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Review Honor 10

Honor View 10, the new flagship from Huawei’s online-only brand, is now officially available in India on Amazon. Honor View 10 puts the focus on artificial intelligence and comes with a taller 18:9 display, dual-rear cameras, and facial recognition feature; all crucial for a ‘flagship’ phone in 2018.
The Honor View 10 technically replaces the Honor 8 Pro, which was the previous flagship smartphone from the company in the Indian market. Honor View 10 is priced at Rs 29,999, which means it will directly compete with OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 5, which has managed to capture the mid-range flagship market in India. So how does the Honor View 10 perform? Here is our review.
Honor View 10 specifications: 5.99-inch full HD + resolution (2160 x 1080 pixels) with 18:9 aspect ratio | Kirin 970 octa-core processor with dedicated NPU | 6GB RAM+128GB storage (expandable to 256GB) | 16MP+20MP rear camera and 8MP front camera | 3750 mAh battery | Android 8.0 with EMUI 8.0

Honor View 10 price in India: Rs 29,999

Honor View 10 review

The Honor View 10 review unit we got was in ‘Midnight Blue’ colour, which does make this flagship stand out from the boring sea of black phones. Honor View 10’s overall design though, is not so different from what the competition is offering given that ‘bezel-less’ display is the new trend. The Honor View 10 has a full frontal display, and the company has said it will include a pre-attached screen-guard on the phone, which is good to hear. The phone sports a metal body with all glass on the front.

One would think that like all other 18:9 displays in the market, Honor View 10 will also sport a rear fingerprint scanner. However, Honor has managed to squeeze in the fingerprint scanner on the front itself, making it really slim. On the back, there are two rear cameras, which do jut out quite prominently. The antenna bands are on the top and bottom and not exactly muted.

The overall build quality of the Honor View 10 is premium, which is expected on a device with this price point. Still like other metal body phones, Honor View 10 is prone to smudges and I would recommend a full cover to protect the body, especially for those who are not so careful with their devices. Overall, the Honor View 10 does not have a bulky form factor, which works in its favour.

Honor View 10: What’s good?

Honor View 10 is all about the display and this one sports a 5.99-inch one with 18:9 aspect ratio. Honor has done a good job on the display, and the taller aspect ratio means a lot more space for video content. Of course, not all apps are optimised and the phone does prompt one to go into full space mode for some apps, but it does often have the best effects.

Even on YouTube, the display will prompt the user to go into the wider mode, which makes some videos appear stretched. Nonetheless, the overall quality of the Honor View 10’s display is top notch. The colour reproduction for most part is fairly accurate, and this works fine in bright sunlight as well.

On the performance front, Honor View 10 sports the company’s own Kirin 970 processor with a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Honor has been touting this particular feature quite a lot, because this is what powers all the AI (artificial intelligence) aspect on the smartphone. In terms of benchmark tests, Honor View 10 scored around 175,262 on Antutu for us, which puts it just below devices like Nokia 8, nubia Z17, HTC U11. Of course, benchmarks rarely tell the complete story. The 6GB RAM on this device is more than enough to handle a user’s daily tasks.

I did not face any app crashes as such with the Honor View 10. I used it extensively for consuming videos on YouTube, for gaming, for social media. Games like Asphalt 8, Nova Legacy, Modern Combat 5, etc ran without any hassles, though I did notice the device was getting warm towards the top part. This was after half an hour of gaming on the phone. Also in one instance, the Honor View 10 restarted after I had just finished the Antutu benchmark test, which was odd. But otherwise performance in general is not an issue, whether you are gaming or just switching between multiple apps.

Honor View 10 also supports Facial Recognition, which only shows notifications on the locked screen when it recognises the user’s face. The feature worked fine, but it is confusing. More on that later. Honor View 10’s fingerprint scanner is fairly accurate and quick to unlock the device. The other good aspect about Honor View 10 is that it is already on Android Oreo, even though EMUI 8.0 is a damper. You’d wonder what is so great about Android Oreo in 2018? Well many phones are still launching on Android Nougat, which is more than a year old. So marks to Honor, for launching its new phone with Oreo, at least.

Honor View 10’s camera remains a strong aspect of the series, though I feel low-light photos still need some more improvement. The 16MP+20MP dual rear camera comes with a lot of modes, including Portrait, wide aperture mode, etc. Honor’s AI element here is that the camera can recognise the object in question and activate a special mode for the same. So there’s a dog mode, cat one, though the camera was confused between the two when I took pictures of my dog. There’s a flower, food mode, and modes for particular scenes as well.
Colour reproduction from Honor View 10 is actually quite, especially in this price range, and the pictures do not look oversaturated. The details are there in the photos, even when you zoom in, and the camera performs well in indoor lighting as well. The portrait mode pictures are quite nice, though at times the blurred background might not be so obvious. Overall, camera remains a strong point of the Honor View 10, just like the Honor 8 Pro.

Coming to battery, Honor View 10 scored around 5 hours plus on the PCMark test, which is not as impressive. However, the phone did give around 4 hours plus of screen-on time, when I used it heavily for the whole day to watch videos, gaming, etc. The battery was down to 20 per cent by the night. On average expect around 12-13 hours on this phone, though the battery saver mode should help extend the overall life. Also I did not get the inbox charger, so I’m unable to test the actual fast charging feature.

Honor View 10: So what’s not good?

I feel the facial recognition feature needs to do more than just showcasing hidden notifications. Facial recognition does not unlock the device and it feels very half-baked. Additionally, I feel EMUI 8.0 still needs improvements as it is cluttered. A closer to stock Android UI is what I personally prefer. Also a phone at this price range with pre-loaded games and unnecessary apps is a trend that should have ended in 2017.

Honor View 10 also talks a lot about AI features like Instant Translate. Honor has a Translator app powered by Microsoft Translate and AI, yet Indian languages like Hindi, etc are not supported on this. This is a major miss, especially since the company is touting the Translate feature as one of the AI driven ones on the device. In comparison, Google Translate already does this and much more. Coming to the camera, I would say at night, there is tendency to brighten some pictures, and details are lost in this scenario. Pictures taken indoors at night are not as sharp in my opinion.

Honor View 10 Verdict

Honor View 10 is no doubt a worthy phone for its Rs 29,999 price. The display, rear camera and the overall performance standout in this device, which is already on Android Oreo. Most users are concerned with these aspects when picking a device. Yes, the OnePlus 5T has options with extra RAM and comes with a cleaner UI. Still, it is more expensive at Rs 37,999 for the 8GB RAM variant, while the base 6GB RAM option starts at Rs 32,999. Honor View 10 will appeal to those who want flagship features for under Rs 30,000.
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