Huawei is now making a habit of coming out with devices that make pretty impressive impact in quick succession. Their Honor sub-brand has been testament to this with the Honor 8, Honor 6x and the Honor 8 Lite so far. Honor has now followed up with the Honor 8 Pro in India priced very attractively at Rs 29,999/-for a device with top notch specifications and features. I spent a lot of time with this impressive device and here is my review of the blockbuster of the year from Honor
Let’s talk about design. The Honor sub-brand has consistently delivered very good looking and well crafted devices and the Honor 8 Pro is by far the best one that I have seen in this lineup so far. It is an all metal body and the fingerprint scanner is on the rear. There are no physical buttons, the buttons are part of the screen. The SIM tray is on the left and the right side of the phone houses the volume rocker and the power button. The bottom has the speaker grill, the USB Type-C connector and the headphone jack are on the bottom accompanied by two very nice screws. The top has the IR blaster and the usual bevy of sensors. The antenna strips are divided on the top and bottom of the rear side. The rear side has the hero of this phone – the dual camera setup housed flush with the back and there is absolutely no bump there. But a little intriguing that “Dual Camera” is written out right next to the dual camera – a strong hint there?
Despite supporting a massive 4000 mAh battery, dual-SIM hybrid slot, and a 14.47 cm 2K display, the Honor 8 Pro’s ultra-thin 6.97mm metal body is a compact cluster of over 1,000 components, a perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics. Its exquisite silhouette is uninterrupted, with all parts, including the dual-lens camera, sitting flush with the body. Whether in navy blue or midnight black, never has a 14.47-cm screen smartphone looked so sleek and stylish.
Let’s talk about the inside story of this phone now. Running on the latest 16NM Kirin 960 octa-core processor with 6GB RAM backed by 128GB ROM (that can be further expanded via micro SD card to 256GB), it tackles the issue of fragmentation and lag that has long beset Android devices. The Honor 8 Pro is improving the gadget’s CPU single-core and multi-core performance by 10% and 18% respectively, making it faster to open applications. The GPU performance is increased by 180%. The Kirin 960 chipset features eight processor cores – four high-performance Cortex A73 cores clocked at 2.4GHz and four low-power Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.8Ghz – that improve single-core and multi-core performance by 10% and 18% respectively. The Mali-G71 includes support for the cutting-edge Vulkan graphics, computes API (application programming interface) and boosts graphic performance up to 400%. Honor 8 Pro will run the most demanding games at high frame rates with minimum lag and dropped frames, even in 3D.
I threw a ton of graphic heavy and resource intensive apps and games at it in parallel and there was hardly any sign of a stutter. In fact it felt a bit like the phone was eating it all up and asking for more with a wide smirk. Absolutely smooth as a hot knife running through butter. No heating, no frame drops, no stutter, no buffering, no lagging. In my books, there are very very few phones that can do this with so much ease. So the performance is absolutely top-class and flagship level. Multi-tasking and video loops were a breeze too.
Honor 8 Pro has a sharp and clear 2K QHD display which delivers brilliant levels of color accuracy and detail – with performance nearing the Hollywood cinema standard. The display features a high resolution of 515 ppi, 79% screen-to-body ratio, 16700K colors and 94.5% coverage of the NTSC color gamut. Professional calibration brings the best out of the display, with color enhancement technology, sharpness enhancement in the display engine and a 2D image detail enhancer. With high contrast of 1500:1, Honor 8 Pro ensures better color accuracy and enriched details in display. When watching videos on the phone, Honor 8 Pro will automatically optimize the screen display and adapt the contrast level to deliver the best cinema-like experience to users. The ambient light sensor combines very efficiently with this screen to give a great adaptive brightness experience. Put all this together and by now you can guess that the VR performance on this beauty is very efficient and the box that this phone comes in is a google cardboard assembly. Please note that while it supports VR, it is not compliant with Google daydream VR.
The Honor 8 Pro’s 12+12-megapixel dual-lens camera is true testament to Huawei’s mastery of the dual camera setup over the years and their ability to keep making it better. The two lenses work in tandem to always deliver the perfect shot: the monochrome lens captures a black-and-white image with incredible depth of detail while the RGB lens ensure faithful and vivid color reproduction – and sophisticated software brings the best of two worlds together. The camera’s wide aperture range (f/0.95–f/16) delivers the DSLR-like depth of field effects for both photo and video shooting. The Honor 8 Pro brings perfect optimization of hardware and software to deliver that perfect shot. The device also supports 4K video recording, encoded in the efficient H.265 codec, which produces files twice as small as its predecessor. Thanks to the EMUI 5.1, Highlights-a new feature co-developed with Go Pro, intelligently organizes photos by category and automatically generates video stories that are easily customizable – making sharing memories a breeze. And today’s social media generation will very definitely love this device.
Coming to the rather large elephant in the room here. The Honor 8 Pro definitely beats the OnePlus 5 on the Dual Camera. The sheer number of years that Huawei has been doing this has given them absolutely mastery over the fine blend of software, hardware and experience that gives simply great bokeh and wide aperture shots at all times. This one is a winner there.
The dual camera worked very well as did the front camera, here are a few pictures I took with it.
The Honor 8 Pro comes with an impressive 4000 mAH battery that serves the who package very well. The really impressive thing about the battery is that it has been fit into a frame so thin that one hardly notices the weight of the battery. One a single charge, I was able to run roughly a day and a half of above average usage with 4G, Wifi, Video streaming and decent level of social media thrown in. That department is a winner.
The Honor 8 Pro is a powerhouse of a phone that looks like a butterfly and punches like a dragon. Performance is superlative, crafting is premium, Dual Camera is one of the best and pricing is superb. At Rs 29,999/- if you are not buying this phone, we can’t be friends anymore. Jokes apart, this is a strong contender for the phone of the year 2017.