HiSilicon Kirin 960 Octa-core
After releasing the P10, the P10 Plus, the P10 Lite, and then the P8 Lite 2017, the Chinese brand Huawei sets off again with its Honor 8 Pro, the first high-end smartphone of the young and trendy Honor range. Unlike what one might think, the 8 Pro is more of a competitor to the P10 than a true successor to the Honor 8. But then again, it’s never too logical when it comes to Huawei’s phone ranges.
The Honor 8 Pro features a large 5.7-inch QHD screen and embeds the powerful Huawei P10 Kirin 960 processor, coupled with 6 GB of RAM. On the photo side, it relies on a dual color sensor and monochrome 12 megapixels.
Seeing it from afar – and even when you get a little closer – the Honor 8 Pro looks very much like the iPhone 7 Plus. But by taking a long-sighted look at it, many differences can be observed, like the presence of the fingerprint sensor at the back and the visible strips at the top and bottom of the rear face. It’s like saying that Huawei took the beautiful features of the iPhone and upgraded to a better version, adding what other Android competitors have already launched in the market.
This major change is design is probably due to the fact that Huawei got heavily criticized during its last models. However one cannot say that Honor has really honored the design aspects of the phone. The P8 Lite (2017), the P10 Lite and Honor 8 are like totally different yet none of them was able to exemplify originality.
On the other hand, we can say that the anodized aluminum shell gives a glorious look to the device. The color more evidently shows the elegant aspect of the smartphone, changing slightly from the notorious black to a majestic metallic blue. The Honor 8 is quite the work when it comes to showing off.
Beside the aesthetic side of Honor 8, the phone is very well finished, the buttons fall naturally under our fingers’ touch and the fingerprint reader is well placed and more convenient to the grip of the hand. It’s swift and efficient once set properly. Unfortunately, the 8 Pro arrives at a time when the manufacturers have made it the norm to have a phone with reduced the screen borders. And one cannot say that Honor has excelled in this particular aspect. The 5.7-inch screen occupies only 73% of the front of the big phone. We must, therefore, abandon the idea of using the mobile phone with one hand. Moreover, it’s kind of heavy to use, its weight equals 184 grams.
Overall, the Honor 8 Pro looks quite elegant and can be showcased during a serious meeting without looking outdated.
When it comes to the display, the 8 Pro has an IPS LCD WQHD screen displaying 2560 x 1440 pixels with a resolution of 515 pixels per inch. The DCI-P3 standard is used to display a wider range of colors.
However, the color temperature is rather too cold. By default, it turns around 8800 kelvins, which translates into whites that shoot very clearly towards blue. Already present on Honor 8, this trend can happily be corrected, not by opting for “hot” rendering in the display settings, but rather by adjusting the color temperature. This makes it possible to reach 6425 kelvins (standard at 6500 K) while the prerecorded screen profiles descend at best towards 7000 K.
Behind the well finished shell of the Honor 8, there is a Kirin 960 chip, the high-end home mobile platform, accompanied by 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory.
I found that the Honor 8 Pro was doing very well in terms of performance, thanks to highly performant chip. The device definitely outpaces the Huawei P10 Plus in this area. It works very well and the number of images displayed per second with incredible stability is quite impressive, especially when it comes to gaming. The rendering of the loudspeaker is also particularly brilliant.
Aside from that, we’ve noticed that, when too many applications are active at the same time, the Honor 8 Pro warmed very quickly and therefore it becomes enerving holding a burning phone with two bare hands.
Furthermore, Huawei Honor 8 Pro has now successfully embedded the software aspect with the EMUI 5.1 overlay that offers a plethora of customization possibilities. The interface has not moved one iota compared to what can be found on an Honor 8, a Huawei P8 Lite 2017 or a P10. By default, we find ourselves in front of an “iOS” interface where icons accumulate along virtual desktops, but it is easy to change for those who want to find a classic application drawer.
Addition to that, the fingerprint reader can be used to perform certain actions, such as opening the notification panel or scrolling photos in the gallery. It is also possible to customize the navigation bar, activate a one-handed mode, a floating menu or even use certain shortcuts. In short, it is not the options that are missing to customize the interface of the mobile.
All these beautiful features (mentioned above) available in the new device are powered by a battery of 4000 mAh and animated by Android 7.0 under the overlay EMUI 5.1. We can say that the power is quite generous. By using it for various purposes (games, videos, web browsing, GPS …), we found that the Honor 8 Pro really held the road and guaranteed autonomy for almost two days without being recharged. And the best part is that when the smartphone is on standby, it loses almost no percentage of life. It is therefore a little better than the Honor 8 but in spite of the presence of a more substantial battery, the last born of Honor does indeed a little less well than his distant cousin the P10 Plus.
On the photo side, The Honor 8 Pro is equipped with a dual 12-megapixel photo sensor with autofocus and LED flash. One immediately sees the element on which the accent has been put: colors. The pictures taken with this smartphone all tend to display sharp colors underlined by a marked contrast. Unlike the P10 and P10 Plus, the two photo modules on the back of this 8 Pro are not hit with the Leica seal and are limited to 12 Megapixels instead of 21 Megapixels. The arrangement is similar, however, with a sensor loaded to capture the color and the other to immortalize the scenes in black and white. On the other hand, the front sensor is limited to 8 Megapixels. However, the self-portraits addicts will be pleased to learn that the front-end sensors ar well put, managing to capture a good amount of light and a satisfactory level of detail.
The result in both cases is always very pleasant to look at because it looks really aesthetic. The rendering is not perfect. Indeed, the level of detail is a little too accurate in some places, especially in the most distant elements. But under normal conditions, the camera does very honorable captures and remains accurate on a good part of the image.
At night though, the limits of the double sensor are immediately felt. There is always a very pronounced contrast and the photo seems to manage the light by increasing the ISO, but also by adding some blur to mitigate the resulting noise. It is very far from what happens when working with an LG G6 under the same conditions, or even the OnePlus 3T which benefits from a rendering cleaner. Too bad that the two sensors do not work perfectly together in order to perform better when the light runs out.
To summarize, one can still appreciate, once all these technical remarks are put aside, a color rendition that is rather good, a sufficient level of details and a contrast well controlled. The large screen is also a huge plus when it comes to videos, where we appreciate the immersion that such a diagonal can offer. The camera is capable of filming in 4K UHD or 60 FPS Full HD. Phenomenal isn’t it?
In the end, Honor has grown well since its debut in the smartphone market. This Honor 8 Pro delivers a very suitable experience despite two small missteps when it comes to the screen and the photo. The mobile keeps up with the P10 and P10 Plus without much effort, but the price is tricky. We shall say that Honor takes risks by abandoning the winning recipe that made his success. One example is the OnePlus 3T which, with a less price, delivers more interesting features and characteristics. The Huawei Honor 8 Pro worth a little more than 500 euros, so if you want to save few tens of euros, you can buy a Huawei since it has the advantage of having a dual Leica certified photo sensor and a front fingerprint reader that can be used as a trackpad. The choice is yours to make, a better camera experience or a better storage?