Huawei Honor 8 Review: Beautiful, Fast and Affordable

PROSCONS
  • Beautiful Design
  • Great Performance
  • Good Camera
  • microSD Card Expansion
  • Fast Fingerprint Sensor
  • Slippery Glass back
  • Below Average Speakers
  • Not the greatest battery life
  • No 4k video recording

Huawei’s Honor 8 is the company’s latest entry into the affordable flagship segment. Keeping in mind that this is segment is the most popular one, Huawei has come up with a phone that can give some serious competition to other players. Bundled with some good hardware and great design, Huawei is aiming the young audience who wants to have a premium-like phone but at a reasonable price.

Design

The design steals the show for Honor 8. It has a gorgeous design even though it’s remarkably similar to that of Xiaomi Mi4S. It has a premium appeal due to a great combination of glass and aluminum. The rear has a 15-panel light-refracting glass which gives some fascinating light patterns.Huawei Honor 8

There are the usual volume rocker and power button on the right side of the phone, with the hybrid sim-card slot on the left side which can be also used as a microSD card slot. 3.5mm jack, USB Type-C port, and a mono speaker are placed at the bottom. It also has an IR blaster at the top which can be used to control TVs and other media devices.

The glass back is very slippery so it might slip through your fingers quite often. You might think of having a case as the back is also a fingerprint magnet. There is an ‘honor’ branding right at the chin of the phone which, I feel, is a very odd position.

Display

The Honor 8 sports 5.2 inches 1080p LTPS display, with a pixel density of 423ppi. The colors are bright and sharp. Contrast, Color saturation, and brightness are all remarkably good for a phone of this price segment.Huawei Honor 8

Daylight readability is good even with different viewing angles. Honor has added a few settings to its software which further enhances the readability. The color temperature can be set as per your comfort. And it also has the option to reduce the blue-light emission.

Software

The Honor 8 runs on Huawei’s own Emotion UI (EMUI) 4.1 which is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The UI is whole a lot like the iOS with no app drawer. It comes with pre-installed bloatware apps which can be uninstalled easily. Something which is not found on most of the phones.

Huawei Honor 8

The Software closes and resets some useful background apps due to some background optimizations. It affects the push notification feature of several useful apps. This is very frustrating in day-to-day use.

Huawei has promised to provide updates with new features every 3 months for the first year and security and bug fixes for an additional year which is an added advantage. They have also recently announced a partnership with XDA-Developers which is a good sign as it will attract developers’ interest. You can expect a great number of custom-ROMs or kernels for the phone.

Performance

Honor 8 comes with Huawei’s own HiSilicon Kirin 950 octa-core processor having four Cortex-A72 CPUs clocked at 2.3 GHz and four Cortex-A53 CPUs at 1.8 GHz. The 4GB of RAM ensures smooth and speedy experience. The performance, as expected, is brilliant. Everything is fast and responsive. Whether it’s browsing apps or surfing the web, everything is snappy. It handles multi-tasking with an ease with no lags and crashes.

Gamers are not gonna have a good time playing on the phone as it comes with a mediocre Mali-T880 MP4 graphics unit. The phone is capable of handling small games with an ease but it lags a bit while handling a heavy graphic game.

Hardware

The Honor 8 has a hybrid sim card slot. It can be used as a dual-Sim card slot or you can use one  slot for Sim card and another one for microSD card. Honor 8 has an internal storage of 32GB which can be expanded up to 128GB. A welcome feature as most of the flagship lacks microSD card support.

Huawei Honor 8

At the bottom, there is a mono speaker. The sound quality of the speaker was below average. The fingerprint reader at the back is well placed as that’s the area where our index finger generally lands while holding the phone. The fingerprint reader was fast and accurate, taking less than half a second to unlock. It also acts as a customizable ‘Smart Key’ which allows you to perform different actions such as opening a particular app or taking a screenshot or sliding down the notification center.

Battery

The Honor 8 has 3000 mAh battery. It is enough for casual users as it will easily last a day with moderate usage. But you will have to charge your phone at least once in a day if you are a heavy user. Honor 8 supports 9V/2A fast-charging which can give you a 50% charge in just 30 minutes.

It has a frustrating power management system. It has three different battery profiles: performance, smart and ultra. The default battery profile, smart, kills the background apps and thus prevents various apps from sending notifications.

Camera

The Honor 8 sports 12 Megapixel dual-camera with f/2.2 aperture. One sensor captures only in black and white and the other sensor captures the colors. It captures some great shots with crispier and brighter looking images. However, images in low-light were just about average. But overall, it has a very good camera. It can not compete with the best shooters present in the market but by looking at the price point, it’s a fair deal.

Huawei Honor 8 Camera

It has an 8MP front-facing camera with a f/2.4 aperture lens which is very convincing. The only downside is that it does not support 4K video recording. The Camera app in itself is very neat. It has all the useful manual controls with a number of customizable features. It also has options to record slo-mo and time-lapse videos.

Specifications

Form factorTouchscreen
Dimensions145.5 x 71.00 x 7.5 mm
Weight153 g (5.40 oz)
Screen Size5.2 inches
Pixels per inch (ppi)423
Resolution1080 x 1920 pixels
OSAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
User InterfaceEmotion UI 4.1
ChipsetHiSilicon Kirin 950
CPUOcta-Core
GPUMali-T880 MP4
RAM4GB
Internal Storage32GB
Expandable StorageUp to 128GB
Main Camera12 Megapixel
Rear Camera8 Megapixel
FlashYes
Fingerprint ReaderYes
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetoothv4.2
NFCYes
NetworkLTE/HSPA/GSM
Dual-SimYes
Battery3,000 mAh

Price

The Huawei Honor 8 is available on Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal starting at ₹29,999 ($399.99) for the 32GB variant. Currently, it is available in three different color options: Sapphire Blue, Sunrise Gold, and Pearl White.

Huawei will also give you a free repair if you happen to accidentally damage the phone within three months from the date of buying. That’s a Bonus! 

The Verdict

To conclude honor 8 is a great device. A perfect combination of Design and hardware, Good Camera and a good value for the money. Honor 8 is definitely not for everyone but it has the ability to attract those who are looking for an affordable flagship. It has problems with notifications but Huawei will certainly act on it once the word reaches them. Software Support is great, which is a must nowadays. If you can forego some of its ‘bads’, I would definitely recommend investing your money in it.

So what do you think about the Honor 8? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bestboyzde

 

 

Ankit Nawlakha is a smartphone enthusiast who loves to dig into the ever-increasing world of smartphone technology.
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