What some would call a “standardization” in smartphone design, others would call “boring and lacking creativity.” Most smartphones today look so homogenous that if you were to hide the brand name. It’s the same old matte black finish, or glass back design, so when the Honor 10 landed on my desk, I was already impressed with the colour treatment. I’d loved what Huawei did with the P20 Pro and while many think this is just an “inspiration” from the parent company, let me assure you, its not. The Huawei P20 Pro’s Twilight edition changes colour in a gradient, but the Honor 10 creates disruptive streaks of light from top to bottom. The colour goes from blue to purple, to pink all in one look. This is another distinctive smartphone to grace the Indian market and it nails the “premium looks” part of what a flagship should be. However, what else does it have to offer?
Designed to turn heads
Take the phone out of the box and you can’t help but feel like you’re holding something elegant. The 5.8-inch 19:9 display fits extremely well in the hands and for the first time in a very long time, I’ve come across a phone I can use with just one hand. For the last four days that I’ve had the phone, it has been nothing but a treat to use. What’s been even more interesting is the treatment of the colour. The Phantom Blue variant that I received not only changes colours, but there seems to be streaks of light running across the phone as it moves. It's not just that there are lines of light running top to bottom, but the edge of these streaks tend to also shift their hue. Honestly, it is something you just have to see for yourself and while you may or may not like it, but there’s no denying the uniqueness of this finish. Beyond the colour, the glass back and front are held together by a metal frame adding heft (and grip) to the phone. Overall, this is one of the better designed and constructed phones in the market today.
Joining the Notch Trend
The Honor 10 comes with a notch, something I am not very fond of. Since the display is an IPS LCD panel, when you “turn off the notch” the black band isn’t quite as invisible as it should be. The feature works great on the Huawei P20 Pro, but not so much on the Honor 10. I just ended up using the phone with the notch enabled and frankly, the quality of the display is so good that the notch didn’t really bother me all that much. What will REALLY stand out about the display is the fingerprint sensor. With the Honor View10, the company proved that it was possible to put a fully functional fingerprint sensor on the front of a smartphone with a 19:9 aspect ratio display. With the Honor 10, the company goes a step further and has placed the fingerprint sensor under the front glass panel. I ended up rubbing my fingers across the glass a number of times to make sure there were no metal contacts, and there sure aren’t. The best part, the fingerprint sensor works really well. I’m looking forward to writing more about this.
The Honor 10 comes with two cameras on the back, a 24-megapixel RGB sensor and a 16-megapixel monochrome sensor. Both the cameras sports lenses with an aperture of f/1.8. There’s also a front facing 24-megapixel camera with a pixel pitch of 1.8 μm which should theoretically take the selfie game to the next level. I’ve taken some photos with the Honor 10 using its monochrome sensor and so far, the results look promising. The selfie camera does make tall claims which I will test out in detail in the coming days. In the initial few days, the camera seems to be very responsive and takes good photos in all light conditions, but these photos are yet to be examined on a large display and the camera is yet to be used in test conditions, so I reserve my judgment on the camera for now.
To sum things up…
The Honor 10 is supposed to be the company’s flagship smartphone that will go up in competition against the OnePlus 6. How that’s going to play out is a matter of when we review both the devices. From the little time I have spent with the Honor 10, it seems like a promising device from the youth-centric brand, but whether it will be worth the money or not is something we will only know once our full review is out.