What an honour

Huawei’s lat­est Honor 8 Pro goes beyond good to bet­ter than most.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Technology - By SHARMILA NAIR bytz@thes­tar.com.my

IT DIDN’T take much time for me to like Huawei’s lat­est Honor 8 Pro. It checks all the right boxes es­pe­cially in the looks depart­ment. (What? I’m shal­low that way.)

The smart­phone is beau­ti­ful and sleek, with rounded edges and slim di­men­sions. It comes with a brushed alu­minium body that is re­ally nice to look at and hold, and the best part? It is not a fin­ger­print mag­net at all.

Speak­ing of which, the Honor 8 Pro comes with a fin­ger­print sen­sor on the back of the phone. I’ve said this be­fore and I’ll say it again, Huawei has amaz­ing fin­ger­print read­ers that recog­nise your dig­its in­stantly.

The phone is solid and has a good grip, though it is not re­ally ideal for one-handed use.

The Honor 8 Pro is a big­ger ver­sion of its pre­de­ces­sor the Honor 8, and bears im­prove­ments when it comes to cam­era, pro­ces­sor and dis­play.

On the screen

The large 5.7in Quad HD dis­play is an ab­so­lute treat, since I tend to use my smart­phone to view legally ob­tained movies and TV shows (silently judg­ing those who don’t).

The 1,440 x 2,560 res­o­lu­tion with 515ppi im­age den­sity makes view­ing a plea­sure, giv­ing plenty of de­tails for videos and pho­tos. You’d be im­pressed with the bright­ness lev­els on this phone that yields a per­fectly vis­i­ble screen even when you’re out in the sun. One tiny prob­lem though – the screen is su­per re­flec­tive, so at a wrong an­gle, you would tem­po­rar­ily blind yourself from the re­flec­tions of bright lights around you.

There’s an op­tion to switch on the Eye Com­fort mode that fil­ters out blue light, leav­ing a yel­low­ish tint. This is sup­pos­edly bet­ter for your eye­sight, es­pe­cially when you use your phone at night, and you can even sched­ule the Eye Com­fort mode to au­to­mat­i­cally switch on and off.

What’s in­side?

The Honor 8 Pro has a 4,000mAh bat­tery which sup­pos­edly sup­ports fast charg­ing, though to be hon­est, with even 30 min­utes of charg­ing, the bat­tery level didn’t even hit the 40% mark.

In my ex­pe­ri­ence, it took closer to an hour for the bat­tery to go from nearly flat to fully charged even with the fast charg­ing.

A fully charged bat­tery lasts for over a day, pro­vided that you don’t use up the juice on heavy gam­ing and binge watch­ing of shows. A nor­mal use for my phone would be for Spo­tify, a few checks on so­cial me­dia sites, pho­tos of my friends mak­ing weird faces and mak­ing and re­ceiv­ing phone calls. And by calls, I mean What­sApp. (Who makes phone calls these days?) Any­way, my min­i­mal use of the smart­phone dur­ing the day means that I have more bat­tery power to play Evil Ap­ples (it’s like Cards Against Hu­man­ity) with strangers from all over the world. If per­for­mance is what you need from your phone, then Honor 8 Pro will give you just that. The phone packs the in-house HiSil­i­con Kirin 960 octa-core pro­ces­sor, which can also be found in Huawei’s flag­ships P10 and Mate 9. This is paired with a 6GB RAM and a 64GB in­ter­nal stor­age that is ex­pand­able to up to 256GB with a mi­croSD card.

Smile for the cam­era

Ex­pect beau­ti­ful shots with this smart­phone. The Honor 8 Pro boasts a dual cam­era setup, with one RGB and one mono­chrome sen­sor. Be­fore you get all ex­cited, they are not the Le­ica lenses sported by the P10, but the per­for­mance more than makes up for the lack of brand­ing.

The dual sen­sors work to­gether to pro­duce de­tailed images, with the RGB sen­sor pro­cess­ing all the colour in­for­ma­tion and the mono­chrome sen­sor de­tail­ing the shad­ows and high­lights.

The phone has two 12-megapixel cam­eras on the back with a wide aper­ture range from f/0.95 to f/16. It is great for por­trait shots, es­pe­cially if you want the Bokeh ef­fect with a blurred out back­ground. A word of warn­ing though – don’t mess about too much with the aper­ture set­tings, or your im­age could turn out look­ing su­per un­nat­u­ral.

The im­proved 8-megapixel front cam­era that now comes with the ubiq­ui­tous beauty mode means you can also take good self­ies.

Fun fac­tor

I re­ally did en­joy us­ing the Honor 8 Pro be­cause there were just so many things to keep me oc­cu­pied. First of all, I had a to­tal blast with the 3D Cre­ator mode in its cam­era func­tion.

Take a photo of some­one and cre­ate a 3D ver­sion of them, which you can then ma­nip­u­late by chang­ing their out­fits and hair­styles. I know, it’s ju­ve­nile but the re­sults can be hi­lar­i­ous, and makes for light con­ver­sa­tion topic.

Okay, I didn’t get this un­til some­one pointed it out – did you know that the box in which the Honor 8 Pro comes can be turned into a VR card­board viewer?

Even though I am not a big VR en­thu­si­ast, this piece of news still got me ex­cited enough to try to as­sem­ble the viewer my­self. It isn’t dif­fi­cult to put to­gether, so that’s another plus point right there.

The phone comes VR-ready with the pre-in­stalled Jaunt VR app that has some pretty ex­cit­ing con­tent such as In­vis­i­ble, an orig­i­nal VR se­ries, and even be­hind-the-scenes shots of Fan­tas­tic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

You can still watch these 360° videos with­out the card­board viewer, so that’s good news for those who don’t want to peer through the gad­get.


The Honor 8 Plus 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.

All in all, the RM1,999 price tag is jus­ti­fied with this one.

Ex­pect good pho­tos with this phone that has two 12-megapixel cam­eras on the back with a wide aper­ture.

A fin­ger­print sen­sor on the back of the phone recog­nises your dig­its in­stantly.

Did you know that the box in which the Honor 8 Pro comes can be turned into a VR card­board viewer? — Pho­tos: AZLINA AB­DUL­LAH/The Star

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