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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Honor 4x - Battle of the brain , Snapdragon 410 vs Kirin 620

Honor 4x is the latest phone available from the Huawei stable under the sub branding of Honor. The 5.5 inch mid tier phablet is the latest but not the greatest in the Honor line. One thing that this Honor 4x bring to the table is this would be the first 64bit SoC available on any Honor phone. The 64bit capability is not with its own twist with Honor 4x came in two different SoC model.

The recently available Honor 4x in Malaysia came with Huawei owned Kirin 620, this is very different from the earlier batch that was sold in India that was powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410. Both of these SoC is 64bit enable running on ARM's A53 architecture but running in a very distinct configuration to say at least. This post will look at both options available and what would stand out in both of these processor option.

Architecture Overview

Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 is build on 4 core A-53r0p0, the earliest design reference for A-53 and only support native ARMv7 versus the later support of AArch32 (ARMv8 32bit). This is actually where this popular chipset lack and this is actually not the best approach as other A-53 based SoC is supporting the ARMv8 AArch32. AArch32 have shown to significant increase in performance and battery life thus making this chipset the lowest perfomance available for any A-53 chips currently available in the market. Adreno 306 is not your high-end GPU and that leads to very low benchmark score even lower than the Snapdragon 400 it is replacing.

Hisilicon Kirin 620 in the other hand are built on 8 A-53r0p3, the latest design reference that supposedly increase battery life and efficiencies. This gave a little nudge on the benchmark score but with the low clockspeed (1.2 GHz) and LP process, the Kirin 620 is still one of the lowest performing A-53 chipset available in the market currently. The implementation of older Mali-450MP4 GPU doesn't help much on the performance.

Geekbench Integer and Memory score (include other popular A-53)

The low performance of Snapdragon 410 is apparent in the scores, with normalized IPC (instructions per cycle to the equivalent of a 1.0 GHz Cortex-A7) for the CPU-speed sensitive single-core JPEG Compress benchmark being lower than that of other Cortex-A53-based SoCs, probably due to being limited to ARMv7. The Dijkstra benchmark even scores lower on Snapdragon 410 than on an equivalently clocked Snapdragon 400, and memory performance is also lower. While Kirin 620 manage to outscore Snapdragon 410, it is still relatively slow and would be considered as only a low end A-53 based SoC.

Snapdragon 615, while improving on Snapdragon 410, also appears to be less optimized than MT6732/MT6752 in terms of single-core IPC, despite a very similar clock frequency. Looking at multi-core performance, MT6752 is significantly faster than Snapdragon 615, largely due to being able run all eight cores at the maximum clock frequency. MT6732 and MT6752 also have significantly higher memory performance, reaching an impressive score for devices with a 32-bit memory interface


The difference between Kirin 620 and Snapdragon 410 Honor 4x might not be significant at all and would be sufficient enough for any daily driver. The biggest difference between these is in the app optimization as Kirin is still relatively unknown in the world leading to high-end mobile game are showing Kirin SoC as unsupported GPU even if it met all the requirements. Snapdragon 410 in the other hand is a well known SoC that would not be met with unsupported CPU even when it is actually lower than Kirin 620.

Even if Kirin 620 is marketed as a fast 64Bit SoC by Huawei, the benchmark score shown that i could only beat the lowest available SoC in Snapdragon 410 and is miles away from other 64Bit SoC in the market such as Snapdragon 615 and the Medaitek MT6752. One thing that we can hope to see from Kirin 620 is the improvement in battery life mainly because of the r3p0 updated reference design and the lower clock speed that it is running on.

How do you rate your Honor 4X and which one do you think is better?

More Honor 4x post


  1. hello mytech, can you give me suggestion for the best battery life and smoothness for daily usage of these phones; Huawei honor 4x / Asus zenfone 2 Ze550ml (720p, 2GB) / Moto e 2nd gen (2015, snapdragon 200). I use my phone mainly for web surfing, feedly, a lot of reading on pocket & whatsapp. If possible, I want the phone with the longest battery life (mainly higher screen on time). Maybe u can use your knowledge on benchmark to help me choose. Thanks in advance.

  2. thanks for dropping by.. i'll try to answer but this wont be 100% correct as battery life varies not just by usage but also by the telco coverage (lower telco coverage means higher battery usage).. if we ignore the telco and assume all these phone run on 2G with Wifi only my take on best balanced performance would be Honor 4x for now (kirin 620 will not be put to high strain usage), Zenfone 2 are still having battery life issue (even worst than zenfone 5) for the time being and it might not be hardware related but more of kernel issue (asus will fix this but dont expect it so soon). as for the Moto E, the Snapdragon 200 is a very low power chipset and couple with lower powered screen it can have a great battery life but would simply drop if the hardware was put to high strain. Lets put it this way, Asus have the best hardware in term of power and usage but still having issue with the system, Honor 4x is slightly less powerful but the system would not strain it so it would give you good battery life and Moto E have the lowest power consumption but would be even higher than the other 2 if it is put with higher strain (Snapdragon 200 is the lowest performance here). If you want something that would be great in maybe 4-6 month time take Asus but if you want the battery life as of today then take Honor 4x.
    Hope that answer it..

  3. Thanks for the feedback.. I read a lot of honor 4x review & compared with other phones and most of them agreed that this phone have superb battery life.. Btw, i have a few more question..
    Kirin 620 is based on 64 bit architecture, do u think that when 4x get lollipop (which is optimised for 64 bit if im not mistaken), it will improved battery life on honor 4x (such as more screen on time)??

    And do u think there are another phone that can beat battery life of 4x at this price point?

  4. Personally have been using lollipop on other phones and the battery life improvement is not a sure thing because of the big difference in kernel required.. Most manufacturer are having hit and misses with battery life improvement but rarely it would make things worst. In term of other model, most chip manufacturer are fixing their build with any latest processor and to be fair with others everyone would be catching up in the SOT from 2nd qtr release moving to 2016. Kirin 620 is relatively newer than most SoC and that is what made them standout (fixing on others issue).. Moving forward I think Kirin 620 headstart in battery life would no longer be something extra comes chrismast 2015

  5. Rufus Woessner11 July 2015 at 21:22

    Momentarily I got 3 devices
    One with the 410 4core GPU;Huawei y550
    Next the P8lite with the 620 Kirin,Android 5.0
    And last the ARCHOS DIAMOND with the 615 8core Snapdragon.
    And therefore I believe I can contribute some facts to the before mentioned verdict for the 620 Kirin.
    Indeed the difference between the Qualcomm and the Huawei
    Kirin octa core CLUb's is not that big as suggested.
    I tested both with the CPUprimebench and there had the Kirin
    a twice as good result as the 615 Snapdragon.
    Besides the lower frequency.
    Antutu testing showed r.a. even results.
    And the two of them stuttered a little during playing the EA
    Real Racing 3
    Most important for me is that for at least 250€ less I can do with both devices practically all I want

  6. Thank you for your real life test.. From what you are saying, is Kirin 620 perform better than expectations on your P8 lite? By the way, would you think that a lower resolution (720p) on Huawei p8 lite helps when benchmarking vs 615 that is running on full HD.. Your feedback will be really helpful..

  7. Rufus Woessner11 July 2015 at 21:53

    Point to you....
    Of course has the display resolution an influence on the
    But the CPUprimebench just says something about the 'raw'
    CPU power.
    But the Kirin is newer and true 64bit capable.
    And almost I would have forgotten it.
    Testing with QUADRANT the
    Result was U.S.D.-,contrary...

  8. In our market, the best bang for buck (low priced) is the mediatek MT6752 and we will putting it to their paces next week. The pricing for those phone with Mediatek is relatively higher by 50usd and even at the same price point as P8 Lite.. By the way thanks for your real life experiences your feedback is really important as No benchmarking can give the real indicator unless being put to real world usages..

  9. Rufus Woessner11 July 2015 at 22:46

    Dear Nuzzary,
    is it possible that you work for MTK?And if so you are totally right.
    Probably you know netbook. check. com and there they have the same opinion like you considering the very same SoC.
    And the GPU is probably a Mali T6847?

    If its also a 5inch device, I would be happy could get it here in Switzerland.
    Who knows....

  10. We are getting a Meizu M1 Note next week for our review on the chipset.. Not working with anyone just someone that like the technicality of smartphones.. Meizu M1 Note is around 220 usd here.. So its quite reasonable priced

  11. Rufus Woessner12 July 2015 at 00:15

    Isn't 5.5inch(for me to big)
    But I'll check it out later.
    By the way-
    Nice to meet you.
    Hope we can go on this way.
    Cause I am interested in such matters too.
    And began years ago....
    Probably until tomorrow
    Take care