How is Huawei Honor 8? You want to buy Honor 8 and want to if it pays to pay $399 for this smartphone. Well my answer is Yes & No. I’m going to review the newest model of Huawei Honor series, Honor 8 – a phone with beautiful design, powerful hardware and of course, appropriate price.
Huawei has released a new smartphone from Honor series called Honor 8 which in terms of hardware is very similar to its P series flagship, Huawei P9. This phone has incredibly attractive design – glass and metal are beautifully combined together in it. Stay with me to take a look at Honor 8 and all its pros and cons together.
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- 3G & 4G network and 4.2 Bluetooth Support
- Dual SIM-card Support
- Equipped with Fingerprint Sensor and Emotion UI
How is Huawei Honor 8? Mermaid!
Honor 8 has many similarities with Huawei P9, but in terms of design, it’s very different from the mentioned smartphone. Huawei put a lot of effort in the design, and it definitely catches attention at first glance. Frame of the phone is the only metal part of Honor 8. Huawei also used 2.5D glass panels in the front and back of Honor 8.
Curved edges of these panels perfectly match the metal frame of the phone. It doesn`t only make the phone more attractive, but also feels good to hold in hand. On the other hand, two camera sensors on the back of the phone gave Honor 8 a more unique appearance. It must be said that the mentioned camera didn`t affect the phone’s appearance negatively. Unfortunately, the type of glass used in the back and front panels of Honor 8 isn’t scratch-resistant.
The 5.2-inch display covers 72.5% of the front panel. Thin screen bezels make the phone’s size more appropriate and let users easily use it with one hand. Other parts of the front panel also include a selfie camera, proximity sensor, Honor brand under the display and LED notification light embedded inside the loud speaker.
We can see power and volume buttons on the right side of the frame. Power button has special design and rough surface which makes it easier to distinguish it from volume buttons. The quality of buttons is high and their performance is also great. Based on current trends of the smartphones world, Huawei has equipped Honor 8 to type-C USB port which in addition to increasing data transfer rate, makes it easier to use cables.
The fingerprint scanner is placed on the back panel of the phone. It must be said that the location of the scanner is totally depends on preferences of companies: some prefer to put it on the back of the phone while others – on the front panel. One of the problems with back-panel scanners is that it’s impossible to unlock the phone if it’s on the table, but of course, that’s not a big negative point. In Huawei Honor 8the fingerprint sensor is placed a bit higher than its ideal location, so you need to move your finger in order to find it.
The dual camera of Honor 8 as well as its LED flash and laser focus module are placed on the top left of the back panel. It should be mentioned that unlike many recent smartphones, Honor 8’s camera does not have any bump which make it look more attractive and balances its design.
On the other hand, the device is only 7.5mm thick what makes it look more stylish. Of course, thickness of Honor 8 is 0.5mm more than Huawei P9; however, Huawei used the same 3000mAh battery in both models.
In total, the design of Huawei Honor 8 is very attractive and beautiful. Beveled edges of the metal frame as well as the phone`s appropriate size lets this device lie in hand perfectly. Furthermore, the combination of 2.5 D glass and metal gives a feel of a high quality device. Huawei has tried to observe essential elegance in designing Honor 8 so that it won`t look cluttered. After using Huawei Honor 8 for a while, you’ll realize that it’s one of the best smartphones for your hand.
Huawei has equipped Honor 8 to a 5.2-inch IPS display. Taking into account that it`s a Full HD display with 423 PPI pixel density, its resolution is very good and reading texts on it can be done easily. Color accuracy of the display is very high and images look alive and beautiful. Thanks to IPS technology, the viewing angle and contrast of Honor 8 display are excellent; white color is displayed with high accuracy and since it’s an IPS display, depth of black color is suitable too.
Images and videos seem eye-catching on this display and of course, Huawei provides the ability to change display color temperature and saturation what lets users adjust the display according to their preference.
In summary, it’s totally a high quality display which minimum and maximum brightness are also appropriate, and content is displayed clearly during the day and in bright light as well as in dark environment, so your eyes won’t hurt after using this smartphone at night.
As always Huawei embedded the fingerprint sensor on the back panel and its location is a little higher than usual, so you have to move your finger to access it. You don’t need to press the sensor or turn the display on to unlock it; you just need to touch it. The sensor performance is extremely fast and accurate; after touching it, the phone will be unlocked immediately.
Like on other Huawei phones, setup process of Honor 8’s fingerprint sensor is very easy; you just need to touch the sensor 4 or 5 times with different parts of your finger and then it’ll be recognized completely. Honor 8’s sensor is able to recognize up to 5 fingerprints.
In addition, Huawei has added some features to this sensor. For example, you can access notification center by swiping down the fingerprint sensor, remove notifications by double tapping it, swipe images by swiping left or right when they’re shown in full screen mode and take a photo or record a video, answer a call or dismiss an alarm by holding your finger on the sensor.
Moreover, with File Manager app, you can create a folder called Safe in memory card or internal memory and access it only using the sensor. The next feature is called App Lock and locks applications (it can be done through Phone Manager) so that they can be accessed only with use of the fingerprint sensor.
Huawei Honor 8’s speaker is placed on the bottom frame and to the right from USB Type-C port. The sound quality is pretty good and even increasing sound volume does not affect its quality. Maximum volume of the speaker is also acceptable, although it can’t be compared to the phones with stereo speakers.
Fortunately, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack in Honor 8 and it`s placed in the bottom frame and to the left from USB Type-C port. However, the bad news is that there’re no headphones in Honor 8 box. Maximum sound volume isn’t very high while you’re using headphones, but sound quality is very good and gives enjoyable musical experience to users.
Huawei has released Honor 8 with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and EMUI 4.1 (Emotion UI) by default. This UI is completely different from pure Android, instead, different parts of it resemble iOS user interface. For example, Huawei removed App Drawer in Emotion UI, so all applications are placed on the main page.
In addition, when you swipe down the main page, a box appears which provides features similar to iOS Spotlight and lets you search different parts of the phone such as settings, contacts and apps. Of course, Huawei took advantage of flexibility of Android OS and added several personalization features to its UI.
You can arrange apps by creating folders on the main page. Also, Emotion UI lets you change theme using Themes app. Huawei `s UI of includes a feature called Magazine Unlock which changes wallpaper of lock screen every time you press the power button and turn the screen on. Like in iOS, by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, a menu will appear and give you access to shortcuts of camera, flashlight, calculator and call recorder. You can also manage wallpaper images of lock screen with this menu.
In addition to these features, there are several functional applications in Honor 8 which are installed by default. We’re talking about Phone Manager and Health.
Health is the name of Huawei`s health-related application which lets you manage your weight by tracking time and distance that you’ve walked or cycled. Phone Manager manages hardware and software of the phone. Some abilities of this app include system optimization, data traffic management, creating a blacklist to prevent calls and messages from a specific person, battery management, notification management, locking different applications, managing running apps while the phone is locked and managing Dropzone for choosing 7 apps to be shown in floating notifications.
Huawei Honor 8 is equipped to two 12 megapixel sensors with f/2.2 diaphragm and hybrid auto-focus. Of course, Huawei does not call it a dual camera because combination of two lenses provides a high quality picture. In fact, one of these sensors take only black and white pictures and the other one takes color pictures.
The monochrome sensor (black and white) does not have Bayer filter (which is commonly used in color cameras) what lets the sensor absorb 3 times more light and results in better pictures in dark environment. Since unlike P9, Leica wasn’t involved in developing Honor 8 camera, unfortunately, modes such as Smooth and Vivid aren’t available in this phone. Also, there’s no way to take black and white pictures directly with Monochrome sensor; however, Huawei has provided a filter to take this type of pictures in Honor 8.
With Huawei Honor 8 camera, you can choose which subject should be in focus after taking the picture. In addition, it lets you take photos with wider angle or close up as well as apply bokeh effect to create blurred background. Huawei provides diverse features in camera app in Honor 8. You’ll have access to camera modes by swiping up in horizontal mode. You can adjust the camera manually as well, both in photography and video recording modes. It’s possible to manually adjust Shutter Speed, Exposure, ISO and Focus mode, etc. in Pro Photo mode. Other modes such as HDR photos, Panorama, Time-Lapse and Light Painting are available in Honor 8 camera, too.
There’re options such as Audio Control (the photo will be taken when you say “cheese”), Smile Detection, tracking moving objects to focus on them, Saturation Adjust, Contrast and Brightness in camera settings.
Moreover, Huawei provides several different filters which let you preview the effect before taking the photo.
Most of the times, Honor 8`s performance in taking pictures is appropriate. During the day and in optimal lighting, quality of taken pictures is very good; they’re sharp and its dynamic range is perfect. Pictures quality is acceptable in low-light environments, too.
In general, performance of Honor 8`s camera is appropriate; of course, its quality isn’t comparable with such flagships as Galaxy S7 or iPhone 7. Its only drawback lies in its video recording section. It can record only 1080p videos at 60fps, so video quality isn’t that high and details are not visible at all. Of course, Huawei Honor 8 is able to record slow-motion 720p videos at 120fps.
Gallery of sample images taken by Honor 8 Camera
Performance & Efficiency
From the beginning Huawei has been using their own authentic processors in their phones what helped it make progress in this field. Honor 8 is equipped to Kirin 950 chipset which design was provided by ARM. Kirin 950 has four powerful cores based on Cortex A72 architecture with 2.3GHz frequency and 4 low power consumption Cortex A53 cores with 1.8GHz frequency. These cores stand side by side based on ARM big.LITTLE technology.
This technology lets cores based on A53 be activated while you’re doing general tasks like navigating in UI or running light applications which minimizes energy consumption while A72 cores will be activated only when heavy processing needs to be done.
Huawei has equipped Honor 8 to Mali-T880 MP4 GPU which is integrated with Octa-Core processor and produced in the form of a chip. This GPU has 4 cores with 900 MHz frequency and supports OpenGL 3.1 as well as OpenCL 1.2. Honor 8 is available with 32GB and 64GB internal memory and 4GB RAM in both models.
To give you a better feel of power and efficiency of this processor, we provide the result of different benchmark tests on Honor 8 here:
According to the benchmarks results, Huawei Honor 8`s CPU is stronger than in phones with Snapdragon 810 processor, but it’s weaker than Snapdragon 820; its GPU isn’t very powerful either. However, there won’t be any lags while using Honor 8 and all applications and even heavy games will run smoothly.
Huawei Honor 8 is equipped to 3000mAh battery which theoretically should be appropriate for a 5.2-inch Full-HD display. We did the same tests as usual in order to check the battery performance.
As usual, we set brightness of the display to 50% and turned off wireless network; then we played an HD video until the battery discharged from 100% to zero. Huawei Honor 8`s battery had worked for almost 9 hours before it discharged completely which is considered as a normal time. Also, Huawei Honor 8 can guarantee 10 hours and 40 minutes of surfing the web.
Another factor to measure battery life is the number of hours the display was on (Screen On Time). In our tests with Honor 8, although both 4G and Wi-Fi Hotspot connections were activated during the most of tests` time, SOT (or the time the display was on) was about 4 hours until the battery charge ran from 100 to 0 which is a significant number taking into account our usage of the phone.
Although these numbers seem average, in fact, the performance of Honor 8’s battery is very satisfying, so if you don’t do heavy tasks, then its charge will be enough for a full day the least. On the other hand, Honor 8 supports Fast Charge technology which lets it charge 40% when it’s connected to the charger in only 30 minutes.
Huawei has released Honor 8 as Honor 7`s successor. This smartphone has improved a lot compared to its past generation. Powerful processor, bigger RAM, better quality camera and attractive design are only some of its improvements. Although Huawei have equipped this phone to hardware with quality of a flagship, its price isn`t different from a mid-range smartphone.
Appropriate battery life, acceptable quality of photography with ability of manual setting and fast performance turns this smartphone into a suitable choice for people who want to have an enjoyable experience in exchange for affordable cost.
Hope you enjoyed reading my review of Honor 8 and please share and leave comments if you like it.