Do you have to spend big to get quality with smart phones?, in the last few years Honor has introduced many new smart phones into the market. But last year model the Honor 8, gave people style with the new phone, so what does this years model the Honor 8 Pro for £474 (from vmall.eu) do?.
It is a 5.7-inch device with a QHD display, but it retains those same great cameras on the backside from the Honor 8, two 12-megapixel sensors more on them later on.
The Honor 8 Pro has a 5.7-inch 2560×1440 resolution LTPS IPS display. That gives us around 515 pixels per inch. Honor kept the bezels somewhat small, with the screen taking up about 73.6% of the front side of the device. Powering the Honor 8 Pro is Huawei’s own Kirin 960 processor.
This is an octa-core CPU (four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.4GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz), which is paired with the Mali-G71 MP8 GPU, and 6GB of RAM. Honor has included 64GB of storage internally, but there is a micro SD card slot so that you can add even more storage, up to 256GB.
Dimensions of the Honor 8 Pro are 157 x 77.5 x 7mm and it weighs in at 184 grams.
The Honor 8 Pro has the same setup as the Honor 8, which are two 12-megapixel sensors on the back. One is a monochrome and the other is a RGB sensor. They are both f/2.2 aperture and also include phase detection and laser autofocus. When it comes to the front facing camera, there is a 8-megapixel camera with a f/2.0 aperture, which can record in 1080p. The rear cameras can record in 1080p at 60 frames per second, while it can do 4K at 30 frames per second.
Yes it does have NFC, so you are able to do mobile payments. It does also have Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, and for GPS we have A-GPS, GLONASS and BDS. There is also a fingerprint sensor and a USB-C port for connectivity. Honor has added in a non-removable 4000mAh battery for good measure. Finally, the Honor 8 Pro runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, and EMUI 5.1, which is the latest version of Emotion UI.
What’s in the Box
With the box of the Honor 8 Pro, Honor did throw in something pretty cool with the smartphone.
The box actually doubles as a Cardboard VR viewer. So you can at least experience a hint of VR with the Honor 8 Pro, although it is not compatible with Daydream (likely due to the fact that it does not use an AMOLED display).
The actual performance inside Cardboard is pretty decent. It’s not overly impressive, and it won’t blow you away, but it is a nice entry into VR. Having a Quad HD display also helps make things a bit better, although when the screen is that close to your eyes, it’s still a bit rough. Included on the Honor 8 Pro is the Cardboard Viewer app, but also Jaunt VR, which is part of Honor’s partnership with Jaunt.
Inside the box, you do get all of the usual stuff. This includes the wall adapter (which is an EU adapter as it’s a review unit, if you buy it in the UK you will get a UK plug), a USB-C to USB-A cable as well as a SIM ejection tool and some paperwork.
The new EMUI has no more secrets, this version 5.1 repositions some menu changes and some finesse. Some key features of Honor, the Intelligent Assistance section is always well stocked with shots knuckle, quick checks a hand and gestures with the fingerprint sensor. But Android 7.0 Nougat from a higher gear to 8 Pro with its splendid handling of notifications and the ability to use the multitasking quickly and even in the double window mode.
Yes, there is the annoying bloatware, fortunately uninstalled. You can play with the full application Themes can transform the graphics. Too bad that the default themes are all similar to each other, digging for the web you can find themes that reflect the thread and Android Sign Stock.
The Honor 8 Pro has a metal unibody, it also has curved sides on the Honor 8 Pro, which makes the smartphone a bit easier to handle, which is important since this is a fairly large device at 5.7-inches.
On the back you’ll find the dual-camera module in the upper left-hand corner. Now since this is a metal unibody and not a glass back, the camera module is black and glass, so it sticks out (by looks, not physically sticking out as it is flush with the back) more than it did on the Honor 8. There are also antenna lines at the top and bottom of the device, but they don’t stick out to much. They are a slightly darker shade of blue on this unit we have here, and they look pretty nice actually. Below the camera we have the fingerprint sensor, which is not next to the camera, unlike another smartphone that was just announced.The rest of the back is pretty much empty.
There is the Honor logo and regulatory information towards the bottom, but like the antenna lines, it is a darker shade of blue so they do blend in a bit. Which is actually a nice touch. On the right side of the Honor 8 Pro, there is the volume rocker with the power button below it.
And on the left side, you’ll find the SIM and micro SD card slot. At the top, you’ll see that there is a microphone as well as an IR Blaster (one of the only companies to still include one in their smartphone). While the bottom houses basically everything else. There is the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C port and the speaker.
If you look at the front of the Honor 8 Pro, it looks exactly like the Honor 8, and it definitely should, since this is indeed the Honor 8 Pro.
The Honor 8 Pro, despite being a large smartphone, actually feels rather nice in the hand, the Honor 8 Pro doesn’t feel overly large, and that’s a good thing, especially for those looking for a nice sized device, but not something that feels all that large.
When you the Honor 8 Pro in the hand, you get the feeling that this is a premium device, which it is, and that is also a good thing.
It’s great to see the higher resolution display on the Honor 8 Pro, especially since it doesn’t appear to put a massive hit on the performance or battery life of the smartphone. With the display measuring 5.7-inches diagonally, we have about 515 pixels per inch here which is still quite high, and it makes the display look very sharp. The display gets pretty bright here, which makes it great for using in direct sunlight, and it also gets pretty dim, so that you don’t blind yourself in dark situations, like at night.
There’s also “Eye Comfort” here, so that you can strip out the blues and make the display a bit more yellow. This means that your eyes won’t strain as much when using your smartphone at night. This isn’t something that’s new with the Honor 8 Pro, but still nice to have available.
The sound on the Honor 8 Pro is ok for a one speaker phone you get now days.
While most manufacturers have opted to get rid of the IR Blaster (smart controller) in their smartphones for some reason, despite many people loving the feature, Huawei and Honor have opted to keep it in their devices, and it is available here on the Honor 8 Pro.
What this means is that you are able to use the Honor 8 Pro as a remote for your TV and other devices. It’s pretty easy to setup and it works pretty well. This is a feature that may not be a make or break feature for a lot of users, but it is one that is nice to have available for users to use.
With a 4,000mAh battery inside the Honor 8 Pro, which didn’t seem like it would be all that impressive considering the Huawei Mate 9 also has a 4000mAh battery with a slightly larger screen and a lower resolution display. But the Honor 8 Pro is pretty impressive when it comes to battery life. Honor touts that you can get about 1.5 to 2 days on a single charge with the Honor 8 Pro.
We got nearly two full days on a charge with the Honor 8 Pro, this is obviously only going to be the case for light users, as heavy users won’t see two full days. But the will see at least a full day and then some.
Huawei and Honor have gotten much better over the past year or so with their updates and was actually one of the first to push out Nougat last year to the Honor 8, so there shouldn’t be any issues when it comes to getting updates for the Honor 8 Pro in the coming months. They have been pretty quick at pushing out security updates, although still not as quick as Google with the Nexus and Pixel lineup.
EMUI or Emotion UI 5.1 is nothing new actually. The software does run incredibly fast on the Honor 8 Pro. Of course, you would expect that from a smartphone running the Kirin 960 SoC and 6GB of RAM. But it’s still nice to see. One of the bigger changes that Honor has in EMUI 5.1 is an app drawer.
For years, that was the biggest complaint about anything that Huawei or Honor put out, the fact that there was no app drawer, but now we have one. You just need to go enable it in the settings. It’s still not quite perfect, as it would be awesome to have the ability to increase the grid size in the app drawer and on the home screen, since this is a larger 5.7-inch smartphone.
One of my favourite features on the Honor 8 Pro actually is the floating dock. What this allows you to do is to have a button that floats on the screen (so you can move it wherever you want), it’s kind of like the floating heads in Facebook Messenger. But the floating dock allows you to tap on it and then open up a few things, which includes your softkeys for home, back and recents, but also a button for locking the phone and clearing the RAM. Now this is a good feature to have at your disposal because the Honor 8 Pro is a somewhat large device. And not everyone can reach the top and bottom of the device with one-hand. So if you combine this with the fingerprint sensor gestures, you’ll have a pretty great experience on the Honor 8 Pro.
Honor does also have a one-handed mode here, again this is going to be good for those with smaller hands. But if you swipe from left to right across the navigation bar, you’ll enable one-handed mode. This will make the screen smaller, on the right-hand side. This is good for those that are right handed.
Now if you are left handed, just swipe right to left and it’ll do the same thing, but put it in the lower left-hand corner, making it even easier for you to use. It’s not a feature that I have used often, but it is still a nice one to have included here.
With the Honor 8 Pro there are two 12-megapixel sensors, one is an RGB sensor and the other is a black and white sensor. Basically the same setup we’ve seen in all Huawei and Honor flagships smartphones for the past year or two.
Now the camera app functions just as it should. It’s pretty easy to navigate through as well.
If you swipe in from the left, you’ll bring up all of the available modes. This includes Photo (auto), pro photo, video, pro video, monochrome, HDR, 3D Creator, Night Shot, Panorama, Light Painting, Time-Lapse, Slow-mo, watermark, audio note, document scan and good food. Basically every single mode you can think of, and yes the pro video mode is a new one, and one that everyone has been asking for.
Now you swipe in from the right and you’ll see all of the settings for the camera. Like turning on the Assistive Grid, doing audio control and more. It’s a pretty simple and easy to use camera app, and it hasn’t changed from other EMUI 5.1 smartphones.
Of course, more important than the camera experience is the quality of the pictures coming out of the camera, and most people will be happy with the quality on this smartphone.
The pictures come out looking stunning, even with just 12-megapixels to work with. The camera has put out some pretty good looking pictures.
In low light, the camera does struggle a bit, while it does struggle in low light, it actually still brings out a fairly good looking picture. Of course, in great lighting, like being outside in direct sunlight you’ll get some incredible images.
And with Bokeh turned on, you’ll get some great images with the blurred background.
Which you can actually change the focus subject after the picture has been taken. That is one of the advantages to having dual cameras here.
The images do break down a bit when you zoom in, like with most smartphone cameras, and this is largely due to there only being 12-megapixels to work with here.
With the size of the larger device (5.7″), the Honor 8 Pro sits nicely in your hand, and the design is amazing.
Google Cardboard Support
Metal backing scratches alittle too easily
Android 7.0 instead of Android 7.1.1
No Daydream support