Having been unveiled in China on 19 April, the Honor 10 offered few surprises for the assembled smartphone cognoscenti at its launch event in London on 15 May. Replacing the well-received Honor 9, which will sell for £299.99 (down from £379.99) until the end of May, Honor's new flagship will cost £399.99 SIM-free from a variety of outlets, or from £31 a month on Three.
Honor's parent company Huawei is now the third-placed smartphone company in terms of global market share, reaching a new high of 11 percent in Q1 2018 on shipments of 39.3 million handsets, according to IDC. Honor handsets tend to offer similar functionality to their Huawei counterparts at a lower price point and with more of a 'youth' focus; the Honor 10 is in many ways the affordable version of Huawei P20.
The headline specs for the Honor 10 are: a 5.84-inch IPS LCD screen with 1,080 by 2,280 resolution (19:9 aspect ratio, 432ppi); octa-core Kirin 970 chipset with 4GB or 6GB of RAM (4GB in the UK) and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage; Android 8.1 (Oreo) overlain with EMUI 8.1; dual 24MP and 16MP cameras at the rear and a 24MP front-facing selfie camera. The handset measures 71.2mm wide by 149.6mm deep by 7.7mm thick, offering a minimal-bezel 79.9 percent screen-to-body ratio, and weighs 153g. The battery capacity is 3,400mAh. Here's how it matches up to its predecessor and to the Huawei P20:
|Honor 10||Honor 9||Huawei P20|
|Display||5.84 inches, 1,080 x 2,280 pixels (19:9, 432ppi)||5.15 inches, 1,080 x 1,920 pixels (16:9, 428ppi)||5.8 inches, 1,080 x 2,240 pixels (18.7:9, 429ppi)|
|Chipset||HiSilicon Kirin 970||HiSilicon Kirin 960||HiSilicon Kirin 970|
|RAM||4GB or 6GB||4GB or 6GB||4GB|
|Internal storage||64GB or 128GB||64GB or 128GB||128GB|
|Rear cameras||24MP (mono), 16MP (colour)||20MP (mono), 12MP (colour)||20MP (mono), 12MP (colour), Leica optics|
|3.5mm headphone jack||yes||yes||no|
|Fingerprint sensor||Front, under glass||Front||Front|
|Dimensions||71.2mm x 149.6mm x 7.7mm||70.9mm x 147.3mm x 7.5mm||70.8mm x 149.1mm 7.7mm|
As befits the company's 'youth' focus, Honor's president George Zhao stressed the new handset's design credentials and AI-driven photography features in his keynote.
The Honor 10's most striking feature is its curved glass back, constructed from 15 layers of 3D glass, which comes in two iridescent shades (somewhat reminiscent of a beetle's carapace) -- Phantom Blue and Phantom Green -- plus more conventional Midnight Black and Glacier Grey. The two ever-changing Phantom shades certainly look impressive, although the shine is (literally) taken off somewhat when the clear protective case that comes in the box is fitted.
Powered by the Kirin 970 chipset's NPU (Neural-Processing Unit), the rear camera system can recognise over 500 image scenarios in 22 categories in real time, identifying the outlines of elements like people, vegetation and sky in order to optimise automatic settings for more professional-looking shots. The front camera offers improved facial recognition for more accurate bokeh (blurred background) images, and supports a range of studio-lighting effects for more dramatic selfies.
Other notable features are the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, which sits unobtrusively under the glass at the foot of the screen and will work with wet fingers, and the iPhone X-like notch at the top of the screen housing the front camera and a speaker (the notch can be optionally disabled if you don't like it). Many people will be pleased to see a 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom next to the USB-C port. The 3,400mAh battery supports Honor Super Charge, charging to 50 percent in 25 minutes according to the company.
The Honor 10 continues Huawei's strategy of offering flagship-level features at a competitive price via its smartphone sub-brand.
RECENT AND RELATED CONTENT
Honor 9 review: An affordable flagship-class smartphone
The Honor 9 joins a growing roster of competitively priced flagship-class handsets, delivering good performance and battery life, a decent 5.15-inch screen, and an impressive dual camera setup.
Huawei P20 review: A smaller, sleeker Mate 10 Pro with camera enhancements
Huawei's new P20 smartphone brings dual rear Leica branded cameras, the latest version of Android, and a massive screen-to-body ratio with a small notch our of the display. It's a great evolution of the P10 and likely to be one of the best smartphones of 2018.
Huawei and Xiaomi smartphone shares surge in Europe amid market decline
The Chinese vendors have further narrowed the gap in smartphone sales over market leaders Samsung and Apple in the region.
Here's how Google is using AI to make your Android smartphone battery last longer (TechRepublic)
DeepMind for Google and Android have joined forces to pioneer AI that can anticipate what app you'll need next.
Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)
Mobile devices offer convenience and flexibility for the modern workforce--but they also bring associated risks and support issues. This policy establishes guidelines to help ensure safe and productive use of mobile devices by employees, along with recommendations for IT pros responsible for administering and supporting those devices.