What is the Honor 10?

The flagship model of Huawei’s sub-brand, the Honor 10 is designed to appeal to those on a more restricted budget.

As it’s essentially the same company, there’s a lot of familiarity between Honor and Huawei devices, with the Honor 10 being reasonably similar to the Huawei P20 (standard, not the Huawei P20 Pro).

There’s a similar dual-lens set up, but without the collaboration with Leica, plus artificial intelligence which changes the settings depending on what you’re photographing. Other specifications include a Full HD+, 5.84-inch screen, a 3,400mAh battery life, and fast charging via USB-C.

At the time of writing, you can buy the Honor 10 priced at just under £400 (SIM-free).

For

  • Great value, dual-lens setup, artificial intelligence, excellent camera app

Against

  • No telephoto zoom, other phones better in low light

Build & Handling

As well as having some similar specifications to the Huawei P20, the overall look and feel of the phones is also pretty close. The screen is almost the same size, and it also features the notch, a feature people seem to either love or hate.

Personally, I’m not too bothered by a notch display, but if you hate it, switching it off via the main menu is straightforward enough.

Accessing the Honor 10’s native camera app is easily done via a quick swipe up from the bottom right-hand corner while the phone is locked; if it’s unlocked, a tap on the camera icon does the trick. As with the design, if you’ve ever come across a Huawei phone the native app will be familiar to you.

By default, the camera app launches in Photo mode, but you’ll see other modes which you can quickly move between highlighted at the bottom of the screen. These include Aperture, Portrait, Video and More, which gives you access to yet another array of modes.

No self-respecting 2018 smartphone lacks a fake shallow depth-of-field mode, and here it’s available via the Aperture option. In this mode you can choose an aperture, then tap the subject to focus before taking your shot.

Since this is just a software effect, if you’re not happy with the outcome you can adjust the aperture setting, and focus point, in playback.

For those who like a little more control, you’ll find the Pro mode in the More section. With this, you’re granted control over various settings including white balance, ISO, shutter speed, AF type, exposure compensation and metering.

You can also shoot raw format while in pro mode, something which is relatively rare for mid-range phones.

 

Performance

As we often find to be the case, the Honor 10 does its best work when shooting in bright conditions. Colours are well saturated, while there’s a good amount of detail (especially if you don’t intend to pixel peep too close), and on the whole exposures are well-balanced.

We have been spoiled by the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro’s night mode, but it’s not really a surprise to see it missing from a sub-£400 phone. Low light therefore is less impressive than its more premium cousin, but of course, Huawei has to give you a decent reason to spend more cash.

Aperture mode, or the fake blurred background effect, does a reasonably good job, again if you’re not inspecting images too closely. The best results are generated when the subject has a well-defined outline, and it isn’t against something too complicated.

Still, if you’re only intending to share your shots on Instagram, then you’re likely to get away with it.

Honor 10 Sample Photos

Honor 10 Sample Photos

Honor 10 Sample Photos

Honor 10 Sample Photos

Honor 10 Sample Photos

Honor 10 Sample Photos

Honor 10 Sample Photos

Honor 10 Sample Photos

You can view and download our Honor 10 sample photos at full resolution from our Flickr gallery.

Verdict

I’ve been very impressed by the quality of the Honor 10, considering its price tag is less than £400. If you’re somebody who’s concerned with having a decent camera on board their phone, but is perhaps even more concerned with how much they spend, it’s a solid option to consider.

It’s not quite as good as the P20 (as you’d expect for something which costs £200 less), probably due to the lack of Leica lenses (and the missing excellent Night mode), but it still produces very good shots in daylight conditions.

If you’re not somebody that thinks they’re likely to take a lot of night shots, it’s even more worthy of your consideration.

Using the phone is also an enjoyable experience, with a well-featured camera app that includes manual control and gives you the option to shoot in raw format, should you desire it.

Should I buy the Honor 10?

If you’re looking for a good, well-featured phone, but don’t have a huge budget to spend, the Honor 10 should definitely be on your shortlist.

In this mid-range area of the market, you may also want to think about the OnePlus 6, but as that phone costs closer to £500, the Honor 10 is an absolute steal.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Honor 10
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