Over the past couple of years, the budget smartphone space has seen some amazing offerings. It all started with a few manufacturers trying out their luck. However, now this so called “budget” segment has morphed into a go-to option for many new smartphone buyers. Now, this obviously means that the flagship smartphone manufacturers will have a hard time selling their devices. So obviously, the flagship manufacturers need to lower the prices, which a win for the consumers. But, this also means that the other manufacturers who are trying to outrun the other, will also come up with some of the best hardware and that’s what we have here with us today.
The Honor 8 Pro which the company has launched in India is here to kill some of the other so-called “budget” smartphones. A flagship killer? Well, call it a flagship killer or whatever you please, but the Honor 8 Pro definitely have what it takes to give a tough competition to flagship offerings, at least on paper. So how does this new entrant from Honor performs in real life? That’s what we are here to find out.
The design of the Honor 8 Pro is majorly different from the last year’s Honor 8. Although they look identical from the front, the back is a completely different story. But that doesn’t mean the Honor 8 Pro is not a good looking phone. If the Honor 8 Pro is still a worthy contender to take a crown of the best-looking smartphone. It has a premium seamless metal unibody design, just as you would expect from a flagship phone. As you can see, we have a black variant of the device, which looks absolutely stunning. The Blue color variant is also equally good as we had a chance to compare both side-by-side at the launch event.
The body is nice and sleek and fits perfectly in hand, despite have a large 5.7-inch display. The device is only 6.97 mm thick, which is quite impressive considering the fact that it has a massive 4000 mAh battery. The weight is also evenly distributed throughout the device, which again aids for a good in-hand feel. The display on the front has accompanied by thin bezels on the sides, whereas the top forehead and the bottom chin are still very much present. This is definitely not a deal breaker, but still worth considering if you are comparing it with a flagship.
One thing which you need to consider making a purchase decision is the fact that the Honor 8 Pro has a matte finish at the back. So if you are a fan of glass body from the Honor 8, then, unfortunately, you have to look somewhere else. But overall, to sum it up, the design of the Honor 8 Pro is very appealing and it does a great job of looking like a premium device from each and every angle.
The Honor 8 Pro as mentioned earlier, sports a 5.7-inch Quad HD display. This is an IPS LCD panel and it pretty much matches the displays of the flagships out there, even in the brightest sunlight. It has a pixel density of 515 ppi, which is higher than most other Honor phones and this is certainly a welcome upgrade. This particular panel also offers a maximum brightness of 560 nits, which is absolutely amazing. The colors are nice and punchy and the blacks are deep as well. There is a 2.5D curved glass on top, which gives it a nice feel in the hand while using it. There is Gorilla Glass 3 protection as well, to make it less prone to scratches, etc.
Hardware & Performance
The Honor 8 Pro is powered by Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 960 with Mali-G71 MP8 GPU for graphics processing. This is coupled with 6GB of RAM with a much generous 128GB of internal storage. Well, if you still manage to run out of memory, then you swap out the secondary SIM with a microSD card, thanks to the Hybrid SIM slot. In terms of the battery, as mentioned earlier, we are looking at a 4,000 mAh battery and we will discuss battery a bit later in the review.
Just talking about the device’s day-to-day performance, one should have absolutely no issues with it whatsoever. The Hisilicom Kirin 960 is Huawei’s top of the line SoC and it packs all the goodness to take on even the best from Qualcomm, Exynos, etc. The 6GB RAM also aids for a buttery smoother experience. There are absolutely no lags whatsoever, and this is something really important to consider when it comes to a smartphones’ day-to-day user experience. The device also manages to stay quite cool throughout the load. In short, the performance is truly on-point and Honor has done a great job with this one.
Battery & Camera
The Honor 8 Pro is kept powered by a 4,000 mAh battery, which is again, very generous and one should have absolutely no issue with the battery life. In fact, if you are not really a heavy user, then you can push it to run for even two days on a single charge. This can’t be said about a lot of other smartphones out there in the market, flagships including. Since it packs a Quad HD display, one might think that the battery life would take a hit due to this, but in reality, Honor has done an amazing job with optimizations.
And if you ever run out of juice, then you can quickly top it up in a just a matter of few minutes, thanks to Quick Charging support. The device is bundled with 9V/2A charger and this will allow you to go from 0 to 100-percent battery in just under two hours. So, even in terms of the battery performance, the Honor 8 Pro scores good marks.
Coming to the camera, the Honor 8 Pro also offers a dual camera setup at the back. Most of the smartphones from Honor, now have a dual camera setup at the back and all of them are quite good at what they claim to do. This one is no exception. The parent company, Huawei, was amongst the first one to jump on the bandwagon of throwing in a dual camera setup on the smartphones and it has done a great job of staying on top of the charts.
One out of the two sensors is an RGB sensor, whereas the other one is a monochrome sensor to capture the depth information. Both are 12-megapixel sensors with an aperture size of f/2.2. There is also a dual tone LED flash to help capture at night or in low-light condition. Both the sensors work together to produce stunning imagery or users can also opt in to use the monochrome mode alone to capture some sweet looking black-n-white images. You can check out the image gallery which we have attached below or alternatively you can also check out our direct camera comparison which we did, comparing Honor 8 Pro with some other great offerings like iPhone 7 Plus and OnePlus 5.
The Honor 8 Pro is running Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1 out of the box. EMUI is not the best skin on top of Android, as it has some bloat and the UI also has a lot going on. However, the Honor 8 Pro manages to run smoothly despite all that. There are no visual changes in the EMUI 5.1 from the previous one, but Honor says that they have fine tuned it, to run smoothly. And obviously, since it is Android, you can quickly throw in a third party launcher and call it a day. The battery life good and the software doesn’t seem to affect the device’s performance whatsoever.
The notification area also works exactly the way Google intended and EMUI isn’t aggressive customizing a lot of things here. The icons are also fairly stock looking, but there is still a lot of iOS influence in the UI, especially in the home screen area.
The Honor 8 Pro is priced at 29,999 INR making it the most expensive smartphone from Honor right now at the time of writing this review. However, having spent a couple of good days with this smartphone, we think that it is worth the asking price and offers a great value for money. The closest and the direct competitor is the OnePlus 5, but even the base model of that particular smartphone which comes with 6GB of RAM is priced at 32,999 INR which is higher than the Honor 8 Pro. But speaking of differences, the Honor 8 Pro has a much bigger battery to last longer, a high-res display for quality content consumption and expandable storage, which is always nice to have around. And this pretty much sums up our initial discussing on how budget smartphone offerings are changing the game in the smartphone industry.