Huawei’s subsidiary Honor first forayed in the US smartphone market with its Honor 5X, a mid-range smartphone with decent onboard specs. Encouraged by 5x’ reception, the company returned with its Honor 8, the successor to Honor 7. The smartphone has also made its way to the sub-continent shores last month. Priced at Rs 28,999, the Honor 8 goes directly against the likes of OnePlus 3 and ASUS ZenFone 3 and LeEco LeMax 2 that already stand high in the market.
Highlights of the Honor 8 are the dual camera setup, which sets it apart from the other flagships. Both OnePlus 3 and ZenFone 3 are great choices for this price segment. But is the Honor 8 worthy enough to be your primary smartphone. Let’s find out.
We will start-off with the design of the device first. At first glance the smartphone resembles to the iPhones sporting metallic rims running along the edges and protective glass on the front and rear panel.
The company has completely overhauled the design this time around, and it looks elegant. However, the metallic rim isn’t enough for you to make a good grip on the device. During our time with the device, it managed to slip down from our hands quite a few times.
It comes with an IR blaster housed on the top of the device which can be used to control TVs and other household appliances. It worked pretty well while testing, and it seems like a valuable addition to the device.
This device sure looks like a flagship, and better than many available out there. If you’re looking for a phone that feels luxurious and high-end, then Honor 8 should be on your list.
The Honor 8 comes with 5.2-inch LTPS display with 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution offering brilliant colour reproduction and details. However the device disappoints when it comes to brightness — the display brightness maxes out at 455nits, which is just on average. However, sunlight readability is above average.
Placed under settings is a blue filter mode called "Eye Comfort". This changes the colour temperature of the screen to make it less harsh at night. There are other colour temperature can also be switched between warmer or cooler. The maximum brightness is plenty bright enough for outdoor use and viewing angles are impressive.
The camera is definitely its USP. Though the Honor 8 does not sport a Leica lens like the Huawei P9, the results are pretty much similar to the latter. The dual 12MP camera on the rear panel is neatly placed and doesn’t protrude outwards as seen in other flagships.
The dual camera comes with two modes. Wide-angle mode allows users to take pictures with a shallow depth of field as well as adjust the focal point of a captured photo to blur the background, enabling the subject look more prominent. The professional mode offers DSLR-level manual controls over the camera’s features.
One sensor of the dual camera setup reads RGB (colour) data while one delivers monochrome data that focuses quickly, thanks to laser focusing system. Low-light performance was surprisingly strong, unlike many other affordable smartphones.
The wide aperture mode is one of the best features of the camera. It allows users to set an aperture from f/0.95 to f/16 when taking a photo. Once the image is taken, users can go back and change the aperture or focus point. This worked pretty well in testing overall, although the widest of apertures weren’t that impressive. Here are few shots we have taken from the camera.
The smartphone packs in Huawei’s own HiSilicon Kirin 950 processor clubbed with 4GB of RAM. The phone further packs 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card. Additionally, the Honor 8 runs on the Android 6.0 with Huawei’s EMUI skin on top. It is powered with a 3000mAh non removable battery – which is average compared to all the other 5-inch display sized devices with a similar battery life.
While the device offers a good performance without any lag while switching between apps or playing games – the experience feels quite similar to Xiaomi’s MIUI interface. The Honor 8 which packs the ARM Mali-T880 thereby generating a smoother GPU and CPU power. It may not surpass the OnePlus 3 in raw benchmark performance scores, but it does stand pretty well by itself.
Overall the Honor 8 is exactly what many may expect from an affordable flagship smartphone. It offers a premium design, compelling performance and a great set of cameras. Recommending the 8 over the likes of OnePlus 3 that offers better value, superior performance and longer battery life is a tad difficult. However, the device is pretty slim, comfortable and holds great aesthetics for those who prefer smaller devices.
The Honor 8 is available for a price of Rs 28,999, which seems pretty accurate considering the performance and the dual camera functionality of the device. You can surely opt for the Honor 8, if you are looking for a phone with a good camera and an attractive design....