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Honor 8 Pro Review – Honor’s Pocket-Friendly Powerhouse

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Honor 8 Pro is the company’s flagship phone with 2K display and dual cameras at the back. Being a top-end phone which comes with 128 GB storage and 6 GB RAM is the most powerful device ever made by the Chinese brand Honor. Does it stand against the well-known devices in the high-end segment, you will find in our detailed review of Honor 8 Pro.

What’s in the Box

  • Honor 8 Pro with built-in battery
  • USB Cable (Type-C)
  • Charger
  • DIY Cardboard VR
  • SIM Tray Ejector Pin
  • User Manuals and Warranty Information

Honor 8 Pro Specifications

  • Display: 5.7-inch LTPS LCD display, Quad HD resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels | 515 ppi), Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Software: EMUI 5.1 based on Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, on the back, gesture based
  • CPU: Up to 2.4 GHz octa-core Cortex-A73/A53 processor, 16nm Kirin 960 SoC, 64-bit
  • GPU: Mali-G71 MP8
  • Memory: 6 GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB UFS 2.1 internal storage, MicroSD up to 256 GB
  • Main Camera: Dual camera (12 MP + 12 MP) f/2.2, dual-tone LED flash, 4K video @30fps, 1080p video @60fps, 720p video @120fps
  • Front Camera: 8 MP f/2.0, 720p video @30fps
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0 (Type-C), 3.5 mm port, IR Blaster, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS
  • Others: Cardboard VR bundled
  • Cellular: 4G network, VoLTE-enabled, 2x nano SIM (GSM), MicroSD on SIM2
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh Li-Po (non-removable)
  • Dimensions: 157 mm x 77.5 mm x 7 mm
  • Weight: 184 grams
  • Color: Midnight Black, Navy Blue, Pearl White
  • Price: ₹29,999

Design, Build & Ergonomics

Unlike the Honor 8 and Honor 8 Lite, it has a larger form factor while being as slim as 7 mm. Honor 8 Pro appears much larger and wider in hands due to its 5.7-inch display with a Quad HD resolution. It boasts of a metallic construction with curvy edges, the screen has thin bezels and is covered with a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with a 2.5D curve.

 

The Honor 8 Pro removes the glass back and puts on a metal. Even though having a metallic design, it still looks great and feels premium. Surprisingly, I found an IR Blaster on the top and a DIY Cardboard VR kit with two lenses inside the box. It comes in two different colors, Black color, and Navy Blue and this is the Black variant with top specifications.

In the generation where Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone 7 and others come taller in design, Honor 8 Pro feels wider. In the current generation, the 2017 flagships are going future-proof with water-resistant design, wireless charging, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1, and Gigabit LTE. Honor 8 Pro, being a top-of-the-line smartphone, is yet to achieve the same.

The sides are similar to the Honor 8, the bottom consists of a type-C USB port, loudspeakers that sound really loud, and a 3.5 mm port for earphones. There are two microphones on the phone, one at the top and another at the bottom.

Display

Honor 8 Pro has a 5.7-inch display with Quad HD resolution. Hence, it offers a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The high resolution results in a pixel density of around 515 ppi, so the text and image displayed are sharp.

The viewing angles are okay but not great. The display brightness is high and has a good contrast and color reproduction. Using it outside is not a problem.

EMUI offers Eye comfort with the scheduler for reducing eye straining caused during the night. The color temperature can be set in the display settings. There’s no ambient display that shows on-screen notifications without unlocking the phone.

Software & User Interface

Honor 8 Pro packs with the Android Nougat goodness. As we know, Honor smartphones are taken care by HUAWEI’s EMUI software. Honor 8 Pro runs on the EMUI 5.1 based on the Android version 7.0 with 5th June security patch enabled.

The new EMUI has a few added features, it features an app drawer which can be enabled from the settings. The interface remains smooth thanks to its powerful processor and plenty of RAM. Unlock stock Android, EMUI is known for its bloatware which can be removed if not required.

With the new software, we witnessed the native Android N features including the multi window and quick reply along with some cool features by EMUI such as App twin which runs dual apps. An instance would be running two WhatsApp or two Facebook accounts.

App Twin, Run Two WhatsApp Accounts

Since it has a 5.7-inch screen, you can make use of its one-hand mode, motion control, and the Simple mode. Like previous Honor devices, the Honor 8 Pro comes with a built-in Health app to track any fitness activities. Surprisingly, I found the IR Blaster app that helped me control infrared enabled devices.

To know more about the EMUI, visit our previous Honor phones review.

Fingerprint Scanner

Fingerprint scanners on the Honor devices are one of the fastest and accurate sensors. Honor 8 Pro, being the most powerful Honor device, has a fingerprint scanner on the back that works great. Setup is easy and fuss-free.

In addition to the fast scanning, there are gestures that can be done with the fingerprint scanner. Gestures like answering a call, stop the alarm, browse photos, open notification panel and taking photos while using the camera.

Furthermore, the fingerprint scanner can also be used to lock certain apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Gallery, Email apps.

App Lock

 

Hardware, Performance & Gaming

Under the hood, the Honor 8 Pro hides its powerful proprietary 16nm Kirin 960 octa-core SoC. In contrast to modern 10-nm processors, such as the Samsung Exynos 8895 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the Kirin 960 is only manufactured in a 16nm process from TSMC.

The Kirin 960 consists of 8 CPU cores (4x Cortex-A73 and 4x Cortex-A53) clocked at 2.4 GHz maximum. It is also equipped with a powerful Mali-G71 MP8 GPU and 6 GB LPDDR4 RAM. On the storage side, it comes with a 128 GB UFS 2.1 storage with MicroSD expandable. There’s integrated LTE Cat. 12/13 modem for faster downloads over 4G network.

As the benchmark results show, the AnTuTu throttled the CPU. Geekbench crashed on the GPU benchmark which left us with the CPU benchmark only. The Geekbench CPU gave a score of 1,868 points (single-core) and 6,262 points (multi core). The Quadrant Standard Edition scored 38,694 points.

AnTuTu Benchmark

  • N/A

Geekbench 4

  • 1,868 points (single-core CPU)
  • 6,262 points (multi-core CPU)
  • N/A (GPU)

Quadrant Standard Edition

  • 38,694 points

The Mali-G71 MP8 which is clocked at 900 MHz is a powerful graphics processor and run complex 3D games without any issues. The gaming on the Honor 8 Pro is relatively fast and renders most graphic demanding games with ease.

This is the same GPU we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S8. However, the GPU on the Galaxy S8 has 20 clusters (MP20) whereas, in this case, there are 8 clusters (MP8) so the performance may vary. Although the GPU may sound weak if you compare it with the Adreno 540 which is currently the fastest graphics processor, the performance of the Mali-G71 MP8 is almost near the Adreno 530.

Games Tested On Honor 8 Pro

  • N.O.V.A Legacy
  • Real Racing 3BADLAND 2
  • The World 3
  • City Of Love

Under load, the Honor 8 Pro throttles and affects the user experience. This led in the benchmarks which have a bad nature of using the CPU to the fullest for a duration. Yet this is not the case when you use the phone, stressing the CPU which eventually heats the phone can lead to throttling. The temperatures reached 42 degrees on load.

Storage & Memory Performance

Honor 8 Pro comes with a 128 GB mammoth storage with MicroSD support. Honor has moved to the fast UFS storage and leaves the sluggish eMMC storage behind, hence, the Honor 8 Pro competes with the phones that come with UFS internal storage. OnePlus 5 is among them.

For the storage performance, the Honor 8 Pro has secured the area according to the benchmarks we performed.

A1 SD Bench

  • 558.11 MB/s (Read)
  • 125.71 MB/s (Write)

AndroBench

  • 771.80 MB/s (Sequential Read)
  • 179.51 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 161.96 MB/s (Random Read)
  • 136.30 MB/s (Random Write)

Cameras

Similar to the Honor 8, the Honor 8 Pro features a dual camera on the back that integrates two 12 MP sensors, one Monochrome and one RGB. This isn’t Leica branded like HUAWEI P9 but offers a similar experience. The camera module has a flat design, no bump which also plays a big part in the missing OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). It offers a dual-tone LED flash on the rear, but no flash on the front. The front is backed up with an 8 MP camera.

If you have been familiar with the Honor 8, there’s one pretty much similar thing about these dual cameras that continues the trend. The dual cameras are able to get you the bokeh effect you see on the professional DSLR cameras. The dual-camera on the Honor 8 Pro does the same.

No-Bump Dual Camera

Honor 8 Pro Camera Specifications

  • Camera: Dual camera (12 MP + 12 MP) f/2.2, autofocus
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): N/A
  • Rear Flash: Dual-tone LED flash
  • Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to focus, HDR, Pro photo, Beauty, Pro video, Beauty video, Good food, Panorama, Night shot, Light painting, Time-lapse, Slo-mo, Burst Shot, Watermark, Audio note, Document scan
  • Video Recording: 4K video @30fps, 1080p video @60fps, 720p video @120fps, HDR support, Pro video
  • Front Camera: 8 MP f/2.0
  • Video Recording: 720p video @30fps
  • Front Flash: N/A, Screen flash

I am surprised with its image quality, Honor 8 Pro takes mind blowing photos in the daylight even with the bokeh effect. There’s plenty of room for the Camera modes and Honor does it well with the Camera software, unlike others where they lack the proper modes.

On comparing with the top-class smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S8, Honor 8 Pro makes some marginal compromises in the camera segment. For its price, the camera is great and you won’t go wrong here. There is nothing to complain about the camera.

Honor 8 Pro Camera Samples

Battery Life

Honor 8 Pro is backed up with a huge 4,000 mAh battery that can actually survive 2 days straight without the need of charging. And when we are talking about the high-end phones with high-end specifications, what’s not so prominent is their battery life, but Honor 8 Pro does it well.

I got a one day battery life on high use with 45% battery left with screen on time of 4 hours. The battery got drained on the next day giving a total of 1.5 days runtime. The screen on time here was 6 hours 42 minutes. On normal use expect the battery life of 2 days. Do note that our test were performed on single SIM and no 4G data.

The charging is not as fast as OnePlus’ Dash charging and it takes a while to charge this huge 4,000 mAh battery. The turnaround time of charging is about 2 hours.

High Usage
4 Hours Screen On Time, 45% Battery Left
Runs 1.5 Days On High Usage
6 Hours 42 Minutes Of Screen On Time

Verdict – Steal For The Price?

Honor 8 Pro is a visually appealing, well-designed with excellent performance. In addition, the battery lasts long even though it has a 2K display and a powerful Kirin 960 CPU. The dual camera is satisfying and takes on the rivals like OnePlus 5.

This is Honor’s pocket-friendly powerhouse. As the pricing is very convincing, there’s no doubt the phone is a steal. Honor 8 Pro is a recommended buy for the people carrying a budget of ₹30,000.

Strength

  • Slim Design, Solid Built Quality
  • 2K Display, High Brightness
  • Strong Battery Life
  • Unmatched Dual Camera Performance
  • Powerful Octa-Core Processor & 6 GB RAM
  • Big & Fast Storage, 128 GB UFS 2.1
  • Quick Fingerprint Scanner With Gesture Support
  • MicroSD Support

Weakness

  • None

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