A very competitive premium phone with excellent AI Camera technology

Highs

  • Large battery, speedy charging
  • Impressive AI camera technology
  • Premium design with performant Selfie

Lows

  • LCD instead of OLED display
  • Not waterproof

Rating and Price

  • Rating: 9/10
  • Price: ~$499

The Honor 10 smartphone has just launched in London. It is a higher-end handset than the Honor View 10 we reviewed in December. The Honor 10 is part of the N-Series, which is the flagship series that is created to bring “the best of fashion, craftsmanship, and engineering together,” according to Honor. Part of the engineering effort is the new AI Camera that powers this handset. Let’s take a deep dive into the Honor 10 technology.

Important: this review has been put together based on pre-retail units that may not have the final firmware, so small changes are possible. We will update it as we spend more time with the handset.

With price as the main selector, we lined-up a good number of smartphones which may be alternatives to assess how the Honor 10 fits in its immediate smartphone landscape: Essential PH-1 (499 USD), OnePlus OnePlus 5 (479 USD), Huawei Mate 10 (550 USD), Samsung Galaxy S8(600 USD), Google Pixel 2 (600 USD),

Key Specifications

  • 5.84” LCD Display (2280×1080)
  • 16 MP Main Camera, f/1.8 aperture
  • 24 MP Selfie Camera
  • HiSilicon Kirin 970 platform 4GB RAM, 64-128 GB of internal storage
  • 3400 mAh battery capacity
  • Android 8.1
  • Price: not revealed yet. Assumed to be ~$499

Industrial Design

The Honor 10 has a very nice and clean design, with glass on the front + back (2.5D glass in the back) and a metal frame going all around the sides. The back’s curved glass feels a little like the Galaxy S and this manufacturing process is quite complicated. Honor has managed to bring it into the Premium segment, and users will appreciate it.

We have a black version of the handset, but the colored ones are much nicer (and easier to take photos of). In many ways, these are reminiscent of the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro smartphones we looked at recently. The multi-layer glass looks very Premium, and the multi-tone version will be the most popular one, we predict.

Fortunately, there’s a 3.5mm audio connector, which is everyone’s favorite, despite what OEMs keep saying. Sync/charge happens over USB-C which is the prominent option these days.

This time, Honor has integrated an ultra-sonic fingerprint sensor. It uses ultrasounds like a radar to sense the ridges and valleys of your fingerprint. And because it does not need a direct contact, it can be hidden under the tempered glass where it will be protected from scratches.

The Honor 10 is not protected from water (no IP Rating), nor it has passed some of the U.S Military MIL-STD 810G certification tests. While nearly all high-end phones ($600+) are water-resistant, in the Premium segment ($500+), this is not yet a must-have. For example, the Galaxy S8 and Pixel 2 are IP68 or IP67, and the Essential PH-1 has an IP55 rating.

Since the design has glass on both sides, and because the back’s glass curves slightly onto the edges, the odds of having a crack if dropped on a hard surface is quite high. This is inherent to this kind of design, and you should consider using a case.

This smartphone feels very comfortable in hand because it has a width of 71.2mm and a thickness of approximately ~0.3 inches. For reference, this is based on a medium size hand (US M gloves). You can try guessing based on this. The weight of 153 grams (5.4 oz) makes it a reasonably light smartphone for a screen size of 5.84”.

Finally, the handset design packs good performance in relation to its size. From another viewpoint, the amount of battery capacity the buyer gets is excellent for a device of this size, besting even the Galaxy S8 by 12%. Huawei’s Mate 10 is the only phone in this selection to have more battery per Cubic Inches (17% more).

Overall product rating: 9/10

Filed in Cellphones >Reviews. Read more about Android, Editorspick, Honor and Smartphone Reviews.

Display
5.84"
2280x1080
TFT LCD
432 PPI
Price
~$499 - Amazon
Camera
16 MP
F1.8 Aperture F-Stop
Weight
153 g
Battery
3400 mAh
Non-Removable
No Wireless Charg.
Launched in
2018-05-15
System
4GB RAM
Kirin 970 +
Storage (GB)
64, 128
Honor 10 Review
Score: 9/10
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