Honor 8 Pro
6GB RAM / 64GB Storage / 5.7" Quad HD Screen / 12MP Camera / 4000mAh Battery / Android 7.0 Nougat / £479.99/ www.vmall.eu
In a world where Chinese upstarts are challenging the established smartphone elite, a new release from Honor is kind-of a big deal. The Honor 8 Pro is billed as a bigger version of last year's gorgeous Honor 8, a handset still being toted by yours truly in preference to the exalted Google Pixel.
But the Honor 8 Pro is so much more. For a start, of course, it now boasts a 5.7in screen that it describes as "Quad HD", which is basically 4K give or take some technical semantics.
Then there's the battery, which at 4000mAh is a beast, and will stay charged for two days with average use, thanks to some power management in the EMUI interface.
But before you screw your face up: EMUI is much improved and even has an app drawer again (hooray!). It even feels like everything that has been added over and above AOSP is a bonus, not a bloat.
Running Android 7.0 Nougat straight out of the box is always pleasing and the fact that the screen is as smooth as anything we've seen is, to us reviewers, a bit like being licked by kittens.
What's more, Honor (don't call them Huawei) believe that thanks to the same Smart Power 5.0 technology that keeps the device plodding on in standby for a full week (it's true - we've tested it), will keep the handset feeling like new with no slow down or fragmentation.
Somehow, at just 6.97mm, it manages to be thinner than its little sister thanks, in part, to the decision to switch from a glass body to a metal one, but it does lose the smart-button feature on the fingerprint sensor that we loved. No matter though.
There's the option, once again, of either two micro SIM cards or a micro SIM and a micro SD card, with an official ceiling of 128GB, but in reality any SDXC card (even larger ones) work fine.
The camera is significantly game-raised, with 12MP for stills and full 4K for video. The resulting images are crisper and brighter than before and its low light credentials are fantastic.
For VR fans, there's a small consolation to the fact that you won't be able to get Daydream working from launch, but don't fret because the box actually turns into a Cardboard. With the Quad HD screen with a flagship challenging DPI, the results are pretty damn good.
The speakers are DTS enabled, and while they're not a substitute for a good bass bin, they're a damn site better than you have a right to expect in this price range, and will certain drown out the death-rattle dance beats of any little oik who decides to play their music on the bus. Trust us, you'll win.
Of course, something has to give, and in the case of the Honor 8 Pro, as with its predecessor, it doesn't have an official water resistance rating, and though we're told it's ‘splashproof' it's a slight shame to know that it wouldn't survive a dip in the washing-up bowl - though it has been shock and stress tested to within an inch of its life otherwise and rocks Gorilla Glass 3 for screen survival.
Considering that we don't expect this to be Honor's flagship, or should we say ‘only flagship' of 2017, there's a huge amount to be excited about here. The 6GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM coupled with an 8-core Kirin processor with a GPU on top makes for a very slick gaming experience. Nor does it creak under the weight of the silly number of apps we installed.
This phone is, at so many levels, a competitor to the Pixel XL, both in specs and performance. It even feels a little bit like the Google handset in the hand. But there's one clear and important difference: the price.
At under £500, the Honor 8 Pro embarrasses recent flagships. It out-specs the S6, the G6 and even the Pixel. Heck, it even gives Huawei itself a run for its money with the P10 Plus - all of which are considerably more expensive phones.
There's lots of things we've not had a chance to test properly, like the 4K video and whether it really will feel like new in six months time. But everything that we have tried suggests that this is another flagship killer from Honor, a mid-year substitution that is going to give the Honor 9, whenever that arrives, a lot to live up to. If you like a big screen phone, it comes highly recommended.
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