• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Honor 10

While the likes of the Huawei P20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone X all cost over £700, you don’t have to pay that kind of money to get a flagship, in fact you can get the Honor 10 for just over half that much at £400.

And make no mistake, with its high-end chipset, under-glass fingerprint scanner, dual-lens camera and premium design this is most certainly a flagship.

That said, it does cut some corners in order to keep the cost down, but are any essentials missing or is the Honor 10 the high-end bargain of the year? Read on to find out.

Screen

The Honor 10 has a 5.84-inch LCD screen with a 1080 x 2280 resolution for a pixel density of 432 pixels per inch.

The size makes it reasonably large but not gigantic, while the FHD+ resolution ensures it’s crisp, but not quite a rival for the many QHD phones we’re now seeing at the top-end. Its use of LCD rather than OLED is also arguably a step down from many true flagships.

But let’s not forget that the Honor 10 has just a mid-range price, and compared to most mid-range handsets this is a great display.

Design

Front Angle

While the screen has some compromises, visually the phone doesn’t have any, as it has a metal frame and a glass back, which in certain shades can morph colour depending on how the light hits it. It’s a stunning effect, and whatever shade you get the Honor 10 in you’ll find light bounces off the back stylishly.

The front looks good too, as while there’s a small bezel at the bottom the top just has a notch, much like many flagships. That means there’s minimal wasted space and the phone is more pocket-sized as a result, coming in at 149.6 x 71.2 x 7.7mm and with a 79.9% screen-to-body ratio.

It’s a look overall that arguably has most phones beat, even those which cost far more, but beneath the surface it’s not quite a match for some rivals, as the Honor 10 isn’t water resistant.

Honor 10 Rear Design

Power

The Honor 10 has an octa-core Kirin 970 chipset with four cores clocked at 2.4GHz and four running at 1.8GHz. This is the highest end Kirin chipset available right now and it’s the same one as you’ll find in the Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro, so it’s a flagship chip, though it’s not quite a match for the Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 found in some phones.

Still, for a handset of this price we have no complaints and being paired with 4GB of RAM ensures performance is silky smooth whatever you use the phone for.

Camera

Another high point of the Honor 10 is its cameras, as it has both a 16MP colour lens and a 24MP black and white one on the back.

Honor 10 Rear Camera

The phone can combine data from the two lenses for seriously detailed images, plus it has an AI mode, which can detect what you’re shooting and optimize the settings for it. This generally works well but can occasionally lead to unnatural colours. Fortunately, you can easily turn this off.

There are plenty of options if you want more control too, as there’s a pro mode, HDR, panoramas and more. We wish HDR mode had a toggle on the main screen rather than being in a sub-menu, since it’s something we tend to turn on and off a lot, but it works well once you do enable it.

The main camera can also shoot video in up to 2160p at 30fps, and there’s also a 24MP camera on the front, so this is one of the better phones around for selfies, as they come out very detailed.

Our main complaint about the camera is simply that it can take a few seconds to launch, which is surprising when performance is so good everywhere else.

Features

Perhaps the main extra feature of the Honor 10 is its fingerprint scanner, because this is no ordinary fingerprint scanner, it’s one that’s built into the glass.

It’s a similar tech to what you’ll find with the in-screen scanners a few phones are starting to sport, but while this one is under the glass it’s not in the screen, it’s in the bezel below. That seems like a missed opportunity, but it still looks great and feels futuristic.

The Honor 10 also has a face scanner though, which works well unless the light it particularly bad, so you probably won’t even use the fingerprint scanner much.

Face Unlock

And it runs Android 8.1, so its software is up to date. Of course, being made by Honor (which is owned by Huawei) it also uses that company’s EMUI overlay, which isn’t one of our favourites, but once you turn the app drawer on it’s not too far removed from stock Android.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

The Honor 10 has a 3,400mAh battery, which is large but not massive and that translates into above average but not amazing battery life. Unless you’re a very heavy user this should easily last you a day and you may be able to get part way through a second one, but it’s unlikely to last two full days.

When it comes time to charge, the phone handily supports fast charging, but not wireless charging.

Memory comes in at a very generous 128GB, but note that there’s no microSD card slot here, and connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.

Verdict

The Honor 10 is a very strong phone, especially when you consider the price. It has a brilliant design, lots of power, good cameras, a sharp screen, decent battery life, loads of storage and some exciting extras.

That said, it’s not quite the best in any area, other arguably than the design, which will be subjective, so there are certainly better phones around. But we’re not sure there are any better value ones, at least not at this end of the market.

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Specifications

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm): 149.6 x 71.2 x 7.7
  • Weight (g): 153
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 3400
  • Colours: Phantom Blue, Phantom Green, Midnight Black, Glacier Grey
  • Screen size (inches):  5.84
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2280
  • Pixels per inch (PPI): 432
  • Processor: Octa-core
  • Processor make: Kirin 970
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Internal storage: 128GB
  • Expandable storage up to: N/A
  • Camera: 16MP and 24MP (24MP front-facing)
  • Operating System: Android Oreo

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