2018 has started off with a bang, with the fizz provided from a hitherto unlikely source. The Honor brand from the $90 billion Huawei.
Dubbed the Honor View 10, the first AI powered device of 2018 has been priced at Rs 29,999 and it will be available on Amazon.
The Honor View 10 does come with some top-of-the-line specifications, and looks set to give other flagships or ‘flagship killers’ a good run for their money. The phone features a sleek design and AI integration is surely a plus point over others. But will it be enough to outlast the competition? Let’s find out.
Premium design and impressive display
Honor has been pretty consistent with some really good-looking phones in the past and it is safe to say that Honor View 10 is right up therewhen it comes to the Indian market. The device tends to give a premium look from all angles, though some might find it a little too similar to the rest of the Honor family phones in recent times. However, lets not forget that the last few Honor phones have done a great job in finally estabishing ghe brand as a serious player, with top of the line features for Idian consumers. That said, it is quite sleek with 6.97mm thickness and weighs 172 grams.
You will find the camera hump at the back panel, which you really don’t have to worry as the lens are protected with slightly raised circular rings. The Antenna bands runs at the top and bottom panels. Up front, you will notice a glossy finish, which gives a premium feel and just beneath the tall display, there is a fingerprint sensor. The top houses an IR blaster, while at the base, there is a 3.5mm Audio Jack coupled with USB Type-C port and a speaker grille. The right houses volume rockers and power on/off buttons, while the left houses hybrid Dual-SIM slot. That said, the smartphone scores some really good marks in the design department.
Coming to the display, the Honor View 10 features a 5.99-inch Full HD+ FullView display with a screen Resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The display offers some good viewing angles and colour output is right up there with the best. We played different games and watched various videos on this device and we were quite impressed with the performance of the display. The outdoor visibility struggled at times, but for indoor conditions, it is perfectly competent. You also have an option to downgrade the display resolution, which comes handy when you want to save some battery. Further, it also features a reading mode for those late night readings.
When Camera meets Artificial Intelligence!
The Honor brand runs the serious risk of being seen as a great camera brand, perhaps not a bad thing in the Indian market. the Honor View 10 takes the affair with the cameras one step further by marrying it with the AI on the phone, the biggest feature on this model.Thus, the device comes with a new dedicated NPU (Neural-Network Processing Unit) which is used to power new AI applications which recognise different scenes when taking photos, translates different languages in real-time even without an Internet connection and ‘learns’ from the user behaviour and optimises the phone’s performance.
The major implementation comes in the camera department. In a true sense, the AI does improve the performance of the device drastically. The working of the AI is pretty simple! The camera automatically detects the lighting situation and it then automatically selects the best mode from its default list to improve the quality of the photos. As we said, the execution of the Ai and camera marriage is brilliant. So, for example, if you are taking a photo of the building, you see a landscape icon in the app, and similarly if you are clicking a person, then you will see a portrait icon. This simply means that the device has recognised the object. It then changes the settings at the back-end so that you get the best results. (Honor View 10 Camera Samples)
The Honor View 10 has a dual rear camera setup of 20 megapixels and 16 megapixels with f/1.8 aperture, LED flash, PDAF and 4K video recording. On the front, there a 13-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture. The smartphone does take some really good photos whether be it broad daylight condition or low-light performance. Starting with broad daylight photos, the pictures came out to be crisp and offers colours close to the source.
The macro shots came out to be well-detailed as well. The dual-camera setup also comes with a host of interesting modes like Pro Photo, AR Lens, 3D Panorama, Monochrome, HDR, Night shot, Light painting, Time-lapse, Light painting, slow-mo, artist mode, filter and more, which are fun to use. However, when using Monochrome mode, the AI functions does not work.
The low light performance of the device is up to the mark and it is able to capture some good amount of details even when the lighting is particularly less, though still you will find some grains in some photos. However, while you will not get the same level of quality, as in Google Pixel 2 XL or Samsung Galaxy Note 8, it is surely better than OnePlus 5T. The front camera does a pretty good job as well and it takes some good selfies in broad daylight, and low light performance was pretty average during our testing.
Solid specifications, almost solid performance
The Honor View 10 is powered by a 2.4GHz octa-core top of the line Kirin 970 processor, which is present in Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. The phone is backed by 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 256GB via micro SD card. The smartphone runs on Android 8.0 Oreo operating system wrapped under EMUI 8.0 and gets its strength from a 3750 mAh battery with Fast charging support.
Those solid specifications pretty much set the bar for phones in the pricerange and the same is reflected in everyday performance. You will not notice any lag or shutter while using it normally and the multi-tasking is pretty smooth as well. Honor has also added some swipe gestures to the fingerprint sensor, which similar to what we have seen in the Moto G5 Plus. This means you can swipe left or right to open the recent menu, tap to go back and tap and hold to go home screen. Further, the brand has also given a floating button that performs the same feature. It will take some time to get used to it, but once done, you will enjoy it.
When you start throttling the performance of the Honor View 10, you don’t get disappointed either, though it is marginally behind the OnePlus 5T. This is particularly noticeable when you are playing graphic-intense games like Into the Dead 2, Asphalt 8: Airborne or more. On the positive side, the phone does not heat up during an intensive gaming session, which is a good thing. But still, all you need to do is think of the price, and you will be thrilled again.
Good battery and EMUI 8.0 works fine
Honor has also included a 18W charger with this device and while it is not as fast as OnePlus’ dash charging, but it still gives a pretty decent output. With the help of fast charging, the phone is charged from zero to 90 percent in just 1 hour, which is adequate for most situations. The artificial intelligence plays an important role in extending the battery life of this device. You get notifications at regular interval of time asking to close power-hungry apps. The phone gives a day-long battery backup under normal usage and more than half a day of battery life under power hungry usage.
The Honor View 10 comes loaded with the latest Android 8.0 Oreo, which is based on EMUI 8.0. The user interface is quite smooth and easy to operate. First of all, you get an option to change between normal iOS-like home screen or an App drawer. As always, the phone’s extra bits of software and apps would be bloatware to some, and useful for others, but we wish it were a little less. Secondly, we felt the Setting menu feels more cluttered as compared to older EMUI.
Thirdly, the user interface could have been smoother when compared to close to stock OxygenOS found in OnePlus 5T, though it does come loaded with some really smart assistance features. Then there is a smart translator, which again uses AI to translate from different languages, however, the Hindi translation was not that great in our early testing. Perhaps a case of learning and getting better with time?
The Honor View 10 also features face unlock feature, but in this version you are probably better off without it. The face unlock does not unlock your device, but only display the content on the lock screen. Probably, Honor would have added some more functionality to the face unlock feature.