It took a few weeks for the Honor 10 to land in Europe after it was initially made official in China. But the wait was worth it, because Honor presented us with an attractive smartphone that has solid benefits, for an enticing price. Is the Honor 10 really the best value smartphone of the moment? Let's take a closer look at the specs, performance and price if you order it unofficially in the US.
The smartphone market is tough, especially when you're battling it out in the high-end. Apple and Samsung dominate, while other manufacturers have to satisfy themselves with their crumbs. It's clear that, in this segment, Huawei and OnePlus have been gaining ground in recent years, while LG, HTC and Motorola have been having a tougher time hanging in there.
Until now, Honor has mostly tried not to step on the toes of giants. The brand targets a younger audience, which is a a bit more strapped for cash, and it has to avoid stealing the show from Huawei, given their relationship. The situation hasn't changed this year as the young manufacturer knows its place as Huawei's sister brand.
Honor has been off to a strong start in 2018 and it shows no signs of slowing down. The company has unveiled a series of competitive devices: the Honor 7X, 9 Lite and View 10. The latest, the Honor 10, certainly doesn't break the pattern of success.
Performance and price
With this smartphone, Honor is offering up everything you'd expect from a high-end device, and at a price well below the competition. In terms of design, it has nothing to envy. The Honor 10 has a glass design with an aluminum frame. The bezels are thin, and the overall lines of the device are appealing. The finish and build quality is superb. For those who want a bit of originality, the Honor 10's blue and green variant offers a beautiful, eye-catching look.
The camera of the Honor 10 is also a winner. The dual camera features one monochrome and one color sensor, with 12 and 24 MP respectively. Though it can't compete with its big brother, the Huawei P20 Pro, or the Samsung Galaxy S9, it's close. All but the most demanding 5% of users will be pleased with the shots it produces.
With its own Kirin 970 processor and the integrated NPU chip dedicated to artificial intelligence, the Honor 10 is looking ahead and staying on top of trends in the market. Its camera takes advantage of various AI functions which are made quick by the processor. It's important to note that if you think the AI's effects are too pronounced, for instance if the colors are too saturated, it can be activated or deactivated in the gallery for each photo.
At 4 GB of RAM, the performance is sufficient for any task you might throw at it. Compared to the Galaxy S9, as an example, the Honor 10 is nearly equal, but for a much lower price.
|Honor 10||Samsung Galaxy S9+|
|3DMark Sling Shot Extreme||2,526||3,304|
|3DMark Sling Shot Vulkan||2,845||3,021|
|3DMark Sling Shot ES 3.0||3,179||3,966|
|3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited||30,954||38,701|
|Geekbench 4 Single / Multi Core||1,897 / 6,441||3,771 / 8,923|
What about the drawbacks?
Of course, let's not view everything through rose colored glasses. The Honor 10 does have some drawbacks. The presence of the notch is a disappointment, in my opinion. Honor has designed attractive smartphones without the notch in the past, and didn't need to give in to the trend.
The lack of microSD slot for expanding the storage of the smartphone and the overheating of the device during periods of intense use make for two more shortcomings. The Bluetooth version is 4.2, and not Bluetooth 5, which won't be a problem for many people, but would have been appreciated. Finally, the most important critique in my opinion is the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, which is slower than Honor's previous models and less responsive.
The price is still the best part
The biggest strength of the Honor 10 is its aggressively competitive price. The Honor 10 is available in Europe for €399 (about $470) and in the UK for £399 (about $538). There's no word yet on whether or not it will come to the US officially. The Honor 9 never made it to the US, so it's unlikely. Nevertheless, you'll still be able to buy the device online for under $600.
What do you think of the Honor 10? Will you buy one?