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Honor View 10 review: Top-range phone yet to reach the top – Hardware reviews

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.

Good

  • Price
  • Headphone jack
  • MicroSD support
  • Value for money
  • Dual SIM

Bad

  • No waterproof certification
  • Face recognition is limited to notifications
  • No desktop mode

Lowest price: Honor View 10


Best price

Honor View 10 release date and price

The Honor V10 was officially announced in China on November 28th, where it went on sale on December 5th, available in black, blue, gold and red. The smartphone was the announced at the beginning of December in Europe, where it can be purchased in the colors navy blue and midnight black at the price of €499.90, or £449.99 in the UK.

Considering the price, however, its direct rival could be the OnePlus 5T.

There is still no official price for the US, but the equivalent amount would be around $600 and Honor has confirmed that the Honor View 10 will have a US release this year. It is available as a single version, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory.

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The smartphone will be released this year in the US at around $600. / © AndroidPIT

The price is one of its strong points, especially in comparison to the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, with which it shares several components. Considering the price, however, 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.

The Honor View 10 features the fingerprint reader on the front instead of on the body.

This all applies to the Honor View 10: it’s a beautiful smartphone and it’s impossible to say otherwise. This is particularly true of the red version available in China (but that’s my personal taste). It’s 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.

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. There is a difference however: the fingerprint reader hasn’t been moved to the body and instead remains on the front at the bottom of the panel. Is this really the right choice?

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In blue it is too reminiscent of the Honor 8. / © AndroidPIT

The way you are used to interacting with your device makes a difference and these preferences vary from user to user. But what drove the manufacturer 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 fact is that in daily use it took me a while to get used to the read on the front. It could be inconvenient to reach since it is so far on the bottom. On the other hand, however, you can activate the navigation features and use them to go back, to the home screen, or to manage multitasking.

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The power button is more distinguished because it’s protruding. / © AndroidPIT

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. A Type-C USB port is located underneath. 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.

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The phone features a headphone jack, a Type-C USB port and a (mono) speaker. / © AndroidPIT

The USB port located on the bottom is Type-C. You can house two SIM cards on the left or just have a single number and insert a microSD card, which is always useful. The smartphone also includes a mini-jack for headphones. These are two advantages to consider when comparing it to the Huawei Mate, but it should be noted that the differences between these two devices are quite noticeable with respect to hardware.

Honor View 10 does not offer IP67 / 8 certification.

The View 10 does not opt for glass and is a bit more boring, although the opaque body leads to less fingerprints. It’s a shame that it’s so similar to the Honor 8 / Pro, and in my opinion it should have stolen a few more lines from the Honor 9.

Overall the View 10 is handy, but slightly slippery. The assembly is quite good, but not as perfect as on the Mate 10 Pro. After all, the difference in price between the two is important. But in any case it is able to hold its own next to other flagships. One thing to note: the View 10 is not waterproof.

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The two cameras protrude too far from the body. / © AndroidPIT

The purchase package comes with a transparent cover, a USB Type-C cable, a 5V / 4.5A charger and a pair of earphones.

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 2160×1080 pixels, just like the Mate 10 Pro. The display features 403 ppi and the resolution remains the same in FullHD. Although we are talking about flagships, perhaps this limitation won’t be restrictive for users.

The display is covered by 2.5D glass, which makes the blue underneath more flashy.

This 18:9 format allows for a large display that can still fit in your pocket. The fingerprint reader, however, does take up considerable space, but for some it will be a pleasure to use while the smartphone is placed on a table.

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A good IPS panel with an 18:9 format. / © AndroidPIT

The colors are vivid. The blacks aren’t very black. The brightness is good and the automatic brightness works as it should. I would recommend, however, that you set the phone to maximum brightness under direct sunlight and you shouldn’t wear polarized sunglasses or you won’t be able to see anything. You can also activate the eye protection mode and change the color mode (vivid or normal).

One small detail on the front panel: the display is covered with 2.5D glass, which makes the blue underneath look more flashy and aesthetically pleasing.

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 just 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. This is an admirable decision that more manufacturers should follow.

The face recognition only serves to provide notifications and doesn’t unlock the device.

The interface doesn’t function entirely smoothly and you’ll notice a slight delay. I experienced delays even in the transition from one app to another, although some of them were only sporadic. I didn’t find these delays to be entirely worrying or limiting. The look of the interface is the same as that found on Huawei devices updated to this version of OS and skin.

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The face recognition is useful for unlocking screen notifications, but doesn’t unlock the device. / © AndroidPIT

In addition to unlocking via fingerprint, the View 10 also introduces facial recognition, but it is limited to screen notifications. This means that once you have registered your face (it takes a few seconds and it will have the image of your saved face without you even noticing it), the device will recognize it and show the full contents of the notifications on the lock screen. In short, this feature was only partially released. We’re hoping that with a future software update it will be possible to unlock the entire device.

Private space is an interesting novelty, a sort of private island that is accessible with a different digital fingerprint and a different password. This function can be useful for those who wish hide files and information on their device that they don’t want to share with everyone and that will be kept private in all respects. You can decide to access one of the two available profiles by entering the corresponding password. I would warn you, however, that using these profiles does slow the phone down a great deal.

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A private island to protect apps, photos, and emails from prying eyes. / © AndroidPIT

Among the pre-installed apps, along with Quik and some other games in demo mode, you’ll find one dedicated to translation that doesn’t require being connected to the internet, thanks to a collaboration with Microsoft. But this app deserves an article dedicated entirely to itself. You can uninstall the pre-installed games in a snap, but not all of the other apps, including eBay. Honor should reduce some of this bloatware.

GameSuite, on the other hand, optimizes the gaming experience by removing all distractions. Gestures can be enabled (double click to take a screenshot) as well as the Twin App, which are deactivated by default. The keyboard can also be switched to SwiftKey.

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 a 10nm process, which is the same unit dedicated to artificial intelligence on Huawei’s phablet. The NPU (Neural Processing Unit) is the key to this device, which make it smarter than its competitors, especially when it comes to the camera.

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The artificial intelligence included in the chip can be demonstrated through the use of the camera.  / © AndroidPIT

Artificial intelligence, first 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 on its devices through their close relationship with Huawei. If you were to ask me now how useful this technology is, I would say that it hardly makes a difference. It takes some time to learn from the user, but you can tell it’s working with the camera and with the Microsoft translation app. At the moment, however, it’s not doing much else.

The processor is flanked by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable internal memory up to 256GB. So in terms of memory and storage, Honor doesn’t disappoint users. Then there is the Mali-G72 MP12 GPU, which takes care of the graphics. You can use the View 10 to play games, surf the web and watch videos without any problems. Even games like Real Racing 3 aren’t a problem and the device doesn’t overheat.

Honor View 10: Benchmark results

  3D Mark Sling Shot Vulkan 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1 3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0 Geekbench 4 – single core  Geekbench 4 – multicore PassMark Memory PassMark Disk
Honor View 10 2488 2843 3314 31677 1906 6618 9128 73380

Additional features include Bluetooth 4.2 (not the 5), Wi-Fi dual band, an infrared sensor and NFC. There is no FM radio.

Honor View 10 audio

The View 10 has a single speaker, which is located at the bottom right of Type-C USB port. It offers good performance when playing music, gaming or watching videos on the net. The sound doesn’t distort, even when the volume is turned up.

The presence of the headphone jack will delight those users who are disappointed that Huawei decided not to integrate it in the Mate 10 Pro. You will have no problem understanding people on the phone, since the audio is so clear. I didn’t have any problems understanding phone calls, even in the subway or noisy environments.

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.

The camera is lacking an optical image stabilizer.

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. This saves you ‘effort’, for example, from manually changing to night mode, and AI’s helping hand is also noticeable in post-production work, especially with colors. It is really interesting what the camera can do in real time.

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

From everyday use, I can promise you that if the lighting conditions are good you will end up with photos full of details. The colors are less brilliant in comparison to photos taken with an S8, to name an example. But shots in black and white turn out beautifully, as is the case with Huawei’s recent flagship. As always, in the evening or when the light is not good, the noise starts to appear, the details fade away and you’ll notice that the subjects and objects of the photographs become more blurred. The optical image stabilizer is missing and you’ll notice its absence, even in videos. The focus is quite precise.

You’ll find new features, artist mode and AR lenses in the shooting modes.

The front camera uses a 13MP sensor with a f/2.0 aperture and takes great selfies. If the brightness is not good, the issues with the rear camera also apply to the selfie camera. The colors in this case are also particularly bright and if you don’t want you to look like a doll in your photos, I suggest you turn off the beauty filter that starts automatically. Honor should disable this feature by default.

In the shooting modes, you’ll find some novelties, including the artist mode that allows you to apply cartoon-style features, similar to those available in the Prisma app. With the artist mode the AR mode you’re able to be more creative with the camera. You also have access to the usual Panorama, Pro (for photos and videos), filters and slow motion. With the Pro mode active you can only work with images in RAW format.

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Turn yourself into a cartoon! / © AndroidPIT

With View 10 you can shoot videos in 4K, but the best results are obtained on Full HD at 1080p and 30fps. If you enhance your video to 60fps, make sure the device is stable or you will notice the shakiness in the video itself. An in-depth article on the Video 10’s camera is coming soon, and you can take a look at the shots here:

The camera app is easy to use and easy to swipe.

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.

The Honor View 10 offers good battery life

In terms of battery life, the Honor View 10 does not disappoint. Even with intense use, I almost always have 20% of available battery at the end of the day. With less intensive use during the day, the battery was less than half drained. The battery does have a harder time with the intense use of games and the camera. On PCMark it obtained a result of 7 hours and 28 minutes with active Wi-Fi, a built-in SIM card and with the brightness setting at 50%.

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: 6 GB
Internal storage: 128 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 970
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.36 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

Final 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. Both prominent trends of 2017 are therefore present in the View 10: a dual camera on the body and an 18:9 display without edges. The overall performance is good, although careful eyes will notice slight delays in the interface.

The price, presumably at around $600, makes it very attractive and for this amount you can buy a flagship, even if it’s not fully developed yet. Less bloatware, a smoother interface, an optical stabilizer and certification against water and dust: these are in my opinion the points that the View 10 should improve to be truly top range in all respects. The price / quality ratio remains excellent and the presence of some features such as the mini-jack and expandable memory could make it ‘more interesting’ than the Mate 10 Pro, but there are differences between the two devices, despite the similar specifications.

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

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