Honor 10 review: Speedy Android notch phone

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Honor 10 review: Speedy Android notch phone

Honor 10 review: Speedy Android notch phone


Huawei wowed me with its hyper-colourful flagship P20 Pro ($1,098.98 at Amazon.com) and now Honor — Huawei’s sub-brand — is getting in on the vibrant action with the Honor 10.

The Honor 10 brings the colour without the high price tag however. At only £399 it’s half the price of Huawei’s flagship. International availability hasn’t been confirmed yet, but that UK price converts to about $540 or AU$720.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The phone has an all-glass back which looks vivid blue in some light, but give it a twirl in your fingers and you’ll see the hue subtly blend into a deep purple tone. I like it a lot — as I did the pink and blue Huawei P20 Pro — as it’s much more interesting to look at than the usual grey and black rectangles that pass as phones these days.

Flip it over and you’ll see a 5.84-inch display. Honor has joined the ranks of Huawei, LG, Asus and others in utilising a cut-out “notch” that juts into the display at the top and houses the speaker and front-facing camera. You can fill in the gaps either side of the notch to make it look like a solid status bar if you’d prefer.

The display itself has a 2,280×1,080-pixel resolution and is bright and vibrant, with text remaining easily readable under harsh overhead office lights. There’s a fingerprint scanner below the display, although you’d be forgiven for missing it as it’s molded into the bezel. There’s no depression where a home button would normally be, which gives the phone a neat, seamless look. The downside is that it makes it a little harder to place your thumb in the right spot in a hurry, but I quickly got used to it. The scanner itself is lightning fast and mostly accurate and it doubles as a touch-sensitive home button when the phone’s in use.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There are two camera lenses on the back. A 24-megapixel monochrome sensor and a 16mp colour sensor. Like the Huawei P20 Pro, the camera uses artificial intelligence to detect what scene is being photographed and tweaks the image accordingly. Also like the P20 Pro, I found those tweaks to be heavy-handed, often boosting saturation (the blues when it detects a sky, for example) to unnatural levels. You can turn this setting off altogether and you can also turn off the “boosted” effect after you’ve taken your shot. I found it best to leave AI mode switched on when shooting, giving me the option to turn it off later if I don’t like the tweaks.

Beyond the AI, the Honor 10’s camera is no match for the Huawei P20 Pro’s. Outdoor shots were very hit and miss, with some images looking flat, with little contrast and very mushy details. Others were better, with more vibrant colours and more satisfying contrast, but this inconsistency is frustrating.



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