deal." You won't hear Honor's name mentioned much in the U.S., however, since it's a relative unknown in the region. But the Chinese company's devices are worthy of consideration if you have a compatible SIM and are looking for more than a phone that offers the bare minimum.
If you're shopping in the sub-$250 price range, you might think you can't find high-end features without spending a little more, but that's not entirely accurate. The $200 Honor 6X is just as good of a deal as the $230 Moto G5 Plus because it doesn't act like a budget phone. It has flagship-like abilities, and though you will have to make some compromises, at least you won't feel like you're eons behind in technology compared to your friends.
The Honor 6X positions itself as a budget device for cash-strapped millennials.
To start, the Honor 6X positions itself as a budget device for cash-strapped millennials, so it boasts features like its camera capabilities and its battery life to reel them in. The Honor 6X's camera is truly no slouch: its dual rear-facing 12-megapixel and 2-megapixel cameras offer a wide aperture range (the actual aperture is f/2.2) and can record high-definition 1080p video. You can take pictures in low light with the Honor 6X, or benefit from the wide aperture mode to achieve portrait-like effects. There's also a night mode, manual mode, and light painting mode available through the camera app, which isn't typically bundled with phones offered at this price point.
The Honor 6X also shines with regards to its battery life, at least when compared to the Moto G5 Plus. Its giant 3340mAh battery can last on standby a very long time — after four days, the Honor 6X still had 54 percent of its battery, whereas the Moto G5 Plus was hanging on to 20 percent over the same period. The Honor 6X and Moto G5 Plus both have lower resolution displays, anyway, so both phones will carry you through the entire day without a problem, but the Honor 6X's slightly bigger pack means it can eke out just a bit more juice as long as you aren't continually blasting the brightness.
The Honor 6X and Moto G5 Plus both have lower resolution displays.
Speaking of screens, there's a noticeable difference between the quality and material of displays between the Honor 6X and Moto G5 Plus. The Honor 6X's display is bright, especially at the highest brightness setting, and covered with a solid piece of glass, including an extra screen protector that comes already installed in the box. The Moto G5 Plus's display, by comparison, feels plasticky, and though its colors are vivid, there's a noticeable bit of shadow box effect if you look at the screen from an angle.
The Honor 6X and Moto G5 Plus also run on two different processing architectures, which actually shouldn't matter much to you if you're not interested in the specs game. The Honor 6X is fueled by a Kirin 655 chip with 3GB of RAM, while the Moto G5 Plus uses a more standard Qualcomm-made Snapdragon 625 with 2GB of RAM (though there is a 4GB option for $80 more). Neither of these devices is capable of powerful performance bits like virtual reality or top tier gaming, but they'll carry you through regular sessions of games like Summoners War with relative ease.
Both the Honor 6X and Moto G5 Plus are relatively plain.
As far as looks go, both the Honor 6X and Moto G5 Plus are relatively plain, though they aren't boring. Whereas the Moto G5 Plus plays it safe by not straying too far from its predecessor's chassis design, the Honor 6X has cool, sharp edges, and an all-black front side that makes it appear as if it's bezel-less when the screen is off. It also has a fingerprint scanner on its backside, which offers gestures shortcuts if you choose to enable them from the settings menu. The Moto G5 Plus, on the other hand, has its fingerprint scanner on the front, where it also serves as a navigational gesture button of sorts. (Though as we noted in our review, it doesn't exactly work as advertised.)
The biggest differences between the Honor 6X and Moto G5 Plus lie in their versions of Android. If you like what Google's doing with Android and would rather stick to what Mountain View deems appropriate and usable, Motorola's rendition remains fairly untouched. You'll have access to a few extra Moto Actions and its version of the always-on display, but it's fairly unobtrusive. The Honor 6X, on the other hand, presents Huawei's EMUI, which is essentially a heavily-skinned version of Android. Here you'll find different-looking menus and extra features like the ability to dump the application drawer (I strongly suggest you don't!). You can also switch around the navigation keys or pop on one of the various themes available on the device. You won't be getting your software updates directly from Google, either, but rather Honor's development schedule.
It's also worth noting that the Honor 6X does not have all the bands to make it compatible with all the carriers in the U.S. If you're on T-Mobile or AT&T, you should be okay popping your SIM into this device. But if you're on Verizon or Sprint and you need to pop into a budget device, the Moto G5 Plus is a better bet because it has the bands that make it compatible with CDMA networks.
The choice is yours. You can choose between the decidedly Plain Jane appearance of the Moto G5 Plus and use it on any network in the world. Or you can try something new for a change and grab the Honor 6X, which offers a pretty decent dual-camera for the price, in addition to a battery that's bigger than what you might even find at the flagship level. There are compromises with both, but you can rest easy knowing you're choosing between two solid Android-powered smartphones that are only a fraction of the cost of what your friends paid for theirs.
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