They say once you go Apple, you never go back. But one good look at the specs of today’s Android phones would be enough to convince you to jump the Apple ship and hop onto a more practical brand.
And—most importantly—when a smartphone has the features of a flagship model without a hefty price tag, you make sure you know how it will give you your money’s worth (or maybe even more).
Enter the Honor 10, a midtier priced smartphone with mindblowing performance capablilities. If you haven’t heard of it before, Honor is primarily an online tech brand that is a sub-company owned by Huawei which focuses on a younger, tech-savvy market. And yes, it develops phones with specs specifically for their target audience—people who care about gaming speeds, photo quality, and multitasking.
The Honor 10 has a beautiful aurora-inspired back design, which seems to be following the gradient color trend most Android phones have. While its bold reflective glass design is astonishing, it is a bit of a fingerprint and scratch magnet. It’s a good thing it comes with a free jelly case, as well as a screen protector of good quality, which means you wouldn’t even have to spend extra for phone accessories!
You also get to experience full HD with this device’s screen. The images are clear and crisp, and the colors are impressively vibrant. Honor 10 also has the split screen option, and even lets users watch videos out of apps like YouTube and Netflix on a picture-on-picture setting.
For security, the phone has an ultrasonic and ultra-sensitive fingerprint scanner that’s built right under the phone’s screen. It also has a face unlock feature that could identify the user’s face even when wearing eyeglasses and caps. But we did find that it was much quicker to unlock the Honor 10 with the fingerprint scanner—it literally takes a split second.
It also comes with 128 GB storage capacity accompanied by 4 GB RAM. The mobile gaming experience on this phone is fast and seamless, so you don’t have to worry about losing due to lagging and misclicks when you’re on game mode.
Moving on to its main selling point—the camera—the Honor 10 takes sharp and vivid photographs in Auto mode. It easily focuses on your chosen subject, and also requires little distance from objects for it to focus, so you can do a bit of macro photography with it as well.
With its AI or Artificial Intelligence feature, it automatically identifies what kind of subject you are trying to capture. While we tested it out, the AI camera was accurate in identifying food, landscape, beach, pet, and portrait shots. However, its automated settings mostly just adjust the color and contrast, making images warmer and the blacks deeper.
When taking portraits, the bokeh background that the AI mode creates seems very unnatural. But the good thing about this is you can easily turn this feature off even after you take the photograph.
You can also tinker with its Aperture mode to play with the depth of field. The Honor 10’s dual camera lenses can give you an aperture of f/0.95 to f/16, so you get that desired blurry background. After taking the photograph in Aperture mode, you can even change the focus point of the picture, just in case you’re not happy with its blur radius.
If you know how to tinker with a DSLR’s manual settings, the Honor 10 has impressive full manual options, too. From shutter speed, aperture, to ISO control, you can play with this device’s camera like a pro. But honestly, you don’t have to go through that much trouble since Honor 10’s Auto mode gives you Insta-worthy shots just as well.
We took the Honor 10 to yet another trip to La Union to test its camera, and here are the unedited photos we took:
We’re not a fan of its built-in Beauty mode. But there’s just no going around it, even when it’s notched down to 0, the phone’s 24 MP front camera still automatically blurs out the skin imperfections it finds.
The video mode isn’t as impressive—it often captured darker and grainier footage, a real downer compared to the quality of photos the device gave.
Another downside to this phone is its lack of a stereo speakers. It’s hard to hear the sound of videos and music on full volume even inside a silent room.
The phone also comes with a fast charger, although during the first few days you might struggle with longer charging hours with this phone. In our experience, it took at least five hours to bring it up to 100 percent when we initially charged it. After two days, it only required 25 minutes to get half the battery juice in.
With the battery juice of 3400 mAh, this phone lasts us nine hours with the Power Saving Mode doing its magic. Heavy data usage on social media, data-consuming games, hours of recording on the background, and lots of photo-taking moments for Instagram happen during a single day of our journalist lives, and we were bold enough not to bring a powerbank the whole month we had the Honor 10.
Honor 10 specs:
HiSilicon Kirin 970, Octa-Core
4GB RAM and 128GB ROM
EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1 Oreo
24MP+16MP New Dual AI rear camera
24MP Front AI Camera
3.5mm audio jack
Pre-installed screen protector
Huawei mic and stereo earbuds
Huawei Honor 10 is priced at P23,990.