Honor View 10 review: hands-on

Hot on the heels of the mid-range 7X[1], Honor has announced the Honor View 10, a flagship device that rounds off 2017 with the year’s biggest mobile trend, an 18:9 display. The phone was expected to be called the Honor 9 Pro or as per its usual naming conventions, but the company have chosen View 10 thanks to its similarities to the Huawei Mate 10 Pro[2]. It’s the first time the View branding has been used outside of Asia.

The device has premium build, and while is not exactly the same dimensions as either Huawei’s Mate 10 or Mate 10 Pro shares many of the traits of the two. We went hands-on with the Honor View 10 at the London launch event, and these are our first impressions. A full review will follow in the coming days.

Price and availability

The UK price of the Honor View 10 is GBP449, making it the same as the base OnePlus 5T, and GBP70 more than the Honor 9 retailed for at launch.

It will go on sale in the UK on 8 January 2018. It will also be available in France, Germany, India, Italy, the US, Spain and Russia at this time.

Design and build

The Honor View 10 looks like a lot of other premium phones this year, sporting an 18:9 display. First seen on the LG G6 and then the Samsung Galaxy S8, the form factor keeps the View 10 slim and manageable in the hand while adding some height to the screen.

This is the same aspect ratio as the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, yet there’s a front-placed fingerprint sensor and headphone jack like on the Mate 10. Confused? It means you get the better 18:9 display size with the familiar fingerprint sensor and headphone jack.

This means the View 10 has an excellent mix of features from both versions of Huawei’s recent flagship. The back of the phone is less exciting, with iPhone-esque antenna lines at the top and bottom, with a solitary Honor logo and dual rear cameras. Squint, and the View 10 resembles an iPhone 7 Plus with a bigger screen running Android.

With no glass back, there’s no chance of wireless charging, though that is still a non-essential feature that would have increased the price. The Honor View 10 is alarmingly thin at 6.97mm and recalls the Apple of a few years ago that became obsessed with this measurement, to the detriment of build quality and Bendgate. We’ll have to see how the View 10 holds up in a back pocket for a day or two in our full review soon.

Honor View 10 review: hands-on

If you’re on a budget, this is as premium a device as you’ll get for the price – even undercutting the GBP449 OnePlus 5T[3] while pretty much matching the specs. It’s available in midnight black and navy blue, but isn’t as notably stunning as other flagships this year, or even compared to the older glass-backed Honor 9. It looks very similar to the 8 Pro[4].

Honor View 10 review: hands-on

The design isn’t particularly inspiring, and reeks of a phone whose features you’ll have to love way more than the hardware to shell out for it.

Features and specifications

Honor is leading with the AI features that Huawei pushed on the Mate 10 Pro and Honor had on its Asia-only Magic phone, and in theory they are impressive. There’s an argument to be had that it’s not really AI at all and rather a prominent assistant-style layer to the software, but we’ll let them have it for now. The Kirin 970 processor allows for offline language translation in the native camera app, while the AI smarts also allow the camera to intelligently select the right parameters of a certain shot, without you having to go into a confusing pro mode.

Honor View 10 review: hands-on

The dual 20Mp and 16Mp camera offer portrait mode for a depth effect on photos, as well as a monochrome lens for hopefully excellent black and white photography. In its razor thin body, Honor has packed a whopping 3.750mAh battery with fast-charge the company claims can get you to 50% from dead in half an hour. Honor View 10 review: hands-on

It’s also great to see the octa-core Kirin 970 processor carried over, as it is Huawei’s latest chip and a powerful alternative to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in most other high-end Android phones[5] this year.

The View 10 has what the company describes as ‘fast and secure facial recognition’, which faltered under the bright lights on stage at the event, but we will see how it performs in our full review. The device still falls back on its fingerprint sensor for secure app activity like banking. It is dual SIM active (the best kind) and has a headphone jack, mercifully.

If you didn’t like the omission of it on the Huawei Mate 10, here’s a way to get the same basic specs, a headphone jack, and save over GBP200.

Software

Software could be what lets this phone down if you’re not a fan of Honor (and Huawei’s) EMUI skin. Granted, EMUI 8.0 is a lot better than previous iterations, but the changes it makes to stock Android don’t always make a lot of sense. Intuitive actions from stock are overlayed with different actions and icons, while the notification shade is still a bit of a mess.

Yet it is based on Android Oreo 8.0, and remains an excellently affordable way to get your hands on an OS running Google’s latest software.

We’ll bring you the lowdown in the complete review soon.

Honor View 10 review: hands-on

References

  1. ^ the mid-range 7X (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  2. ^ Huawei Mate 10 Pro review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  3. ^ OnePlus 5T review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  4. ^ Honor 8 Pro review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  5. ^ Best Android phone (www.techadvisor.co.uk)

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