honor 10 review: The dazzling flagship

honor's best tried and tested
honor 10 review

Hardware, Software, In the Box

What’s in the box

  • honor 10 unit
  • USB Type-C cable
  • Headphones with mic
  • SuperCharge charger
  • TPU protective cover
  • TP screen protector
  • Quick start guide
  • SIM insertion tool

Hardware

For a supposed mid-range device, the honor 10 actually packs hardware that is used in Huawei’s current and previous gen of flagships such as the P20, Mate 10 and honor View10. Yes, the octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 970 CPU is almost a year old but it still performs like a charm especially since the honor 10 also has 4GB of RAM and the Mali-G72 MP12 GPU.

On a side note, the Kirin 970 is also Huawei’s CPU that features a built-in Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which is a fancier way of saying it’s AI-enabled.

As for storage, the honor 10 comes with 128GB of internal storage with about 115GB usable. There’s no support for expandable storage but with 115GB, I’m sure you won’t really need any extra, unless you’re one of those people who stores 1080p TV shows or movies on your device to watch while you’re on-the-go.

honor 10

Speaking of watching videos on the device, the honor 10’s 5.84-inch display uses an IPS LCD panel and has a Full HD+ resolution of 2280×1080. The display is actually really good as it produces vivid and accurate colours that pop and I found text to be very crisp with no artefacts or bleeding. While the display does get quite bright, I still found it not bright enough as there were times I found it a little hard to see when I was under direct sunlight.

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Now that I’ve covered visuals, I should talk about audio. Like most mid-range devices, the honor 10’s single bottom-firing speaker gets very loud on maximum volume but as always, there’s quite a fair bit of distortion and muffling. Also, the most common problem would be the fact that when held in landscape mode, the speaker easily gets blocked, which is a shame as that’s how most of us watch videos and play games. Unfortunately, with the way the device is design, there was no way honor could have fit stereo front-facing speakers on the device.

honor 10 reviewWhen it comes to cameras, the honor 10 sports a 24MP selfie shooter with an f/2.0 aperture. No selfie flash here as there’s really no space for it on the notch. Then on the rear there’s the 16MP RGB shooter with an f/1.8 aperture and a 24MP monochrome shooter also with an f/1.8 aperture. Frankly speaking, the cameras offered on the honor 10 is a lot more attractive than the ones found on the Huawei nova 3e (P20 lite).

honor 10 reviewKeeping everything juiced up is a 3,400mAh battery that supports Huawei/honor’s SuperCharge and thankfully, honor has actually bundled a SuperCharger with the device. It’s said that the SuperCharger is able get the battery from 0 percent to 50 percent in 25 minutes, which I found to be quite accurate as I clocked in at about 30 minutes.

Finally, the honor 10 supports Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, GPS, A-GPS and GLONASS.

Software

Being a sub-brand of Huawei, the honor 10 also uses the company’s Emotion UI or more commonly known as EMUI layered over Android 8.1 Oreo. I know some people who like/love EMUI but I personally am not a fan of it. The reason being the bloatware and also some of questionable and very cartoony UI design. Previous versions would also noticeably start to slow down and lag after about 3 months or so.

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The latest version of EMUI however is a little more palatable and more customisable. However, I still noticed a slight lag when opening apps or the app drawer and while I was navigating around but this was actually due to the animations of the UI.

honor 10 reviewBloatware on the other hand is still rampant. Not only will you have to deal with Huawei’s very own suite of apps, which range from mildly useful such as the compass, Game Suite to the pointless such as the mirror app and Huawei AppGallery. Then there’s also other apps such as Booking.com and various Gameloft games that really don’t need to be pre-installed.

It seems like Huawei is actively making improvements to EMUI but it’s still a little undercooked for my taste and I’m one of those users who immediately installs Nova Launcher so I can customise it with icon packs and give it a more vanilla Android look and feel.

Contents

SUMMARY & RESULTS

If you don't mind splurging a little more for a device that looks unique and performs well, the honor 10 really is a no-brainer.

3.9

The honor 10 looks simply amazing. It isn't just all looks though, it also has the brains and performance to boot.

Review

  • Design & Build

  • Hardware

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Pricing & Value for Money

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  • Loves tech but loves gaming and writing more. Is on a constant journey to learn new things and being a tech writer is his current new thing.

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