Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Huawei Honor 8 Pro

Huawei has combined butter-smooth performance, premium looks and an enjoyable camera to come up with a ‘flagship killer’
It would take quite a phone to offer some competition to the popular ‘flagship killer’ OnePlus 5. But Huawei’s Honor 8 Pro seems to be that quite-a-phone. Huawei has tried to give as much as they could manage within a rather attractive price of ₹29,999 — and really, they’ve succeeded just fine.
The Honor 8 Pro looks great. On the front, curved glass gives way to blue glass bezels that glint beautifully in the light. The navy blue matte-finish back is all smooth metal with two overly thick antenna lines running through. The only other things that break the smoothness are a no-bulge dual camera setup and a fingerprint sensor.
The 8 Pro has a huge 4,000mAh battery so it isn’t on the light side. Added to the smoothness of the metal edges, the phone is a bit slippery. It’s very solidly built, so it doesn’t look like it would suffer any damage from a light drop on a softer surface, but who knows what would happen if it fell on hard concrete, for example. Since the phone is not too broad, you can find and maintain a good grip on it. It’s only if you have extra small hands that you would have to be extra careful. Overall, it’s a great looking phone that looks more expensive than it is.
On the design front, the 8 Pro beats the OnePlus 5 in looks and originality as well as sturdiness, but the OnePlus 5 is biscuit-thin, lighter and easier to hold. It’s a bigger phone than the OnePlus with its 5.7-inch display but somehow doesn’t feel it. The 2560 x 1440 or 2K LCD display is really nice, offering pleasing colours and legibility. It’s rare to get a 2K screen within this price — and One Plus 5 doesn’t have one.
Nothing says OnePlus 5-competitor more than 6 GB of RAM, which is what Huawei has put in the Honor 8 Pro. That’s coupled with Huawei’s own HiSilicon Kirin 960 2.36GH processor and ensures the phone works smooth.

Blazing fast

With some smartphones, you can tell straight off that this is a no-stutter no-lag device and that’s the feeling you get as you first use this phone and feel that buttery fluidity. The 8 Pro matches OnePlus’ 8 GB model for space because it has 128 GB of internal storage and comes with the memory card slot.
I’ve never been overly fond of Huawei’s EMUI interface, but in this version and on this phone, it’s been integrated and optimised to work beautifully. Other than a lot of under-the-hood changes to make it smoother, Huawei says machine learning is being used to adapt to what apps are used and allocate resources accordingly.
EMUI is absolutely stuffed with features so it’s all the more surprising that the phone works as fast as it does. When you look into Settings, you’ll find all sorts of customisations such as enabling an app drawer, which is most welcome, and a floating dock for quick actions. There are also some rather unnatural ones such as using your knuckles to get a screenshot. Huawei could still do something to reduce its preloaded apps.

A fun camera

Huawei has been very early to the game with dual cameras and it’s used them to get one lens to shoot monochrome images, adding depth when combined with the other. Shooting black and whites, specially when you select from the many filters available on board, is one of the most enjoyable aspects of using the Honor 8 Pro’s cameras.
The 12 MP rear camera set with f/2.2 aperture focuses and shoots fast enough and you can adjust the aperture too. The camera app is as feature-filled as the rest of the phone. A quick swipe to the right will pull out a whole bunch of shooting modes, some of them not easily found on other phones. That includes document scanning, a 3D creator, watermark, an interesting night mode, a Pro mode for photos and one for video, time lapse, audio note, light painting, etc. This is a camera you won’t get bored of. It also does 4K video recording. The one thing it lacks, however, is optical image stabilisation. Its low light performance isn’t bad but noise creeps in sometimes. The front camera is pretty good even in indoor light.
The Honor 8 Pro is a surprise competitor to the OnePlus 5. On several counts, it beats it, while the OnePlus 5 has raw speed on its side and an equally good camera. The purer form of Android on the OnePlus 5 may also be a draw for many. But the Honor 8 Pro certainly holds its own and in fact, when asked for recommendations in the 30k category, I will no longer be limited to a choice of one.

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.
PROS: Sleek and stylish design, vivid display, powerful performance.
CONS: Slippery without a casing, battery takes a long time to charge.
Honor 8 Pro
Android smartphone
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
BATTERY: 4,000mAh
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 77.5 x 7 x 157mm
WEIGHT: 184g
RATING: Four stars