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Huawei Honor 8 Pro review: Near-flagship quality without the flagship price

Its two rear cameras take great pictures, but you won't get extras like waterproofing.

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Andrew Lanxon
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Andrew Lanxon

Lead Editor, CNET Advice, Europe; Lead Photographer, Europe

Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

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3 min read

The Huawei Honor 8 Pro brings you much of the power and capabilities you'd expect of a high-end flagship phone, but with a UK price of £474 (direct from Huawei), it comes in cheaper than most other premium handsets. That converts to roughly $610 or AU$820, but there's no word yet on US or Australian availability.

honor-8-pro-1.jpg
7.8

Huawei Honor 8 Pro

The Good

The Huawei Honor 8 Pro packs a neat dual-lens camera, a great screen and plenty of power.

The Bad

Battery life is disappointing and no waterproofing means that you'll need to be extra careful when using your phone around clumsy friends holding drinks.

The Bottom Line

The Huawei Honor 8 Pro's great specs and affordable price make it a worthy option if you want high-end features without emptying your bank account.

Let's start with the all-metal body, which most phones now sport. My review model has an attractive cool blue finish, with glass that curves gently at the sides. There's an accurate fingerprint scanner mounted on the back that's easy to reach when you pick up the phone.

The display? A 5.7-inch, 2,560x1,440-pixel panel that's pin-sharp and kicks out extremely rich, vivid colours. That's the same screen resolution you'll find on the much pricier Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel XL. Diving deeper, the powerful octa-core processor easily handles the demanding gameplay in Riptide GP: Renegade and photo editing in Snapseed. There's also a hearty 64GB of storage and, yes, you can expand that with a microSD card, up to 128GB in size.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There are two 12-megapixel cameras on the back, with one shooting in colour and the other in black and white -- it's a similar setup to what you'll see on on Huawei's P10. Colour shots are generally well exposed, with strong hues, while the rich contrast from the monochrome sensor means your artsy black and white snaps are Instagram-ready without any additional tweaking.

The Honor's colour shots have much higher contrast and saturation than the Galaxy S8's, which can make them look a little unnatural. If you want the most accurate lighting and colour in your shots, go for the S8, but the Honor will suit you well if you want punchy snaps from the beach to share with your friends immediately.

Huawei Honor 8 Pro example photos

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If you love taking selfies, the 8-megapixel camera on the front does a great job of capturing your face, with natural colours and enough resolution to make you and your friends' grinning faces stand out. There's a beauty mode, too, which smooths out and brightens your skin if you're feeling particularly self-conscious. Mercifully, you can alter the amount of "beauty" it applies -- at full whack, you'll come out looking a bit like a porcelain doll.

The large screen and 4,000mAh battery do make the 8 Pro a bit of a chunky chap -- you'll need to juggle it around if you want to type with one hand. While Huawei reckons that the Honor 8 Pro's meaty battery is enough to last two days, in my own tests it came up short. It achieved a little over 10 hours on our battery rundown test, which falls far short of the Samsung Galaxy S8's 16 hours or the 15 hours achieved by the Huawei P10.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

That said, our demanding test doesn't tell the whole story of a battery's abilities. If you don't get carried away watching streaming video or using maps navigation, you should comfortably get a day's use. Keep the screen brightness turned down if you want to squeeze out the most juice; switching off GPS and Wi-Fi will help, too. Save demanding tasks like streaming or gaming for when you're at home near a plug.

You won't find any kind of waterproofing on the Honor 8 Pro, which is something you do get on various high-end phones, including Samsung's flagship Galaxy S8. Sure, the S8 is more expensive, but you can pick up last year's Galaxy S7 -- which has the same waterproof skills -- for less than Honor's phone.

Overall, Honor's handset might not have the glitz and glamour of the Samsung name, but its more affordable price and good lineup of features makes it a competent and reliable alternative if you can't stomach the cost of the latest Galaxy.

On the high end, the Honor 8 Pro also competes with the LG G6; on the midrange side, it battles the OnePlus 3T. See how those specs break out below.

Huawei Honor 8 Pro specs comparison chart


Huawei Honor 8 Pro Huawei P10LG G6OnePlus 3T
Display size, resolution 5.7-inch; 2,960x1,440 pixels5.1-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels5.7-inch, 2,880x1,440 pixels5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels
Pixel density 515ppi431ppi565ppi401ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.2x3x.28 in5.72x2.73x0.28 in5.9x2.8x0.31 in6.01x2.94x0.29 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 157x77x7 mm145.3x69.3x6.98 mm148.9x71.97.x7.9 mm152.7x74.7x7.35 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.5 oz; 184g5.11 oz; 145g5.7 oz, 162g5.57 oz; 158 g
Mobile software Android 7.0 NougatAndroid 7.0 NougatAndroid 7.0 NougatAndroid 7.0 Nougat
Camera Two 12-megapixel20-megapixel monochrome + 12-megapixel RGB13-megapixel (standard), 13-megapixel (wide)16-megapixel
Front-facing camera 8-megapixel8-megapixel5-megapixel16-megapixel
Video capture 4K4K4K4K
Processor 2.4GHz (Huawei) Kirin octa-core processor2.5 GHz + 1.8 GHz octa-core Huawei Kirin 960 2.35GHz Snapdragon 821 with Adreno 530 GPU2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
Storage 64GB64GB32GB64GB, 128GB
RAM 6GB4GB4GB6GB
Expandable storage Up to 128GBMicroSDUp to 2TBNone
Battery 4000mAh 3,200mAh3,300mAh3,400mAh
Fingerprint sensor BackHome buttonBack coverHome button
Connector USB-CUSB-CUSB-CUSB-C
Special features Dual-cameraDual-cameras, multiple color options and finishes, Gorilla Glass 518:9 aspect ratio; wireless charging (US-only); water-resistant Notifications toggle, dual-SIM, Dash Charging
Price off-contract (USD) Converts to $610Converts to $710 (64GB)AT&T: $720, Verizon: $672 T-Mobile: $650, Sprint: $708, US Cellular: $597.60$439 (64GB), $479 (128GB)
Price (GBP) £474£549 (64GB)£649£399 (64GB), £439 (128GB)
Price (AUD) Converts to AU$820Converts to AU$950 (64GB)AU$1,008Converts to AU$590 (64GB), AU$650 (128GB)
honor-8-pro-1.jpg
7.8

Huawei Honor 8 Pro

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 8Camera 8Battery 7
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