Honor 8 review: Shining Knight

Shining Knight

GSMArena team, 08 September 2016.

Display

The Honor 8 has a very promising and flagship-worthy 5.2" IPS LTPS display. Arguably, 1080p is a bit outdated, but the 423ppi is more than enough for achieving an excellent mark in pixel density. The LTPS screen promises deep black and high color gamut.

The 2.5D screen glass trend continues, but we'd have really appreciated an adequate glass protection to keep the scratches away from the display. Once again, there is no protective glass mentioned anywhere in the Honor's promo materials and official specs. And we we can confirm it accumulates scratches rather easy.

Honor 8 review

The display is almost as bright as the P9's 500nits unit - the Honor 8 screen has a maximum brightness of 460 nits and a minimum of just 1.6nits - great for reading. Thanks to the deeper blacks the contrast is now excellent at 1243:1, even better than the P9.

You should know though the auto brightness option is somewhat broken as it often dims the screen way too much and it's barely visible. Huawei needs to fix the auto brightness calculations with an update as soon as possible. This came to be an issue on the both Honor 8 units we had, so unless it's a defective batch of ambient light sensors, it should be a software issue.

Regarding color reproduction accuracy, the Honor 8 screen is an average performer as was the P9's. It came out less than stellar with an average deviation (DeltaE) of 7.5 - a bit higher than what we would ideally like. We've seen worse even in flagship devices, so this one sits somewhere in the middle. For a screen to be considered properly calibrated it needs to have a maximum DeltaE of 4.

Using the built-in Color temperature modes, we managed to get a better color reproduction by going with the Warm one (Avg. DeltaE 5.8), but that came at the expense of slightly lower maximum brightness (450nits). The Warm option fixed the bluish white color, which was the one to drag the Maximum DeltaE up to 14.1.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Honor 7 0.32 450 1398
Honor 8 0.37 460 1243
Huawei P9 0.46 500 1094
Huawei P9 Lite 0.42 497 1192
OnePlus 3 0.00 433
Samsung Galaxy S7 0.00 391
LG G4 0.43 532 1238
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 0.42 403 953
Meizu MX5 0 346
Sony Xperia X 0.44 539 1219
Huawei P9 Plus 0.00 400

The Honor 8 did very good in our sunlight legibility test. A score of 3.346 is a very good achievement for a non-AMOLED panel.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Honor 8
    3.346
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • LG G4
    2.317
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Battery life

The Honor 8 is powered by a sealed 3,000 mAh battery. It supports rapid charging with a 9V/2A charger, which fills about 40% of the capacity in 30 minutes. The phone ships with a proper 9V/2A plug for this type of fast charging, which is nice.

We ran our battery test and the Honor 8 scored a 70h rating, which means you can count on the battery to last few hours short of 3 days if you do an hour each of calling, browsing the web and video playback a day.

If you want to use the phone with two SIM cards, it will cost you five additional hours.

Honor 8 review

The Honor 8 posted very balanced scores on all tests. Standby battery life was gauged in the Performance mode, which does not put any limits on the hardware. The Standard mode will add a couple of hours to the rating, while the Ultra Power Saving will keep your phone alive for quite some time.

There is also the so-called ROG power-saving, which lowers the resolution down to 720p and will give you more battery life when playing games.

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Connectivity

The Honor 8 is properly equipped in terms of connectivity. The radio support includes up to four 2G bands, five 3G bands, and five 4G bands. The P9 covered a lot more bands than Honor 8, which is a concern for those planing to import it from another market. If you get a unit destined for your country all the important 4G bands are covered.

Our variant (FRD-L09) comes with a hybrid nano-SIM/microSD slot. Its second card can only tap into 2G networks while the first gets the full cellular connectivity.

The Honor 8 supports dual-band 2.4/5.0GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, with Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot capabilities. Bluetooth is v4.2, where interference issues with LTE networks should be fixed. There's NFC on board, no matter the Honor 8 model.

The satellite receiver supports GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou, so there isn't a corner in the world where the smartphone won't be able to pinpoint your location.

There is no FM radio though.

A 3.5mm jack provides standard connectivity for wired headphones. There is the new USB Type-C connector for charging and wired connectivity. Mind you, it defaults to charge-only every single time you connect it to a PC, and you have to manually switch the mode from the notification shade if you want to do something else.

Finally, there is an IR blaster on top, so you can use the Honor 8 as a universal remote via the Smart Remote app.

Smart Remote - Honor 8 review Smart Remote - Honor 8 review
Smart Remote

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Why,what is the problem of this phone?,,Drop your comment here

  • jacob

I have bought my honor 8, using it in Angola it doest let me to registar in HUAWEI account becuse my country is not listed on it, finding it hard to use, is there anyone who can help?

  • Mg Naidu

Tell me that update process