Huawei's Honor 8 smartphone, has smartly crossed the lakshman rekha that separates amateur point and click cameras and the professional thing
Having briefly previewed the Honor 8 after its soft launch in Goa two weeks ago, I promised a more detailed appraisal once I used it for some time. Ten days of intermittent use has only convinced me that this is a camera masquerading as a phone. Or to recall a classic Tata Steel advertisement of yesteryer, perhaps the makers should say of Honor 8: It can also make calls.
I must confess, I spent what time I had with the phone, playing with the camera. What is there to write about its 3000 mAh battery or its Kirin 950 chipset or the 4GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB storage or the 5.2 inch full HD display or even the 8MP selfie camera? These are all fairly standard specs in a 4G phone of this class running Android 6.
But the main camera is something else: 12MP -- not great in itself -- but when you get two lenses for the price of one -- that makes it interesting! One shoots in RGB colour, the other in monochrome. The resulting image is an amalgam of both lenses.
You can stick to the hybrid autofocus mode if you are lazy. This enables laser focus for short range, precise depth focus for long range, and contrast focus —each working together to create better pictures in complex lighting conditions.
But to really exploit Honor 8 you have to switch to professional mode and try out various modes macro, black light, low-light etc. The wide aperture mode enables you to blur backgrounds and most usefully you can readjust the focus even after the photo has been taken.
The phone comes with Near Field Communication and Infra Red. NFC means you can use it like a contactless credit card at point of sale terminals. IR lets you use it like a TV remote or to control air conditioners.
The phone comes with a sensitive finger print scanner. The button can also be programmed for any custom function you choose.I am guessing it can be turned into an SOS button if required.
Honor 8 costs Rs 29,999. Its camera-related features alone should make that a paisa vasool tool. I can see a lot of professional photographers keeping Honor 8 as a second string to their bulky SLRs. And for amateurs like me this is the path of upward mobility—photography-wise!