The release of the Honor 8 Pro has set the ball rolling, as far as the sub 30K price range in the smartphone market is concerned, presenting itself as a more than viable option for those looking for something apart from the usual set of ‘Flagship Killers’.
With such formidable specifications, Honor does seem to have an ace up its sleeve. Or is it so? Here, we try to assess the company’s aggressively priced flagship device, and try to decipher whether or not it will stand tall when the dust ‘settles’ (bad pun?).
Let’s find out.
The Honor 8 was one of the better-designed smartphones in 2016, and with the 8 Pro, Honor has trudged along a similar design layout for the Pro while integrating several meaningful upgrades.
The metal unibody, rounded corners, and thin borders – all give it a neat and tidy appearance, while the overall build quality is both robust as well as ergonomic. The change from a glass (which the Honor 8 had) to a metal panel on the back of the phone is a handsome and thoughtful one, considering a relatively bigger form factor.
This change works great for the grip (and the visual aesthetics, too) of the phone. Yes, it isn’t the slimmest smartphone around, but we are particularly impressed with the fact that it manages to squeeze in a 4,000mAh battery and even then sports just a 6.97mm slim waist.
Another thing that Honor has done right with the 8 Pro is the placement of the dual camera unit (that too, without a customary bump), fingerprint sensor and the antenna bands, which integrate seamlessly with the overall design of the phone.
Safe to say, Honor has awed us (in every sense of the word), design-wise.
The 8 Pro stands almost half an inch above the Honor 8 (5.7-inch to 5.2-inch) in terms of display size, and has a further bumped up the latter’s Full HD resolution to a QHD one. The phone offers a 515 Pixels per inches, which, paired with the display, is a formidable combination indeed. Being stunningly sharp, the display is also well suited for all VR purposes.
Up top, there’s a 2.5D glass to hone the swiping experience of the users, which we found to be working well, and a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 has been handed the security duty (should be more than enough, even for those who have butterfingers).
In the hardware department, the 8 Pro has been accorded the company’s latest, top-of-the-line Kirin 960 processor, to keep things running. The chipset is one the most powerful ones on the block right now and has been proven to match up to (if not more) the likes of Samsung’s Exynos and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon flagships.
That makes the phone an adept multi-tasker, capable of handling even the most arduous of jobs unafraid, and coming out on top every single time. Honor has been generous in the RAM department, too, making it ideal for gaming and high-end usage.
The 4,000mAH battery that the Honor 8 Pro comes with is more than sufficient to last two whole days (courtesy the software optimization). There’s also provision for fast charging, which helps size up the battery to one-third of capacity under 30 minutes flat. The phone charge from zero to its full capacity in less than two hours, and, if you are not the patient kind, even a 30-minute charge is enough to last you a basic usage day.
Clearly, the phone passes our performance test with a breezy trot.
Yes, the phone does boot Android Nougat out of the box, but it is topped by the company’s Emotion UI (version 5.1). We quite agree with the EMUI garnishing, for it provides the users with some very nifty additions and improvisations, simply because they help boost the overall performance to a considerable high.
The skin looks fresh and, according to the company, has been devised so as to allow the users to traverse through the 8 Pro’s internal operations in a series of just three clicks (a claim we paid special attention to, and found to be working on point). It’s also well optimized for the hardware and doesn’t injudiciously tax resources.
For the customization bit, we’d start off with the option to turn on the app drawer, a far cry from what most Chinese OEMs offer, preferring to ape the iOS instead. Then there’s the Ultra Memory algorithm that automatically determines which apps need to be closed when not in use, and also cleans up the memory cache using machine learning.
The Ultra Response (for faster touch response), Smartpower 5.0 (for power management) and the Phone Manager, are welcome additions to the system, and help a great dealing in personalizing the phone.
Also, the presence of features involving motion control, gesture control and the ones that allow the fingerprint sensor to perform certain tasks (answer calls, take pictures etc.) earn brownie points from our side, simply for making things a lot simpler.
Undoubtedly, the best area of the phone is its optics, with the 8 Pro boasting of twin 12MP sensors on the back, apart from an 8MP snapper at the front.
Starting with the dual camera unit first, the phone stands absolutely in accordance with the company’s top-notch performance in the dual-camera department.
One of the two is an RGB sensor, while the other is a monochrome one. Each of them has a f/2.2 aperture and dual-tone LED flash. The difference, however, becomes crystal clear in the image processing, thanks largely to ample RAM and faster chipset.
The overall result is brilliantly detailed images in daylight, while the combination works to a T in low-light conditions, capturing beautiful shots in the night, too.
In the 8 Pro, Honor has provided to us one of the best in class camera and has successfully done right what needs to be done right in a smartphone that is particularly going to be worthy of 2017 flagship standards.
Honor does seem to have hit one right out of the park with its latest release in the budget flagship range. Backed by some formidable specifications, the handset surely packs a punch above its weight, and can easily be the breakthrough device for the global brand.
You want great cameras? Check. You want additional features that simplify life? Check. Long lasting battery? Top-notch performance? Gorgeous looks? Check on all that, too.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article.