Your smartphone still isn’t close to a professional grade DSLR. But the Honor 8 has a very good camera, offering much better results than rival smartphones in a compact form factor. The Honor 8 is not a cheap phone at Rs. 29,999, and it won’t replace a DSLR – but it’s capable of producing some great shots thanks to a dual-camera setup.
Subtle design, glass back
While major smartphone manufacturers take pride in metal-bodied designs, the Honor 8 instead adorns a glass back and front and metal around its sides. Samsung did the same with the Galaxy S7 Edge and the recently released iPhone 7 Plus in “jet black’’ further authenticates the use of glass back in the premium smartphones. So, it would not be wrong to say that the Honor 8’s build quality is close to a Samsung flagship but at half the price.
The glass back construction actually looks solid and attractive, but is also more comfortable to hold. We got the Honor 8 in blue color and even a non-Huawei fan will fall in love. The glass back catches light and shows different patterns depending upon the angle. On the downside, if the device fell on the ground it will probably result in a shattered panel. Our piece of the advice is to get a case soon if you buy the Honor 8.
The handset’s metal rim is more rounded, with chamfers on both sides. On the rim you’ll find volume and power buttons on the side, and a USB Type-C port on the bottom. Despite the Honor 8’s incredibly slim profile (7.5mm, 153 grams), the phone comes with the microSD support and a single SIM slot. One feature we really appreciate on the Honor 8 is the IR blaster, which can be used to control the T.V and other media devices. The trademark of the Honor 8 is a dual-camera setup. And while there’s still a bump for the 12-megapixel camera on the Galaxy S7 Edge; the dualcameras on the Honor 8 does not protrude like the iPhone 7 Plus. Overall, the Honor 8 feels nice in the hand. And looks terrific.
Generous display size, good performer
The 5.2-inch (1920×1080) screen on the Honor 8 is bright. While watching movies, you will still get true blacks and vivid colors. The Honor 8 is also perhaps one of the fastest phones we have used this year. It is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 950 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage and microSD support. Everything from browsing to playing games to checking Facebook felt snappier. Over a week of continues usage, we never felt lags while opening apps.
The Honor 8 managed to deliver a decent battery life as well. We used the device as our primary device for a week; and roughly got between 13-14 hours of battery life on the Honor 8. The Honor 8 runs Huawei’s homebaked Emotion Ul (EMUU4.1 on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The experience is more or less the same, if you have used a Huawei-made smartphone previously. As usual, there is no app drawer, which means all the apps are placed on the homescreen like Apple’s iOS.
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On the back you’ll find a fingerprint sensor and it doubles as a clickable button. Huawei calls this the “Smart Key,’’ which has programmable actions for “press,” “double press,’’ and “press and hold.” You can open the camera app with a double click, or open the gallery with a single click.
Now we have come to the crucial part of the review and perhaps the most anticipated one. So, how good are the cameras on the Honor 8? There are two 12-megapixel cameras (one camera is color and the other for monochrome) on the back, next to a laser autofocus system and a dual LED Flash. We found that the performance Huawei P9 (the smartphone marketed with the Leica branding); however, the Honor 8 fumbles in low-light.
In most ideal conditions you will get high-quality shots that can be even printed; focusing is fast and there is no shutter lag. Pro mode comes really handy and there are a handful of other modes, including slow motion, panorama and video etc. There are only a handful of smartphones that can be used to create the ‘bokeh’ effect effectively and the Honor 8 is one of them. We would like to give the Honor 8 10/10 the way the cameras simulate a shallow depth of field by artificially blurring out the background.The 8.0-megapixel front camera is good enough for shooting selfies.
The Honor 8 is gorgeous, comes with good cameras on-board, and it operates smoothly in day-to-day life.
But if you don’t care about cameras much, you can get the flagship experience from the OnePlus 3, which retails for Rs. 27,999. Or else, we have a device like the Lenovo Z2 Plus (also our phone of the month), which is a great value for Rs. 19,999. But if cameras count most for you, this has got to be a contender.