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Honor View 10 hands-on: Ready to take on the big brands

During an event held in London, Honor presented the Honor 7X and View 10 to the international market. The View 10, without a doubt, is the more interesting device, the high-end smartphone with artificial intelligence and Full View display ready to face the current big players on the market. Will it succeed?  In our hands-on review, the View 10 certainly seems to have potential.

Honor View 10 release date and price

The Honor V10 was officially announced in China on November 28th where you can buy it from December 5th in black, blue, gold and red. Now the smartphone is also official in Europe under the name Honor View 10 where it can be purchased in Navy Blue and Midnight Black colors at the price of  499.90€, or £449.99 in the UK. No official price for the US so far, but the equivalent amount would be around $600. It is available in a single version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory.

Considering the price, its direct rival could be the OnePlus 5T, which also features an almost bezel-less display.

Honor View 10 design and build quality

It's hard to be surprised by the design of a smartphone nowadays. Mid-range devices have a premium look that is less and less distinct from high-end devices. The flagships now all opt for a sleek and elegant unibody made of aluminium and/or glass. To differentiate them, we need to go into details regarding features and price.

This all applies to the Honor View 10: it's a beautiful smartphone, impossible to say otherwise, especially the red version (but that's my personal taste). Not exactly original but still elegant and comfortable to hold in your hand thanks to the slightly rounded corners. The Honor View 10 measures 157×74,98×6,97mm and weighs 172 grams.

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The body is entirely made of aluminum. / © AndroidPIT

Honor also jumps onto the near bezel-less display bandwagon and integrates a FullView screen like the one offered by Huawei on Mate 10 Pro, Porsche Design and Mate 10 Lite. However, there is a difference: the fingerprint reader is not moved to the body but remains on the front, at the bottom of the panel. Is this really the right choice?

The way you are used to interacting with your device makes the difference, these are preferences that change from user to user. But what drove the brand to position it on the front rather than on the back like the Mate 10 Pro, for example?

George Zhao claims it is a new design trend. The first motive that comes to mind is Apple: the removal of the Touch ID has left a number of users unhappy. By placing the fingerprint scanner in front, Honor is perhaps trying to appeal to those disgruntled Apple fans, or simply attempting to meet the needs of users with this preference. 

The physical buttons for power and volume are located on the right and respond well. The dual camera protrudes from the smooth body, flanked by the LED flash. At Type C USB port is located below. On the left you can insert two SIM cards or rely on a single phone number and insert a useful microSD card. Audiophiles will appreciate the presence of the headphone mini jack.

On the whole, the View 10 handles well, the assembly seems to have been meticulously crafted and it still looks good next to its expensive rivals.

Honor View 10 display

One of the Honor View 10's main features is the 5.99-inch FullView screen. With a format of 18:9, it is surrounded by incredibly slim bezels and has a resolution of 2160x1080 pixels, just like the Mate 10 Pro. It has a 403 ppi resolution.

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18:9 display and fingerprint reader at the front, it's got everything. / © AndroidPIT

This format allows for a large display, but without the usual bulk and unwieldiness associated with phablets. The fingerprint reader, however, does take up considerable space. During our short test the color reproduction looks really good, as well as the contrasts. There's the standard night reading mode with features to reduce eye fatigue in the evening as well as the possibility of adjusting brightness and color temperature.

Honor View 10 software

In a pleasant surprise, Honor has decided to equip its top of the range of the latest Android version, Oreo. The latest version of its own interface, EMUI 8.0, runs alongside Oreo. Check out our dedicated article.For more information on EMUI 8.0.

Despite the fact that the Chinese manufacturer does not have the experience of brands like Samsung or LG, to name but two, and despite the fact that it has until recently concentrated mainly on the low-end range, it has decided to offer its users the latest version of the software. An admirable choice that more manufacturers should follow.

The look of the interface is the same as that found on Huawei devices updated to this version of OS and skin. In addition to unlocking via fingerprint, the View 10 also features a face unlock that promises to be safer and faster.

In the short time available to us, everything seemed to run smoothly. Among the preinstalled apps you will find one dedicated to translation without having to be connected to the internet, present thanks to the collaboration with Microsoft.

Honor View 10 performance

As mentioned above, the similarities on the hardware side with the Mate 10 Pro are visible. The Honor View 10's engine is the Kirin 970 octa-core processor (4 cores at 2.36 GHz and 4 cores at 1.8 GHz) with 10nm process with the same unit dedicated to artificial intelligence on Huawei's phablet. The NPU (Neural Processing Unit) is the key to this device, which is what should make it smarter than its competitors especially when it comes to the camera. 

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The company's first smartphone with NPU for artificial intelligence on board! / © AndroidPIT

Artificial intelligence, thanks to Huawei first and then Honor, has now arrived on the smartphone and, even if now the effects of this shift are still limited, in the future it will be decidedly more visible. The first step, however, has been taken and Honor has not missed the opportunity to integrate the technology available on its devices thanks to their close relationship with Huawei.

The processor is flanked by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable internal memory up to 256GB. Then there is the Mali-G72 MP12 GPU, which takes care of the graphics section. Looking at the numbers on paper, and taking as a model the Mate 10 Pro that both on benchmark tests and on practice has shown good results, we can also expect good performance from the Honor View 10.

Additional features include Bluetooth 4.2, and some interesting options for gaming. Honor takes gamers into consideration with a feature that allows you to block notifications and calls during gaming sessions, as well as by offering shortcuts for screenshots and a high performance mode.

Honor View 10 camera

The body of the Honor View 10 houses a dual camera consisting of a 16MP RGB sensor and a 20MP monochrome sensor with f/1.8 aperture, wide angle and 2-in-1 PDAF autofocus.Then there is the LED flash and the possibility of shooting videos in 4K.

As mentioned above, the Artificial Intelligence Unit shows off its capabilities with the camera itself capable of recognizing particular objects in the frame and automatically adapting settings accordingly to provide the best result for the user.

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The dual camera makes use of AI to enhance results. / © AndroidPIT

On the Mate 10 Pro this feature really impressed my colleague Eric. Some users may not appreciate the huge amount of work in post-production perhaps but the work done in real time by the camera is amazing. To see the quality of shots even in low light conditions, wait for the final review of the device. For now, know that the camera app offers a Pro mode for photos and videos, filters and bokeh effect. 

The front camera uses a 13MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture.

New features

Huawei (and Honor accordingly) is also ready for unlocking via facial recognition. This feature got people talking after the launch of the iPhone X and now Huawei also proposes its alternative that should work just like on Apple's latest flagship, or rather even better (at least this is what George Zhao said during the event in Beijing).

This feature will be able to generate a kind of 3D face map consisting of 300 thousand points in just 10 seconds and unlock the device with your face quickly and safely. This system should also work when you are in places that are not very bright, as well as for making payments.

Huawei Honor Face ID technik
Honor is preparing to challenge Apple's FaceID. / © Winfuture

This is the theory, in practice you will need to wait until 2018 to see it implemented on the brand's devices. Will a hypothetical Huawei P11 be the first to offer it? For the moment we don't have any information about it but what we know is that the future camera of the brand's devices will also be able to create the moods, that is, emoji with your own facial expressions. Apple has once again set the trend. 

Honor View 10 battery

The Honor View 10 incorporates a non-removable 3750 mAh battery with Fast SuperCharge recharging that allows you to charge the battery up to 50% in 30 minutes. The Mate 10 Pro offers a slightly larger 4000 mAh battery, which has been able to guarantee a two-day lifespan in our tests. We hope that Honor View 10 will achieve similar results.

Honor View 10 technical specifications

Dimensions: 157 x 74.98 x 6.97 mm
Weight: 172 g
Battery size: 3750 mAh
Screen size: 5.99 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 2160 x 1080 pixels (403 ppi)
Front camera: 13 megapixels
Rear camera: 20 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 8.0 - Oreo
User interface: Emotion UI
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 970
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.4 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

Early Verdict

Honor has made its name by focusing on the young, trendy digital natives. It started to offer devices online at good value for money, of which the Honor 9 is in my opinion the best representative thanks to the hardware inherited from the Huawei P10.

The View 10 is a top-of-the-range product that brings together the best the Chinese manufacturer has to offer: a beautiful design, a FullView display in line with the current top of the range and an artificial intelligence processor that works with one of the most important components of a smartphone, the camera. Now we just have to see if the daily performance of battery and camera will be able to meet the needs of users who are used to putting a high-end flagship in their pockets.

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On board we find Oreo and EMUI 8.0. / © AndroidPIT

And if this is the case (the technical data sheet and previous experiences with Honor 9 and Mate 10 Pro play in its favor), the other manufacturers will have to prepare for another fierce rival. Because even though Honor is closely related to Huawei, they are slowly carving their own path, focusing not only on the youngest, but on all those who want a good multimedia experience from their smartphones at a budget price, without sacrificing other cutting-edge features.

What do you think of the Honor View 10? Has Honor joined the ranks of the premium manufacturers?

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  • Competition is good, as long as the playing field (in the USA, dominated by Apple/Samsung & at&t/Verison) sells these, and allows them on their networks without too much hassle. Sometimes, getting a non carrier device IMEI to work on "the big two" can be a PITA.

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