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Honor Holly 4 Plus

Colours:
Grey
Features:
  • Supports Indian bands
  • VoLTE
  • 32 GB + 128 GB Expandable
  • Dual SIM: Nano + Nano (Hybr...
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • USB OTG Support
  • FM Radio

Highlights from Expert Review

Pros
  • Build and Design
  • Stellar Battery life
  • Good cameras
  • Decent performance
Cons
  • No fast charge support
  • No Dual SIM slots
  • High-end Gaming isn’t that great

Specifications

General
Launch DateNovember 2, 2017 (Official)
BrandHonor
ModelHolly 4 Plus
Operating SystemAndroid v7.0 (Nougat)
Custom UIEMUI
SIM Slot(s)Dual SIM, GSM+GSM
SIM SizeSIM1: Nano
Network4G: Available (supports Indian bands)
Fingerprint Sensoryes
Design
Height153.6 mm
Width76.4 mm
Thickness8.3 mm
Weight165 grams
Build MaterialCase: Metal
ColoursGold, Grey, Silver
Display
Screen Size5.5 inches (13.97 cm)
Screen ResolutionHD (720 x 1280 pixels)
Pixel Density267 ppi
Display TypeIPS LCD
Touch Screenyes
Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)70.9 %
Performance
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 435 MSM8940
ProcessorOcta core, 1.4 GHz, Cortex A53
Architecture64 bit
GraphicsAdreno 505
RAM3 GB
Storage
Internal Memory32 GB
Expandable Memoryyes
USB OTG Supportyes
Camera
Resolution8 MP Front Camera
Autofocusyes
Physical ApertureF2.2
Optical Image Stabilisation
Flashyes
Image Resolution4000 x 3000 Pixels
SettingsExposure compensation, ISO control
Shooting ModesContinuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
Camera FeaturesDigital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus
Video Recording1920x1080 @ 30 fps
Battery
Capacity4100 mAh
TypeLi-Polymer
User Replaceable
Network & Connectivity
SIM SizeSIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano (Hybrid)
Network Support4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G
VoLTEyes
SIM 1
SIM 2
Wi-Fiyes
Wi-Fi FeaturesWi-Fi Direct, Mobile Hotspot
Bluetoothyes
GPSyes
NFC
USB ConnectivitymicroUSB 2.0
Multimedia
FM Radioyes
Loudspeakeryes
Audio Jack3.5 mm
Special Features
Fingerprint Sensoryes
Fingerprint Sensor PositionRear
Other SensorsLight sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer
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Expert Review

Conclusion:

As you can see the Honor Holly 4 Plus is a smartphone with flaws and strengths. The build and design are good with full metal unibody, battery life is amazing, but the lack of fast charge is worrisome. The cameras are good with great images and colour output, but the low-light performance isn’t that impressive. The device overall performance is good, but it can’t handle heavy multitasking and high-end games. No phone is perfect in any budget, there are flaws, but we choose phones based on our primary requirement. So, if camera, build/design, battery are your priorities, then the Honor Holly 4 Plus should be in your wish list. If not, there is Redmi Note 4, Lenovo K8 Plus, and Moto G5 Plus competing in the same price range.

Introduction:

Huawei’s Honor brand has most of its focus on midrange and budget phones in India. The company has a tradition of launching phones in China and then re-launching them in India by renaming it to suite the portfolio of the company in the country. The Holly series from Honor is the budget segment that keeps its focus mostly on massive battery and 4G support. Huawei thought might be a third biggest smartphone maker in the world, it always fell short in front of Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Samsung in India. The company has its fair share of market in India, but not what it actually needs to claim the top place that it is enjoying in other parts of the world. The latest phone coming from the Honor brand is the Holly 4 Plus which is new to join the list. In our today's review, let's find out on how well the Honor Holly 4 Plus fares.

The Honor Holly 4 Plus sports a 5.5-inches HD (1280 x 720 pixels) 2.5D curved glass display and is powered by the Snapdragon 435 Mobile Platform SoC clocked at 1.4GHz Octa-Core processor with Adreno 505 GPU. There is 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage that is further expandable up to 128GB with microSD. The device runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1.

Talking about the camera, there is a 12-megapixel rear camera with LED Flash, f/2.2 aperture, 1.25μm pixel size and an 8-megapixel front camera for selfies and video calls. It also has a Fingerprint sensor for extra security. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, and GPS / GLONASS. A 4000mAh battery is on board for all the battery needs.

Design & Display:

The Honor Holly 4 Plus packs an all metal unibody design that looks similar to previous Honor phones like the Honor 5C and 6X. There are huge bezels on the front covering most of the screen real estate and at 5.5-inches it isn’t the most comfortable phone to use for one handed usage especially. Reaching the phone’s top with single hand isn’t easy, but you will get used to it as you kept using the device. The metal unibody feels premium and it can withstand drops as well to some extent. Design wise, however, there isn’t anything out of the place, it just gets the basics right with rounded edges and curved 2.5D glass on the front adding up to the grip and comfort of holding the device. It sure has got the premium look which one would appreciate at this price.

Moving to placements, the front houses the 8MP camera, usual set of sensors, main earpiece, and down below the display is the Honor branding, as the on screen buttons are placed within the display. The Volume rockers and the power button are placed on the right side, and the left houses the SIM tray which is a hybrid arrangement. The 3.5mm audio jack is present on the top and the microUSB port is placed on the bottom along with the speaker grills with the primary microphone. The rear houses a 13MP camera, LED flash and a Fingerprint sensor and Honor branding. Overall, the build quality and the design are top notch, though the design is familiar, it still feels great.

The device sports a 5.5-inches HD (1280 X 720) 2.5D curved glass display with no protected glass on top. Firstly, the 720p panel on top of 5.5-inches is not very optimal because the lack of sharpness can be clearly seen when zooming in while browsing or viewing pictures. However, you won’t notice any difference once you start using the device because it isn’t that obvious. Colour reproduction is good and the U.I also gives you an option to tweak the display profile from vivid, saturated and more which will enhance the viewing experience. The viewing angles are good; we didn’t notice any colour shift.

There isn’t any protected glass on top, but the panel seems strong enough to hold a drop or two. Being 2.5D curved glass, the edges are smooth which is comfortable when holding the phone in landscape mode or while gaming. Viewing angles are god, so is the touch response. The brightness levels are good and we never had issues accessing the content under direct sunlight outdoors. Overall, the display is good, even though it doesn’t have a Full HD panel.

Performance:

The Honor Holly 4 Plus is powered by the Snapdragon 435 Mobile Platform SoC clocked at 1.4GHz Quad-Core processor with Adreno 505 GPU and 3GB RAM. The performance in general day-to-day is good and is mostly lag free. It can handle most apps that you throw at it with ease and can also perform multitasking smoothly. The chipset is a mid-ranger from Qualcomm and hence it utmost can perform tasks up to its level. Due to the themed interface sometimes apps do open late and are also slow to load when switching during multitasking. We most of the time have apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram running in the background and with such apps, the device was a bit to in functioning, which isn’t what you would want.

In the gaming department, the device was able to run games like Asphalt 8, Nova 3, Need for Speed Run, Mortal Kombat. The frame drops were very optimal and even the graphic rendering was smooth, but for the best experience, it is better if you trim down the graphic settings to medium which results in great gameplay experience. No heating was noticed with performance or while gaming as well. The Fingerprint sensor present on the rear side is crazy fast and it is accurate 9/10 times even when unlocking the device holding it upside down. Overall, unless you are heavy multitasking, the Honor 4 Plus doesn’t disappoint you.

Cameras:

The Honor 4 Plus features a 12MP rear camera with LED Flash and an 8MP front camera. The camera app is Huawei’s custom which has tons of features including HDR, Panorama, pro mode, beauty mode, etc. The application is also simple with all the toggles right in front and on swiping from left gives you more option to choose from and is also fast to load as well. Moving along, the camera performance in daylight and outdoors is great with rich colours and accurate details. Zooming in further doesn’t result in noise or grains maintaining the same amount of details and sharpness. The macro shots are good with decent bokeh effect and also these shots in focus when clicked patiently.

Speaking of focus, very rarely the camera application loses focus and goes out of focus if you leave it to the camera to autofocus. This isn’t a daily routine, but we get to see this issue if you are not patient enough with the shutter button. The low-light shots are decent, but the noise starts creeping in once you move to artificial lighting and dark conditions. The LED flash helps in brightening the image, so the picture can be still usable. The rear camera can record 1080p videos and the video quality is good, but due to the lack of any stabilization, the output is shaky.

The front 8-megapixel does a fine job in clicking selfies outdoors and good lighting conditions, it isn’t a wide angle selfie, but can click selfies with rich details and colours. There is also a beauty mode that you can take advantage of. Overall, the camera performance is good, if you can adjust with the average result in low-light situations.

Battery:

The Honor Holly 4 Plus packs a 4000mAh battery with no support for fast charge. It's quite obvious from the capacity that we can expect a stellar battery life and the result is no different. Even with heavy to continuous usage we were able to pull through an entire day without sweating much. Our usage includes streaming movies, play games, edit photos, take calls, check social media updates and more. With such usage, we never had problem pulling the battery till the end of the day. If you are casual to moderate user, the battery can easily last a little over a day or even more.

We were simply amazed with the battery life we are getting and it is literally one of the best features of the device. Coming to the actual thing, the device doesn’t support any fast charge support, hence it takes close to 3 hours of time to charge completely which is a stretch for today's terms. Overall, the battery life is great and it is an optimal choice of heavy and light users as well.

Audio & Video:

The Honor Holly 4 Plus doesn’t come with earphones out of the box, so you will have to shell out some bucks to get a pair of earphones. The audio quality via the loudspeaker is sharp and clear with no distortion or crackling sounds. We tried the sound output with the headphones we have with us and the quality is great with decent balance of bass and Mids. There is also a equalizer support by default, so you can make use of it to tweak the audio profiles to best fit your requirement.

Moving to video department, the device was able to pay even 1080p videos, however, it can’t play or stream 4K videos. The 1080p playback was good with rich colours and smooth response when dragging the video as well. We installed MX player which then supported most of the formats including X264, however, there is no support for X265 playback. Overall, spending few extra bucks on the earphones in the only drawback in the audio and video department.

Software & Ui:

The device runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1 on top. The interface is quite simple with apps and widgets placed on the home screen and there is no app drawer by default. However, you can enable it from theme settings or install a custom launcher from Play Store. The EMUI has all the features that you’d need. Whenever you power on the phone the lock screen images changes giving you a refreshed feel whenever you turn on the screen to use the phone. The notification shade is also different, swiping down from top gives you access to toggles, further swiping reveals more toggles sitting underneath.

The OS comes with a set of wallpapers which you can choose from and there is also a theme store where you can download any theme that you like to change the look and the feel of the device and the theme store is getting bigger and better with more themes adding very often. The interface is heavily themed by all means. There is 3GB RAM out of which around 1.1GB is free when just default apps and services are running in the background. Due to the themed interface, sometimes apps take time to respond as well as open and run smoothly. Multitasking is good and the device can handle even 5-6 apps in the background without throwing any lag. It can even hold apps in memory for long time, but it is a safe bet to clear the unused apps to give space for the active apps to run smoothly. Overall, the software department is good and EMUI needs some polishing as it throws bugs and crashes apps occasionally.

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