Yesterday I was present at the Honor event near Blackfriars and the River Thames. There they unveiled a pair of smartphones just in time for Christmas. We were all expecting to see the 7X but we were also introduced to the brand-new flagship Honor View 10.
Honor officially took the wraps off the competitively-priced, near bezel-less 7X and the top of the range View 10 at their global launch at The Mermaid Centre in Puddle Dock.
Even though the V10 was actually launched in China around a week ago, I for one was not really expecting it to appear here.
Honor View 10
In its broadest terms, the View 10 is effectively a budget version of the recently launched Huawei Mate 10 Pro. There are some compromises to be made, obviously, but when you divvy-up the savings, the View 10 is pretty amazing for the money.
The View 10 is packing a 5.99-inch LCD, 2160×1080 pixels screen, whereas the Mate 10 Pro is equipped with AMOLED. However, you still get the ‘FullView’ 18:9 ratio, and minimal bezels both at top and bottom.
You get the glass front and back, and Honor’s now famous colour schemes. This, of course, includes the popular blue variant.
I generally tell people that Honor is the youthful, more friendlier-priced version of Huawei. That doesn’t mean that they look or feel like poorer cousins though. Far from it. Both of these new phones look great.
There was a lot made of the phone’s intelligence. Much of this comes by way of the Kirin 970 chipset. This is the same as loaded in the Mate 10 stable and also comes with a number of AI functions that Huawei included thanks to the Neural Processing Unit (NPU). This hands the View 10 handy chops such as automatic scene recognition for the camera.
The new Kirin 970 features an octa-core ARM Cortex CPU and a first-to-market Mali-G72 12-core GPU.
The facial recognition, as well as a bunch of security features, can also take on Apple’s Animojis. I realise that this was an Honor show but their 3D Facial Animation did look better – even picking up the the model’s tongue sticking out and getting the panda to do the same.
Software and specs
Android Oreo and Emotion UI 8 (EMUI 8) come ready out of the box. The UK will be getting the 6GB RAM version of the View 10 with 128GB of storage. Naturally, there are various configurations of storage and RAM depending on the particular market, ranging from 4GB of RAM, and 64GB storage.
The phone also can be quick-charged via its USB-C port up to 50% in 30 minutes.
The View 10 is kitted out with 16 and 20-megapixel sensors at the rear with f/1.8 lenses.
There’s a stack of clever scene recognition modes too. These range from food to cats – so, the entirety of your news feed should look fantastic.
If you think that youths on the bus playing music through one mobile is bad, just wait until they see this. The View 10 is able to sync the music it is playing over multiple devices so that all the synced phones’ speakers are used.
Kill me now.
More usefully, the 3.5mm headphone jack is still present.
Rounding things up is a neat translation tool. Just take a photo of a sign in another language and it can be translated to English — a similar function to Google Lens.
The 7X comes in at an extremely pleasing price point but also manages to flaunt the skinniest of bezels.
So, with Honor’s ‘FullView’ display technology and a 5.93-inch full HD+ (2160×1080 pixel) LCD panel, it looks a lot more expensive than it actually is.
This is also an 18:9 ratio screen. Something else more often seen on flagship phones.
The Honor 7X is powered by the Kirin 659 chipset. This is paired with 4GB of RAM and 32, 64 or 128GB of internal storage (depending on market). These can all be expanded by SD card.
Dimensions of the phone are 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6mm, and a weight of 165g.
The phone has the now-expected dual-camera configuration. However, things are different to the flagship Honors. Here you get a primary 16-megapixel sensor accompanied by a 2-megapixel sensor. The latter is here more for depth detection.
The good news because of this set-up is that you are still able to capture the popular bokeh/portrait modes people now demand from their phone.
Phase Shift Auto Focus (PDAF) enables focus times of just 0.18 seconds, which reduces the chance of missing that priceless moment.
Takes the biscuit (soon)
Android Nougat (Android 7) and EMUI 5.1 is installed with an update to Oreo and EMUI 8 following very early in the new year.
This is a little disappointing given Oreo (Android 8) has been out for a while, but it’s not as bad as the fact the phone still has micro-USB port. Not quite ready for USB-C at this price it seems. At least you’re likely to still have plenty of spare cables and such lying around for it.
On a more positive not, the 3.5mm headphone jack is still here too!
Colours and availability
The Honor 7X is available in black, blue or gold.