Introduction


To say that Huawei is a big deal in the smartphone market is nothing short of an understatement, but despite the company's unquestionable international success, to say nothing of its recent market growth, it's been slow to use that momentum to create a strong US presence.

That situation's beginning to change – at what feels like a glacial pace – and not just for the main Huawei name. The company's also turning the spotlight on some of its sub-brands, and today we're taking a look at the latest as it gets ready to make its US retail debut, the dual-camera-equipped stylish Honor 8.

In the box:

  • Honor 8
  • USB Type-C to standard A cable
  • Fast charging adapter
  • Warranty card
  • SIM tool

Design



The Honor 8 doesn't push the envelope much with any daring new design, instead giving us the sort of rounded-edge handset we've seen dozens of times before. If you've held an iPhone 6s, or an HTC A9, you know the basic shape we're talking about. Huawei does try and mix things up a little by pairing that curved-edge metal frame with both front and back glass, giving the phone a smooth, symmetrical look. Whether that's a better choice than a metal-backed phone may tap into personal preference, but the resultant look is pretty darn stylish, helped out by a 15-layer “light-catching finish” for the back that plays with ambient light in a way that looks great on the blue handset we took for a spin.

That smooth design is reinforced by a back panel free of obstructions. There is a fingerprint scanner mounted in the center, but it sits recessed in the surrounding glass, with no lip standing out. And while Huawei's crammed in a pair of rear 12MP cameras, there's no camera bump to be found – the whole camera assembly sits flush. Measuring in at 7.45mm thick, the Honor 8 is far from the thinnest phone we've ever seen, but pulling all that off without any extra bulges is still a development we're happy to see.

Down below, we've got the phone's speaker grille, headphone jack, and USB Type-C port, while up top you'll find an IR transmitter – an increasingly rare find on modern phones.


Honor 8

Honor 8

Dimensions

5.73 x 2.8 x 0.29 inches

145.5 x 71 x 7.45 mm

Weight

5.40 oz (153 g)

OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3

Dimensions

6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29 inches

152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Dimensions

6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches

153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Honor 7

Honor 7

Dimensions

5.64 x 2.83 x 0.33 inches

143.2 x 71.9 x 8.5mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Honor 8

Honor 8

Dimensions

5.73 x 2.8 x 0.29 inches

145.5 x 71 x 7.45 mm

Weight

5.40 oz (153 g)

OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3

Dimensions

6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29 inches

152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Dimensions

6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches

153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Honor 7

Honor 7

Dimensions

5.64 x 2.83 x 0.33 inches

143.2 x 71.9 x 8.5mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

No quad HD we can live with, but is it too much to ask for a screen with neutral color temperature?


Huawei's not out to make a name for the Honor 8 with a fancy display. The utilitarian 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 panel doesn't pretend to be anything its not, instead giving us a functional, adequately sharp screen. If that sounds like less than glowing praise, it's because while we found the Honor 8's display to be by-and-large fine, it did have a couple issues that stood out in our tests.

While the phone's screen is capable of some solidly bright output, helping with outdoor visibility, the Honor 8's software makes it difficult to adjust with much specificity. If you keep things in auto mode, maybe that's alright, but we found the screen's brightness jumping from “kinda bright” to “really bright” with little play in between. That's no deal-breaker, but we'd love to see a little more finesse present.

Then there's the issue of color temperature. The Honor 8's software helpfully gives users a lot of control over adjusting the tone of the display output, and in addition to pre-set warm and soft modes, you have full control to dial-in a white-point of your own. But even there, you're going to have to make concessions, as the supposedly neutral white that acts as the zero point of these adjustments is itself heavily shifted towards cooler blue shades.

Speaking of blue, though, the Honor 8 joins the club of phones seeking to alleviate eye strain and improve circadian rhythms by implementing an “eye comfort” mode, filtering out blue light at night. Given how cool the screen is to start with, that's just a little ironic.



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56 Comments

1. donrox

Posts: 203; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

Brand still largely unknown to US shoppers. Listing this as a con for this phone is not logical

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

while huawei get 3rd place on global smarphone manufacturer...

20. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Well Monsieur iBend; I'm not trying to defend anything or anyone but I for one didn't hear about Huawei until few years ago when I got into Smartphones and bought my first "TRUE" smartphone, a Nexus 5... The problem with Huawei (or any other Chinese Brand in that matter, like Xiaomi, Oppo, BLU etc) is that it's a CHINESE Company, and western people tend to be very skeptical about Chinese Products & steer clear of them...! Yes, iPhone is q CHINESE Phone in a manner of speaking (I'm sure you were going to mention it...! Yes, I can "sense" people sometimes... Specially when they call themselves iBend of iSheep etc), but ask any average Joe or Jane in The U.S, Europe or Canada (Even Australia...!!!), and he or she would be completely oblivious of this very fact...! G'Day!

26. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

I guess you and the rest of your "western" buddies should throw away 70% of the items you own because virtually everything is made in China. In fact I suggest you strip naked wherever you are because the very clothes you're wearing probably come from there too. Despite the glaring ignorance of "western" consumers and the overhyped spin job from the US government, the alleged spying of the Chinese government is infinitesimal compared to spying by the US and other "western" governments. Let's not forget that Huawei also happen to be the largest Communications Network supplier in the world despite being wrongly blacklisted in some "western" countries. US consumers are dumb, ignorant and isolationist. If they can't understand it or pronounce it, it's bad in their book. And I'm American by the way. Meanwhile, this phone deserves at least an 8.5. Watch what happens when the blue iPhone comes out. There'll be a big circle jerk in the iPhonearena offices gushing about how it's so innovative and unique.

37. SmartFix

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 05, 2016

Yeah everything is made in china but those your 70 % of naive americans STILL thinks till today that american things are made in america.. and they know that there is nothing good from whole planet except korea or japan .. so americans only buys things which is made from usa . japan , or korea.. if they see product from somewhere else it is junk.. but problem is that they are so naive/pathetic till now.. Junk products been making in china but not anymore.. but usas still thinks it is crap.. and some are so SUPER naive that they think that one plus one is from america just simply because seen title in english... many they still think.. so many usa stupidly thinks that lenovo is USA so they buying it.. but they clearly know that acer,asus,msi,is from china so they won't buy it.. So GreenMan is right USAs are on purpose skeptical

45. YOURDADkid unregistered

Well said Brother! I agree with you.

24. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

>Huawei >3rd largest in the world >Listed Con of not being recognized What is a con now?

3. maherk

Posts: 7010; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Considering the price, this should have got a higher score. The only real con is the lack of OIS, other than that, it is a great phone for the price.

11. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Lack of 4k recording should also be considered.

29. Furbal unregistered

OIS and 4k are the only 'real' cons as they are hardware related. The rest are far to subjective

56. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 928; Member since: May 07, 2014

OIS is a CON for me, don't care about 4K.

36. zackforall

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 26, 2016

Its not possible to have OIS on the duel camera phones. The duel camera actually can help to make the pic stable

4. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Oneplus 3 is still the lead here. I'm happy it's on my hands.

19. dimas

Posts: 3414; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Zte axon 7 if you like front facing boom sound and elegant chamfered design.

39. SmartFix

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 05, 2016

NO Honor V8 top version AL20 is da best check i out phone sites ON PURPOSE don't talk about that phone bcos would crush all phones..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEp_LL0EXR​c

41. Furbal unregistered

Very good phone but limited cellular bands

51. mammary.moon

Posts: 31; Member since: Jun 30, 2016

I think i prefer the honor 8 for the camera feature and extra battery life .

5. AgentZero

Posts: 314; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

i dont know if i should laugh or cry when i read these cons .... brand not known? there is competition at the price ? how are these phone cons ?! and where is the average performance other in the graphics department ?! .....

17. dimas

Posts: 3414; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

It's like telling people that the soup he had last night sucks because he doesn't know the chef.

18. dimas

Posts: 3414; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Or maybe they just can't write anything bad about the phone. "America don't know you? Here's a minus 3 to your over-all score."

6. FrankUnderwood2

Posts: 243; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

Hey PhonaArena, can you please tell me does Honor 8 has the option to reduce screen resolution to 720p like on Huawei P9 or not? Also, does it have those dual antennas like the ones in Huawei P8 and P9? Please reply

13. dimas

Posts: 3414; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Yes you can reduce it to 720p when you go powersaving mode. See pocketnow's video review by juan bagnell, it's just a glimpse but it is there.

7. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

*Sigh* PA, when will you learn to review phones properly? You're reviewing the phone itself, nothing else. Saying: Brand still largely unknown to US shoppers Price point presents some stiff competition Is not reviewing the phone. Focus on the device itself. Totally ridiculous.

47. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Still, I'm not buying Chinese crap.

55. Omran2000

Posts: 101; Member since: Aug 18, 2016

Nobody cares

57. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 928; Member since: May 07, 2014

The purpose of a review is to tell the users how good a phone is not who made it. What is the purpose of a review when the quality of a phone is measured by a brand name... I come here for news, I don't trust their reviews but, still I get to read some of the reviews sometimes while I don't want to read their reviews.

14. dimas

Posts: 3414; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Huawei really is getting aggressive on their global extensions. This will be the battle of the $400 phones between zte axon 7, honor 8 and... one plus 3? I think zte and honor are enough.

16. libra89

Posts: 2313; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yeah, all are great phones. I like it seems like it depends what you care the most about in phones. For me, the honor 8 has it all, including the size, which is a big deal to me.

30. Furbal unregistered

Its the only 'smaller' option at $400, everything else is 5.5inch (and only one with an IR blaster). Also available at retail stores versus online order only (BestBuy anyway). It has a few good pluses. If OP3 could get back in stock, it would be the better 'overall' phone if you wanted at 5.5inch

32. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

I would gladly choose Honor 8 over Axon 7 or OP3.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

8
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin, Octa-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(15h 3G talk time)

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