Honor 8 Pro Or Honor V9 Review
As rumored, the Honor V9, as named in China, has been brought to the European stores as the Honor 8 Pro, making it one of the best phablets you’ll be able to order this season. The 6 GB RAM model is available to order in black, blue and gold in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, for 549 EUR or £474. The gifts include your choice of a 128 GB microSD card or a 10,000 mAh Huawei power bank, along with some common niceties like a selfie stick tripod.
That’s pretty reasonable pricing, especially considering the freebies and the cardboard VR inside the box, as for fans of higher-end handsets, the Honor 8 Pro or Honor V9 is stuffed to the gills with contemporary tech. Perhaps its biggest advantage is the huge 4000 mAh battery capacity that fits in a 7 mm thin body, and charges fully in less than two hours, at least on paper. Have a look at the specs and read our review:
Honor 8 Pro Or Honor V9 specs
Operating System Android 7.0
CPU Huawei Kirin 960
4X Cortex-A73 + 4X Cortex-A53, Mali-G71 GPU
RAM 6GB Display 5.7-inch 2560×1440 (Quad HD) IPS LCD Speaker Single bottom-firing Storage 64GB + microSD (uses SIM slot 2) Dual-SIM Yes Rear camera 12MP + 12MP, 1.25-micron pixels, f/2.2
Front camera 8MP f/2.0 Battery 4,000mAh non-removable Charging USB Type-C, 9V/2A quick charging Dimensions 157 x 77.5 x 6.97 mm Weight 184 grams
Honor 8 Pro Design
The 8 Pro takes a lot of its design cues from last year’s Honor 8 – which shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the name. That means rounded corners, a gorgeous glass finish up front that catches the light, and slim dimensions in what is otherwise a pretty hefty phone, thanks to that 5.7 inch display.
Around the back, though, the matching glass is gone. Instead, you get a brushed metal finish, again in an eye-catching blue hue, but it’s just not quite as appealing as the original phone’s shimmering effect. Metal makes it less prone to shattering, of course.It feels every bit the premium phone.
At 6.93mm, it’s actually thinner than an iPhone 7 Plus. 5.7in in a 16:9 aspect ratio feels huge once you’ve held the 18:9 Galaxy S8 or LG G6, but then again, those phones cost almost twice the price.
Thankfully, Honor has included interface tricks to shrink the image into a size more manageable for your thumb reach, and has placed the finger scanner on the back right under your index finger when holding the phone with one hand. Moreover, that finger scanner serves as a touch pad that can slide down or roll back up the notification shade, so you don’t have to use two hands to do this simple action.It’s lightning-fast, too, unlocking the phone as soon as your digit brushes the sensor.
Looking around the sides, the volume rocker and power/lock on the right are somewhat thin, but still easy to feel and press without looking, with good tactile feedback. The phone comes with a USB-C port for charging and data at the bottom, and, something we rarely see these days – an IR blaster at the top for controlling your home electronics like a TV or even an AC unit.
Honor 8 Pro Display
Honor decided to equip the 8 Pro with a Quad HD LCD display with 2560×1440 pixels resolution and 5.7 inch display, catapulting it straight into flagship category. Thankfully, it was also wise to place a big battery pack in the phone, as Quad HD handsets consistently score much worse in our battery life benchmark than their 1080p counterparts with the same battery capacity. Granted, Honor gives you the option to lower the display resolution to 1080p or even HD, but the backlight still has 3 million pixels to push through, so the difference in endurance is negligible.
In addition to the fine 500+ ppi pixel density, the screen is your typical IPS LCD affair, with good viewing angles, high peak brightness, and low reflectance that aids sunlight visibility.
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As usual you have a nifty Eye Comfort mode, which makes for more comfortable night time viewing. This filters blue light to make images easier on the eye, and reduce fatigue. Thankfully you can schedule this to automatically come on in the evenings too.
Honor 8 Pro Performance and Memory
The Honor 8 Pro sports the same high-performance Kirin 960 chipset found in Huawei’s premium devices such as the P10 and Mate 9. As a result, the Honor 8 Pro offers a batter smooth experience no matter what you’re doing. The latest games play with a perfect frame rate and you’re unlikely to see any kind of stutter or lag for quite some time. Kirin 960 processor is accompanied by blazing Mali-G71 graphics. Manufactured by Honor’s parent company Huawei, is plenty powerful with the latest Cortex-A73 top-shelf cores, clocked at 2.4 GHz.
Furthermore, on offer are no less than 6 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and 64 GB of expandable storage, so Honor is bringing its A-game here. We didn’t encounter any unorthodox hiccups or prolonged app loading times, and the phone can line up tens of apps in memory without slowing down in a noticeable manner.
Honor 8 Pro Battery Life
Even better is the massive 4000 mAh battery packed inside. Like the Mate 9 before it, the Honor 8 Pro gives roughly two full days of use between charges, even with quite heavy use. That includes plenty of messaging and web browsing, plus audio and video streaming, camera use and the occasional phone call.Honor 8 Pro supports 9V/2A fast charging from the bundled charging brick, which is still reasonably quick.
Honor 8 Pro Camera
Huawei has found its calling in dual camera smartphones and that DNA has naturally been inherited by is sub-brand as well. Unfortunately, it couldn’t inherit everything (otherwise, it would be a clone, wouldn’t it?). Somethings, like a privileged contract with famed camera maker Leica, are reserved for the bigger brand.
Here, the Honor 8 Pro had to settle for a bit less. Instead of the P10 Plus’ massive dual 20 megapixel f1/.8 sensors, the Honor 8 Pro only gets a 12 megapixel f/2.2 combo, almost similar to last year’s Huawei P9 almost. There is no trace of Leica here, however, which would give some more professional mobile photographers pause for thought.
In practice, however, the Honor 8 Pro still packs quite a punch in this aspect, better than its rivals on this tier. Photos, especially in bright light, are bright and colors are quite vivid. With the right manual settings, you can get near-professional output without having broken your bank account. Of course, there are tons of modes and features that ad a bit of flavor to your photos and videos, like the now common Beauty mode. The “wide aperture mode” is probably going to give the most interesting effect, blurring the background for a bokeh effect.Meanwhile, around the front, the 8-megapixel front camera of the Honor 8 gets a low-light boost with a brighter f/2.0 lens
As for video quality, we don’t have any complaint. The Honor 8 Pro captures excellent footage that’s boosted by balanced contrast and accurate colors. And unlike the original Honor 8, you can now shoot up to 4K resolution video.We can’t upload video sample due to some restrictions.
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Huawei’s digital image stabilisation does a reasonably good job of eliminating judder, on Full HD resolution settings. Ultra HD sadly can’t make use of the EIS, so you’ll have to keep quite still if you want good-looking results. And we’d recommend keeping quite still anyway, as you’ll get a slightly distracting vibrating effect with every step you take when EIS is active.
EMUI 5.1 introduces Highlights, a new feature co-developed with GoPro that intelligently organizes photos by category, and can automatically generate video stories that are easily customizable, straight from the gallery. The phone’s audio prowess is good, both in terms of headphones output, and with the provided loudspeaker. Watching videos on the big screen is a joy and the video player runs every codec you can throw at it, plus you get some light video editing tools, if you are so inclined.
Honor 8 Pro Software
With Android 7 Nougat underneath parent company Huawei’s EMUI interface, the Honor 8 Pro is as up-to-date as you can get right now. That means split-screen apps, Doze mode battery savings and in-line notifications, along with Honor’s own software tweaks.
EMUI can take a bit of getting used to, but it’s surprisingly flexible if you like to tweak and customise your phone and thats what android user demands. It fills your homescreens with installed apps out of the box, but you can enable the familiar Android app drawer if you like through the Settings screen.
There are shortcuts everywhere, with a swipe-up lockscreen drawer appearing at the bottom of the screen for the torch, timer, calculator and voice recorder apps, and a swipe-down notification tray with up to four rows of settings and feature toggle buttons.
The number of pre-installed apps is pretty high, too. Luckily you can uninstall a lot of them, and hide the rest without having to install a third party launcher.
Even if you’re a fan of stock Android, it won’t take long to get used to the EMUI way of working – and if you’re stubborn, you can get pretty close to vanilla without loading up on third party apps.
There’s a VR app installed, too – handy, as the box the phone arrives in turns into a rudimentary VR headset. It’s about on par with Google Cardboard, but is a nice little extra.
The Honor 8 Pro takes off where the Honor 8 left, adding a larger display, a faster chipset, more memory, and a bigger battery, all in a very slim and elegant metal body. That being said, it doesn’t differ all that much as a concept – it still offers a dual camera with depth of field tricks, very good battery life, and the same pretty, functional interface, all at a price that undercuts the direct competitors just enough for potential users to pay attention.
The Honor 8 Pro is an impressive phablet, with the kind of specs that would have cost £600-700 just a year or two ago. The fact Honor can deliver them for less than £500 is a superb effort.
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