You have to hand it to Honor. Huawei’s sister brand has been perhaps the only player in the Indian market to be getting in the face of the OnePlus juggernaut, releasing devices at nearly the same time and with competing specs and price tags – it took on the OnePlus 5 with the Honor 8 Pro, the OnePlus 5T with the Honor V10, and now, even as the OnePlus 6 looms large on the horizon, it has released the Honor 10.
And it dazzles. Let us get that out of the way. It dazzles.
We got the midnight black variant of the phone. And we honestly did not feel like look at its front for quite a while, so busy were we watching the patterns the light made as it reflected off its glass back. Yes, it will pick up smudges and scratches and we would recommend using a case on it as soon as possible, and yes, it is slippery, but take our word for it, you will find yourself taking the phone out of the case time and again, just to see the way the light plays on that back. We had been stunned by how beautiful the Honor 8 had been and the Honor 10 totally follows that tradition, thanks to that gorgeous glass back that flattens out while curving towards the sides. And on the top left corner of the back is a horizontal dual camera set up with a flash next to it, with the words “AI Camera” next to them – Leica is limited to the Huawei flagships, folks.
The sides are metal, and there’s a volume rocker and power/display button on the right, the dual SIM card tray on the left (no expandable memory, folks), a USB Type C port and a speaker grille and 3.5 mm audio jack (hooray) on the base. The top is relatively plain, with only the infrared port and primary microphone.
Moving on to the front, the Honor 10 sports a 5.84-inch full HD+ display with a 19:9 aspect ratio – as you can guess from that, yes, there is a notch on the display. And it contains a front facing camera and an earpiece. It is a bright display and while some might think it errs on the side of oversaturation, we so far have liked what we see. The most fascinating part of the front, however, is the fingerprint scanner that seems under the display, but although visible, does not seem a physical button – it actually seems to lie beneath the glass front. We wonder how easy it will be to use, but mark our words, it does make for an absolutely clear uncluttered front.
At 149.6 x 71.2 x 7.7 mm, the Honor 10 is very compact and tips the scales at a relatively lightweight 153 grams. It feels solid (if a tad slippery) is going to fit most hands and pockets very easily indeed.
It passes the design test with flying colors, but when it comes to the specs, we can see some frowns creep in. Not because the Honor 10 is poorly specced. Far from it. With the flagship level HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage and that full HD+ display, 16 and 24 megapixel rear cameras, a 24 megapixel front-facing camera, AI wizardry, 3400 mAh battery (with fast charging support) and Android 8.1 (topped off with the EMUI 8.1 interface) it is right up there with the best Huawei can offer. And therein lies a bit of an irony – at its aggressive pricing, the Honor 10 is looking to get in the face of the OnePlus 6, but while it might well do so, it will also find itself glancing over its shoulder at its own sibling, the Honor View 10 which was no pushover.
It has got the looks. It SO has got the looks. And a killer price to go with them. But just how well the Honor 10 matches up to the competition – internal and external – is going to depend on how it leverages all that hardware and software goodness that lies beneath that gorgeous exterior. Stay tuned for our review!