Huawei Honor 8 review
Huawei further refines its flagship mobile
The Huawei Honor 8 refines the experience that was delivered by the Huawei P9 and there are plenty of reasons to choose this phone, including the 9 things the Honor 8 can do that the iPhone 7 cannot, highlighted later in this review.
Design - 15-layer craftsmanship
The Huawei Honor 8 has an exclusive design that marries high-end craftsmanship with premium materials. These includes heavy 2.5D glass, which covers the front and back surfaces, and are linked together with an aluminium alloy.
The Honor 8 has ultra-narrow bezels and diamond cut edges, creating a stronger body with a smooth and seamless feel. Most importantly, it is comfortable to hold at 153g and has a body that is 7.45mm thick.
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However, it is the 15-layer craftsmanship that is this phone’s crowning achievement. The result is a light-reflecting glass finish that creates an aurora-like effect. It is also worth noting that the camera lenses sits flush, so there is no annoying camera bump.
The Huawei Honor 8 is available in Sapphire Blue, Pearl White and Midnight Black.
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Display - Eye-Care Mode
A 5.2” Full HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels) adorns the Huawei Honor 8 and this uses a 96% high colour gamut, which provides a better viewing experience, through colour enhancements and dynamic pixel-level contrast adjustments.
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The new Eye-Care Mode stands out and will be appreciated by anyone who suffers strained eyes, from looking at their phone too long. Eye-Care Mode works its magic by filtering out parts of the blue light spectrum, which incidentally will also help cure insomnia caused by using tech in the evening.
Phone Set Up
Security - 3D Fingerprint Security with Smart Key
Huawei’s ingenuity becomes apparent during the set up, as it is discovered that the third generation fingerprint technology, does far more than unlock the phone. The customisable Smart Key feature, lets the fingerprint sensor be used for accessing apps, authorising payments, taking photos, turning off alarms and answering calls.
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Of course, the fingerprint sensor unlocks the phone and it does this very quickly, in 0.4 seconds. With auto-learning, the sensor’s recognition of your fingerprint becomes faster and more accurate over time. Security is improved further with 3D sensing, that not only looks at the fingerprint but also the depth of the finger’s ridges.
Content from an old Android phone or Apple iPhone can be transferred over onto the 32GB internal memory. This can be bolstered if needed, with a microSD card of any value up to 128GB.
9 Things the Honor 8 can do that the iPhone 7 cannot
The Apple iPhone 7 is a great smartphone but Huawei is keen, and rightly so, to highlight some of the things that the Honor 8 can do, that the iPhone 7 cannot:
- Use Pro Mode for shooting videos
- Play music through a 3.5mm audio jack
- Expand its memory
- Fast focus using laser autofocus technology
- Ensure smoother multitasking with 4GB RAM
- Enrich media with 423 pixels per inch vs 326ppi
- Click images and display the notification panel through the fingerprint sensor
- Browse the photo gallery using fingerprint sensor
- Combine two images into a single image for better low-light results
User interface - EMUI 4.1
The EMUI 4.1 (Emotions User Interface) gives a unique look to the Android Marshmallow operating system, while adding a number of features and apps. These features includes Knuckle sense, that can be used to take a full or partial screen shot, record the screen or capture scrolling screenshots.
The Hi6402 audio chip, with 24bit high-fidelity file support, delivers loud and clear music playback through the integrated sound chamber. This is located on the bottom edge of the phone to ensure that the output isn’t muffled.
DTS sound processing technology works with the dual high-gain microphones and voice amplification means that sound quality isn’t sacrifices when using the speakerphone.
Another trick that the Huawei Honor 8 offers is Smart Control 4.0, which can control other home tech and appliances. The infrared module supports more than 200,000 products from nearly 6,000 brands, including everything from air conditioners to DVD players and projectors.
Performance - The technical bit
The Huawei Honor 8 has a Kirin 950 2.3GHz octa-core processor built on 16nm architecture. The chip includes the ARM Cortex-A72 processor, which is a big deal as it offers state-of-the-art high performance.
Compared to the Cortex-A15, the Cortex-A72 gives 3.5x the performance while using 75% less energy. The i5 co-processor, which controls the sensors and features, works with the Kirin 950 SoC chip to increase response times, while the 4GB RAM is perfect for gaming and multitasking.
Other innovations includes a rapid smart file processing system, for a smooth experience and a double antenna that switches to pick up the best network signal. The Honor 8 also uses smart dual-band Wi-Fi switching, which defaults to the faster 5GHz band, unless the 2.4GHz band is stronger.
Camera & Video
Photography - Bionic dual lenses
The Huawei Honor 8 has bionic 12MP dual lenses, sitting side-by-side. The rich colour (RGB) lens and the monochrome lens give images increased sharpness, more light, crispness and detail.
This combination of lenses ensures that the photographer can get high quality results under difficult conditions, such as macro, low-light, black light and other complex conditions.
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The dual lenses set up also enables wide aperture mode (f/0.95 to f/16), which lets you blur backgrounds with professional bokeh effects. It is even possible to change the focus after the shot has been captured.
The hybrid autofocus uses a laser for short range focus and this gives precise depth focus at long range. The built-in dual ISP (Image Signal Processor) improves the focus speed and processing times.
Photography - Camera app
The camera app offers up an extensive number of features. These includes Delayed shooting, Panoramic modes, Food mode, Light painting, Slow-motion, Audio note, Time-lapse, HDR, Document Scan, Watermark, Sound Snap, Face Detection, Capture smiles and Touch to capture.
For amateur photographers, there is a Professional Mode that gives complete control over camera settings. Video recording takes place at 1080p quality at 30 frames per second.
The 8MP portrait camera is equally rich in features. The Perfect Selfie mode allows the subject to customise the beauty settings and the camera remembers the subject’s preferred look, for future selfies.
Power - Big battery / fast charging
The high capacity 3,000mAh battery works with Smart Power 4.0 to maximise standby times. The typical user should be able to get 1.77 days of usage, while heavy users should get about 1.22 days of use.
Breaking the battery performance down further, the Huawei Honor 8 can deliver up to 10 hours of non stop video playback, 360 hours standby, 28 hours of talk time or up to 24 hours of online music streaming.
The Honor 8 uses a 9V/2A charger that connects through the symmetrical USB Type-C port. With fast charging, the phone can reach 47% of charge in just 30 minutes or full charge in 100 minutes.
When time is short, the Honor 8 can get 2 hours of calling time or 6 hours of offline music listening with just 10 minutes charge.
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Written by: Michael Brown