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Honor 8 Review (In-depth) - After The Hype

Huawei Honor

Honor 8 has been available for quite some time now, but I just got one for myself a month ago and decided to do an in-depth review, so let's get started!

Technical Specifications and Hardware

The Honor 8 relies on the in-house Huawei SoC(processor) Kirin 950, the same chip powering the Mate 8

and the newly announced Honor Magic.



The performance is top notch, coming from a person who's been using Xiaomi Mi5S Plus with Snapdragon 821, I can barely tell the difference.  Most games run like a dream and look great and general usage is without any lag or slow-downs. The build quality is nothing short of amazing, even better than the Xiaomi Mi5S and Mi5S Plus


that feel somewhat cheaper in the hand than the Honor 8, but they emphasize on performance, not looks.It's clear that Huawei "borrowed" the look from Samsung S7,

 but I actually have friends with the S7, and Edge and even they say that my Honor 8 looks and feels on par if not better!

Here are the complete specs:

Design and Aesthetics - If looks could kill

Before I give you several glorious shots of the Honor 8, I have to be completely honest about 2 things regarding said design, even though this is basically the most premium phone I've ever held in my hand(yes, feels better than iPhone 7 or any Samsung device to me).

1st All Glass Body is Super-Slippery if you place it on a Glass or Smooth Surface

Having an all glass body looks and feels cool, but it's very slippery. I don't mean slippery to hold, since the edges of the phone are made of metal and the phone's grip is quite solid. What I mean is slipper to put down on a very smooth and especially glass surface! I really recommend you buying a case for it immediately, which is a real shame, since it will hamper the looks of this beautiful device.
Take my word for it, my phone's glass is cracked in 2 places,



 not because I dropped it, but I placed it twice on a glass surface and the phone just slides itself off it, especially if the surface is not leveled to perfection!

2nd It's a big Dust and Fingerprint Magnet

You'll find yourself cleaning the device very often as the glass attracts fingerprint and dust like crazy



Since this was all the bad stuff I wanted to get out of the way, now let's have a good look at this great looking Flagship Killer!


The Device's front is great and the FHD Neo IPS Display is nothing short of breathtaking.


The device features customizable on-screen navigation keys. 







Here you'll see the back side housing the Dual-Cam setup with Laser Auto-Focus and Dual-Led Flash and the Fingerprint/Smart Key.


The Honor 8 features a USB-C, single speaker grill and 3.5mm Headphone jack all located at the bottom of the device.

The Packaging is also original and very elegant.


It slides open on the side to reveal the Phone - Slot and that slides out too, to house the headphone, quick-charger and USB-C cable inside, and the other compartment is for the documents.


Performance and Battery Life

The Kirin 950 and Honor 8 perform all task with ease, and gaming is not an issue as games run great on the Mali 880MP4 GPU, the device has no overheating issues. Here are also the benchmark results from Antutu, Geekbench, Androbench and Epic Citadel:



Geekbench and Antutu prove that the chip is still Flagship level, with only 3D score being worse than Snapdragon 820/821 and Exynos 8890, but CPU scores are amazing. Geekbench 4 proves that Huawei's Kirin chips have the best CPU performance since Multi-Score is higher than any other chip available, except for Huawei's own Kirin 960 in the Mate 9, even beating Snapdragon 821's score in the Mi5S Plus!


Mi5S PLUS SNAPDRAGON 821 Score.


Epic Citadel score is by my standards the most reliable when it comes to actual gaming performance, since it's based on a REAL GAMING ENGINE - Unreal Engine. Scores are almost as high as any other chip, so gaming is not an issue with the Honor 8.


Storage scores are good, but not great, however you'll never notice any performance drops, but won't be topping the charts here.In short, General performance and Gaming are Flagship Level!

Battery life is another thing, as it simply varies with different users, while the battery life I am having is very good, it's not excellent like on my Mi5S Plus, where I got 5+ Hours Screen-On-Time over the course of 2 days heavy usage.

With the Honor 8 I could go up to 4hrs, but  not more, however on a single day of heavy usage Screen-On-Time is around 6Hrs, so you'll definitely won't be reaching for the charger on a full day. So, Qualcomm still has the upper hand when it comes to modem and connectivity.

In short, battery life is good.

USER INTERFACE - EMOTION UI/EMUI 4.1

I have been using Honor 6, Honor 7 and now Honor 8 and still can't get around the fact why so many people dislike EMUI.

It has slick presentation,


lots of customization options and features,





is very smooth in terms of performance and has just a few minor quirks. It's one of the more mature User Interface skins out there, and I definitely prefer it over MIUI, Touch-Wiz and especially LG and Sony's sorry excuses for User Interface. In short, EMUI provides a good user experience.

THE CAMERA(S) ARE GLORIOUS!

As usual I saved the best part for last - The Camera Review. If you've had any gripes with the device and still think it's not worth your money, well here is where you are convinced otherwise, because Honor 8 provides The Best Camera Experience For The Asking Price! The Xiaomi Mi5S Plus also has dual-cams, but they are with smaller pixels and low-light performance is definitely inferior to the Honor 8 and also have much more noise present. The strongest argument as to why Honor 8's dual cams are better than Xiaomi Mi5S Plus though is the shutter speed and processing time, while the Mi5S Plus takes a good second or two to focus and then process the photo from both sensors, the Honor 8 does it almost in an instant.
So there's no Leica branding, big deal. 

The cameras are absolutely the same as the Huawei P9, which costs around 100-200$ more. With just a few intentionally left out software features, this is the same camera experience. You still have Sony IMX268 dual cams with one being an RGB and one MONOCHROME.

When both cams take a photo, it's not only one of the best looking images you've ever seen, but the Bokeh effect provided by the Wide-Aperture Mode, and the ability to change the focus afterwards will make everyone using it feel like a professional photographer!


The camera interface is packed with so many features you can't fit them on a single screen!



Pro Photo and Pro Video modes are great, but the addition of the Light Painting, Beauty Video, Good Food and Night Shot guarantee you'll never take a bad picture of anything! The star of the show however is the Wide-Aperture mode which lets you adjust the depth of field(Bokeh effect) of the photo, bringing Smartphone Cameras very close to a DSLR experience you can get from a 400+$ camera.



Here is a photo sample, enjoy :)

The Front camera is now slouch either, as it provides and excellent Beauty mode,


lots of filters and the ability to use the screen backlight as a FLASH when taking low-light selfies!
You simply just take a selfie in low light and the screen will turn WHITE with maxed brightness and illuminate your face just for a moment when taking the picture, and the results are great,



 This selfie was taken in almost pitch-black darkness!

Conclusion:

With a few shortcomings, I believe that the Honor 8 is the best phone you can get right now at any price, and absolutely must have for Smartphone Photography enthusiast who cannot afford Huawei P9. If you are thinking about buying this phone, don't think about it - 

Go and Buy It! It's worth every penny!



Look forward to the Video Review Tomorrow in our Youtube Channel
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Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder Techphlie.com, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

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