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Review: Honor Magic6 Lite – a superb mid-range option

If you’re in the market for a mid-range smartphone with fantastic features, look no further than the Honor Magic6 Lite.

Honor Magic6 Lite
Editor's Pick
HONOR Magic 6 Lite 5G HONOR Magic 6 Lite 5G
4.0

This affordable mid-range smartphone excels in many areas, making it a great choice for those looking for a premium feel without paying the premium price!

Pros:
  • Excellent battery in class
  • Great-looking AMOLED screen
  • Good main lens in well-lit environments
  • Lightweight without feeling flimsy
  • Speedy operation, fantastic for productivity
  • Premium feel
  • Inexpensive price
Cons:
  • Macro and ultrawide sensors leave a little to be desired
  • Limited storage/RAM options available (only one configuration)
  • No wireless charging
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Since it officially split with its original parent brand, Huawei, Honor has been going from strength to strength.

Not only did it retain full access to all of Google’s services (very much unlike Huawei) during the divorce, but it also consistently brings a selection of excellent hardware to the table with each new wave of releases—each one building on the strengths and improving on the weaknesses of the last.

The brand launched its latest glut of smartphones globally at MWC 2024—the Honor Magic6 Series—and today we’re looking at its mid-range offering from the collection; the $450 Magic6 Lite.

Is this the right handset for you? Let’s take a look…

Inside the box

If you have ever opened a phone at least once in your life, then you are more than likely au fait with what comes in the box. However, for the avoidance of doubt, you get:

  • Honor Magic6 Lite handset (battery built-in)
  • USB-C cable
  • Sim tray tool
  • Device literature

You’ll notice there is no charger noted here. This is the first time Honor hasn’t included a charging brick with its smartphones. However, you can buy one if you need to. You’ve probably got around 4,000 of them in your house anyway, though, at this point in time.

Classy looks

holding honor magic6 lite in hand showing rear camera
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Just because you are buying a budget handset, you’re not going to want to skimp on looks. We’ve all seen those really cheap handsets that look… well… really cheap. Not the Honor Magic6 Lite, though. This handset has a nice premium aesthetic to it, albeit an inexpensive device.

In terms of dimensions, the 6 Lite is 163.6 x 75.5 x 7.98 mm. Weight-wise it is a mere 185g. As a result, the phone is easy to grip in one hand, and its lightness translates to less wrist strain in use.

This lightness is likely down to the polycarbonate rear fascia and frame. Ours comes in a Midnight Black colorway, but you can also get Emerald Green in the polycarbonate frames, and a (rather fetching) Sunset Orange device which has a vegan leather finish to the rear face. The Midnight Black version has a mattified finish.

The rear also obviously houses the camera array. This mirrors the Eye of Muse configuration Honor adopted with the Honor Magic4 Pro, two generations back. The three sensors plus the flash are bound within a ring that has gold-hued edge accenting, said to reflect the styling of a luxury watch. This is a very classy camera island that doesn’t protrude excessively from the rear of the device.

honor magic6 lite charging port
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Up front is the generous 6.78-inch AMOLED screen, featuring curved edges (a nice touch in this price bracket) and a punch-hole selfie camera top center. The bottom edge features the SIM tray, pinhole mic, USB-C port, and speaker grille. On the right edge is the volume rocker and power button. Up top, another mic pinhole.

In all, we are looking at a very stylish phone indeed here.

Dem specs

Being a budget/mid-range handset, the Magic6 Lite doesn’t quite stack up to its Pro-version sibling (reviewed separately). However, you’re not going to expect it to. It isn’t the flagship model. It is the budget model. Duh!

In terms of specs, though, the Magic6 Lite is an attractive option when it comes to the budget/mid-range market. Particularly at this price point. Plus, as mentioned, it packs in Honor’s design flair; the brand has been giving their budget models a premium feel for several generations, at this point.

I literally have only one complaint, which is the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is now a little dated. It was released in 2022, so we’re a couple of processor generations behind, here.

Anyway, Honor Magic6 Lite specification data is as follows:

Display6.78-inch AMOLED, 1200×2652
CPU/GPUQualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1, Adreno A710
Operating SystemMagicOS 7.2 (based on Android 13)
Memory(8+8) 16+256GB
Rear Camera108MP Main Camera (F1.75) +5MP Ultra Wide&Depth Camera(F2.2)+2MP Macro Camera (f2.4)
Front Camera16MP (F2.45)
Battery5300mAh
Charging35W wired
Network5G, 4G, 3G, 2G
Connectivity2.4GHz, 5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1

Benchmarking the Honor Magic6 Lite

honor magic6 lite geekbench results
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

We all know that benchmarks only offer arbitrary numerical values, but even so, benchmarking is a good way to compare one device to other devices on the market.

I first ran the GeekBench 6 CPU test, and the Honor Magic6 Lite scored as follows:

  • Single Core: 942
  • Multi-core: 2735

This means that the Honor Magic6 Lite is slightly better than the Samsung Galaxy A52S 5G, which scores 935 in a single-core test. The score for a multi-core test puts it two points below the same comparison model.

Then I ran the 6 Lite through GeekBench’s GPU testing. Scores were thus:

  • GPU testing: 1333

The Honor 6 Lite 5G performs better here than the likes of Xiaomi’s REDMI Note 12 Pro 5G, which was released in 2023.

And, finally, I ran it through 3DMark to see how it would theoretically work for mobile gaming:

  • Wild Life: 2390

This places the device above the 2022 Apple SE model, for context and comparison.

The Honor Magic6 Lite: Practical performance

We’ve broken the performance analysis down into sections, each dealing with a different element of the phone’s practical use.

Productivity

Yeah yeah, so we benchmarked the Honor Magic6 Lite, but this means little when we compare it to real-world usage.

I used the Magic6 Lite for a month, as a daily driver for work. This means at any one time it will be running multiple Chrome tabs, Gmail, Slack, LinkedIn, and numerous other messaging apps, like WhatsApp and Telegram, for example. You’ll probably also find a few Google Docs and Sheets open there as well.

With all this in mind, I didn’t notice that the Magic6 Lite struggled with any productivity tasks, even running multiple apps at once. EVEN resource-hungry apps like Chrome, which we know devours RAM like Galactus consumes entire galaxies in one mealtime. And this is no different on a mobile device as it is on a laptop or desktop PC.

Productivity is further improved by the proprietary features Honor builds into the Magic operating system. For example, the phone has a feature called Magic Text, which allows you to capture text directly from an image (like a photo on your phone, for instance) and paste it into a document.

You also have Honor Connect, which enables you to add your Magic6 Lite to a network of other Honor devices, for more streamlined sharing across devices. For example, a WhatsApp message notification on the 6 Lite will also pop up on my Honor Pad 9, showing synchronicity across the devices—I don’t even have WhatsApp installed on the tablet.

In summary, productivity-wise, the Magic6 Lite is excellent at this price range. Despite its relatively old processor, the Honor Magic6 Lite is really nippy, so no complaints here.

Battery

battery screen displaying battery life on honor magic6 lite
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Ahhh, battery power. An important factor when it comes to considering your next smartphone purchase. As mentioned, I used the Honor Magic6 Lite as a daily workhorse. This meant that, during the daytime, this handset saw significantly more use than my personal handset (which, currently, is the Magic6 Pro).

Despite this, I felt that the 6 Lite performed really well in terms of battery life. And you would think so, too. It comes with a massive 5300 mAh battery, which Honor claims is good for two whole days. Is it?

Well, during testing, I was getting around two days out of a full battery cycle (which obviously includes some extended periods of non-use, like at night for example). Some days, I could squeeze almost another half a day out of it before the phone started telling me it would shut down in 60 seconds.

So, battery performance is excellent. Note, though, that it only supports wired charging and that is limited to 35W. However, this is enough to charge your phone in about 45 minutes to an hour. The battery was awarded gold by DXOMark, so it is certified as being a superb battery.

Display

honor magic6 lite being held in hand
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

As with all of Honor’s recent handsets, the display is excellent. It comes with full Rhineland TUV Blue Light Protection certification, which is great news for your peepers. 

Similarly great news is the excellent 1920Hz PWM dimming, which reduces flicker intensity and therefore reduces strain on your eyeballs.

This level of PWM dimming (or, in fact, even having the feature) is normally limited to more expensive flagship handsets, so it is great to see that Honor wants to ensure eye comfort for all of its consumers, not just those investing in its flagships.

The display also has SGS five-star (as in five stars out of a possible five) whole device drop resistance certification. Despite being an absolute mouthful, this is actually fantastic; if you drop your phone, it should be damage-free if you dropped it from nothing above 1.5m. SGS is a world-leading testing, certification, and inspection company.

honor magic6 lite laying on its side showing side buttons
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

In general, the display is fantastic. It displays colors vividly and with a defined contrast between them. Dark hues remain inky black as you would hope. I watched Invincible to test the display’s abilities with color, and was not disappointed; everything was nice and bright as it should be with a colorful cartoon such as this.

This is all helped along by the impressive 120Hz refresh rate, which is again a boon at this price point. The phone can control the refresh rate on its own using the Dynamic Refresh feature. This means that as soon as it senses there is motion on the screen, it will bump the refresh rate up to 120Hz, reducing blur in the process. It works, as well! I’ve noticed no blurring when I have been watching video content on the 6 Lite.

At this price point, you are definitely not going to feel disappointed by the Magic6 Lite’s display.

Camera

honor magic6 lite front camera and screen
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Now to the camera. Honor has gained notoriety for its awesome cameras over recent years. The Honor Magic4 series really kicked off the trend, delivering outstanding photo and video capabilities.

The Magic5 series followed suit. The 6th gen of Honor’s Magic smartphone series doesn’t disappoint, either. Even the budget offering has great photography capabilities.

honor magic6 lite rear camera
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

We’ll start with the main sensor. It is a 108MP lens, which has an f/1.8 aperture. The main lens is great, especially in well-lit conditions.

It falls short a little in night-time photography, but we must not forget that this is a budget handset. If you want a device with more photography chops, then you’ll need to outlay more cash and grab the Magic6 Pro instead. However, for pretty much all budget smartphone consumers, the Magic6 Lite will be perfect.

landscape photo taken from honor magic6 lite
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Daytime photos with the 6 Lite are great. Color balance is good, and saturation levels aren’t overstated, with Honor’s AI imaging software stepping in when required to improve photo quality.

The detail is good, and detail softening isn’t over the top when zooming in on photographic elements. Note that there is no optical image stabilization with the Magic6 Lite, so if you’re taking photos in anything other than great light, you might struggle with hand blur.

image taken with honor magic6 lite macro lens
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

The macro lens and the ultrawide sensors both leave a little to be desired. Neither has a particularly high MP count—the macro is 2MP and the ultrawide is 5MP—so the results from both these secondary lenses aren’t up there with the main sensor’s quality.

Again, we can caveat this, though. THIS IS A BUDGET HANDSET. You aren’t going to have Carl Zeiss quaking in his boots with these sensors, but they do a job if you are after close-ups or wide angles. Again, just don’t expect the earth.

honor magic6 lite main sensor 2 photograph
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

In summary, we have a great main sensor, and it takes nice shots in well-lit conditions. This is likely to be all a budget smartphone buyer is looking for, really.

Recommending the Honor Magic6 Lite

The Honor Magic6 Lite is an excellent budget handset. It packs in premium features that most other budget—hell, even mid-range—smartphone manufacturers skimp on.

A very capable camera, outstanding battery life, and a stunning screen, all make for the perfect, purse-friendly purchase.

If you are in the market for a new budget smartphone, make it the Honor Magic6 Lite.

A very worthy recipient of our Editor’s Choice Award.

Editor's Pick
HONOR Magic 6 Lite 5G HONOR Magic 6 Lite 5G
4.0

This affordable mid-range smartphone excels in many areas, making it a great choice for those looking for a premium feel without paying the premium price!

Pros:
  • Excellent battery in class
  • Great-looking AMOLED screen
  • Good main lens in well-lit environments
  • Lightweight without feeling flimsy
  • Speedy operation, fantastic for productivity
  • Premium feel
  • Inexpensive price
Cons:
  • Macro and ultrawide sensors leave a little to be desired
  • Limited storage/RAM options available (only one configuration)
  • No wireless charging
KnowTechie is supported by its audience, so if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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