The Honor View 10 (£449.99) which is available to pre-order and starting to ship today (5th January 2018), the Honor View 10 uses a Kirin 970 octa-core processor that also includes an NPU, Neural Processing Unit.

This NPU handles the AI (Artificial Intelligence). And this AI is what makes the View 10 the most advanced handset of 2018 (for now), this is just the beginning of what smartphones will do in the future.

The overall performance of the Honor View 10 is impressive, with more OTA updates later in this review to add more options for this phone.  This handset comes with dual cameras on the rear and it does an excellent job, check the camera section for more on that. Fast Charging is supported and battery life is decent enough.

Honor View 10 Specs and more

What’s Inside the box (Unboxing the Honor View 10) : Handset, user guide, data cable (USB to USB Type C), SIM ejector PIN and fast charger 9V/2A
Body :
Metal body, excellent build and finishing, curvy design, camera module on the back is slightly out. Handset is comfortable to hold and use
SIM Type : Nano + Nano / Micro SD
Screen  :  5.99 inches, 2160 x 1080 pixels resolution (Full HD+), viewing angles, touch response and colour reproduction are very good
Weight and thickness : 172 grams, 7mm thick
Connectivity :  4G, VoLTE, WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth
Sensors : Accelerometer, Proximity, Gyro, Light, step, hall and Magnetic sensor
Security and Extra : Finger Print sensor, face unlock
LED Notification : Yes
OTG : Yes supported
RAM : 6GB
ROM : 128GB (about 108GB free on first boot)
OS : EMUI 8.0 based on Android Oreo 8.0.0

Design

The Honor View 10 is a beautifully designed phone. Honor has always had a penchant for designing phones that look understated, sleek and classy. Be it the stellar Honor 8 and 8 Pro, Honor smartphones have always stood out in terms of design.

The View 10 is also cut out from the same mould with it’s looks quite sophisticated and charming. It is a very well made smartphone that does not resort to tacky and gaudy finishes in a bid to stand out from the crowd.

The matte metal back with its cleverly integrated antenna lines (along with the top and bottom edges) looks quite elegant. The curved edges and rounded corners help mask the bulk of the smartphone to an extent but one-handed usability is still a pipe dream. Inspite of having a hefty 3,750mAh battery on board, the View 10 is surprisingly thin (6.76mm) and light.

The build quality is also top-notch  – the buttons feels nice and meaty and the View 10 feels like it can take a drop or two in its stride.

The front fascia of the View 10 is fairly unique. In order to accommodate the edge-to-edge display, most bezel-less smartphones have had to shift the fingerprint sensor to the back or get rid of it entirely.

The Honor View 10’s fingerprint sensor, however, is located underneath the display. Not only is the fingerprint sensor, which is cleverly embedded underneath the glass surface, quite fast and accurate but its position makes it much easier to use than its rear-mounted equivalents.

The View 10’s 5.99-inch LCD panel has an aspect ratio of 18:9 and a resolution of 2160×1080 (FullHD+). Simply put, the Honor V10’s display is excellent and one of the highlights of the smartphone. With the Viewing angles are excellent (one of the best in the price range), colours are bright and punchy, the colour temperature is spot on and brightness levels are adequate.

A QuadHD display would have been icing on the cake but the lack of pixels is not really felt in daily use.

Honor View 10 and the aspect that sets it apart from the host of upper mid-range smartphones out there is the future forward processor nestled deep within its chassis.

The Kirin 970 is the first processor that is designed from the ground up for AI. The Neural Processing Unit (NPU)  inside the 970 enables AI features to occur locally, instead of over the cloud.

The Kirin 970 chipset was first introduced in Huawei’s Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro flagships and has now trickled down the price range. The Kirin 970 chipset is not only blazingly fast but comes with a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that pumps artificial intelligence infused power through the Honor View 10’s veins.

Almost every aspect of the Honor View 10  – from the camera to the software has been given a dose of artificial intelligence love. EMUI 8.0, which runs on Android 8.0 Oreo uses machines learning to understand and anticipate user behaviour. It allocates resources to those apps you use the most to make sure the View 10 runs ‘smoothly even after months of use’.

All this is not just marketing fluff. EMUI 8 is a huge step up from previous iterations  – it is fast, fluid and butter smooth. Animations are snappy and navigation is quick and frustration-free. Honor has done quite a commendable job of streamlining and speeding up EMUI. Saying that there is still quite a long way to go.

The Honor View 10 is blazingly fast – I am talking about flagship-level performance here.

With the View 10 handles everything from simple day use to intensive workloads with aplomb. During the two weeks I used the smartphone as my daily driver over the Christmas break, I experienced next to no lags and hiccups. Thanks to the 6GB of RAM on board, RAM management on the View 10 is efficient and even when a lot of apps are running in the background, a minimized app is not killed.

Gaming on the phone is also quite a pleasurable experience. Not only is the 18:9 display perfect for long gaming sessions, but performance is also butter smooth. Games do not utilize the entire grunt of the Kirin 970 chipset by default. It is only when you turn on the gaming mode inside Honor’s Game Suite that graphics intensive games like Asphalt 8 unlock the Kirin 970’s potential. Once they do though, they run at highest settings and with all animations and transitions running smooth and flawlessly.

AI features

The Honor View 10 has a few nifty tricks up its sleeve  – some of which are helped along by artificial intelligence. You can answer and place calls with your voice and find your phone by simply saying “where are you”?

Honor has also followed in the footsteps of the iPhone X and OnePlus 5T and equipped the View 10 with facial recognition skills. Oddly enough, the facial recognition cannot be used to unlock the smartphone as of now (the feature is supposedly coming soon via a software update). What you can do currently is prevent nosy friends and family members from reading lock screen notifications by enabling facial recognition lock.

As mentioned above, EMUI 8.0 also uses machine learning to understand and anticipate user behaviour and speed up the software. While it is hard to empirically gauge how much benefit this brings to the table, the speed and fluidity of EMUI 8.0 are quite noticeable.

Honor has also tied up with Microsoft for an AI accelerated translator. Honor claims the application uses the Kirin 970’s AI capabilities to offer near-instant translations in 50 languages., the app’s text translation feature worked like a charm.

An area where artificial intelligence really makes a difference is the camera. Thanks to the NPU, the Honor View 10 intelligently detects the object or scene you are clicking and optimizes image settings accordingly. Honor says the View 10 can detect 13 different types of scenes and objects – including dogs, cats, plants and printed text. Far from being a gimmick, this really makes a difference to image quality. The front camera also uses AI for background blurring as well.

For unlocking, the phone will prompt you to use the fingerprint scanner. This Facial ID is also supposedly driven by AI and the company also plans to add something similar to Animoji on the iPhoneX both will be added via an Over the Air update in the future to add these options for the Honor View 10.

Battery Life

Honor has done a great job squeezing as much juice as possible from the Honor View 10’s 3,750mAh battery pack. With moderate to intensive use involving Google Maps, photography, YouTube binge sessions and heavy browsing and also using emails and Twitter and Facebook, I struggled to drain more than 50 to 60 percent of the battery in a single day.  But with moderate use, the phone will easily last 1.5 days on a single charge.

For one day I decided to keep using the smartphone till it eventually died. The smartphone finally gave up the ghost after 19 hours of usage and a fairly impressive 6 and a half hours of screen time.

Camera with extra AI

The Honor View 10 comes with a dual camera setup at the back – a 16MP primary RGB (colour) sensor paired with a 20MP monochrome (black and white) sensor. Both sensors have an aperture of f/1.8 and are accompanied by an LED flash. On the front, the View 10 comes with a single 13MP camera capable of shooting bokeh shots via software algorithms.F

The Honor View 10’s rear camera setup is set to be the segment benchmark for the foreseeable future.  Images are sharp, detailed, well exposed and even capable of giving more expensive smartphones a run for their money.

As mentioned above, what truly makes the Honor View 10’s rear camera special is its ability to detect what you are clicking (or how you are framing the image) and optimise image settings accordingly.  During the two weeks I used the View 10 as my daily driver, it recognized dogs and cats, plants, human faces, macros and even printed text with ease.

The results are surprisingly good as the detection process really improves the colour, light and shadows and hue of the photo. Basically, it gives you a photo you wouldn’t want (and need) to edit. In low light as well, the View 10’s rear camera impresses. The monochrome+RGB combination works wonders to capture a lot of detail in low light. Noise, while prevalent, is contained and low-light shots, in general, are crisp and detailed.

monochrome
monochrome with digital zoom

The monochrome sensor can also be used to take some striking black and white shots. When the light is adequate, monochrome shots have excellent detail and dynamic range through the quality does dip when the sun goes down.

Just like any dual camera smartphone out there, the Honor View 10 can be used to take bokeh shots. The bokeh mode, while much improved from the Honor 8 Pro is the least impressive aspect of the rear camera.

At medium settings, it keeps clear outlines and brings out a good background blur effect. But at full settings, there is partial blurring at some places and a halo around the objects is visible, I hope this can be fixed with updates very soon.

Picture of a few snowflakes coming down over Christmas 2017
with HDR on
Just using candle for light source for this picture

HDR

The front camera of the Honor View 10 is nowhere near as impressive as the rear setup. While bokeh shots are decent, images can be a little soft and be lacking in detail at times. In low light, the 13MP sensor struggles quite a bit and produces images with a lot of noise and graininess.

Verdict

I really like what Honor has done with the View 10

  • GOOD STUFF
  • Stellar AI rear camera
  • Great performance, battery life
  • Sleek and svelte
  • Vibrant 18:9 Display
  • BAD STUFF
  • Software still cluttered (updates can fix this)
  • Front camera needs to be a little better

 

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A True Tech Geek at Heart, I Started my life of being a Tech Geek at the age of 5 with the BBC Micro. Went on through most of Nintendo stuff and now a Xbox and PlayStation fan. I also leaked the information about the leaked Hotmail passwords story from October 2009 that went World Wide. I Started writing tech articles at the beginning of 2011, most of my articles are about Android phones and Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and other gaming news. When Chris has free time its with the family.