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Tech review: Honor 6X with dual camera

Two rear lenses on the Honor 6X produce DSLR-like images. And the occasional blurred nose

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Feb 02, 2017 17:52 IST
The Honor 6X makes the dual rear camera affordable (Photo: Vijayanand Gupta/HT)

Two rear lenses on the Honor 6X produce DSLR-like images. And the occasional blurred nose

At a glance: 5.5-inch screen, dual SIM, 12+2MP rear camera, micro SD (up to 128GB), 3340mAh battery
Best buy: Rs 12,999 (

USP: Dual rear camera

Rating: 3.5/5

Smartphones have a knack for making your other trusty gadgets obsolete. The compact digital camera and the camcorder were among the early ones to go. The DSLR might indeed be next.

Phone camera quality improves progressively almost every year. But one of the last few things only DSLRs – with a prime lens (fixed focal lengths, great for portraits) screwed on – could do was take those artistic portraits with blurred backgrounds and bokeh lights.

IN PICTURES: Honor 6X review: This budget smartphone shoots like a DSLR

Enter dual-lens phone cameras. The HTC has tried it. So has LG. But once Apple put it on the 7 Plus, it was only a matter of time before the budget contenders tried it. The 7 Plus costs upward of Rs 70,000. The Honor 6X costs Rs 12,999.

When the dual lens gets it right, it produces stunning images that regular smartphones cannot manage ( Sarit Ray/HT )

What’s good: The dual lens set-up on the 6X is exciting. And mostly effective. The primary is a 12MP camera. The other is a 2MP camera, but it only captures depth information. So, not only can you capture images with dramatic blurs, but also change the focus area afterwards. The latter, even your 30mm portrait lens (which alone costs around Rs 13k) cannot manage.

A photo posted by Sarit Ray (@saritray) on

READ MORE: Is the trend of two rear cameras here to stay?

The phone itself is sturdy, with a matte metallic back, an effective rear fingerprint reader (typical to Androids), and nearly 1.5 days of battery life on regular usage. The Kirin 655 processor makes the 6X significantly faster than the older 5X.

What’s not: Dual lens technology still has some way to go. While it handles geometric objects rather well (think books, cups, tables), it misreads uneven surfaces. Try shooting a bicycle, and it will get bits of focus completely off, like a botched-up Photoshop job. You know what else isn’t all steady lines? Humans. So, it takes a fair bit of trial and error to get portraits right. A blurred nose or ear isn’t uncommon. Expensive portrait lenses also get a level of uniform, round bokehs which tiny phone lenses cannot manage (yet).

Faced with objects with varying depths, the Honor 6X falters ( Sarit Ray/HT )

Also, DSLRs, and most high-end phones will beat the 6X when it comes to videos. The dual set-up doesn’t kick in at all. And the videos lack sharpness.

Verdict: If you live for impressive Instagram images, you’ll love the 6X. Just watch for the blurred noses, alright?

First Published: Feb 02, 2017 15:16 IST