Huawei’s Honor phones sit in a nice little niche, offering devices for buyers on a budget who don’t want to skimp on features or spec – selling them only online helps to keep the prices down. The Honor 7 lived up to this ideal well, offering a good range of features for around £250, but now along comes the Honor 8. Has Huawei managed to better its predecessor? And if you’re hooked on your Honor 7, should you be thinking about upgrading to this latest incarnation? Let’s find out…
Honor 7 (143.20 x 71.90 x 8.50) vs Honor 8 (157.1 x 80.6 x 7.9 mm)
The two certainly look different – last year’s Honor 7 was constructed from metal – and felt pretty good to hold, especially for a phone at this price point. But now Hauwei has decided to opt for a glass construction. It definitely looks good – and comes in a choice of Pearl White, Sapphire Blue and Midnight Black. But of course glass-covered phones do attract greasy fingerprints. However, it does give the device a real premium-looking finish.
Apart from the change in construction material, the pair look pretty similar – dimensions are about the same, although the Honor 8 is just a tad thinner. One change is that the fingerprint sensor on the back also doubles up as the power button on the Honor 8. Like the Honor 7, you can use this to set up a number of customisable actions using long presses, single taps and double taps. Useful if you want to switch on the flashlight quickly when you’re trying to get your key in the door late at night or are desperate to fire up Pokemon Go!
Honor 7 (5.2in 1920x1080) vs Honor 8 (5.2in 1920x1080)
On first impressions, it looks like the Honor 8 has the same screen as the Honor 7 – it measures 5.2ins and offers the same resolution of 1920×1080. However, it is brighter and has a little more saturation, offering an experience a little closer to an AMOLED screen than the Honor 7. It’s a move in the right direction, but there’s not much of a change, which anyone looking to upgrade might find a tad disappointing. Both phones suffer from some colour distortion and a toning down of brightness when viewed at a more extreme angle.
Honor 7 (Kirin 935 3GB RAM) vs Honor 8 (octa-core Kirin 950 4GB RAM)
Under the hood, Huawei has revved up the power in the Honor 8 by including its own own octa-core Kirin 950 chipset. There are four cores clocked at 2.3GHz and another four at 1.8GHz. This is teamed with an improved 4GB of RAM. In comparison, the Honor 7 sported a Kirin 935, which had its cores clocked at 2Ghz and 1.5Ghz, and only 3GB of RAM. This should see the Honor 8 able to cope with the kind of 3D games that the Honor 7 found hard to deal with.
When it comes to operating system, the Honor 7 launched with Android 5.0 Lollipop with the EMUI 3.1 user interface, although it has since upgraded to Marshmallow. The Honor 8 comes with the latest EMUI 4.1 running with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Honor 7 (20MP rear 8MP front-facing) vs Honor 8 (12MP rear 8MP front-facing)
At first glance it appears that the camera has taken a step down, from a 20MP to a 12Mp offering, but that’s before you take into account the fact that the Honor 8 has a dual snapper – similar to that sported by the Huawei P9. In practice, this sees both lenses working at the same time to snap a monochrome and colour version of the same picture. These two images are then combined, which offers up a more detailed final result. Clever stuff. The selfie camera is an 8-megapixel model on both devices, but the Honor 8 definitely wins out here on the quality of images from its main snapper, which are more detailed and offer better contrast.
Honor 7 (3100 mAh 16GB/64GB 4G) vs Honor 8 (3000 mAh 32GB 4G)
Huawei last year gave consumers the choice when buying the Honor 7 of going for a 16Gb or 64Gb device when it came to onboard storage. This time, they have decided to aim for the middle by giving the Honor 8 32GB. At any rate, both devices offer the option to expand that storage by as much as 128GB using a microSD card. Interestingly, battery size has dropped slightly, from 31000mAh on the Honor 7 to 3000mAh on the Honor 8. However, the latest device offers quick charging (47% in only half an hour) and Huawei say its GPS is less power-hungry too, so the smaller battery shouldn’t be noticeable.
We were really impressed with how much phone you got for your money with the Honor 7, and the Honor 8 looks set to impress too. Some of the improvements for the Honor 8 may be small, but Huawei has managed to make a big leap in both the onboard snapper and the build quality and design. Sure, screen resolution and operating system are not up there with the big-hitters, but this looks like a premium phone and has a really decent list of features and specs.
A very palatable compromise for someone who is budget conscious. But, if you’re not too fussed about the Honor 8’s new features and are simply looking for a decent, low-priced smartphone, the Honor 7, coming in at around £250 as compared with the Honor 8’s rather high pricepoint of around £369, is still a good choice.
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