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HONOR Magic6 Lite Smartphone Review: Too Many Drawbacks


Not long ago (at the end of last year), we reviewed the HONOR Magic5 Lite and found it to be quite successful for its price. However, a new model has already been released — the HONOR Magic6 Lite. The manufacturer boldly claims that this is a smartphone with a great display, phenomenal cameras, long-lasting battery, and good performance. Let’s find out if that’s true.

HONOR Magic6 Lite

Read also: Honor 90 Review: “Flagship Killer” with a 200 MP Camera

HONOR Magic6 Lite positioning and price 

First and foremost, it’s worth mentioning the traditional disclaimer: the brand HONOR parted ways with HUAWEI three years ago, formally belonging to another company, and thus can easily utilize Google services without any sanctions! Why “formally”? Well, because there are plenty of conspiracy theories suggesting that the companies still quietly cooperate, as the smartphone designs and software are very similar. And here, even the protagonist of our review, the Magic6 Lite, suspiciously resembles the HUAWEI Mate 60 Pro! But we’re not here to discuss conspiracies, but rather to review, so let’s move on to testing.

HONOR Magic6 Lite

The HONOR Magic6 Lite has replaced the Magic5 Lite. And it’s not just an update “just because”; there are quite a few differences between the models. Firstly, there’s now basic water resistance with an IP53 rating. Secondly, the display has been improved – slightly larger diagonal, higher resolution, and significantly higher brightness. Thirdly, the outdated Snapdragon 695 processor has been replaced by the 4-nanometer Snapdragon 6 Gen 1. However, it’s also not new and only slightly more productive. Fourthly – the resolution of the main camera has increased from 64 MP to 108 MP. Also, there’s now 4K@30fps video recording – thanks to the new processor. Additionally, the base version now has more RAM – 8 GB instead of 6 GB. And the battery capacity has increased – from 5100 mAh to 5300 mAh.

HONOR Magic5 Lite
HONOR Magic5 Lite

When it comes to positioning, it’s worth noting that the Magic6 Lite “inherits” its name from the flagship model, the Magic6 Pro. However, in this case, we can’t say that it’s a flagship model and a simplified flagship (similar to the S23 Ultra and S23 FE). Because the “Lite” version costs three times less. And in general, it’s actually the Honor X9b model, available in certain markets. In Europe, it’s been named the Magic6 Lite, and they’ve replaced the battery from 5800 mAh to a smaller 5300 mAh for some reason.

Magic6 Pro
HONOR Magic6 Pro

Overall, the protagonist of the review can be considered a typical representative of mid-range smartphones. It has attractive features (an interesting design, curved AMOLED screen, high-resolution camera, spacious battery), but there are also compromises that have made the price more affordable. Let’s find out exactly what they are.

HONOR Magic6 Lite
HONOR Magic6 Lite

By the way, speaking of prices. The novelty costs $360 in major retail stores. However, you can find it slightly cheaper in online stores.

HONOR Magic6 Lite Specifications 

  • Display: curved AMOLED, 6.78″, FHD+ (1220×2652), 120 Hz, brightness up to 1200 nits, reinforced protective glass
  • Processor: Qualcomm SM6450 Snapdragon 6 Gen 1, 4 nm, 4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55
  • Graphics Processor: Adreno 710
  • Internal Storage: 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB (+8 GB through HONOR RAM Turbo), LPDDR4X
  • microSD Support: No
  • Data transfer: 5G, Dual SIM, Wi-Fi (2.4 + 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS navigation, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, USB Type-C 2.0
  • Cameras: 108 MP (f/1.8, 1/1.67″) + 5 MP wide-angle (f/2.2) + 2 MP macro (f/2.4), 16 MP front-facing
  • Sound: Mono, no 3.5mm jack
  • Battery: 5300 mAh, 35 W charging capacity (charger not included in the package)
    OS: MagicUI 7.2 (based on Android 13)
  • Additional features: IP53 water and dust resistance, in-screen fingerprint scanner
    Dimensions: 163.6×75.5×8.0 mm
  • Weight: 185 g
  • Colors: Sunrise Orange, Midnight Black, Emerald Green

Package contents

Here everything is as modest as in its predecessor – a small box, a Type-A to Type-C cable, a SIM slot tool, and a set of documents. No case, no charger. Saving, caring for the environment – explanations can vary, but it would be nice to have both a case and a charger in the box. Even cheaper competitors offer these. Yes, flagship models priced at $1000+ don’t include these extras, but they’re flagships with different rules, whereas competition among mid-range phones is fierce.

By the way, the Magic5 Lite had a protective film applied to the screen, and it’s likely that the Magic6 Lite does too. However, I received a test sample, and it seems someone had already removed the film.

Read also: HONOR Magic5 Lite Review: Nice Mid-range Device

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Here, too, almost nothing has changed compared to the Magic5 Lite. The device is very slim (8 mm), with rounded edges on the screen and the back panel. The frame is plastic, partially glossy, partially matte.

The back panel is also made of plastic, with a matte surface and a texture that I would describe as matte metallic. In the light, the material shines beautifully, and fingerprints are practically invisible on it.

HONOR Magic6 Lite

The previous model was available only in two shades, and this year the color options remained the same, but an interesting option has been added – orange!

HONOR Magic6 Lite colors
HONOR Magic6 Lite colors

Moreover, it’s not just orange; in this variant, the back panel is made of eco-leather. We increasingly see this material in mid-range phones; you can mention models like the realme 11 Pro and 12 Pro, OPPO Reno 7 and 8T, POCO X6 Pro, Motorola Moto G34 and G54 5G – and that’s probably enough. Unfortunately, the version with leather trim didn’t arrive for testing, so we can’t take a closer look at it. In any case, it’s good that such an option exists – it adds a wow factor and variety.

HONOR Magic6 Lite orange

The cameras, like in the predecessor, are arranged in a ring, but the ring itself has become wider and also received a massive ridged metal bezel, like a watch’s winding crown. Just like in the new realme 12 Pro / Pro+. Whether it’s a case of simultaneous brilliant design ideas for everyone or someone copying from someone else remains to be seen.

HONOR Magic6 Lite

Overall, I tested these two models (realme 12 Pro and HONOR Magic6 Lite) simultaneously and couldn’t help but notice how similar they are. It feels like some third-party company simply takes templates and makes minimal modifications based on them – it’s cheaper than developing from scratch. Whether this is exactly how it happens, I’m not sure, it’s just a speculation.

The screen bezels on the HONOR Magic6 Lite are minimal, with the side ones almost imperceptible due to the waterfall screen. The punch-hole for the front camera is relatively large. The fingerprint sensor is located in the screen – and it works perfectly. The only downside is that it’s positioned a bit low, but you can get used to it. There’s also face recognition, but in my opinion, placing the finger on the screen is simpler and more convenient.

HONOR Magic6 LiteOn the right side of the casing are the power and volume keys, on the top, we only see a microphone, and on the bottom, there’s another microphone, speaker openings (unfortunately, only one), a charging port, and a slot for two SIM cards.

The smartphone feels comfortable in hand because the body is thin and streamlined. However, if your hands are dry, the back panel may feel slippery; I would recommend buying a case, even a simple silicone one. It’s a pity that the manufacturer didn’t include it in the package, as other manufacturers do; it’s just a matter of a few cents.

HONOR Magic6 Lite

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The model has received an IP65 dust and splash resistance certificate. It’s the most basic protection, so I wouldn’t recommend submerging the phone in water or exposing it to wet conditions. However, tossing it around might be possible (though still not recommended) because the Magic6 Lite features HONOR Ultra-Bounce Anti-Drop glass for its display. According to the manufacturer, this glass has a three-layer structure capable of absorbing impacts 1.2 times better than the previous one, and it can save the device from falls up to 1.5 meters from any angle. Even in the tester’s manual, it explicitly states, “Drop the phone on tiled floor from any angle at 1.5 m”, but we decided not to experiment to avoid apologizing to HONOR later. I believe anything can break – it’s just a matter of luck.

HONOR Ultra-Bounce Anti-Drop

HONOR Magic6 Lite display

The smartphone features a curved-edge (at 45°) AMOLED display measuring 6.78 inches with a resolution of 1220×2652. It has a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, displaying 1 billion colors and supporting 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. The brightness has significantly increased compared to its predecessor, now reaching 1200 nits. Of course, this is not at the level of flagships, but it’s comfortable to use the phone outdoors on a sunny day, and the content on the screen is easily readable.

HONOR Magic6 LiteWe haven’t forgotten about eye protection. Considering how much time we spend on smartphones every day, this is important. There’s support for DC Dimming at 1920 Hz, which reduces screen flicker and eye strain, along with TÜV Rheinland certification, indicating reduced harmful blue light. Another built-in feature is Dynamic Dimming, which mimics the rhythm of natural light to stimulate eye muscle movement, creating a more comfortable visual experience (I confess, I barely understood it, translated it from the press release for your attention). Moreover, the change in brightness level is imperceptible – I can confirm that.

Another very pleasant feature is the “Eye Comfort” mode, which “warms up” the image. You can adjust the intensity and schedule its activation. The evolution of this technology is the Circadian Night Display, a function developed to improve the user’s sleep quality. The phone not only filters blue light but also gradually transitions to a nighttime color temperature. According to HONOR’s research, this feature and technology contribute to a healthier sleep cycle, allowing for a 20% increase in melatonin levels. Additionally, there’s the “E-book mode” where the screen becomes monochrome for more comfortable book reading.

In the settings, several refresh rate modes are available: 60 Hz, 120 Hz, or dynamic mode, where the refresh rate is determined automatically based on the type of content the user is viewing.

You can choose the color mode (Normal or Vivid) and screen color temperature. There’s an option for “smart resolution” (the phone will automatically decrease it when high resolution is not needed to save energy). And, of course, in the settings, you’ll find numerous standard options: auto-brightness, switching between dark or light themes, Always On screen style (with very nice animations!), icons, wallpapers, and screensavers, etc.

Even just looking at the technical specifications of the HONOR Magic6 Lite screen gives an understanding that the display is impressive. The type of matrix provides the widest viewing angles, high contrast, and color depth, making the picture very vivid and saturated. Add to that the pleasant smoothness of the interface – and you get a truly great device for consuming any content.

Read also: HONOR X8a Review: 100MP camera and powerful battery


The HONOR Magic6 Lite runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset. It’s a 4-nanometer chip released in September 2022, which isn’t particularly popular. We’ve recently seen it in the realme 12 Pro as well (another coincidence between these models!). 

HONOR Magic6 Lite

The HONOR Magic6 Lite is available in Ukraine only in one version – 8/256 GB. 8 GB of RAM is sufficient for a modern smartphone, and as for the 256 GB of storage, it might be enough for most but not for everyone, especially considering there’s no support for memory cards.

Moreover, 8 GB of the internal storage is used for virtual expansion of RAM capacity – this refers to the HONOR RAM Turbo feature. Interestingly, you can’t disable or adjust the volume of virtual RAM – such a peculiar approach is only encountered with HONOR.

In regular usage, the phone is fast. I have no complaints about the speed of launching apps, navigating menus, switching between applications, and so on. Moreover, the HONOR interface itself (almost wrote HUAWEI) is excellently optimized.

HONOR Magic6 LiteYou might only notice that the phone has a modest mid-range processor in the results of benchmark tests or in demanding games. Games, by the way, will run on it, but the graphics won’t be on the highest settings.

And since we’ve mentioned games, there’s also a basic gaming assistant with a range of useful settings.

HONOR Magic6 Lite games

HONOR Magic6 Lite cameras

The camera setup compared to last year’s Magic5 Lite has hardly changed, except for the main module’s resolution increasing from 64 MP to 108 MP. Phones no longer default to shooting at full resolution (there’s little point in that), but having a high number of megapixels allows for effective post-processing and obtaining good shots, as well as enabling a more quality digital zoom. What was disappointing is the lack of optical stabilization, but in smartphones in the mid-price range, it’s becoming a common feature.

HONOR Magic6 Lite

The other two modules remained the same as last year: a 5 MP wide-angle lens and a 2 MP macro lens. The macro lens could have been omitted altogether; it’s purely there for quantity. It would have been better to install a telephoto lens, which is available in competitors’ phones at this price point. Also, a 5 MP sensor for the wide-angle lens is not particularly impressive.

Daylight photos taken with the main sensor will mostly not disappoint you. They provide sufficient sharpness, detail, and contrast, with decent color reproduction and texture rendition.


By default, the camera interface offers zoom up to 3x, but if you hold your finger on the icon or make a pinch gesture on the viewfinder, you can zoom in up to 8x.

HONOR Magic6 LiteAt maximum zoom, the quality won’t be high, but you can, for example, read texts, car numbers. Well, the 3x zoom itself is quite decent, here are some examples:

Night shooting is weak; digital noise and artifacts are visible, and details and clarity are lost. Signs and advertisements often turn into just bright spots. This applies to indoor shooting with insufficient lighting – the quality is rather disappointing. Here are some examples:


What helps? Night mode. But it’s unique – I’ve never seen anything like it before! Typically, the camera tries to brighten photos, thereby adding the same noise and losing clarity, as shown above. But in night mode, photos become… darker (unlike other phones!) and therefore look better: less noisy, sharper, and better processed glowing elements. Though, of course, taking photos in night mode takes time, during which you’ll have to stand still. Here are examples, night mode on the right (it’s better to evaluate the originals):

The wide-angle camera is just not up to par; it should have been replaced a year ago. Even in good lighting, artifacts and “smoothing” are noticeable in the photos, and in the dark, everything turns into a “digital mess.” Examples, wide-angle on the right:

The macro module could have been omitted; it’s only there for quantity. I tried very hard, but even with perfect lighting, this camera doesn’t allow for clear shots; everything is blurry with noise.


In short, for decent photos, only the main sensor of the HONOR Magic6 Lite is suitable, and even then, only during the day.

Now let’s talk about video. I wouldn’t call it terrible, but it lacks decent stabilization. There are focusing issues, and the sound recording quality is not very good. The maximum resolution is 4K at 30 frames per second.

The front camera is 16 MP. I wouldn’t call the photo quality perfect, but it’s not bad either. There’s built-in beautification available, which smoothens the skin, optimizes facial tone, and can reduce cheekbones. There’s also a bokeh option, but the background separation looks too artificial. In low light conditions, the screen lights up white to improve visibility, but often, this “flash” highlights all the imperfections of the face instead.

Video from the front camera is weak, maxing out at 1080p 30fps.

The range of modes in the camera app is standard:

  • For photos, there are options like “Aperture” (with manual adjustment of this parameter), “Night Mode,” “Portrait,” the universal “Photo” mode, “Pro,” “Panorama,” “HDR” (though, in my opinion, it should activate automatically), “Super Macro,” Watermark (with date on the photo in the selected style), and “High Resolution” (108 MP).

  • For videos, there are modes such as “Slow Motion,” “Video,” “Multi-Video” (simultaneous recording from the rear and front cameras), and “Story” for social media.

Read also: HONOR Magic5 Pro review: Like Huawei, but with Google services

HONOR Magic6 Lite software

The smartphone runs on Android 13, but you won’t see Android as there is the MagicUI 7.2 overlay. Interestingly, while competitors’ phones are already navigating the expanses of the universe with Android 14, and the 15th version is not far off, this model remains on Android 13. Overall, the manufacturer promises only one OS update for this model and 3 years of security patches (but they are released only once per quarter).

HONOR Magic6 Lite
It looks like HUAWEI. But also on iOS…

As for the interface, it looks exactly like HUAWEI EMUI. The App Market resembles the Huawei AppGallery, and Honor Health is a full analogue of Huawei Health. Honor ID is identical to Huawei ID, My HONOR to My HUAWEI, and so on. Overall, while the companies have separated, they still utilize similar technologies. However, since formally Honor is a separate brand, the smartphone supports all Google services.

Overall, the system is intuitive, and you won’t need to specially adapt to it. The interface operates swiftly and smoothly, offering numerous settings and useful features such as gestures or a sidebar for accessing apps in windows, split-screen mode, advanced data protection features, the ability to specify trusted contacts, and medical information about the user. Additionally, there’s a system manager where you can clear memory, manage various settings (such as data usage, call blocking, virus protection, battery options), and control how apps behave in windowed mode.

Bloatware (pre-installed promotional software) is unavoidable. There are apps like Booking, TikTok, Netflix, WPS Office,, and a lineup of games. Additionally, some HONOR apps duplicate Google software functionalities (including a proprietary email client, contacts, notes, voice recorder, calculator, file manager). While this might be necessary for Huawei devices lacking Google services, it seems unnecessary here.

Sound, data transfer

Since the HONOR Magic5 Lite, nothing has changed – sound playback is handled by a single speaker located at the bottom, resulting in mono sound. I don’t have words strong enough to comment on this; even smartphones priced at $130 now offer stereo sound. There’s no need to install two full-fledged speakers; it’s not complicated for the main and earpiece speakers to work together (this implementation is even present in flagships like the S24 Ultra). So why does the Magic6 Lite still have this pitiful mono setup? Only the makers know.

HONOR Magic6 Lite

The speaker is loud but sounds flat and mediocre. It’s essential to use headphones, but since there’s no 3.5mm jack, you’ll need to deal with an adapter or use wireless ones.

If headphones are connected, you’ll have access to the Histen sound effects (what a surprise, they’re called the same in HUAWEI!) – automatic, 3D, natural, energy-saving, but there’s no equalizer available.

When it comes to wireless connections, there’s a full set available – 5G, dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 + 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, and up-to-date satellite navigation services.

HONOR Magic6 Lite

Read also: Motorola Moto G34 5G Review: Successful Budget Phone

Battery and operating time

“Is there anything good about this Magic6 Lite?!” – you might be asking now. And I’ll answer – yes, the battery is quite impressive. With a capacity of 5300 mAh, it’s more than the average on the market. The device even received the “Gold Battery Label” award from the authoritative portal DXOMark.

The smartphone easily lasts a day of very active usage, including calls, social media, and mobile gaming. With less intensive usage, it can last up to two days. The manufacturer claims that the battery can handle up to 17 hours of video playback, up to 11 hours of gaming, and up to 20 hours of social media browsing.

HONOR Magic6 Lite

According to HONOR’s claims, the battery will remain efficient even after three years of use. Tests have shown that after 1000 cycles (from full discharge to full charge), which correspond to three years of usage, the efficiency remains at around 80%.

And what about charging speed? There’s nothing impressive here – just 35W. It takes over 1.5 hours for a full charge. There’s no adapter included in the package, so you’ll have to buy one separately or use an old one (but if its power is less than 35W, it will be even slower).

By the way, in the Chinese version of the same phone, there’s a 5800mAh battery installed. Yes, while maintaining the same slim design. But can it be done? Yes, if there’s a will. Too bad it’s not available in the European market.


After reviewing the HONOR Magic6 Lite, my feelings are mixed. Its predecessor, the Magic5 Lite, was not perfect either, but it was affordable, so the overall assessment was positive. However, by that time, it had been on the market for a while and had become cheaper. The Magic6 Lite is priced at around $360 – what do we get for this money? A powerful battery – yes. A vibrant and beautiful curved AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate – yes. The processor – overall okay. A slim body and a version with orange eco-leather – yes, cool. Well-optimized interface – probably, but with the old Android 13 and short support. So, here we started talking about the downsides.

HONOR Magic6 LiteAnd there are enough downsides – the package is poor, there is no charger or case (competitors offer these for the same price). The camera performs well only during the day, disappoints with the lack of optical stabilization. At night – disappointment. The wide-angle and macro sensors – even during the day, are not impressive. The mono speaker – laughable. Relatively slow charging – also not very serious.

There’s no shortage of smartphones in the mid-range price segment, and the HONOR Magic6 Lite faces stiff competition from devices offering faster chipsets, better cameras, excellent sound, necessary accessories out of the box, fresh Android with long-term support, and faster charging. Overall, at $360, the price isn’t too high, but I would hesitate to choose this model specifically. A cool screen, interesting design, and a large battery are good to have, but they’re certainly not enough when considering factors like camera quality, processor performance, and sound.

Read alsо:

Review ratings
Materials, build quality
Package contents
Battery life
The HONOR Magic6 Lite boasts a curved AMOLED screen (120Hz, 1200 nits, 1.5K), a long-lasting battery, a sleek and stylish thin body with an eco-leather version, and a well-optimized user interface. However, there are plenty of downsides — a meager package, the camera performs well only during the day (and additional modules are of little benefit), a mono speaker, slow charging, an outdated Android version with short support, and a mediocre chipset. And the main issue is the abundance of competitors offering better features for the same price.
Olga Akukin
Olga Akukin
IT journalist with more than 15 years of experience. I love new smartphones, tablets and wearable gadgets. I do very detailed tests, write reviews, articles, news.
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The HONOR Magic6 Lite boasts a curved AMOLED screen (120Hz, 1200 nits, 1.5K), a long-lasting battery, a sleek and stylish thin body with an eco-leather version, and a well-optimized user interface. However, there are plenty of downsides — a meager package, the camera performs well only during the day (and additional modules are of little benefit), a mono speaker, slow charging, an outdated Android version with short support, and a mediocre chipset. And the main issue is the abundance of competitors offering better features for the same price.HONOR Magic6 Lite Smartphone Review: Too Many Drawbacks