Huawei Honor 8 review:

A smooth, dual-camera phone for less

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CNET Editors' Rating

1 user review

The Good Huawei's Honor 8 is a slick little package that combines good photos from a dual-lens camera with a useful customizable button and a fingerprint reader. And it's easy to use one-handed.

The Bad Battery life falls short and knuckle gestures are gimmicky. It's a smudge magnet.

The Bottom Line The Huawei Honor 8 is a likable midprice phone with some extra perks, but its short battery life holds it back.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Camera 8.0
  • Battery 6.0

Huawei's Honor 8 is an Android 6.0 phone with extras good enough to make you notice, and a build that's comfortable to hold and use in one hand. The extras in question? Two cameras on the back and a customizable button right below them that doubles as the fingerprint reader.

The Honor 8's glossy, reflective coating channels Samsung's Galaxy S7 phone design (and smudges easily with finger grease), but at heart it's essentially a rebranded Huawei P9 that costs less than the original, and well under two premium dual-camera phones: the LG V20 and iPhone 7 Plus.

In the US, you can pick up the 32GB variant for $400 and the 64GB version for $450. Australian prices are still to come, but the US prices convert to roughly AU$525 and AU$590. In the UK, only the 32GB version is available, for £370 direct from Huawei, or from Amazon, where it's bundled with a free Amazon Fire TV Stick worth £30. If you want to buy it as part of a phone contract, Three has the exclusive.

The fast, accurate fingerprint reader may seem a little small if you're used to a larger target like the Huawei-made Nexus 6P, but since more of my finger covers a smaller scanner than a larger one, I felt like I got more hits than misses. This reader also doubles as a customizable button, which I programmed to launch the camera; I liked it a lot. Less successful are knuckle gestures. I guess Huawei figures sometimes your fingers aren't free, but your knuckles are? Anyway, you can customize it so making gestures on your screen with your knuckles act as a shortcut. Draw a "C" to launch the camera, for instance. However, this felt gimmicky and unnatural.

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