Honor 8 Pro first impressions: OnePlus 5 killer in the house?

By Sameer Mitha | Published on 23 Jun 2017
Honor 8 Pro first impressions: OnePlus 5 killer in the house?

Huawei's sub-brand Honor has announced the Honor 8 Pro in India. The smartphone will launch in the first week of July and the price of the device has not yet been revealed. We got a chance to experience the Honor 8 Pro at a preview event. Here's what we think of the smartphone on first impressions.

At a preview event today, Honor announced its latest smartphone, the Honor 8 Pro. The smartphone is also known as the Honor v9 in China. The device will officially launch in India in the first week of July, and there is no confirmation on the price just yet. Rumours and speculation peg the price between Rs 30,000 and Rs 37,000, which is quite a wide range. We think for the smartphone to succeed, it needs to be priced around the Rs 32,000 price tag. In fact, if it's lower that that, it will be even better. The reason we say this is because of a little device called the OnePlus 5, which recently launched in the country and has received pretty good reviews.

The Honor 8 Pro is quite a slim smartphone measuring a mere 6.9mm in thickness. To give you perspective, the OnePlus 5 is 7.3mm thick. Now that isn't a world of a difference, but when you consider the fact that the OnePlus 5 has a 3300mAh battery compared to the Honor 8 Pro's 4000mAh battery, then you should be impressed. The Honor 8 Pro is only slightly taller than the OP5, and that is because it houses a 5.7-inch display with a 2560x1440p resolution. The OP5 has a 5.5-inch 1080p display. Yes, the OP5 has the edge with Gorilla Glass 5 but the Honor 8 Pro also sports Gorilla Glass 3.

Coming to the rest of the specifications, the Honor 8 Pro runs on the Kirin 960 SoC coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB built-in storage, expandable by another 128GB, thanks to the hybrid SIM card slot. Expandable storage is not something we have seen on the OnePlus 5 which gives a users 64GB of storage in the base variant. How the Kirin 960 stands against the Snapdragon 835 platform is something we will comment on when we review the Honor 8 Pro.

When you turn the Honor 8 Pro around, you find the fingerprint sensor located in the centre of the back. The smartphone also houses a dual 12MP camera setup, but this time around, it isn't Leica branded. A good thing is that the camera doesn't bulge out or have a bum like the one on the OnePlus 5. In fact it sits flush with the rear design of the smartphone - another thing to appreciate.

The Honor 8 Pro has a metal build and the blue colour variant that we received is quite an attractive looking colour for the smartphone. The bottom has the USB-C port that supports fast charging, a headphones jack and the speaker grill. The top of the device has an IR blaster, a hidden gem of a feature for those that lose their AC remotes often. The front facing camera is an 8MP unit and in the limited time we spent with the device, it was snappy and worked well. Images produced by the front-facing camera softened the features of my face, and that's okay because that's how selfies look good. The rear and primary camera was quick as well, and boasts of a wide aperture mode using which you can create a depth of field effect. The effect looks nice and works well in post production. The rear camera can also shoot 4K videos at 30fps.

Coming to the OS of the smartphone, it runs on Android Nougat straight out of the box, skinned with Honor's Emotion UI5. The UI is similar to what we've seen in the past. It doesn't haver an app drawer, icons resemble that of iOS, and overall, it feels smooth at first impression. I'm a sucker for stock Android, but am open to seeing how this UI performs on the smartphone. 

In conclusion, at first impressions, the Honor 8 Pro feels impressive. The back has an iPhone-like design, the blue colour we got looks quite sexy and the phone appears to be a powerhouse; the perfect contender for the OnePlus 5. What remains to be seen is how the smartphone is priced in India and how the Kirin 960SoC stands against the Snapdragon 835 Platform. The Kirin 960 does boast of Vulcan API support, so it will be interesting to see how games perform on it. Stay tuned for our in-depth review to find out if this is indeed the kryptonite to OnePlus' 5uperman!

Huawei Honor 8 Pro Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Release Date: 05 Apr 2017
Variant: 128GB
Market Status: Launched

Key Specs

  • Screen Size Screen Size
    5.7" (1440 x 2560)
  • Camera Camera
    12 + 12 MP | 8 MP
  • Memory Memory
    128 GB/6 GB
  • Battery Battery
    4000 mAh
Sameer Mitha

Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.

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