Become the flagship with the best quality / price in the market. That seems the objective of Honor 10, the new terminal of Huawei’s sister brand that offers similar characteristics to the P20 but with a lower price. We have been testing it thoroughly and we tell you about our experience in the analysis of Honor 10 .
The glass design has always been one of the hallmarks of the family and in this Honor 10 they have not made an exception. But in addition to construction, this year they are betting on artificial intelligence as a tool to give their camera a plus. Does it really contribute something? Is the Honor 10 that high range at the price of demolition that many users seek? Let’s see what it offers us, what its strengths are and where it is compared to other flagships.
Technical Features of Honor 10
5.84 “FullHD + LTPS LCD Format 18.7: 9 2,280 x 1,080 pixels
Kirin 970 to 2.36GHz GPU Mali G72 MP12
4 / 6GB
64 / 128GB
3,400 mAh with fast charge
Main: 16 megapixels f / 1.8 RGB Secondary: 24 megapixels f / 1.8 b / n Intelligent stabilization, PDAF, flashLED, 4K / 30fps video
24 megapixels, f / 2.0
Android 8.1 Oreo EMUI 8.1
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
149.6 x 71.2 x 7.7 mm 153g
Front fingerprint reader, NFC, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac dual band, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS / GLONASS, face recognition, 3.5mm jack, OTG, USB type C
Honor continues to improve an iconic crystal design
Nowadays there is a lot of talk about the originality of the manufacturers when it comes to designing their devices. The rise of the ‘notch’ and the screens with reduced frames has caused that the mobiles become more and more similar. If we add that the glass design is becoming more popular , we have an Honor 10 that goes in line with what many brands offer in the high range.
However, Honor must be granted that glass has always been one of its hallmarks. With the Honor 6 they already offered this material in front and behind, with the Honor 8 they convinced us simply for their blue color and last year they continued to outline this design with the Honor 9 . With the new Honor 10, we have another iteration of the iconic Honor design. It is an ‘Aurora Glass’ glass where, based on different layers, a gradient of colors is created that reflects light differently depending on the angle at which we look at it.
The Honor 10 is extremely light and comfortable in hand, with a glass design that despite being impregnated with fingerprints offers a very striking appearance, especially in the green and blue models.
The Honor 10 is available in four colors: green, gray, blue and black. In our case we have tried the black, probably the least striking of the four and where reflections and gradients are not appreciated as much. For those looking for a sober terminal, the black color provides a very elegant finish although in the case of the Honor 10, having the rear cover of this material plays slightly against it, since we will end up fixing more in the tracks than in the reflections of the crystal . We do not believe that it is so pronounced in the blue and green versions, where, due to its striking design, it is one of those mobile phones that you would appreciate to use without a case.
In hand it feels very comfortable and with an excellent size. The previous models have never been characterized as being very large and with the Honor 10 we again have a flagship that can be used with one hand easily. To get an idea, the Honor 10 faces the Huawei P20 or Galaxy S9 and not so much the Pro or Plus versions. In the Honor 10 we have a very good construction, with materials that offer good sensations and with curved edges thanks to the incorporation of 2.5D glass. It is a terminal where the curves are quite prominent, we find both front and rear but we would not say it is a slippery device.
In comparison with the rest of the manufacturer’s models, the Honor 10 is among the lightest. We have not gained in thinness but the fact of having curved edges helps in that it seems thinner. But undoubtedly the real change is in the use of the front. If we look, we have a mobile with a size very similar to the previous ones but with a much larger screen and according to the times. The jump from 16: 9 screens to a 19: 9 screen with notch included is great and personally a step in the right direction.
HONOR VIEW 10
5.84 “FullHD + 19: 9
5.99 “FullHD + 18: 9
5.15 “FullHD 16: 9
5.2 “FullHD 16: 9
149.6 x 71.2 x 7.7 mm
157 x 75 x 6.95 mm
147.3 x 70.9 x 7.5 mm
145.5 x 71 x 7.5 mm
The work of compaction of Honor is good. The screen ratio stays just below 80% . It is not a very high number but we must bear in mind that the Honor 10 adds the fingerprint reader on the front. The most similar terminal at the size level would be the Huawei P20, with a very similar design. But if you look at the latter the weight is considerably higher.
The Honors have never been characterized by being very large, but thanks to the ‘notch’ we have gone from 5.15 “last year to 5.84” of Honor 10, without penalizing in size.
In comparison with the other high ranges, the Honor 10 stands out especially for its low weight . In fact, the 153 grams are closer to the 146 grams of the Huawei P20 Lite than the Huawei P20.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S9
LG G7 THINQ
SONY XPERIA XZ2
5.84 “FullHD + 19: 9
5.8 “QuadHD + 18.5: 9
5.8 “FullHD + 18.7: 9
6.1 “QuadHD + 19.5: 9
6.28 “FullHD + 19: 9
5.7 “FullHD + 18: 9
5.8 “FullHD + 19.5: 9
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
149.6 x 71.2 x 7.7 mm
147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm
149.1 x 70.8 x 7.7 mm
153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm
155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8 mm
153 x 72 x 11.1 mm
143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm
It is surprising that Honor has decided not to include resistance to waterin its flagship, more when other cheaper terminals of the house like the Honor 7X do incorporate. On the contrary, we have found a resistant terminal and we do not have any scratches on the back.
On the front, the Honor 10 is simple. The front fingerprint reader is located under the glass and above we have the notch on the screen, where in addition to the front camera and the flashLED we have the headset and the LED notifications. The edges have a chrome finish with a different touch to the back cover. Touch is good although it does not offer sensations of the first level. Regarding the volume and off / on buttons, the tour is correct. Easy to press but without any different finish.
The glass backside is quite smooth. Having no reader of traces back glass is the real protagonist. Beyond that we have the Honor logo on the bottom, the double camera that protrudes slightly, the flashLED and a logo on the upper right corner for the “AI Camera” . We understand that Honor wants to promote her camera and join the car of artificial intelligence, but that screenprint does not contribute much. We must understand it as an alternative to the seal of ‘Leica’, where in the Huawei P20 also has its place next to the camera. An attempt by manufacturers to convey to the user that in their hands they have a special product and not a simple camera. We will analyze later to what extent that logo represents a photographic improvement.
Honor includes a silicone case with Honor 10 . It fits well and being a very light base terminal, we did not notice that having a case becomes a more cumbersome mobile to use.
Screen: natural tones, good brightness and a ‘notch’ that can be hidden if it gets in the way
The screen is an increasingly important element in new generation mobiles. Over the years they are growing in size and fortunately also in quality, sharpness and contrast. The Honor 10 incorporates a 5.8-inch IPS LCDpanel with a resolution of 2,280 x 1,080 pixels in 19: 9 format , which gives us about 432 pixels per inch.
The level of detail is very good and when we turn on the screen we can see that we are facing a high-end device. In spite of everything, it is an IPS panel like those that we have already seen in many other mobiles. The maximum brightness level is around 500 nits and in our tests we have not had problems to use it outdoors .
The viewing angles of the Honor 10 screen are also correct and the panel does not suffer from problems of uniformity or color shifts as it is seen in some AMOLED panels. On the contrary, although the colors are natural and pleasant, it lacks the intensity and contrast that we do have in the best OLEDs .
Honor bets on a 5.8 “FullHD + LCD panel with an accurate automatic brightness and a natural and pleasant color calibration, it is not a panel at the level of the best but it offers a more than satisfactory experience.
Honor allows us through the software to configure various screen settings such as the brightness level or the time that may pass until the screen turns off. In the case of the first, comment that the Honor 10 is relatively successful in adjusting the automatic brightness to each situation.
The Honor 10 screen offers quite appropriate colors, perhaps even somewhat cold. At least in the vivid mode . If we set the normal mode, we will lose intensity and the tones will be somewhat warmer, so our recommendation is to keep the first one.
Another setting is to modify the resolution of the screen. We can keep the FullHD + or go down to HD +, where we will lose level of detail in exchange for winning the battery. In addition, there is the option of intelligent resolution where the device itself will decide to adjust the resolution at every moment.
Performance: the Kirin 970 has plenty of power and temperature
One of the reasons why this Honor 10 is so interesting is found inside. Traditionally Honor has offered the same chipsets as Huawei but at a reduced price , however this year the difference is even greater since the Honor 10 has a lower cost than the one that had the Honor 9. To get an idea, the Kirin 970 we have here It is the same that incorporates the Huawei P20 Pro, with a cost of more than double.
In the case of Honor 10, we are left with 4GB of RAM. A more than enough for day to day but it is true that it starts to be somewhat behind the rest of high ranges that already incorporate 6GB and even 8GB. The device works fluid, all applications open without problems and we can play at the highest quality . This is the case of PUBG Mobile, where the Honor 10 has no problems of any kind and shows that it is up to the best in terms of power.
While it is true that with 4GB we have plenty, that is true today. The future of Android is aimed at a system where more and more memory is required, mainly to keep many tasks open at the same time. Even so, if raising the RAM would have meant that the cost was going to be higher, surely we would bet to stay as we are.
One issue that worries us more is the warming . We went from a relatively low temperature at rest to levels that are clearly visible in the hand when we are playing. It is notorious and annoying considerably.
The Kirin 970 offers excellent performance, where both games and menus work smoothly. However we have noticed an excessive heating.
The Kirin 970 incorporates four ARM Cortex A73 cores at 2.36GHz and four A53 cores at 1.8GHz, although except in the heaviest tasks they almost never operate at maximum frequency. For the GPU we have a Mali G72MP12 and an NPU is incorporated , whose results we are still unable to appreciate during the day to day.
Here we leave the table of results with the benchmarks of Honor 10 and its comparison with the models that faces. As we see, the data is very similar to the Huawei P20 but a step behind compared to the Exynos processor or the Snapdragon 845. Different results but in the day to day do not make a difference.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S9
LG G7 THINQ
GEEKBENCH 4 (SINGLE / MULTI)
1,898 / 6,538
1,892 / 6,711
3,759 / 8,830
2.465 / 7.744
2.366 / 8.581
PCMARK WORK 2.0
We do not have microSD, but we do have a UFS 2.1 storage that starts from 64GB with an option to 128GB for fifty euros more. Our test unit is the second, where we have available 111.40GB .
At the level of connections and sensors, we have not had problems with WiFi or with LTE category 18 connectivity, neither with the accelerometer nor with the GPS. Where we have noticed a specific problem is with Bluetooth 4.2, which has taken more than the account to find the wireless keyboard and bluetooth headphones have had occasional cut.
EMUI 8.1: a customizable and reloaded layer
Honor incorporates the same layer of customization that we have in the Huawei. EMUI in Honor 10 comes updated to version 8.1 and under it we found Android 8.1 Oreo next to the April security patch .
For those who do not know EMUI, comment that we are facing a software very remote from pure Android, with a huge amount of adjustments to customize the device to our liking and an interface loaded with additional elements. Just start the mobile and we realize that all the additions, ranging from own tools, pre-installed applications such as Instagram or Netflix and games such as Spider-Man, Asphalt Nitro or Assasin’s Creed. In Honor 10 we also have Swiftkey as the native keyboard , as opposed to the Google keyboard.
Fortunately, pre-installed applications can be eliminated without problems, but those who look for a mobile as clean as possible with Honor 10 will have work.
EMUI 8.1 is a colorful and overloaded personalization layer , but it is noticeable that over the years it has improved in stability and does not give major problems. We do not have any application drawer either, although it can be activated from the screen settings.
Is it interesting software for the general public? We think so, since they offer us a lot of tools that otherwise many users would not know how to obtain.
We speak for example of the option of twin applications to duplicate WhatsApp or Instagram and have two accounts at the same time. Applications like the recorder, the themes or the file explorer. We have almost all the tools imaginable, except radioFM since the terminal is not compatible. The Honor and Huawei terminals recently also have access to AppGallery , their own alternative application store to Google Play.
Everything is oriented to stay within your ecosystem. It is a logical strategy that several manufacturers have been trying to establish for years, but we would have liked to see some differential element of Honor’s software compared to that of Huawei .
An addition that we found interesting is the Game Suite , a folder where we will place games so that they are accelerated and do not interrupt us with notifications. A mode for games that works in a simple way and although the results do not vary much in terms of fluency, we did like to avoid being disturbed when we are playing.
Biometrics: fingerprint reader and facial recognition
Huawei fingerprint readers have always offered extremely high reliability. With Honor 10 we expected to find a traditional reader like the Huawei P20, but in this case it is integrated into the body of the device and under the glass . The touch therefore is totally smooth and only through a series of marked points can we find out that it is there.
This type of hidden readers on the screen works by ultrasonics . We saw it for the first time two years ago in the Xiaomi Mi5S and it allows to use it even if we have wet hands. The response of the fingerprint reader is good and fast, but due to its position and size, we usually fail when placing the finger correctly , so in the end the percentage of success and the final experience is not as good as a reader traditional.
The ultrasonic fingerprint reader is fast, but offers accuracy below traditional readers. But facial recognition on the other hand is very precise and works well even in low light situations.
In addition to the reader, the Honor 10 adds a facial recognition systemto unlock the device. Face identification is fast, accurate and works quite well even in very low light situations. In addition, it will not be necessary to turn on the screen to unlock it, so it is a method that in the case of Honor 10 we have ended preferring it over the fingerprint reader.
Camera: the magic button of artificial intelligence
The Honor 10 embraces the trend of artificial intelligence to such an extent that in its camera application we have a dedicated button to make improved photographs. The logo of ‘AI Camera’ that we find in the back already warns us that the processed will play an important role. But it is not the first time that a manufacturer offers this technology. How does the Camera of Honor 10 behave? Does photography really improve thanks to artificial intelligence? Lets go see it.
The camera application of the Honor 10 is worthy of EMUI and the number of options is huge.
Let’s start this section of the camera talking about its application. We have an enormous amount of adjustments and options, very much in line with the philosophy of EMUI . On the main screen there is the shooting button and options at the top for the flash, moving images, the artificial intelligence button and a direct access to the settings. Sliding to the right we go to the video section and other options, while if we slide to the left we access the portrait mode and the opening.
From the front camera the options are the same, but the button for the AI disappears since only the rear camera has that option. Next, we will analyze the behavior of the AI button, but it will allow us to identify more than 24 categories of different scenes in real time and apply specific parameters to it. However not always correct and as seen in the screenshots, a picture of Jack is not the same as a panda.
Among the adjustments we have a professional mode in which we can configure the ISO, aperture, white balance and focus, being able to save the images in RAW for later editing. But we do not stay there, since the Honor 10 camera also includes an option for 3D panoramas, add watermark, document recognition, augmented reality filters and more common options such as night mode, HDR, fast camera, slow mode and monochromatic to take advantage of its secondary sensor.
The Honor 10 incorporates a rear camera with a main sensor of 16 megapixels RGB under an aperture lens f / 1.8 and accompanied by a secondary sensor of 24 megapixels monochrome with a lens f / 1.8. We have PDAF focus, unique flashLED and the power of the Kirin 970 NPU to offer this processed by artificial intelligence. It is a configuration that is numerically good, with a high number of megapixels and an aperture capable of capturing more light than most mid-range cameras. Let’s see what the results are.
In day photography, Honor 10 achieves the best images, it is quick to focusand the colors are correct, although the level of detail when we enlarge could be better. Even so the RGB sensor fulfills in most situations .
In somewhat more complicated scenes we see that the Honor 10 camera continues to perform quite well, offering correct tones and clear images without excessive noise.
What happens when we activate the artificial intelligence button? Honor 10 identifies the scene and applies certain parameters. In our experience we have seen how to apply this artificial intelligence what it does is to expand the detail but adding some granulation, increase the weight of the image and above all saturate the image to achieve a kind of enhanced HDR .
For example, in the light-colored areas we can see more detail, the sky keeps the same color but in the logo we see an improvement.
Standard photograph (left) vs. AI mode (right)
Here we leave you with a comparison between standard photography, HDR mode and artificial intelligence mode. In the first we get a good level of detail, but the tones are quite muted. This clearly improves with the HDR, where we have an image more in line with reality, although perhaps it lacks some intensity in the colors.
Standard photography (left) vs. HDR mode (right)
The AI mode what it does is to understand that in the lower part there is grass and therefore it applies a very intense green saturation. In the sky for its part provides a lot of detail, although in general it seems that the images of artificial intelligence are too saturated and somewhat artificial sensations .
Standard photography (left) vs HDR mode (center) vs AI mode (right)
However, this saturation can be useful in photographs where we want color to be an important element. The dynamic range of the Honor 10 camera is good , the white balance also and with the HDR it reaches quite competitive levels. Regarding artificial intelligence, we again believe that it is a bit of a lottery. In some scenes the modification brings a plus, but in other cases the saturation confuses us of the image.
In images with more complicated lighting the Honor 10 camera gets a detail with more noise, but still manages to save the situation quite well. The gradient of the sky is correct and even with an intense sun some detail is appreciated.
It does not save the situation so well when we go directly to night scenes . Here the noise level increases a lot and although it does allow photos to be taken with some ease, we must stop and focus carefully. It’s a shame, because by day the approach is very good but at night it’s quite slow.
If we apply artificial intelligence to night scenes, the level of detail improves several steps and the colors are within the expected. What we do not like is that from what we see on the screen to the final photo there is such a big difference . Normally with more luminous and warm images.
To improve night photography we have a night mode , where you will modify the exposure to achieve a photo with better lighting. However, the stabilization of the device is not the best and the results tend to be blurred and quite far from what is seen in other models such as the Huawei P20 Pro.
Normally we will work with the RGB sensor, but the Honor 10 also incorporates a monochrome sensor. The images are made in the maximum resolution of 24 megapixels, unless we apply the opening effect, where they will be reduced to 16 megapixels.
Precisely the resolution is a limiting factor. For example the 2X optical zoom does not work at maximum resolutions of 24 megapixels and in fact the artificial intelligence button is also limited to the 16 megapixel RGB sensor.
The double camera of Honor 10 also allows us to modify the aperture, as well as apply the popular portrait effect with which we will blur the background to prioritize the main element in front of us.
The portrait mode of Honor 10 is somewhat irregular. The effect is achieved and the zones are delimited correctly, however in many cases we see blurred contours when they should not. And yet when applying the portrait mode with people, it is usually quite good in the hair, many times more difficult.
For here we leave you with a gallery of photographs taken with Honor 10 in various situations.
For the front, the Honor 10 incorporates a 24 megapixel sensor with an aperture lens f / 2.0 . We do not have the artificial intelligence button, but a sensor that combines four images in one to try to get images focused on low light. We also have artificial portrait mode produced this time by the AI and various lighting effects to get selfies with different shades.
The quality of the selfies camera is good, has enough detail and offers correct tones. The dynamic range may not reach the back and the focus is not as accurate, but still have selfies more than decent.
We have a beauty mode that lets us choose up to ten levels of intensity, although even in the maximum it is limited to softening details of the face. We also found a bokeh mode, far less accurate than the rear camera and five lighting modes.
The Honor 10 allows you to record video up to 4K resolution and 30fps . It does not have OIS stabilization, although it does introduce a stabilization by artificial intelligence. The result? The truth is that something disappointing. The sound is correct and the level of detail at high resolutions is good, but the stabilization is very bad and when moving we have quite a lot of focus problems.
Here we leave some recorded videos and as you can see the movement is random and with too many swings.
The Honor 10 allows us to choose between recording in H.264 format or using the new H.265 , more efficient. In addition to this, we also have the ability to record in fast and slow motion camera, although the latter is limited to 1080p resolution and 120 frames per second . Something that seems short to us especially considering that several high-end models already record up to 960fps.
The video of the front camera is limited to 720p , a somewhat low resolution but where the recording quality obtained is correct within the expected.
Good sound with headphones connected
The Honor 10 maintains the 3.5mm jack, but does not include headphones in the box. As for the speaker, we have it at the bottom next to the USB port type C. It is not a stereo speaker but its sound is clear, strong and with a maximum volume of up to 101 decibels according to our tests.
To improve the sound of the speaker we do not have any kind of adjustments via software. Although we can configure the tones to our liking, reduce the volume of calls when picking up the phone and a native music player is included. We would have liked to find more options for the lower speaker, but Honor bets on Huawei Histen sound effects , a hearing improvement that we have seen in other devices such as the Huawei P20 Lite and that is only activated when headphones are connected.
With the headphones we also get a good level and Honor allows us to activate several playback modes, from the automatic to the 3D audio to get a more enveloping sound. We can also set the type of headphones and here we have an equalizer with predefined settings depending on the type of music we like.
The Honor 10 speaker is not stereo, but produces a loud and clear sound. The quality improves considerably through the headphone port, although with Bluetooth we have had some stability problems.
The Honor 10 comes with the AK4376A chip and is compatible with the Qualcomm aptX audio codec but our experience with the bluetooth headset has not been entirely satisfactory. Normally we have no problems and yet with Honor 10 we have had two occasions where a cut occurred. It is not something that we can reproduce nor do we think is habitual, but here it is reflected. In general, the sound of the Honor 10 is good, with clear calls and no background sound , speakers within the expected and very good precision through the headphone port.
Ultra fast load to compensate a fairly fair autonomy
The Honor 10 is one of the terminals with more battery capacity for its size and weight. We have 3,400 mAh that offer us slightly lower results than we have with lower capacity terminals. In our tests with an average use based on social networks, music and some occasional game we have obtained about 4 hours of screen, arriving at the end of the day with difficulty .
In more intensive tests, using the mobile to record, play, pass benchmarks and take pictures we have obtained about three and a half hours of screen with about 12 hours of average use. And only in those days with a more calm use have we reached the night with enough battery.
The autonomy of Honor 10 seems to us somewhat short . Normally the minimum required is to endure with average use the entire day of battery but with this terminal we have seen juggling with brightness and applications to reach the night with room for a final YouTube video before bedtime.
EMUI has several modes of energy saving and offers us very comprehensive information about the applications and services that are spending more battery power. Although in practice we will not activate them unless we want to save the maximum energy for a specific action.
The Honor 10 comes with difficulty at the end of the day, but its fast charging technology is amazing.
The usual thing with mobiles is to charge them at night, but with Honor 10 something has happened to us. Thanks to its excellent fast loading and because the autonomy was not the best, we have seen loading the device many more times than usual. We have USB type C port and a 5V / 4.5A SuperCharge charger capable of completing the Honor 10 battery in about an hour with the screen off.
The most interesting, however, is in the initial moments of loading. In 10 minutes we can go from 5% to 25% , to 50% in less than 25 minutes and to 65% in something more than half an hour. Although we also have it in the recent Huawei P20, personally it is the mobile with the fastest load that I have tried and an advance that we hope to see in more mobile phones during the coming years. An outstanding point that partially compensates for the just autonomy of the device.
Honor 10, the opinion and note of Xataka
It is difficult to catalog Honor 10. We are looking at a high-end mobile phone if we look at its design or the performance it offers , even its camera sometimes makes us think that we are facing a device above most. However there are other aspects that make us doubt that this Honor 10 is in the same category as the Galaxy S9, Huawei P20 or OnePlus 6. The screen is not so bright, it gets too hot and the camera has some problems, mainly in the section of the video.
What is Honor 10 then? A very complete mobile that without being among the best, clearly stands above all the mid-range . 399 euros is a very aggressive price, but it is a bit in no man’s land. Below we find the Huawei P20 Lite, a mobile with which it bears a great resemblance but which clearly exceeds in many sections. Its rivals are flagships of past years such as the Galaxy S8 or directly punctual offers on more expensive devices like the Huawei P20. Here it will already depend on the user to assess whether it is worthwhile to stretch from three hundred to four hundred or climb to the rank of five hundred.
Honor is positioned as one of the most interesting alternatives in the range of 400 euros, with a Kirin 970 worth more expensive mobiles, a glass design that earns whole in green and blue models , a precise facial recognition system and cash and a fast charge that makes us forget their tight autonomy.
The Honor 10 is one of the mobile phones that offers more advantages for less than 400 euros. Its crystal design is striking and light, the fluidity is maximum and the fast charge is one of the best on the market. The camera continues to be improved despite the AI but only its short autonomy or some specific temperature problems could cloud a mobile phone that this year has adjusted its price to the maximum.
We like the calibration of the screen, the sound is correct and the camera with artificial intelligence achieves more than convincing results, although without reaching that point of detail and definition that we have seen in other phones. It is a pity that the video section is so neglected, the resistance to water has not been added and we have some heating problems, because despite these failures the Honor 10 still has a really competitive price for everything it offers .