Honor 8 Pro review: Screentrooper

GSMArena team, 25 April 2017.

Performance

The Honor 8 Pro utilizes the same Kirin 960 chip found inside the P10 and Mate 9 series. It is developed in-house by Huawei's chipmaker HiSilicon and has been around for some time now, originally making its debut on the Huawei Mate 9. Even with a few months of history behind it, the Kirin 960 is still one of the most powerful smartphone chips and we are glad to welcome it in our testing lab once again.

Honor 8 Pro review

The main processor within the chipset consists of a quad-core Cortex-A73 cluster clocked at 2.4GHz, plus a quad-core array of the familiar Cortex-A53 cores, ticking at 1.8GHz. The Cortex-A73s boast a 30% power efficiency compared to the previous A72 design, while delivering improved performance at the same time.

We kick off the benchmark routine with some CPU-only loads in GeekBench. If you expected the new Exynos and Snapdragon chips to shake the charts, you'd be wrong. Apparently, the Honor 8 Pro's single A73 core performance is on par with the new S8 series and better than any other processor we've tested so far under Android, but Apple's Hurricane cores still trump everything else.

GeekBench 4 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3473
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    1939
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (E8895)
    1939
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    1937
  • Huawei P10
    1927
  • Honor 8 Pro
    1924
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (S835)
    1915
  • Huawei Mate 9
    1898
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (E8890)
    1860
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    1815
  • LG G6 (US)
    1792
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    1724
  • Huawei Honor 8
    1720
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (S820)
    1696
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    1467

But it's the multi-core tests where the four A73 units really shine and easily beat everything we've tested so far except for the new Exynos 8895 and Snapdragon 835 found in the Galaxy S8 lineup.

GeekBench 4 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (E8895)
    6338
  • Huawei Mate 9
    6112
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (S835)
    6106
  • Huawei P10
    6069
  • Honor 8 Pro
    6036
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    5845
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    5821
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    5664
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (E8890)
    5583
  • Huawei Honor 8
    5447
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    4333
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    4142
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (S820)
    4128
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3979
  • LG G6 (US)
    3648

The Kirin 960 choice of graphics, the Mali-G71MP8, is an enormous improvement over the previous generations of HiSilicon chips and is flagship worthy. It managed to perform beautifully on the regular P10 and Mate 9. However, on the Honor 8 Pro, just like on the P10 Plus and the Mate 9 Pro, it is tasked with pushing pixels on a QHD panel. That explains the major performance delta between it and the P10 in on-screen rendering.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    42
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    34
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    32
  • Huawei P10
    30
  • Huawei Mate 9
    23
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (E8895)
    23
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (S835)
    18
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (S820)
    16
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (E8890)
    15
  • Honor 8 Pro
    15
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    13
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    12
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    12
  • LG G6 (US)
    11
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    11
  • Huawei Honor 8
    11

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XZs
    21
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    19
  • Huawei P10
    16
  • Huawei Mate 9
    14
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    13
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (S820)
    10
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    9
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    8.2
  • LG G6 (US)
    8.1
  • Honor 8 Pro
    7.9
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (E8890)
    7.8
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    7
  • Huawei Honor 8
    6.9
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    6.8

This offscreen test can give you a better understanding of the Mali G71MP8's real power. Unfortunately, the GPU came last among the flagship crop, though still a worthy contender.

GFX 3.1 Car scene (offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (E8895)
    25
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    20
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    18
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (S820)
    18
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (E8890)
    15
  • LG G6 (US)
    15
  • Huawei P10
    14
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    13
  • Huawei Mate 9
    13
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    12
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    12
  • Honor 8 Pro
    11
  • Huawei Honor 8
    6.3
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    6.2

Still, while looking at the synthetics, bear in mind that most games will scale back gracefully in both resolution and detail, if necessary. Real-life gaming is definitely a pleasant experience on the Honor 8 Pro.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Huawei P10
    39433
  • Huawei Mate 9
    36519
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    36062
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    33815
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (S820)
    32160
  • LG G6 (US)
    32041
  • Honor 8 Pro
    30853
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    30602
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (E8890)
    28480
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    27600
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    23513
  • Huawei Honor 8
    16592
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    15058

Moving on to some all-round performance benchmarks, we find that the Honor 8 Pro shines bright in BaseMark OS II tests. It pretty much outpaces all other Android devices currently in our database, while comes on par with the P10 lineup.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3447
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3429
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (E8895)
    3401
  • Huawei P10
    3393
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3280
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    2843
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2677
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    2606
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    2155
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (E8890)
    2107
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (S820)
    2045
  • Huawei Honor 8
    2029
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    1823

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3796
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (E8895)
    3298
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    2940
  • Huawei P10
    2910
  • Honor 8 Pro
    2865
  • Huawei Mate 9
    2637
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    2496
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2434
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    2386
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (S820)
    2352
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    2099
  • Huawei Honor 8
    2099
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (E8890)
    2050

AnTuTu appears to show a different story. However, it's nothing really unexpected, since Huawei handsets typically get penalized in this particular benchmark for some reason. That being said, the Honor 8 Pro falls in line perfectly with its expected performance.

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (E8895)
    174070
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    173110
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    155185
  • LG G6 (US)
    141895
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    133574
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (S820)
    132849
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (E8890)
    129229
  • Honor 8 Pro
    128755
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    128719
  • Huawei P10
    126629
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    126252
  • Huawei Mate 9
    122826
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    113397
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    97392
  • Huawei Honor 8
    94892

The Honor 8 Pro stands tall in the performance race - nothing short of a proper flagship offer. We really couldn't ask for anything more in the CPU department. As for the GPU, frankly, the Mali-G71MP8 happily chewed through any graphics task we threw at it even though it is not topping the charts.

Under heavy synthetic loads, the Honor 8 Pro gets hot at one particular (small) spot at the back and if your finger happens to rest there, the phone may not be comfortable to hold. But it's far from dangerous and even Huawei thought so, as it seemingly did not implement any performance throttling to combat the rising chip temperatures.