The Honor 8 Pro is going all guns blazing against established names in the high-end smartphone segment. But, does it have enough ammo to beat the biggies?
Think of high-end flagship smartphones and brands like Apple, Samsung, HTC, Google Pixel, One Plus, et al, immediately spring to mind. A name like Honor, which is a sub-brand of Huawei, is easily missed by most of us. And if I’ve to be honest, it’s a shame, really. In the past year itself, Honor has launched some kickass phones such as the Honor 8 and 6X models. While the 6X was a budget phone – which I really liked for all what it offers – the 8 has been the firm’s flagbearer in the cut-throat high-end segment. Recently, Honor gave the 8 some ‘Pro’ treatment and I got the chance to use it for a couple of weeks to see if the improvements are really worth the high price-tag or not.
6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage, dual 12 MP primary cameras + 8MP front camera, 4000mAh battery, Kirin 960 Octa-core processor, 5.7-inch quad HD 2K display and a super-sleek metal body – for the nerd among us those are quite some specs. The most beautiful part about these numbers is that they aren’t just a paper talk – they really do show up and perform in the real world.
Let me start with the screen first. With 515 PPI, the 8 Pro has surely got one of the best and vivid smartphone displays on offer right now. The colours feel natural and there isn’t excessive saturation like you may find on some of the other devices. Even in direct sunlight, the visibility and display quality is remarkable. Sure, it does get a little too bright in dark but then the phone has something called ‘’Eye Comfort’’ that filters out the blue light, giving the screen a more comforting yellowish tint.
While the screen is as good as it gets, the main highlight for me was its camera and picture quality. In the last month, I had been travelling mostly, and this is where the Honor 8 Pro came really handy with its set of dual cameras. My travels included going to a racetrack, a short motorcycle trip and a road-trip across Bhutan. The picture quality was so good that I wrapped up most of these official shoots using my phone camera only. And that kind of speaks volumes about how good the camera quality is. Among things I loved, the auto-focus is quick – it locks the subject in no time – and the images are sharp and colourful. Even in the dark, I found the quality of the pictures was above average. Images don’t really appear grainy or pixelated in low light. Video recording is also top quality, I’ve to add.
As for the performance, the Kirin 960 may not be a match to the more popular Snapdragon 835, but I didn’t experience any hiccups. The device worked flawlessly despite running multiple apps, including playing games, streaming movies, using networking apps, etc., at the same time. The battery life is also impressive with the phone lasting just over a day in a single charge with 4G running full time in the background. Full marks to Honor for packing a 4,000mAh battery in the slim body of the 8 Pro.
Niggles? There are some small ones – the screen is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, the 3.5mm jack is stacked right next to the Type-C port, so, it gets tight when you’re listening to music and charging the device at the same time. Also, pictures clicked from the front camera look a bit artificial since they’re automatically ‘beautified’.
On the whole, the Honor 8 Pro is a cracking device that does almost everything flawlessly. It’s a flagship in every sense of the word. Then, the best part is its pricing, which is considerably lower than most of its rivals.Put simply, the Honor brand, or the 8 Pro for that matter, can no longer go unnoticed.