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Honor 6A vs Moto G5: Bitter battle of the budget blowers

We compare the fresh new Honor 6A budget smartphone with another £150 mobile from 2017, the Motorola Moto G5, to see which of these affordable handsets is best for you.

Honor and Motorola are two of the most exciting mobile manufacturers when it comes to value-packed smartphones. Moto’s G-series devices have long impressed us with how much you get for your money and the latest releases, the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus, are no exceptions.

However, the Honor brand (which falls under Huawei’s banner) has launched some similarly strong phones in the budget domain over the past couple of years. The excellent Honor 5C from 2016 has just been refreshed in the form of the Honor 6A, another £150 handset like the Moto G5. In fact, a lot of the specs are an identical match, including the 5-inch screen, Snapdragon processor and Android OS.

You’ll also notice a lot of differences between these budget blowers, however. Which is why we’ve compared the two of them side-by-side in this feature, as well as in video form. Scroll to the very bottom to see the full video.

Check out our round-ups of the best Motorola phones, best Huawei and Honor phones, and the best budget handsets you can buy in 2017 for more great affordable options.

Honor 6A vs Moto G5: Specs

Phone Honor 6A Moto G5
Screen size 5-inches 5-inches
Resolution 1280×720 1920×1080
Fingerprint sensor? No Yes
OS Android 7.0 + EMUI 5.1 Android 7.0
Processor Snapdragon 430 Snapdragon 430
Storage 16GB 16GB
microSD? Yes (up to 128GB) Yes (up to 128GB)
Battery 3020mAh 2800mAh
Rear camera 13MP (PDAF) 13MP (PDAF)
Front camera 5MP 5MP

Honor 6A vs Moto G5: Design

Not only do these two budget phones boast an affordable asking price, they also sport quite a compact design (by modern day standards). At 5-inches, they’re quite easy to operate with a single hand, despite the fairly thick bezels surrounding the screens. That’s helped by the curved edges, for a comfortable fit in the palm.

When it comes to dimensions and weight, there’s not much at all between the Moto G5 and the Honor 6A. The Motorola phone is a little chunkier, although the camera lens is also flush with the rear surface, while the Honor 6A sports a slightly jutting lens.

You get a rugged metal design in both cases, with aluminium surfacing that resists scuffs. We prefer the look of the Honor phone however, as the Moto G5 sports a shiny plastic rim that cheapens the overall aesthetics.

Neither phone is water resistant, although they’ll happily survive a bit of splashing.

Honor 6A vs Moto G5: Screen and media

Although both of these mobiles pack a 5-inch IPS display, the Moto G5 offers a Full HD resolution. In other words, 1920×1080 pixels. Sadly the Honor 6A’s panel is less sharp than the Moto phone’s, with a 1280×720 pixel resolution. You’ll notice in a side-by-side comparison that the Honor’s visuals aren’t as crisp, offering a little less detail when viewing high-res images and video.

That said, the Honor 6A is still a fine media machine. Colours are quite realistically reproduced, viewing angles are solid and brightness levels are strong enough to cut through glare.

Honor’s handset also boasts the Eye Comfort mode, which filters blue light in the evenings for a more comfortable experience. That’s something you won’t get on the G5.

You get 16GB of storage space for your media in both cases, complete with support for microSD. Memory cards up to 128GB in size can be used.

Honor 6A vs Moto G5: Features

Although both phones are running Android Nougat, the software sports a very different look and feel between these two handsets.

Motorola has presented quite a raw, vanilla version of Google’s mobile OS on the Moto G5, just as it normally does on its smartphones. The only real tinkering involves the addition of the Moto Assistant, which adds some nifty functionality. This includes a helpful one-handed mode (which shrinks the desktops and apps, for easier handling) and gesture shortcuts to load the camera, silence incoming calls and so on.

Honor has gone a very different route with the Honor 6A. This phone sports Huawei’s Emotion UI overlay on top of Android, which overhauls the everyday experience. Like the Moto G5, you get some useful gesture controls and a one-handed mode. However you can also customise the navigation bar and various other aspects of the phone’s UI. There’s also no apps tray by default, although this feature can thankfully be turned on in the settings.

The Moto G5 offers a fingerprint sensor built into the home button, positioned just beneath the phone’s display. This is an accurate and quite responsive scanner, which can unlock your phone without the need for a PIN or password. Sadly the Honor 6A doesn’t offer such a feature. That’s a real shame as most mobiles around this price point now do come packing a fingerprint sensor.

Honor 6A vs Moto G5: Performance and battery life

You get a Snapdragon 430 chipset backed by 2GB of memory in both of these budget phones, although the different UI offering meant we were expecting some differences in terms of the everyday performance. However, both the Honor 6A and the Moto G5 boast smooth running, with apps loading quickly and rarely stuttering.

Of course, just 2GB of RAM means that these phones will likely show signs of ageing before too long. Only time will tell, of course.

You can expect over a day of use from a full charge, no matter which of these handsets you pick up. The Moto G5 keeps you going for a day and a half, even with quite heavy use, while the Honor 6A sports an even larger battery so we’re expecting a similar result. We’ll update when we’ve fully reviewed Honor’s affordable phone.

Sadly you don’t get a Type-C USB port with either smartphone; it’s old-school USB connectivity all the way.

Honor 6A vs Moto G5: Cameras

These budget blowers both pack similar camera specs too. They have a 13-megapixel rear snapper, complete with phase detection autofocus to lock onto your subject quickly. The Moto G5 takes shots more quickly than the Honor 6A, although Honor’s mobile isn’t exactly a slouch.

You get full manual controls in either case, with the Honor phone even offering direct influence over your video recording. The Honor 6A also gives you more bonus camera modes overall, although the Moto G5 still packs timelapse and slow-motion recording. You can shoot up to Full HD video no matter your choice, with basic digital image stabilisation.

As for the front-facing cameras, you can expect a 5-megapixel selfie snapper on these handsets, for reasonably detailed shots of your mug or Skype calls.

Check out our in-depth Moto G5 camera review for samples and our full analysis.

Honor 6A vs Moto G5: Video comparison

Want to see these two phones face off in video format? Check out our Honor 6A and Moto G5 hands-on session below.


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