IT DIDN’T take much time for me to like Huawei’s latest Honor 8 Pro. It checks all the right boxes especially in the looks department. (What? I’m shallow that way.)
The smartphone is beautiful and sleek, with rounded edges and slim dimensions. It comes with a brushed aluminium body that is really nice to look at and hold, and the best part? It is not a fingerprint magnet at all.
Speaking of which, the Honor 8 Pro comes with a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Huawei has amazing fingerprint readers that recognise your digits instantly.
The phone is solid and has a good grip, though it is not really ideal for one-handed use.
The Honor 8 Pro is a bigger version of its predecessor the Honor 8, and bears improvements when it comes to camera, processor and display.
On the screen
The large 5.7in Quad HD display is an absolute treat, since I tend to use my smartphone to view legally obtained movies and TV shows (silently judging those who don’t).
The 1,440 x 2,560 resolution with 515ppi image density makes viewing a pleasure, giving plenty of details for videos and photos. You’d be impressed with the brightness levels on this phone that yields a perfectly visible screen even when you’re out in the sun. One tiny problem though – the screen is super reflective, so at a wrong angle, you would temporarily blind yourself from the reflections of bright lights around you.
There’s an option to switch on the Eye Comfort mode that filters out blue light, leaving a yellowish tint. This is supposedly better for your eyesight, especially when you use your phone at night, and you can even schedule the Eye Comfort mode to automatically switch on and off.
The Honor 8 Pro has a 4,000mAh battery which supposedly supports fast charging, though to be honest, with even 30 minutes of charging, the battery level didn’t even hit the 40% mark.
In my experience, it took closer to an hour for the battery to go from nearly flat to fully charged even with the fast charging.
A fully charged battery lasts for over a day, provided that you don’t use up the juice on heavy gaming and binge watching of shows. A normal use for my phone would be for Spotify, a few checks on social media sites, photos of my friends making weird faces and making and receiving phone calls. And by calls, I mean WhatsApp. (Who makes phone calls these days?)
Anyway, my minimal use of the smartphone during the day means that I have more battery power to play Evil Apples (it’s like Cards Against Humanity) with strangers from all over the world.
If performance is what you need from your phone, then Honor 8 Pro will give you just that. The phone packs the in-house HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor, which can also be found in Huawei’s flagships P10 and Mate 9. This is paired with a 6GB RAM and a 64GB internal storage that is expandable to up to 256GB with a microSD card.
Smile for the camera
Expect beautiful shots with this smartphone. The Honor 8 Pro boasts a dual camera setup, with one RGB and one monochrome sensor. Before you get all excited, they are not the Leica lenses sported by the P10, but the performance more than makes up for the lack of branding.
The dual sensors work together to produce detailed images, with the RGB sensor processing all the colour information and the monochrome sensor detailing the shadows and highlights.
The phone has two 12-megapixel cameras on the back with a wide aperture range from f/0.95 to f/16. It is great for portrait shots, especially if you want the Bokeh effect with a blurred out background. A word of warning though – don’t mess about too much with the aperture settings, or your image could turn out looking super unnatural.
The improved 8-megapixel front camera that now comes with the ubiquitous beauty mode means you can also take good selfies.
I really did enjoy using the Honor 8 Pro because there were just so many things to keep me occupied. First of all, I had a total blast with the 3D Creator mode in its camera function.
Take a photo of someone and create a 3D version of them, which you can then manipulate by changing their outfits and hairstyles. I know, it’s juvenile but the results can be hilarious, and makes for light conversation topic.
Okay, I didn’t get this until someone pointed it out – did you know that the box in which the Honor 8 Pro comes can be turned into a VR cardboard viewer?
Even though I am not a big VR enthusiast, this piece of news still got me excited enough to try to assemble the viewer myself. It isn’t difficult to put together, so that’s another plus point right there.
The phone comes VR-ready with the pre-installed Jaunt VR app that has some pretty exciting content such as Invisible, an original VR series, and even behind-the-scenes shots of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
You can still watch these 360° videos without the cardboard viewer, so that’s good news for those who don’t want to peer through the gadget.
The Honor 8 Pro is a solid smartphone with good features. It pretty much has something for everyone – a decent camera for casual photographers, stunning display for video fiends, and powerful performance for gamers.
All in all, the RM1,999 price tag is justified with this one.
PROS: Sleek and stylish design, vivid display, powerful performance.
CONS: Slippery without a casing, battery takes a long time to charge.
Honor 8 Pro
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 7.0 Nougat
DISPLAY: 5.7in (1440 x 2560 pixels)
PROCESSOR: HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor
CAMERA: 12-megapixels monochrome + 12-megapixels RGB (rear); 8-megapixels (front)
MEMORY: 64GB internal storage, 6GB RAM
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi, GPS, USB Type-C
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 77.5 x 7 x 157mm
RATING: Four stars
Review unit courtesy of Huawei Technologies Malaysia, 1800-22-3366