The battle of the bokeh cameras: Huawei Honor 6 Plus versus HTC One M8

HTC proposed a radical idea pertaining to smartphone cameras when the HTC One M8 was announced last year, bringing on a brand spanking new version of its popular “Ultrapixel" camera. That radical idea came in the form of a second camera lens, which allowed the beloved phone to emphasize the focus to a specific area – while giving the rest of the surrounding area that cool out of focus, or bokeh effect. All told, even though some folks didn’t find the HTC One M8’s still image quality to be superior or on the same level as some of its peers, the bokeh effect definitely added something new to the mix that we otherwise don’t see.

Since the M8’s release, many other smartphones followed the trend by offering a similar function. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 4 both feature “selective focus” modes, which allow their single camera lenses to adjust the focus level post shot. At times the process is an effective one, but it’s still not quite as adept as HTC’s execution. Well, the HTC One M8 isn’t the only phone in the market to wield dual-cameras to give it that cool, very profound bokeh effect, since we now have a formidable contender in our possession – the Huawei Honor 6 Plus.

We’ve spent a short time with the dual-camera wielding smartphone during CES 2015, where we came off pretty impressed by the handset overall. More importantly, though, is that it manages to improve upon what HTC has established by offering us control of the bokeh effect pre-shot – whereas with the HTC One M8’s setup, it’s done post shot. So, how is it able to achieve its special powers? Well, the Honor 6 Plus does indeed use software to simulate varying aperture, and you have control of aperture from f/0.96 to f/16.

You control the aperture via a slider that allows you to select various levels in-between, and you get a live view of the change in depth of field (more bokeh for wide apertures, and a flatter-looking shot for narrower apertures). Even better, you can select the focus and the aperture of an image after you have already captured it, practically, the same effect as on a Lytro camera. The technical setup behind this includes two precisely aligned cameras on the back of the phone. Both feature 8-megapixel sensors, but the main one is an auto-focus cam with f/2.0 aperture, while the secondary one comes with an f/2.4 lens and fixed focus. As you can see, there is no physical variability in the apertures – the effect is purely software-based.

In order to achieve it, Huawei uses a powerful ISP with a 'triple IE' (3IE) graphics engine that the company says it has been working on for some two years. What the two cameras do is obvious – the fixed focus one captures a flat image with very little depth, while the secondary one can focus on nearby objects (something impossible for a fixed focus-only shooter). Also, Huawei can use different exposures on these two cameras – a short exposure and a long exposure, for a more dynamic image. Naturally, this also means that the Honor 6 Plus can capture HDR images faster as an HDR image on it requires just one closure of the shutters rather than multiple snaps.

Ultimately, it’s more fun shooting photos with the Huawei Honor 6 Plus than the HTC One M8. Not only is the bokeh effect more pronounced, but being able to adjust the effect pre-shot is so much more valuable. One of our main issues with the HTC One M8’s operation is that we need to preview the captured image in the gallery before we’re able to play around with the “uFocus” effect. And from there, we have to save the result as a new image – so it’s simply just easier to do with the Huawei Honor 6 Plus. Trust us, too, when we say that the Huawei Honor 6 Plus delivers incredible shots that can sometimes be mistaken for images captured by some DSLRs.

Not impressed yet? Well then, check out the video below to see the Huawei Honor 6 Plus in action!

Related phones

6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh(13h 3G talk time)
One (M8)
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 4 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(20h 3G talk time)



1. guest

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

Intel real sense is much better than either of these two gimmicks. Hopefully it will be on the Zenfone 2

17. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

Pudding? If you are talking about this: then the focus transitions are even worse than the HTC! :P

19. Simona unregistered

you fkin ashole! gimmick is YOU

21. chocolaking

Posts: 495; Member since: May 22, 2012

honor 6 has build-in Instagram filter feature?

24. Simona unregistered


2. ciprian.ruse

Posts: 320; Member since: May 13, 2014

Amazing pics by Honor 6 Plus !

3. true1984

Posts: 871; Member since: May 23, 2012

i gotta give the nod to htc on this one

22. tonyallison0

Posts: 9; Member since: Feb 24, 2015

I agree. While the Honor's effects are much stronger, the M8 makes the effect look better.

4. TypicalGeek

Posts: 219; Member since: Feb 19, 2015

Double Post

5. TypicalGeek

Posts: 219; Member since: Feb 19, 2015

Bokeh in Honor 6 looks very artificial. Bokeh in M8 is more natural (represents more of how humans see), but it could have a tard more bokeh. I wouldn't pick either for Bokehlicious. S5, Z3/compact, Note4, or G3 does better than both.

13. GeekMovement unregistered

I was thinking the same thing- the bokeh from the Honor 6 looks too artificial. I'll definitely go with HTC for this comparison. Just looking at photo 9 & 10 makes the decision easy.

20. Simona unregistered


6. bokimaricu

Posts: 89; Member since: Dec 21, 2013

I read "broken cameras". Oh the irony.

7. hurrycanger

Posts: 1775; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Oh my goodness. Oh my dammn. The Honor 6 Plus does an amazzinggg job there. At the first two pics I was like "meh, the Honor 6 Plus just goes way too far." But the later pics are what count for me. The what-appears-to-be-a-chicken-salad-bowl looks much better on the H6p, and just kinda plain on the HTC One, color-wise. The H6p also wins hands down on the pic of the bar. Tye attention is drawn to the focused area better in my eyes. That same pic on the HTC One looks much more natural, but too distracted, way too distracted. I like the wide angel of the HTC One though. But yeah, the H6 plus brings heavier blur effect, and it's done right. Oh wait, did you crank up the uFocus bokeh on the M8 to maximum on all the pics? The default uFocus level is pretty low, only 1/3 its maximum. Just wondering. As for the app, I actually like the way it works on the HTC One. You snap all pics you want, fast! Then you can always come back to it at anytime to work with uFocus, and I like the fact that it will save as new file. I hate it when I edited photo on some other phone and it just saved on the original file, so I lost the original.

10. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

yeah H6 bokeh effect is a bit unnatural, see half blured bowl?

11. hurrycanger

Posts: 1775; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Yep, but that often happens to the M8, too.

8. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1186; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Honor has an edge when taking macros while HTC's micro shots are way better( A tad more realistic).

9. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

not count for photo quality, both photos effect looks like bad photoshop though htc effect is more natural

12. Teejay1100

Posts: 115; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

So in other words the Huawei 6 beats the M8!! Did we expect anything less?

14. emes360

Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

The Honor's pics look a bit strange to me, I don't like the fact that the out of focus area seems to be in very random places.

15. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

100% crop is what matters , mainly in low light ! Look at pictures #7 and #8 (the red lines in the box) m8 is much better !

16. duartix

Posts: 311; Member since: Apr 01, 2014

Game set and match Huawei. The HTC ideia was great but was always handicapped by the very low resolution on the depth camera. Focus transitions are a mess on the HTC and are 1000x better solved on the Huawei. These pictures don't show how bad the HTC can quickly become when there are harder and more irregular focus transitions. The Huawei might be exagerating a bit on the blur, thus the "unnatural" look, but I'd prefer their outcome anyday.

26. Freddyb123

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Have you owned the m8, the cameras was amazing if you know how to use it. No-one else has done anything like this before HTC. The h6 isn't nearly as crisp or as in depth as the m8. The h6 just looks like blur gimmicks while the m8 is the real deal. With the m8 I never once had issues focusing on an image. Also one of the points of the duo camera is to be able to focus the images after the fact. If you have to choose the focus point before taking the image you can't change it or play around with it. Sorry but the m8 blows it away hands down.

18. frankg

Posts: 173; Member since: May 14, 2014

The bokeh is strong in the H6. It needs some Jedi to offset it, to bring balance.

23. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

The 6 Plus just hurts my eyes in those photos, the bokeh looks like crap to me

25. Freddyb123

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

WAY OFF . The whole point of being able to choose the focus point after the image is taken is so that you can decide which you like to best, by choosing the focus point before the photo is taken its a done deal and there is no way to change it. Also I would like to say, the m8 has way more depth in its images making them look almost 3 dimensional, while the other phone just looks flat and lifeless when compared to the m8. People really gave the m8 a hard time due to its low resolution but truth be told my old m8 took better images then the s5 and iPhone 5s easily, it's only weak point was zooming in all the way, which is where is low resolution showed. The m8 also looked you to get within an inch on an object to take extremely close up shots, I have yet to see another phone let you do that. People talked bad about the m8 based on their false idea that more mp's man's a better camera and this is far from true, there is a reason moat of the new phones have opted for lower resolution cameras, I mean anything over 12-13 MP is overkill. HTC has always been ahead of the game all metal body, antenna bands, long slender shape, dual speakers , hi-res audio, 5MP front cameras, dual sensor cameras, ultra pixels, live photos, and not to mention they did create the very first smart phone, I mean the list goes on. If HTC had featured the duo camera on the m10 with their 12MP ultra pixel camera it would have been on a whole other photography level compares to any other phone on the market, especially considering the m10 is already rated the best camera phone to date by dxomark, along with having hi-red mic's that pick 256X's the sound of standard smart phones, on top of the new hi-red speakers the thing will be bad Ass !. HTC was the first to do this on a phone of course other will copy, I'm sure we can expect something like this on the iPhone 7 Considering they like to copy HTC.

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