Quick hands-on with the honor View10, honor’s first “AI Phone”

honor View 10
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Artificial intelligence or “AI” is a big deal, and has become a popular industry buzzword alongside “machine learning.” Huawei was quick to claim it has the first mobile processor with an NPU (neural processing unit), although arguably Apple’s advanced A11 Bionic chip also has dedicated neural network hardware called the “Neural Engine.” Regardless of who’s first, AI is here to stay, and we’re only at the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come.

Honor, a sub-brand of Huawei, now gets to boast “AI” integration in its device line too, thanks to the cutting-edge Kirin 970 chip. The latest generation Kirin comes integrated with a neural processing unit (NPU) that gives the chip machine learning capabilities and a more advanced “brain.”

It’s only natural for the technology, first featured in the Mate 10 series, to trickle down to honor’s own stable of products. Welcome the honor View 10 (aka V10 in China), honor’s first AI-powered smartphone.

I’ve had the opportunity to get a quick hands-on earlier today, and will have it to toy with for several weeks. So, here’s a quick first impressions based on the brief hands-on experience.

Off the bat, the honor View 10 looks very much like the honor 8 Pro and honor 9, both outstanding devices. It’s solidly built, as expected, being a flagship device, but also has subtle design improvements. While the former devices are rounder and smooth around the edges, the View 10 has nicely chamfered edges that give it a better grip overall. Think HTC 10, although less pronounced.

It’s super slim at 6.97mm and features a sleek metal unibody. No IP68 water resistance unfortunately, and honor has yet to go that route.

The View 10, as its namesake, offers a FullView 18:9 FHD+ (2160×1080) display, boasting 5.99 inches. It happens to be the second FullView device honor has in its stable, after the mid-range honor 7X, another fantastic device.

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The device retains a physical home button with an embedded fingerprint scanner that tucks neatly under the display.

Much of the magic is really underneath. As you know, it shares the 10nm octa-core Kirin 970 chipset with the more expensive Huawei cousins—the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro.

It’s the most advanced Huawei processor to date, integrated with AI capabilities and deep learning prowess. Coupled with the new chipset is 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, expandable via microSD.

So much brain

Key areas where the AI wizardry comes into play includes power management, and imaging. In terms of imaging, the Kirin 970 works with the dual-lens camera and intelligently optimises camera settings based on lighting conditions and scenarios. It can identify 13 different types of scenes and objects.

For instance, it knows if you’re shooting a sunset landscape, and optimises settings to take the best shot. Likewise, if you’re preparing for an Instagram-worthy flat lay food shot, it’ll optimise for that too.

Having had extensive hours with the Mate 10 Pro, I expect a similar experience with the honor View 10. In my brief hour with the device, the scene recognition does work, although I’ll reserve my final verdict after a full-on review.

Portraits look great, and offer nice bokeh effects.

And by the way, the dual-camera setup consists of a 20MP (mono) + 16MP (RGB) f/1.8 combination. No Leica lens but still effective. By the way, the front offers a 13MP unit that also offers depth of field customisation.

Of course, that’s not all of the “intelligent” functions the View 10 has to offer in its repertoire. There’s Game Suite, a set of tools that feature intelligent optimisation for games, too.

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Something honor (and Huawei) touts is its collaboration with Microsoft with Microsoft Translate. It offers an impressive AI-accelerated instant translator that is built in to the device.

Moving on, despite its scant profile, the View 10 squeezes in an impressive 3,750mAh battery that supports 5V/4.5A honor Supercharge. Honor claims this will deliver 5.5 hours of gaming, 19 hours of video playback, or 23 hours of 3G talk.

The dual-LTE, dual-VoLTE device runs EMUI 8 based on Android Oreo out-of-the-box.

As promised, honor will be pushing an OTA update next week to enable the Face Unlock feature on its new smartphone.

Pricing and availability

The honor View 10 is available now at MYR2,099 and comes in Blue and Black colour options.

Honor Malaysia says it will be offering a special Purchase with Purchase program, in partnership with DJI. Set to kick off in mid-February and running till March, each purchase of a View 10 will entitle buyers to get a MYR60 voucher to purchase the new Osmo Mobile 2. Alternatively, consumers can opt to buy a DJI Spark Fly More Combo at MYR2988 and get a MYR200 voucher for a View 10.

Initial verdict

The View 10 is everything you’d expect in a flagship honor device. As impressed as I was with the honor 8 Pro and honor 9, the View 10 takes it a notch higher. I do appreciate the tapered edges in the design which makes it more confortable and firm to hold. The Kirin 970 holds much promise in terms of intelligent features, and the strong cameras are also a plus point.

More in depth thoughts and findings in the full review. Stay tuned.

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