Honor 10 Mini-Review: Two Months Later
When Honor launched the Honor 10, they promised a phone that would provide a new AI experience. Bringing the AI technology from the Honor View 10, and the build quality and performance of the Honor 9, we got a polished and complete version of Honor’s vision for their smartphones.
“Introducing #Honor10 with #BeautyInAI. Our incredibly beautiful phone with independent NPU to provide the best AI experience and smart photography.”
|Camera||18+24MP/24MP AI Camera|
The first thing you’ll notice about the Honor 10’s display is the notch. It’s a small un-intrusive notch that can be switched on and off if you don’t like it. The display is slightly better than where we saw in the Honor View 10 and Honor 9, which is just fine for this phone. It offers an impressive media experience for photos and videos. This is one of the better non-AMOLED displays that you’ll find.
One of the main selling points of the Honor 10 is the AI Camera. This is designed to use semantic image segmentation to enhance your photos. While the AI mode is definitely an interesting feature, it has received mixed reviews on whether or not is objectively makes the photograph better.
These photos are a good example of a situation where AI does a great job in enhancing the photo.
These photos received mixed responses from people when I posted them to twitter. Many people preferred the non-AI version. So while the AI is a nice feature to have, it wont perform well it every circumstance. You can toggle AI off after the fact, if you don’t like the way your picture turned out.
“Shoot dynamically and enhance individually with Semantic image segmentation!”
From my experience with AI mode, it’s a good feature to have but isn’t a revolutionary feature in smartphone cameras. This shouldn’t be a deciding factor in whether or not you buy this phone.
The Gallery app has many useful tools for editing your videos and photos. Trim your videos and export them at different resolutions. The fast processor in the Honor 10 makes editing media very fast and fluid.
In general,the camera is better than any Honor phone we’ve seen so far. The selfie camera is really good with a 24MP sensor. Portrait mode looks particularly nice. Check out our full camera review video above to see samples.
When it comes to speed, this phone is very impressive. The Kirin 970 is the newest Kirin chip featuring the NPU which powers all of the AI features in the Honor 10. There are models with 4 and 6GB of RAM. I tested the 4GB model to find that app were launching faster, the UI was quicker, and the phone was all-around smoother than any previous Honor phone.
The battery will easily last you all day and maybe even two days depending on your use. You have several ways to preserve battery with the power saving mode, ultra power saving mode, and adjusting the screen resolution.
The Honor 10 ships with the latest EMUI update, bringing the UI to version 8.1. This is the most stock-like version of EMUI that we have seen. A lot of the old icons and UI elements have been replaced. The useful stuff has remained and been improved, like the built in screen recorder, the camera app, and the very underrated health app.
EMUI is not without its problems though. The settings menu is confusing and difficult to navigate. The EMUI theme engine has always been a disappointment, features ugly themes and very little customization beyond a slightly modified icons pack, and a background image. Then there’s some strange bloatware, like a mirror app that simple activates your front facing camera. So EMUI, while getting better, still have some room for improvement.
Since the Honor 8, Honor has proven that build quality is a main focus of their flagship line. The iconic light-catching material that makes up the back of the phone appears once again in the Honor 10, this time branded as the aurora glass design. The design looks best on their newest color called Phantom Green, where the light reflections will reveal several different colors beneath the glass surface.
Having spent two weeks using the Honor 10 as my primary phone, I’ve realized that I like the phone regardless of its AI features. While the AI is fun to use, if it was removed from the phone, my experience wouldn’t change much. If you’re looking for this phone to have a revolutionary AI experience, you’re not going to find it. What you will find is a beautiful phone with shockingly good performance and a crazy low price starting at £399.99.
Join the discussions about the Honor 10 in the XDA Forums.