HomeMobileAndroidHonor Router 3 Review: Wi-Fi 6 Plus at the right price

Honor Router 3 Review: Wi-Fi 6 Plus at the right price

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Honor Router 3 is a device that supports the WI-Fi 6 Plus standard, with a not high price and with a nice design.

Honor Router 3 review Review: Wi-Fi 6 Plus at the right price

We have now entered the era of Wi-Fi 6. The first router of this type to arrive in our hands is Honor Router 3, sold at a price of 79.90 euros on the official HiHonor website. The launch promotion is interesting: for those who buy this product in the first phase of sale there are as a tribute the Honor Band 5 smartband and the Honor Bluetooth Sports Earphone. In short, the offer launched by the Chinese company is interesting, but it is also the product itself that attracts attention already from the technical specifications.
In fact, Honor advertises this router by referring to Wi-Fi 6 Plus, an “enhanced” standard, obviously based on the sixth generation, presented by the Chinese company in early 2020 with Huawei Wi-Fi AX3. We have had the opportunity to properly test Router 3 over the last few weeks: will Honor have done a good job?

Sales, design and connections pack

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Let’s start by specifying two important things, which may seem trivial for some but in reality they are not for those less used to this type of product. First of all, we are talking about a router and not a modem, so you have to go through the latter to “get” the connection to the Internet. Secondly, some might expect data connection support, given that we are talking about a company known for its smartphones, but in reality Honor Router 3 is only Wi-Fi. Having said that, we can move on to the sales package, which contains, in addition to the router, a Quick Start Guide in English, the power supply and an Ethernet cable for connecting to the modem. In short, a no-frills equipment.

Once you take the router out of the box, you immediately notice its sober and clean design. The only status LED is present on the front, while on the back we find the power input, the reset button, a WAN port and three LAN ports (self-adaptive from 100/1000 Mbit / s). In the upper part of the body, more precisely in the center, there is the H button, which is used for pairing and with other Honor / Huawei devices and is compatible with WPS.

The four antennas are not removable, but they can be “placed” on the body of the wheel in order to “close it”. At the bottom there are the classic air intakes. In short, we could define the design as minimal, but in the positive sense of the term, given that Honor Router 3 does not look bad in front of the other design objects present in your home. The dimensions of the router are equal to 242 x 152 x 41 mm, for a weight of about 379 grams, so we are talking about a particularly light router.
As for the initial configuration, it’s all very simple: just connect, at least by default, to IP 192.168.3.1 and follow the quick instructions. In a few minutes everything is already set up correctly. We only report some small shortcomings in terms of translations, given that some writings related to the compatibility mode for Wi-Fi 5 devices were in Chinese at the first start and we noticed the presence, in certain cases, of voices in Spanish. Nothing special, but we would have preferred greater care from this point of view.

Technical features and software

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Honor Router 3 supports a theoretical maximum speed of 3000 Mbps, more precisely 574 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 2402 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. They are pretty good values, which allow you to make the most of the connection. For the rest, the Wi-Fi 6 Plus, on which Honor is focusing a lot, brings novelties such as end-to-end support at 160 MHz and a proprietary dynamic narrowband technology. To put it very simply, compared to the “normal” Wi-Fi 6 there are improvements in terms of speed and signal coverage. In short, “Wi-Fi 6 Plus” is undoubtedly a term that works in marketing terms, but behind the name there is also some real news.

By accessing the router configuration portal, you immediately notice the cleanliness at a graphic level. The page is divided into five tabs: Home, Connect to the Internet, My Wi-Fi, Manage Device, and Other Features. In addition to the usual options that can be found in all routers, there is one dual-band optimization functionality, which combines the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies and automatically chooses the best performing one. There is also a compatibility mode with Wi-Fi 5, which allows you to connect even those devices that may have problems with Wi-Fi 6. Generally it happens with some laptop with Intel network adapter.

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For the rest, there is the possibility to choose the signal strength and manage the access of the various devices, possibly limiting the speed. By accessing the “Other functions” tab, you can update the firmware and set options related to VPN, IPTV, UPnP, IPv6, guest network, NAT and parental controls, just to mention the main features.
There is also a mode that sets the router as a Wi-Fi repeater. Finally, among the advanced options you can manage channel, mode (for example, 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax or 802.11 b / g / n), bandwidth, 11n protection interval, invisible Wi-Fi and WMM. In short, there are no additional options compared to other routers, but the software is still complete and satisfies the needs of many users, also considering the price range.

In case you want manage the router via smartphone locally and not remotely, you can use the Huawei AI Life application. The latter adds nothing in terms of functionality, but allows you to manage everything more quickly and easily. In fact, by accessing the main screen of the app, a quick report is provided, which shows the quality of the connection to the network through the selected channel, the download speed, the upload speed, the connected devices and various other options, from parental control to diagnosis, via the guest Wi-Fi network.

By clicking on “Show more”, you access the other features, such as the firmware update and the various options that we have already illustrated regarding the configuration portal. Just to mention other settings that could be interesting, there is the possibility of programming the switching on and off of the Wi-Fi network at certain times of the day and it is possible to turn off the front LED of the router at night. In short, there are some little gems.
Other specifications that should be mentioned include support for the WPA3-SAE security standard, the ability to connect up to 128 devices simultaneously, the Hi5651L dual-core processor operating at the 1.2 GHz frequency and OFDMA technology, in able to group signals and transmit them simultaneously to multiple terminals.

Experience of use

During our test, the Honor Router 3 always behaved as expected, without ever presenting particular problems in terms of speed and coverage. We also tested it with a classic Italian 7 Mega with many connected devices and in that case the benefits brought by the technologies implemented by the Chinese company are more noticeable. For example, using a Wi-Fi 5 smartphone you notice a higher speed, since you can take advantage of the160 MHz bandwidth. Sure, we’re talking about a Wi-Fi connection and so there are quite a few variables at play, but the router does exactly what it promises to do from this point of view.

At the level of signal coverage we have not had any kind of problem: the Wi-Fi manages to reach without too many hitches even in places in the home where there are slight structural obstacles.

In short, Honor Router 3 is a good router to place at home, an upgrade to do especially for those who usually use many devices at the same time. The only aspect to take into consideration is the fact that some particularly dated terminals may need some more settings. For example, the 2.4 GHz band was initially slow on our old computer, while the 5 GHz frequency was pretty fast.
In this case, it was enough to disable the WMM, which assigns the priority of wireless packets, to be able to balance everything. In short, as always happens with routers, everyone has their own network and to fix everything in the best possible way it is good to dedicate some time to the configuration.

Honor Router 3 is a product with a clean design, able to not look out of place among the home furnishings. At the same time, it is a concentration of technology of no small importance. In fact, net of a price of 79.90 euros, which among other things in the first sales period also includes Honor Band 5 and Honor Bluetooth Sports Earphone, it brings home a router that supports Wi-Fi 6 Plus, able to reach a theoretical maximum speed of 3000 Mbps. This is the peculiar feature of the product, as well as the one on which the whole offer is supported. In fact, for the rest we are faced with a router that goes straight to the point, without presenting innovative features but focusing on the adoption of the latest standards. Ultimately, also given the excellent quality / price ratio, we recommend Honor Router 3 to those who need a product of this type and want to upgrade to the latest standards without spending too much.

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