Review – Honor View 10
Getting a smartphone with good specs at a good price nowadays can be a difficult find, considering how top-end specs have usually become synonymous with high-priced flagships. Thankfully, there are smartphone brands and models out there that have the miracle solution of a well-priced smartphone with top features. As one of the latest smartphones of 2018, the Honor View 10 is a worthy contender to some of the higher-up smartphones in the market.
Boasting the powerful Huawei Kirin 970 chipset found in the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, the View 10 is capable enough to handle power-hungry tasks like high-performance gaming and extended movie streaming, thanks to its high specs. In other words, the View 10 is a smartphone with the performance capability similar to a flagship, but with the price tag of a mid-range.
The Honor View 10 has a streamlined shape for a smartphone with such a large screen, measuring in at precisely 5.99” if we’re being technical here. But the smartphone’s body does not feel very bulky and is in fact quite compact thanks to the screen being framed by a nice bezel-less design on the sides with the top bezels being just at the right length, which earns the device some credit for good design.
With a thin profile of about 7mm thick, the smartphone feels comfortable to hold and is lightweight. With lesser bezel space, the phone’s design is rounded out with curved corners that give it a good fit when keeping it in your pocket. On the front, a fingerprint scanner is located beneath the screen, rather than on the back. This may not only feel more ergonomic, but also fits well with the device’s minimalist design. The headphone jack is located at the bottom of the smartphone along with the Type-C USB charging port and speaker.
As for the View 10’s back, what stands out noticeably from its otherwise faceless and sleek cover is a pair of camera lens that jut out. From a design standpoint, the smartphone’s thin profile should have been thicker if it meant that the rear camera lenses would fit flush with the rest of the back, because as it stands, they look like Minion goggles. On the other hand, the back cover is made of aluminum, so a phone case is recommended to prevent fingerprint smudges on the back.
In terms of ergonomics, the View 10’s light weight allows for one-handed use, but because of how long the screen is, reaching the top of the screen with your thumb can be a slight issue. When using with both hands, it should be kept in mind that the speaker’s sound can be blocked if the smartphone’s bottom rests in your palm. Then again, these issues are no causes for alarm and are relatively minor.
All things considered aside from the humorous rear camera lens design, the View 10 is a slim, good-looking phone that frames the 6” screen just enough without overdoing it. With that, it is nice and comfortable to hold as well. Except, a notable part of the phone is that it lacks any sort of water resistance.
Measuring in at 6 inches (technically 5.99), the View 10’s screen utilizes Honor FullView Display, and thanks to the super-thin bezels on the side of the screen, you can get a more immersive user experience. A nice touch to the screen is how bright and colourful it is, though the screen is a LCD one rather than an OLED, which might look richer in colour.
With a large screen, the smartphone features an 18:9 aspect ratio that can allow games that usually run at 16:9 to run in full-screen thanks to the EMUI. Apps and pictures appear clear and vibrant which makes the View 10 quite suitable for gaming and watching movies.
The second Huawei 970 Kirin smartphone
Being one of the two phones to house the Huawei 970 Kirin processor (the other being the Huawei Mate 10 Pro) together with the Neural Processing Unit in it, the View 10 is much more capable in optimizing itself based on the user’s needs, thanks to the on-device A.I. processing that would otherwise be done on the cloud. This essentially lets the A.I. learn from your behavior and make improvements accordingly. Also, the A.I. helps improve device speed and security as well.
Perhaps the more notable part about the A.I. is its ability to automatically adjust your camera settings when you’re about to take some pictures to best match the scene.
In terms of raw specs, the View 10 can go toe-to-toe with flagship smartphones – it has a good chunk of RAM at 6GB along with a very sizable amount of 128GB of storage space. The good stuff does not end here, as the View 10 uses the new Android 8.0 Oreo as its operating system. Like the Mate 10 Pro, the OS is further augmented by Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 firmware and functions the same. This solid combination of specs allows the View 10 quicker performance when launching apps and more efficient multitasking.
Mobile gamers would be pleased with the EMUI’s Game Suite, which helps filter out calls and messages while gaming. Come to think of it, this is a solid quality-of-life addition seeing as how message notifications can become a real annoyance in those intense moments.
Compensating for the rear camera lens’ (rightfully so) awkward protrusion is its capability for capturing photographs, thanks to the 16MP RGB and 20MP monochrome cameras, both with a f/1.8 aperture. Thanks to the Kirin 970 chip, the cameras are assisted by the NPU and helps sharpen the pictures wherever possible by adjusting settings like lighting, colour, and such. The numerous settings for different scenes work well together with the NPU to generate some really good photos.
Photos taken by the respective cameras look good in both colour and monochrome, with the 20MP monochrome camera doing a good job at altering the mood in a scene of a photo. Although the View 10’s camera might not be as powerful as the Leica camera in the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, the View 10 does not lag much behind in effect when it comes to taking stunning imagery.
Sharing the front selfie camera is the View 10’s Facial Unlock feature, which is currently not in its complete state. Fortunately, Honor’s website claims that the fully-functional feature will be rolled out in an OTA update. The Facial Unlock is also assisted by the EMUI and the Kirin 970’s NPU for the recognition.
Despite having such a thin body, the View 10’s battery is plenty powerful at 3750 mAh. In terms of battery life, Honor’s page for the View 10 on their website claims for up to 5.5 hours, 19 hours of video playback, 160 hours of music playback, 21 hours of 4G browsing, and 23 hours of 3G talk. If these values are to be taken at face value, which isn’t too difficult considering the Kirin 970’s adaptive optimization, the View 10’s battery life is very decent and can last well over a day without issue. Nonetheless, the View 10’s battery is fast-charging to let the battery going for extended periods of time at lesser charge time.
Battery optimization on the EMUI includes a power saving mode and an ultra power saving mode. A unique feature in this device is how the screen resolution can be adjusted from FHD+ to HD+ to help conserve battery life. Though, there is also a smart setting that lets the device automatically lower the resolution based on your device activity. The EMUI also lets you quickly optimize battery life by turning off background features and the like.
Packing a solid 6” screen, high masses of storage space and RAM, along with good cameras all in a less expensive device, the Honor View 10 is a good buy for those that want the performance of a flagship without having to splurge on a similarly-high price. Its design and aesthetic value is quite decent as well, making for not just an attractive phone on the interior (specs and features), but for a good exterior as well. Except the Minion-like camera lens on the back which should be fitting flush with the rest of the phone.
All in all, although the View 10’s cameras may not outmatch those of higher-end models, what it has to offer for its price with everything else leaves it little reason for it to be overlooked. Sure, it isn’t water resistant, but at the end of the day, it is all just a matter of your personal needs and preference; a probable deal breaker for some might just be that the View 10 comes with a headphone jack. Well recommended.