One month with Huawei's Honor 8

9:46:00 PM Avinaash 0 Comments

The Honor 8 is what I would call an underdog of a smartphone. Sporting a Kirin 950 SoC and Dual camera system, this device hopes to sway buyers away from flagship devices. For RM1699, you will get a 32GB version of the phone, and for RM1899, you'll get double the amount of storage

In the month that I had the chane to use the deivce, I've learnt about the Honor 8's good and bad side. The Honor 8 comes in a variety of color options and we received the 64GB gold model and do note that the memory configuration is the only difference between the two storage tiers.

Huawei Honor 8 Key Specifications

— 5.2-inch 1080P LTPS Display
— HiSilicon Kirin 950 SoC
— 32GB/64GB expandable memory
— Dual 12MP f2.2 rear camera
— 8MP f2.4 front facing camera
— Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow w/Emotion UI 4.1
— 3000mAh battery
— Dual SIM LTE
— 145.5 x 71 x 7.5mm
— 153g
— White, Black, Blue, Gold

As you may have already noticed, the Honor 8 has a dual rear facing camera setup. Before the Honor 8 officially launched, the 8 was put sideways, teasing the Dual Camera setup. Both camera's are of 12 Megapixels with an f2.2 aperture and in real world situations, the camera produces excellent photos for the price that it's going for.

Though video quality is nothing to write home about, it isn't bad either. Back to still shots, with good lighting, the smartphone takes detailed shots. One would expect that in low light the photos produced be noisy and bad, the shots taken by the Honor 8 aren't as bad and noisy as one would expect in most situations I put it through
Immediately visible are big stars, but when zoomed, more smaller stars show themselves
In short, you wont be disappointed by the camera's performance. Switching the camera into manual mode fully unleashes the camera's performance. With the ISO set to 3200, exposure time to 5 seconds and manual focus, I was able to take a photo of the night sky with the stars visible which is something most phones struggle with

Moving on, the Honor 8 has a HiSilicon Kirin 950 SoC powering the device. In the recent past, we reviewed the Honor 5C and that had a Kirin 650 SoC, which is pretty snappy for everyday tasks. The SoC's we have in current generation devices have matured a lot compared to what they used to be in say 2012-2014
The camera application also has a light drawing mode
The same attempt at light drawing was taken on a DSLR. Its clear that the phone only takes in strong rays of light and blocks out the rest, software magic is also applied

The Kirin 950 employs ARM's big.LITTLE architecture, using four Cortex A72 cores and four more Cortex A53 cores. Pair the Kirin 950 with 4 Gigabytes of RAM and we have a pretty speedy device. Note that not all of the four gigabytes are usable by end users as some of the RAM has to allocated to GPU RAM and System RAM, and then we have our remaining memory for us to play with ( about 2.9GB )

Huawei chose ARM's MALI T880MP4 graphics processor for this SoC, one equipped with 4 cores, hence the 'MP4'. During my time with the device, the graphics processor earns its right to stay by delivering smooth visuals in Google's Cardboard app as well as some graphics intensive games, I played CSR 2 quite a bit on this device
The recently opened McDonald's branch in Cyberjaya
The software does a great job at stitching the frames together
The Honor 8 also manages pretty good battery life, as do most new devices. There is a fault with the phone. During charging, oh and the device comes with Huawei's QuickCharge adapter in the box, the phone has this static feeling on the metal parts of the phone. I noticed this on the Honor 5C as well so it may have something to do with metal frames and charging.

My New 3DSXL Galaxy Style, taken with the camera application. Snapchat's shot of this had the colours off and my MSI keyboards lighting show more white than the actual colours
With a camera setup this good, we figured that sharing some of the shots on social media be the next thing to do, and we did. Using Instagram's integrated camera did okay, with the focusing and exposure being a hit and miss but great when things go well. Using Snapchat's integrated camera was absolutely horrid, focusing would miss almost all the time and white balancing would be off

Shutterbugs who love sharing their photo's to social media will have to use the smartphones camera app to take balanced and detailed shots and then share it. Note that this issue is NOT Huawei's fault but instead the respective applications issue. Moving on to the not so good parts of the phone, the display. Its a great 1080p display, but its still on LCD technology. Competing solutions, like the One Plus 3 and the ZTE Axon 7 both use AMOLED technology, with the ZTE even using a 1440p AMOLED display

The speakers are also somewhat a letdown. It doesn't get as loud as the Galaxy S7, the S7 has waterproofing measures built in and its still louder. Though apart from sheer decibels, it is otherwise a good mono speaker with good low end delivery as well as mid tones. the high ends paired with almost the maximum volume will introduce some distortions
Assigned launching the camera with the single tap of the Smart Key and it takes a photo as well
Conversely, we absolutely love the positioning of the fingerprint reader. And I also love the fact that there is a button Huawei calls the Smart Key, which you can assign to launch apps with single and double taps. Fingerprint scanning is also very fast on the Honor 8. With the readers positioning as such, unlocking the device whilst taking it out of my pocket was a single swift move

There is also an option for you to reduce the Honor 8's screen resolution from its native 1080p to 720p HD resolution. What this does is quite significantly increase your battery life on a single charge as well as boost performance for games and apps that render to native 1080p

Coming to the conclusion of whether I would buy this phone, I would but i'm leaning towards a no given the ZTE Axon 7 exists. If the Honor 8 had a dual front facing speaker setup, I'd have no issues picking it up. The screen technology doesn't push me away as much as the speaker setup did. Also, potential buyers of this phone WILL want to get a screen protector for the front and a protector for the back, as the rear glass picks up smudges really easily