HONOR V8 HANDS-ON PREVIEW
With Huawei shouting loud about its P9 smartphone with dual Leica cameras, the presence of dual lenses on the Honor V8 (the company’s sister brand) got us thinking it, too, would bear the same fruits.
But it’s not to be, as there’s no Leica glass or monochrome sensor in sight. Having handled the new V8 on the show floor at CES Asia, in Shanghai, the phone’s twin lens arrangement is there only to be used for post-focus and pseudo-aperture control.
In that respect, though, the V8 mimicks the P9, offering pseudo f/0.95 through to f/16 for ultra-blurred backgrounds or front-to-back sharpness, respectively. Shame the software is touch-and-go when making these visual fakeries though. Still, the core 12-megapixel rear snapper works just fine and comes with a huge selection of shooting modes, manual options included.
If anything the Honor V8 stands-out for other reasons. One, it’s a 5.7-inch panel, which while huge in the hand, is largely similar to the Huawei Mate 8and comes with a recessed rear fingerprint scanner that’s well positioned.Two, that screen boasts a QHD (2560 X 1440) resolution – something Huawei and Honor have been largely ignoring until now, thus showing the path of progression.
Assuming, that is, you’re looking at the top-end V8 anyway; the phone will come in three configurations with the lower two models sporting Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolutions and lower specs instead. In that regard the Honor V8 is, just like a muscle car engine which its name (unwittingly?) apes, turbocharged in that department.
Under the hood you’ll find an octa-core 2.5GHz Kirin 955 SoC, paired with 4GB of RAM. Speedy indeedy. Although with the phone running the company’s EMUI software reskin in its Chinese guise, we’ve not been able to dig deep into its ins and outs this time around.
But it’s the build quality that really sells this Honor. It’s shed the budget image that many people may have regarding the relatively unknown brand, delivering a metal-clad body with chamfered edges and slender 7.8mm construction. It’s a lot like the Mate 8 in that respect, albeit 0.1mm thinner in the Honor – not that we could tell.
Powering the V8 is a 3,500mAh battery, which ought to keep the phone chugging along for a good period of time. Why there’s not a larger capacity 4,000mAh cell, as per the Mate 8, we’re not sure, though. Perhaps that dual camera arrangement needs more space within.
In summary, then, the Honor V8 feels like an upgraded Huawei Mate 8 with some added camera software pulled over from the Huawei P9. Yes, its 5.7-inch screen footprint makes it massive. But it also brings massive power and a massive battery for a not-so-massive price: ¥2,999 translates to about £299, if, of course, we ever see the Honor V8 arrive on UK shores in any guise. Wouldn’t mind seeing a “V8 mini” too.