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Honor 8 Pro review: Magnificent flagship with dual camera; find out about price, processor and more

Honor 8 Pro review: Magnificent flagship with dual camera; find out about price, processor and more

Focused more on overall experience than just specifications bunched together, Honor 8 Pro is likely to turn heads with its premium design and high-end features.

Chinese smartphone players are revolutionizing the Indian mobile market. While some are merely focusing on the specifications, Honor (the e-commerce brand from Huawei) has evolved as a brand offering a complete overall experience. The company has been constantly introducing smartphones with dual camera at the rear. While the best till date was the Huawei P9 co-designed with LEICA (and we are waiting for the P10 to be launched), the Honor 8 Pro captures stunning images and has a great image editing software onboard.

Most of the smartphones these days boast a metal unibody design but doesn't have premium look and feel. The same cannot be said for the Honor 8Pro. The device has a very soft finish that comes very close to the Apple iPhone 7 hardware. My review unit in matte blue was an eye-catcher. It has a neat design with 'honor' branding below the display and at the rear. Navigation keys are a part of the display. There is a dual camera with lens and a circular fingerprint scanner at the rear. The 5.7inch with 2k resolution looks stunning as colours appear bright and text is crisp. There is also an eye-comfort mode that filters blue-light, relieving from eye-strain. Even though it weighs 180 grams, the 6.97mm thickness makes it comfortable to hold.

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Other than the design, highlight of the Honor Pro 8 is the dual camera. Unlike most dual camera smartphones where the secondary lens is a telephoto lens, it comes with one RGB sensor and one monochrome sensor. The former captures colour information whereas the latter captures more light. To capture DSLR like images with depth effect, one has to switch to wide aperture mode from the options displayed in the camera app. The camera instantly focuses on the subject, blurring the background and there is also an option to adjust aperture level between 0.95 to 16. The images captured with the depth mode were pretty impressive and had a small camera icon on them. There is also an option of wide aperture effects that can be used for adjusting focus and blur after capturing an image. Honor 8Pro's camera app also has a Pro mode for manual settings, monochrome mode for capturing black and white images, night shot for low light images and light paining to name a few. Images captured can be saved in RAW format and one can even turn on object tracking where camera tracks and focuses on the particular object. The only thing missing is the Optical Image Stabilization.

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But no one buys a phone only for its camera capabilities as it has to be a decent performer as well. In Honor 8 Pro's case, it isn't powered by a Qualcomm processor like the rivals. Instead, it has got octa core HiSilicon Kirin 960 paired with 6GB RAM onboard and be it browsing, editing images or playing games, it works smoothly without showing any signs of lag. It has also got 128GB of internal storage and supports expandable memory card slot though the hybrid slot, which can be used as a second SIM slot as well. It comes with Honor's EMUI 5.1 on Android 7.0 with features such as multiple home screen styles, customizable onscreen buttons, screen recording and more. However, I am not a fan of custom UIs and preferred installing Google Now or Microsoft Arrow launcher on this device. The phone felt slightly warm after long sessions of camera usage but overall there weren't any heating issues even after extensive usage. The 4000 mAh battery supporting fast charging lasted me over a day and a half on a single charge, which also included camera being used extensively.

Honor has been innovative as the company has designed the box in such a way that it can be used as a Cardboard based VR headset. Unfortunately, we could not test it as the lenses of the VR headset were missing.

Bag it or Junk it: The Honor 8 Pro is a great device backed by good looks, superb camera and impressive performance. It is one of the best smartphones in its price category.

Name: Honor 8 Pro
Rating: 4.5/5
Price: Rs 29,999
Plus: Camera, Design, Battery, Performance
Minus: No optical image stabilization

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Published on: Aug 03, 2017, 5:41 PM IST
Posted by: Vivek Punj, Aug 03, 2017, 5:41 PM IST