And the View 10 goes toe-to-toe for the full twelve rounds. Find out who lands the knockout blow now…
Since November last year the OnePlus 5T has ruled over the mid-range phone market largely unchallenged.
Its great screen, affordable price point, and premium design and features made it an absolute no-brainer if you weren’t shopping with a flagship-level budget, and while other devices like the Honor 9 beat it on price, or on specific functions (like the ZenFone 4’s excellent image-taking capabilities), they didn’t offer the same level of holistic package.
Fast forward to January 2018 and, finally, a worthy rival has emerged: the Honor View 10.
And, as well as largely matching the specs and functionality of the OnePlus 5T, the Honor View 10 also brings some on-trend, flagship-level boons to the fight as well.
Can the Honor View 10 take down the OnePlus 5T? Read on to find out.
HONOR VIEW 10 REVIEW: DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY
The first thing that strikes you when you take the Honor View 10 out of the box is how thin it is. At just 7mm thick the phone is slimmer than both the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8, and makes the lightweight device feel very lithe in the hand. The only thing that interrupts the general skimpiness of form-factor is the phone’s two protruding rear cameras.
The Honor View 10 is available in Navy Blue (the model reviewed) and Midnight Black. The phone features an aluminium rather than glass back, which we are fine with even though it doesn’t deliver any wow-factor, and the sides of the device are nicely bevelled, too. The screen surround is also very slimline, which helps to emphasis the size of the 5.99-inch screen.
Just like the Honor 9, which BigBagBlog thought was fabulous value on review, the Honor View 10’s fingerprint sensor is located on the front-bottom of the phone. And, slightly oddly, the phone also doesn’t come with an official water resistance rating, just like the Huawei Mate 10. We’re guessing that there is some degree of water resistance, but it’s slightly disconcerting nonetheless.
Lastly, unlike many high-end flagship phones today, the Honor View 10 does come with a headphone jack.
HONOR VIEW 10 REVIEW: SCREEN AND PERFORMANCE
The Honor View 10 is equipped with a 5.99-inch IPS LCD screen, which boasts the on-trend ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio. The resolution is Full HD, which at 18:9 means 1080 x 2160, and is very similar to that on the OnePlus 5T asides from the fact that the latter has an OLED screen. This difference in screen tech means that the Honor View 10’s screen looks slightly sharper to the eye than the OnePlus 5T, but doesn’t quite match its colour and contrast.
The screen is powered by a 3,750mAh battery, which is a marked bump up over the OnePlus 5T’s 3,300mAh, however, it is also a little lower than the Huawei Mate 10’s, which is rated at 4,000 mAh. From our informal testing here at BigBagBlog.com, this battery is more than capable of pushing the phone through a day with moderate usage.
Charging comes courtesy of an increasingly standard USB-C port.
HONOR VIEW 10 REVIEW: UI, APPS AND CAMERA
The Honor View 10 runs Android 8.0 Oreo with Honor’s own EMUI 8.0 skin on top. This is a moderate skin over stock Android and the exact same UI found on the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. We haven’t exactly being enamoured with past incarnations of EMUI, but this version is a definite improvement. However, for those who are not familiar with it then out of the box there is definitely a degree of relearning to undertake, something that will no-doubt annoy users who love the stock Android experience.
For example, EMUI removes the app drawer completely, which considering that it is a key navigation tool in most other Android UI variants, including stock, feels very weird. There are snappy vertical apps menus instead, which are easily accessed, and there are some useful customisation options, too, such as the ability to widely dictate how many icon columns the phone’s home screens have.
Thankfully, swiping through these menus is very fast.
Thanks to the Honor View 10’s 128GB of internal storage, there is plenty of room for apps and games, and with the impressive Kirin 970 processor powering them, they run incredibly well. From our testing period, we suffered no slow down in games like Super Mario Run and Asphalt Nitro, and we can’t imagine many mobile games released in the near future that would cause any. The 970’s 12-core Mali-G72 graphics chipset clearly has power to spare, which isn’t really surprising considering its high-end origins.
In terms of bundled apps, the most notable on the Honor View 10 is Microsoft’s excellent Translator app, which not only has been designed to work with Honor’s in-built Neural-network Processing Unit (NPU), but also boasts some seriously impressive capabilities. Simply point the phone’s camera at any foreign language text and the app automatically translates it for you on screen or, if you are trying to communicate with someone verbally, you can input via speech or text also.
It is a smart utilisation of the View 10’s NPU AI capabilities.
Honor View 10 sample camera images
And speaking of the View 10’s in-built NPU AI, it is a core part of the phone’s dual-camera system, which consists of a rear colour 16MP sensor and 20MP monochrome sensor, as well as a front-facing 13MP camera. This means real-time scene and object recognition, 13 different types to be precise, as well as neat additions like an AI-powered Portrait mode that specialises in delivering sharp edges and accurate background blurring.
Unlike the more expensive Huawei Mate 10 Pro the Honor View 10 doesn’t feature active image stabilisation, however, it does feature a bucket-load of modes and shooting options. More standard modes like Panorama and Night shot are joined by more creative ones like Artist, Filter and Light painting, which allow you a great degree of freedom in how you take and present pictures.
And, without over-complicating it, taking pictures with the Honor View 10 is just a fun and largely error-free experience. Shutter lag is almost non-existent in most circumstances, there’s good fast focusing, and the various shooting modes mean interesting point and click snaps – which we feel is what the vast majority of users want from their handset. The fact that all the while the NPU is tweaking your shots to attain optimal image quality also adds to the Honor View 10’s ease of use as a camera.
HONOR VIEW 10: VERDICT
The Honor View 10 is a great phone. It sits somewhere between the excellent OnePlus 5T and the equally good – but significantly more expensive – Huawei Mate 10 Pro. It lacks a little bit of the wow-factor premium delivered by the Mate 10 Pro and its Leica cameras, and it does lose out to the OnePlus 5T in a few areas, such as its screen only being LCD instead of OLED, however, the overall package that the View 10 brings to the table – and at very, very attractive price point, too – makes it an excellent new entry to the mid-range smartphone market. And a new entry that easily sits on the same level as the OnePlus 5T.
Indeed, when you consider that the View 10 delivers a 18:9 Full HD screen, a dual-lens camera system, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage space (and with room for more via MicroSD), dual SIM capability, and the excellent octa-core Kirin 970 processor with in-built neural processing unit (NPU), it does make you question why you would spend more than £450-500 on a new phone at all, especially when this Honor handset also comes loaded with some excellent, flagship-level apps, too.
A great all-round phone that is, without doubt, worth serious consideration if you are shopping with a mid-range budget.