You might not know it to look at retail stores in the US or Europe, but Huawei has quickly become one of the world's largest phone manufacturers, even while it keeps most of its high-end hardware restricted to China. The company is showing off its engineering and manufacturing chops with the Honor 6 Plus, a new 5.5-inch phone slated to hit the market on December 23rd. It, uh, might look a little familiar.
Like previous Huawei devices, the Honor 6 Plus isn't shy about aping trends from other companies. In this case it's taking the metallic border from the iPhone 5 series, adding in a few touches from Sony's rounded and flat industrial design, and then shaving off just about every corner that it can. The metallic bezel sort of breaks off of the bottom edge of the phone, but there's no denying that it looks familiar, especially with the horizontal earpiece on the front. It almost looks empty without Apple's home button to balance it on the bottom. So it is with major Chinese smartphone vendors.
But enough about the aesthetics, what can the Honor 6 Plus do? Its primary specs are pretty standard for a high-end phone these days: the phone uses a 5.5" LCD screen with an appreciated but not fantastic 1080p resolution, a Huawei-made Kirin 925 octa-core processor, three roomy gigabytes of RAM and either 16 or 32 gigabytes of storage plus a MicroSD card slot, and LTE Category 6 connectivity with an optional dual-SIM layout. The battery is 3600mAh, which is about average for a device of this size. But the standout feature is the pair of cameras sitting on the back.
Video via GizmoChina
We've seen dual-camera setups before, most notably from HTC with its less-than-stellar "Ultrapixel" system. Huawei's phone is slightly more conventional: this setup has two identical 8 megapixel f/.95 cameras and lenses. The Honor 6 Plus's software then combines the light from both cameras and sensors into an effective 13 megapixel image. In addition to smaller sensors that can be fit into the phone's case without bulging out, the dual camera setup allows for greater depth of field and bokeh effects. The usual bells and whistles for high-end cameras are included, and the front-facing camera is also 8 megapixels.
On the software side of things, the phone uses EMUI 3.0 (an updated version of Huawei's propriety Emotion UI) on top of Android. Exactly what version is being used wasn't declared, though the virtual navigation buttons match those in Lollipop. The Honor 6 Plus will be available for pre-order in China on December 17th, with prices for the base model starting at RMB 1999 (approximately $320 USD). There's no mention of a worldwide launch, though Huawei's press material does say that the phone's OEM core components have "passed the strict network access standard test of AT&T." Cross your fingers.