Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, is getting more and more serious about the Indian market. The company known for its P and Mate series has launched its new smartphone under its online-only Honor brand.
The Honor 8 Pro has an attractive metal bodied design and an impressive spec sheet. The company says the phone, which it claims to be its best so far, should be compared to the iPhone 7 Plus and HTC U 11, not just the OnePlus 5. And yes, it has a dual-rear camera setup as well. A year back, Honor 8 made dual rear cameras a thing to talk about on a premium mid-end smartphone. With the Honor 8 Pro, the company takes everything we loved about the Honor 8 and introduces a few tweaks here and there — and a different design.
But there’s a lot of pressure on Huawei’s shoulder, especially when competitors like Samsung and Apple are already offering some solid options in the market. I got to briefly try the new Honor 8 Pro at the launch event, and here are my first impressions.
Honor 8 Pro Design, display
The first thing is that the Honor 8 Pro doesn’t look anything like the Honor 8. Not sure if this is good or bad. I loved the Honor 8 because it appeared to be more expensive than it was projected to be. Honor 8 was a fingerprint magnet and a slippery phone as well, something I personally don’t like about the design.
With the Honor 8 Pro, the design has definitely evolved. Gone is the glass-backed design, now replaced by a metal back. Well, mostly better looking. In fact, it’s the nicest phone I’ve seen over a long time.
Honor 8 Pro is more brushed and gives off an illusion of being just perfect. For a phone that’s big, it felt less slippery. And it’s easy to carry in one hand, which is more important than you might think. I should mention that the phone seemed a bit heavy to hold, though I don’t see it as a caveat. It comes in two colours: Midnight Black and Navy Blue.
Honor 8 Pro sports a 5.7-inch display and a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The display is stunning to look at, delivering crisp text and images, vibrant colours and great viewing angles. It’s hard to complain about a gorgeous screen — literally. Though I found the display to be a bit reflective. Bummer? Not really
Honor 8 Pro processor, battery and storage
Honor 8 Pro has a Kirin 960 chipset with 6GB RAM that combination should provide lag-free performance. I have yet to put the Honor 8 Pro through its paces, but I have no complaints when it comes to performance. Apps loaded quickly, and general swiping proved to be slick on a device. The phone features a 4,000mAh battery, larger than the 3,300mAh unit inside the OnePlus 5. I’m yet to test this, but I’ll be sure to do so in my full review. There’s support for fast charging, which is now standard among all the premium smartphones. Huawei is bringing the 128GB version exclusive to India, and there’s a microSD slot on the Honor 8 Pro.
Honor 8 Pro Dual camera
Honor 8 Pro has two rear cameras, one colour, one monochrome sensor, both of which are 12-megapixel. Like the Honor 8, they will be able to capture depth of field for bokeh effect. In my short time spent with the device, the camera shoots images very quickly. Photo quality is impressive, to say the least.
One thing that is missing is the lack of optical image stabilisation from the Honor 8 Pro. The phone also has an 8-megapixel front-facing shooter, which in my limited testing, fared reasonably well. I’m keen to pit Honor 8 Pro’s cameras against OnePlus 5, which also has a dual rear cameras setup.
Honor 8 Pro Software
Honor 8 Pro is powered by Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat operating system. There is EMUI 5.1 over the top, and although it has been tweaked a bit, it still feels overloaded. Sure, it doesn’t feel as good as Xiaomi’s MIUI but the interface is not sluggish.
Honor 8 Pro early conclusion
Honor 8 Pro appears to be a fine device that tries to appeal to a larger audience. At Rs 29,999, Honor 8 Pro is also more affordable than OnePlus 5 which starts at Rs 32,999 and goes up to Rs 37,999. I think it’s a real alternative to OnePlus 5. Wait for our full review of the Honor 8 Pro in a week or so.