More than a year ago, Huawei launched the P9 in India with a Leica badge. The dual camera on the phone was developed along with Leica and featured a monochrome lens. Over the last couple of years we have seen brands chosing different paths in their dual-cam strategy from LG’s wide-angle lens, to the iPhone 7 Plus' zoom lens. The Honor View 10 from the Huawei stable borrows the same dual cam approach we saw on the P9 with a sticker price that pits it against the OnePlus 5T and Samsung’s all-new A8+.
It’s not the first time OnePlus and Honor are locked in an intense battle, it happened in 2017 when the Honor 8 Pro took on the OnePlus 5. With a price tag of Rs 29,999, the Honor View 10 just manages to stay under the psychological 30K mark and also offers a price advantage over both the 5T and the A8+. The View 10 is up there in the looks department. While the A8+ has chosen an elegant all-glass form, the View 10, just like the 5T features a premium aluminium back. The navy blue colour option – also available in a midnight black variant – stands out in a market cluttered with greys, blacks and whites.
We really like how this device feels in our hands. At 172 gms it weighs a tad heavier than the 5T. The device gets its name from the 18:9 ‘view’ or screen ratio that it’s 5.99-inch (1080 x 2160 pixels) offers. It's an IPS LCD display that crams 403 Pixels per inch (PPI). Although the display specs are almost similar to the 5T, it doesn't quite match the 5T’s Super AMOLED display. It is anorexically skinny – just 7 mm thin – one reason why you will see slight bumps of the dual cams on the rear. The Honor View 10 has done a better job with its fingerprint sensor though. It manages to knock off the bezels – with an impressive screen to body ratio of 78.6 per cent against the A8+’s 75.6 per cent ratio – and still make room for a ‘front-mounted’ fingerprint sensor.
The sensor isn’t just conveniently placed, it is easy to set up and very responsive. Speed is certainly this device’s middle name. It made an impression in benchmarking tests – where it managed a commendable AnTuTu Benchmark score of 175402 – and in the gaming and multi-tasking test drives. The View 10 is propelled by Huawei’s home-grown Kirin 970 octa-core processor augmented by 6GB of RAM. There is 128GB of on-board storage with room for a micro SD card (up to 256 GB). The device’s other headline feature is its neural network processing unit that complements the Kirin 970 processor. It is why the Honor View 10 claims to be one of the first devices powered by an AI engine. It's a tough value proposition for most consumers to comprehend though and many might see it as gimmicky. But it isn't just marketing spiel, the neural engine brings improvements to the camera and also offers an intuitive translation tool.
The dual camera is one of our favourite features on the Honor View 10. A 16MP cam (f/1.8 aperture) teams up with a 20MP cam and offers a host of shooting modes. If you are a photo buff, you should enjoy shooting black and white images with the monochrome lens. There is no OIS (Optical image stabilisation) but the neural engine enhances images in most shooting scenarios. You should be more than covered with the 13MP for those selfies. You can add numerous filters (there’s a choice of backgrounds and effects) to your selfies, Snapchat-style.
It’s not just the camera that impressed us. Power management is another key strength. The device powers up quickly thanks to fast charging. You might not need to bank on this option in the middle of your average work day, the 3750 mAh battery allows you to sail through most days even with moderate camera and multi-media usage. The Honor View 10 has a lot going for it. It backs its sleek form factor with a solid performance, multi-faceted camera and a robust battery. If there’s one crib it is the lack of water and dust resistance that the Samsung A8+ brings to the table. That’s hardly a deal breaker considering the device’s strong cost versus value proposition.
The Honor View 10 costs Rs 29,999 and is available in Navy Blue and Midnight Black.