Top positive review
Long term review of Huawei Honor View 10
9 October 2018
I have been using Huawei Honor View 10 for past two months as my primary device. Hence thought to share my views:
1) Build Quality: Really impressed with View 10 overall build quality &craftsmanship. I find most people now-a-days make their buying decision solely by looking at the specifications. But to me the material used to built a phone, it's overall design and durability are also very important. In this respect I can assure View 10 stands tall, belonging to a rare breed of sturdy all-metal uni-body phones while supporting the latest 18:9 tall display trend. It looks stunning in the navy blue color I bought, with a shimmering effect. It provides a secure built-to-last feel in-hand and exudes premium in every way. It is needless to say that I despise the current trend of all-glass super-premium looking designs while being super-fragile. My brother's Oneplus 6 just fell once from his pocket and both the front & rear glass was shattered into pieces. Glass is glass & glass breaks, and that's the reason why I did not go for Asus Zenfone 5z after having the experience of using that phone for 1 complete day. The 5z looks slightly more premium than View 10 with its glass sandwich design but the moment it will fall it will break.
2) Display: The FullHD, IPS LCD display used in View 10 is truly flagship grade. It is a very high quality IPS panel with great viewing angles while being super bright. It can shoot over 500 nits of brightness in broad daylight and be perfectly visible while at night can dim down to 1.5 nits not strain your eyes. All in all the display quality is undoubtedly flagship grade and much better than my friend's similarly priced Huawei Honor Play. The Play may have a slightly bigger notched display, but is neither as bright or as accurate in color rendering that of View 10. But then View 10 was Honor's flagship to compete head on with Oneplus 5T, while Honor Play is all about bringing flagship Kirin 970 SoC for the masses.
3) HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC: View 10 ships with Huawei flagship HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset. While comparing with other flagship SoCs in benchmarks scores it easily beats the best from Mediatek, the Helios P60 but then looses out to Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 845. But then to me these scores are just numbers and have next to no importance in daily life as long as they are adequately powerful which fortunately all flagship SoCs are. What actually matters to me is how optimized the SoC is and the manufacturing process it uses which defines its power efficiency. It that sense the Kirin 970 ranks as a Tier-1 flagship SoC, using latest 10 nano-meter manufacturing process packing a total of 5.5 billion transistors. It's octa-core CPU side slightly more powerful that P60, but the GPU is very powerful 12-core Mali G72. Cleverly Huawei had used all its synergies in the right direction for Kirin 970 buy not blindly running for peak performance over previous generation Kirin 960, but rather optimizing CPU sustained performance, providing two times better GPU performance, low power consumption leading to great battery life improvements. I can also see new innovations like a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for artificial intelligence. All in all I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with Kirin 970's performance capabilities, giving more importance to real day-to-day life sustained performance rather than opting for chart topping benchmark scores which relies on peak performance that are of no use.
4) Emotion UI: Needless to say, View 10's Emotion UI 8.0 (EMUI) on top of Android Oreo is very well thought, well designed & optimized overlay build specifically for their in-house Kirin 970 SoC. It provides butter smooth, lag-free, flagship grade user experience. While being skeptical initially as I like vanilla Android, after using it for 2 months I have no complains now. And I never used a Huawei phone before which speaks a lot.
5) LPDDR4X RAM & UFS 2.1 Flash Memory: Mix in 6 gigs of top-of-the-line LPDDR4X RAM (Samsung K3UH6H60AM-EGCJ) and 128 gigs of ultra-fast UFS 2.1 flash storage (Samsung KLUDG4U1EA-B0C1) and View 10 becomes a multitasking king with blazing fast read are write speeds.
6) Integrated Modem: Call quality is excellent, but that was expected. Knowing Huawei core business I expected class leading modem integrated with their Kirin 970 and I was not disappointed. It also supports true dual 4G VoLTE funtionalityi.e you can insert two Jio sims simultaneously and View 10 will support 4G VoLTE on both. Normally even with Snapdragon 835 if one network is in 4G, the other switches to 3G. In-reality Kirin 970 was the first SoC in the world to support true dual 4G VoLTE and View 10 was the first phone in India to ship with this functionality.
7) Camera: View 10 always had an excellent camera hardware, having the merit to challenge OnePlus 5T on the open. However when initially launched early 2018, View 10 camera software was half baked with no support for image stabilization be it still photography or video. This is why every reviewer at the time of its launch said 5T had slightly better camera of the two. Roll on 10 months,now Honor had repeatedly updated the camera app, loaded with features and made it perfect. Support for Electronic Image Stabilization(EIS) came few months before providing great video stabilization on View 10. Just a month before we also got Artificial Image Stabilization (AIS) which improved stability while shooting still image under low light. Result is View 10 now has as better camera than OnePlus 5T. I made some real comparisons with other phones in the last two months, and my personal opinion is View 10 is on par with Asus Zenfone5Z &Oneplus 5T in still photography or video. It holds true for both good or artificial lighting conditions. The pictures turns out to be excellent, with good detailing, excellent contrast and having good exposure. But my brother's more expensive Oneplus 6 in undoubtedly better. All in all you will not be disappointed with the rear camera performance of View 10, I will say its most closest competitor is Zenfone 5Z and both are equally good in this department. But if you want an even better rear camera quality look for Oneplus 6. The front selfie camera also is very good and turns out to be adequate for my needs even though I don't use them much. Honor Play is nowhere near the View 10 camera performance.
8) Huawei GPU Turbo: With the latest update, View 10 supports Huawei’s much hyped GPU Turbo technology. The game needs to support this tech, so I played PUBG in the highest setting available for an hour and the View 10’s played it with no stutter or frame drops. I then play my most favorite game Asphast 9 which does not support GPU Turbo at highest settings. Then too View 10 handled the game like a flagship device should and the Kirin 970 proved to me that it can play any game available on the Android world at its highest setting at 1080p resolution.
9) Fingerprint Sensor & Face Unlock: Honor somehow managed to cram in the fingerprint reader in the front just below the tall 18:9 display of View 10. This is the fastest fingerprint sensor I have experienced, speed & responsiveness is even better that Zenfone 5Z and right here with Oneplus 6. While giving full marks to honor for their fingerprint sensor, the face unlock is a 50-50 affair, gets the job done under good lighting conditions but struggles under dim light just like 5Z.
10) Battery Backup &Fast charging: Honor View 10 ships with a large 3,750 mAh battery which is considerably larger than the 3,300 mAh that comes with both Zenfone 5z &Oneplus 6. The EMUI of View 10 is very intelligent and uses its AI capabilities to provide extraordinary battery endurance, maybe the best in the flagship territory. While the 5z & OP6 will take you through one day of heavy usage, the View 10 will last you for 1.5 days easily. And for casual usage it will last for 2 days eyes closed. Coming to the wall charger, in India we get a 18 watts (9V, 2A) charger bundled with View 10, which supports Huawei Quick Charge tech as well as Qualcomm QC 2.0. And boy is it fast. The battery of View 10 have a special charge voltage of 4.4 volts which is nearly half of what the 9 volt the charger can deliver.So what Huawei have done is to convert and double the current to the battery to charge rapid fast. It does so by using its proprietary HiSilicon Hi6523 chip in View 10, which converts the chargers 9V, 2A (18 watt) input to 4.5V, 4A (18 watts) and provide 4 amperes or raw current to the battery. Results are astounding with 0 to 50% charge in 30 mins, 0 to 75% in 50 mins, 0 to 90% in 63 mins & 0 to 100% in 80 mins flat. I did this measurement with my phone switched off and charger connected. It beats the Zenfone 5z hands down and only a shade slower than my brothers Oneplus 6 with Dashcharge tech.
11) Price: I love value for money smartphones. Unfortunately flagships are never fall into this category however View 10 have now made to this sweet spot in pricing. I bought this phone on Amazon during Independence day offer on Aug, 2018 at INR 23.5K after heavy discounts making it the best VFM flagship smartphone at that time. Now in Oct, 2018 both Amazon & other online retailers will sell both View 10 & Zenfone 5z at this same price and both phones are steal at this price.
1) Lack of Corning Gorilla Glass Display Protection: No phone is perfect. Neither is View 10. Being a flagship device I expected a minimum of Gorilla Glass 3 display protection but that's sadly not the case. Later I found Honor phones in general never specify any display protection. I admit the glass over the display seems of very high quality, but I will whole heartedly advise every user of View 10 to get a high quality tempered glass protector like Nillkin Amazing H+ Pro and play safe.
2) Speaker: The single bottom firing external speaker of View 10 while being adequately loud is not quit as impressive as Zenfone 5z dual speaker setup. I wish the speaker could have been a bit louder.
3) Audio: View 10 uses their own HiSilicon Hi6403 audio codec, which shows some impressive numbers on paper and is a substantial upgrade than its predecessors. We get 32bit@384 KHz HD audio support along with AI noise reduction. Excellent noise floor of -117dB and dynamic range is impressive 117dB. However the audio quality through 3.5 mm audio jack is satisfactory at best on par with iPhone’s & Qualcomm's own codec solutions found in most phones. An audiophile will never be satisfied with the sound quality for View 10 or Oneplus 6. Don’t take it otherwise; it will satisfy almost all users except few like me. I am a music lover and very critical about sound quality, as I have been using phones which are champs on sound quality department like Lenovo Vibe X3 and Vivo X5Max. These phones have dedicated audio DACs and power amplifiers which take your headphone listing experience to another level. The best option is to stick to ear buds or in-ear headphones with View 10 and the sound becomes at-least better than Oneplus 6. The Zenfone 5 is a much better phone in this regard.
1) If you want the most camera centric smartphone go for Oneplus 6. It is very beautiful to look at and comes with very refined stock like OxygenOS. The phone is all glass build and prone to cracks if it falls accidentally. My brother had to pay big bucks for that. No memory card expansion slot is a bummer and audio through 3.5 mm audio jack is average at best. Most expensive of the lot.
2) If you want the most multimedia centric device then Asus Zenfone 5z is the best choice. Best audio of the lot and the display is vibrant. During this festival period you will get the base variant (6GB/ 64GB) for the same price of View 10. However again this being a glass build the phone is fragile and you have to be very cautious.
3) The Honor View 10 is somewhere is middle of these two phones. It is built like a tank with an all metal build this device feels more premium in hand than it looks. It is built like a rock which I absolutely love. The display is slightly better than Zenfone 5z but the Oneplus 6 AMOLED display is even better. On the camera department again it is a close match to 5z. However when it comes with memory & flash storage View 10 has it all covered with 6GB/128GB variant in India at the same price of Zenfone 5z. View 10 also has the best battery backup but the Kirin 970 is slightly under-powered compared to Snapdragon 845 of the other two. But then again all these offer flagship grade performance you will be hard pressed to find any stuttering or lack in performance in this trio.
Now the choice is yours!!!