The budget smartphone segment these days is getting even more interesting as compared to the expensive high-end ones. A few years ago, the fact that the cheap phones were terrible and no one would want to use it. However, things changed completely when Motorola came in as a game changer with the Moto G. So is the case with many other smartphone brands, and Honor is no exception. Ever since the inception of Huawei’s sub-brand Honor in online smartphone space, the brand is also catering to find its place in the budget market.
Honor has been offering some pretty good smartphones lately. Honor knows pretty well how to take good care of their product portfolio and produce quality smartphones. While they do cater to the midrange and high-end segments, we have the budget Holly 4 under our scrutiny. Is the Holly worth your wallet? Let's see.
The Honor Holly 4 brings in a decent package under the budget smartphone segment. It features a lower mid-range Snapdragon 400-series processor, a sufficiently large battery, a 720p display and a 13MP rear camera, apart from running its own home-brewed EMUI 5.1 user interface, which is based on Android 7.0 Nougat. The Holly 4 features a decent specification set that should satisfy budget phone seekers.
Specifications in brief:
Display: 5-inch HD, 720 x 1280 pixel
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, 1.4GHz octa-core
Memory: 3GB RAM
Storage: 32GB, expandable up to 128GB
Operating system: Android 7.0 Nougat
Connectivity: 4G, VoLTE
Camera: 13MP rear, 5MP front
There's nothing unexpected or particularly extravagant about Holly 4's design. The design is pretty generic and pretty old-school and looks almost identical to its predecessor (the Honor Holly 3). The front panel houses a 5-inch HD display. Since bezel-less smartphones are all the rage these days, the Honor Holly 4 still does not sport the new design. Most budget smartphones may not be able to see a bezel-less design unless the display panels get cheaper.
The rear panel looks somewhat different from the Holly 3. The curved edges and metal finish give this phone an aesthetic appeal. The rear panel has a plastic outer casing and an inner metal panel where the camera and fingerprint sensor resides. There is a micro USB port, a speaker grille at the bottom and a volume rocker and power button are present on the right-hand side. The Honor Holly 4 comes in three colour variants — Gold, Grey, and Silver.
The Honor Holly 4 flaunts a 5–inch HD display with a 720 x 1280-pixel resolution. The display quality is decent, viewing angles are good and sunlight visibility is average. You cannot expect much from a budget-level smartphone, but this one is pretty much at par with most HD-based LCD panels.
The performance of the Holly 4 is above average and we didn’t encounter any major issues during our time with it. The user interface is pretty smooth, thanks to the EMUI 5.1, which makes it highly customisable for the user.
If you intend using this handset for gaming, we would recommend that you stick to casual games rather than high-end and resource heavy games. We tried putting the phone to high-end gaming test but weren't surprised that it cannot handle it well. The metal body does heat up quickly in just a couple of minutes when started playing graphics intense games, which can get pretty uncomfortable. With heavier titles, you are greeted with longer load times than usual and with some frozen frames and occasional stuttering in between scenes. Lastly, we did not experience any lags while using regular day-to-day applications. As for calls, we didn’t face any issues with call quality or 4G reception.
The smartphone gets its power from a 3020mAh battery that lasts for about 9-10 hours of usage that includes voice calls, music playback, videos and some decent amount of gaming, which is impressive. Depending on your usage, you should be also able to pull off more than a day, but that depends on the type of apps you use and period of using resource-heavy apps if any.
The camera has become the most important aspect of smartphones today, but expecting a good camera on budget smartphones is pretty much impossible. However, Honor has yet managed to keep the camera's performance at par with mainstream smartphones. Images shot in broad daylight are above average. Though the sharpness levels are good, the colour vibrancy is a bit higher, but fairly accurate too. Photos shot in bright shade areas also show similar performance. However, the camera fails in low light conditions where it captures to much noise. In order to get better shots at night, you would have to use the flash, which helps the camera perform pretty well, but it is restricted to the distance of the flash.
The Honor Holly 4 boasts an 8MP front-facing camera, but there’s not much to brag about it as the unit is simply average at its best. The front camera is good enough for casual selfies and video calling.
The Honor Holly 4 overall qualifies as a decent smartphone that is good enough for moderate users. The phone is just fine for basic daily use, such as calls, messaging, social media and web surfing. The Holly 4 does have its good sides — the battery life is impressive, and photography can be considered as above average.
The Holly 4 comes with a price tag of Rs 11,999 which seems a tad steep, especially when rival brands with SD600-series chipsets sell within the same price bracket. However, the phone demands the price being under a reputed brand, which is justified. If you are looking for a budget smartphone, the Holly 4 can be considered as a good daily runner. However, for a similar price (or a grand more — 4GB/64GB), you can also opt for a better smartphone (Honor 6X) from the same brand, which sports better specs and a dual camera.