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printed November 21, 2017
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Review: Huawei Honor 8

Hardware Software Wrap-Up Comments  3  

The Honor 8 from Huawei is a very good phone, but stops short of being excellent. A few hardware and software issues prevent the Honor 8 from living up to its full potential.

Huawei did a fine job crafting an attractive, high-quality piece of hardware. The glass-and-metal design is stunning. Some buyers may appreciate the phone's smaller footprint when compared to the competition, but the screen is a bit smaller and has fewer pixels. Battery life is excellent. I found the Honor 8 to fall below average in terms of compatibility with AT&T's network, with dropped calls and some stuttering data performance. Voice calls are louder than most competing devices, which is a bonus.

On the software side, Huawei's Emotion UI is polished and pretty, but usability suffers thanks to overly-convoluted menus and a lack of basic tools like access to the notification shade on the lock screen. Emotion UI does offer a lot of room for customization. The camera app is powerful, though some may dislike the inconsistent interface elements. At least it takes good pictures.

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The Honor 8, OnePlus 3, Axon 7, and Idol 4s all cost $399 and are sold unlocked. Each is well-made, includes good specs, and fine performance. Deciding between these four handsets is a tough call. I think the deciding factor for many here will likely boil down to size. The Honor 8 is smaller and easier to use than the other three, but the competing phones have bigger, better screens.

You can't really go wrong with any of these handsets. The $399 price point and high-quality hardware make the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 look stupidly expensive in comparison. The Honor 8 wouldn't be my first choice, but that's only because I prefer larger phones. If you dislike large handsets and want a more compact, quality phone, the Honor 8 is a fine first choice.

Our Ratings

4
Overall
3.5
Reception
4.5
Battery Life
4.5
Hardware Usability
4.5
Hardware Quality
4
Display
4
Interface Speed
5
Audio Volume
4
Camera
 

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