Honor 200 Pro review: a portrait powerhouse

There's lots to love about this almost-flagship Honor phone

Honor 200 Pro
(Image: © Future / Luke Baker)

TechRadar Verdict

The Honor 200 Pro delivers impressive specs at a competitive price. The phone's Studio Harcourt portrait effects are the standout feature, but it has plenty to offer elsewhere. The Honor 200 Pro has the largest battery in its class, charges extremely fast and games like a champ.

Pros

  • +

    Awesome portrait effects

  • +

    Lovely bright display

  • +

    Plenty of power

  • +

    Long battery life and speedy charging

Cons

  • -

    The design won’t be to everyone’s taste

  • -

    MagicOS 8.0 takes some getting used to

  • -

    Curved screen is prone to phantom touches

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Honor 200 Pro: Two-minute review

Honor’s 'number-series' phones have a reputation for delivering flagship-level specs at mid-range prices. We saw this in 2023 with the impressive Honor 90, and the Honor 70 before that. However, while the range has, in the past, included Pro variants in China, they’ve never made their way to Europe, until now.

The Honor 200 Pro is a different class of device to last year’s Honor 90. Rather than targeting the upper mid-range market, it’s aimed at the lower-tier of flagship devices. Think the Samsung Galaxy S24, rather than A55. At this level, you need top-notch cameras, blazing-fast performance and cutting-edge features to compete, and thankfully, the Honor 200 Pro delivers on all fronts.

Honor 200 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)

The most exciting feature is, surprisingly, a new set of portrait effects developed in collaboration with the world-famous Studio Harcourt. They work just like filters, with some AI secret sauce on top, but the results speak for themselves. You can take some truly stunning portraits with this phone.

Elsewhere, the device is solid on across the board. The phone's Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset allows for smooth and snappy daily operations and a great gaming experience, the mammoth 5,200mAh battery keeps things ticking over for a long time, and its charging is among the fastest in its class, either wired or wirelessly.

The competition is fierce, though, and devices like the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 are sure to be more appealing to some buyers. In either case, you get more advanced AI features and a longer window of support, but you’ll miss out on the impressive battery life and portrait prowess of the Honor 200 Pro. Whether it’s right for you depends on your priorities.

Honor 200 Pro review: Price and availability

  • Costs £699.99 in the UK
  • Released May 2024 – China only, June, 2024 – internationally
  • No availability in US and Australia

The Honor 200 Pro launched alongside its non-Pro sibling, the Honor 200, in China on May 31, 2024. Then, less than a month later, both devices made their global debut in Paris on June 12. Both phones are now available to pre-order in Europe, but as usual, there’s no US or Australian launch on the cards.

The Honor 200 Pro costs £699.99 in the UK and comes in one storage configuration: 512GB with 12GB RAM. For context, the comparable Samsung Galaxy S24 starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,399, so £699.99 is a reasonable price for the Honor 200 Pro.

  • Value score: 5 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 1
Dimensions:163.3 x 75.2 x 8.2mm
Weight:199g
Display:6.8-inch OLED, 120Hz
Chipset:Qualcomm Snapdragon 8s Gen 3
RAM:12GB
Storage:512GB
OS (at launch):MagicOS 8.0, based on Android 14
Rear cameras:50MP (f/1.9) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide, 50MP (f/2.4) telephoto
Front camera:50 MP
Battery:5,200mAh

Honor 200 Pro review: Design

  • Velvety-feeling matte glass back
  • Casa Milá-inspired camera surround
  • IP65 dust and water resistant

The Honor 200 Pro stands out from the crowd with its unique elongated circular camera surround. Apparently, this design is inspired by the shape of Barcelona’s Casa Milá, but it also looks a bit like an airplane window, or a turret from Portal.

I found the notch a little off-putting at first, but it has grown on me somewhat, and it definitely helps to differentiate this model from the sea of circular and square-shaped camera bumps. The silver bezel surrounding the camera glass looks super-premium, too.

Elsewhere, things are a little more traditional. The phone has curved edges on the front and rear that make it feel slim and comfortable in the hand, and there’s a high-gloss metal frame around the edges.

The rear is made from glass and it has a velvety-feeling matte texture, similar to recent Vivo flagships like the X100 Pro. It feels lovely and is completely immune to fingerprints, but it’s slippery, so you’ll need to be very careful if you use it without a case. Thankfully, a transparent TPU number is included in the box, so you can keep it protected easily.

The Honor 200 Pro is available in three colors: Moonlight White, Black and Ocean Cyan. I have the white version in for testing, which has a marble-like pattern across the rear, and it reminds me of a fancy kitchen countertop. The black version has a more understated uniform finish, for those that prefer a more professional look. Meanwhile, the cyan model is the loudest; it has a dual-texture rear with a sweeping S-shaped curve down the back. 

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Display

  • 6.78-inch quad-curved 120Hz OLED display
  • 3840Hz PWM dimming
  • 4000 nits peak brightness

The Honor 200 Pro has a bright, vivid display that’s curved on all sides, and an adaptive refresh rate that can dynamically shift between 60Hz and 120Hz, depending on what you’re viewing. It’s not quite as impressive as an LTPO panel, which can go all the way down to 1Hz, but it still means you can expect longer battery life without sacrificing smooth scrolling and high-refresh-rate gaming.

Usually, I prefer flat displays, but the Honor Magic 6 Pro won me over with its relatively tight curves – effectively delivering the best of both worlds. I was hoping for more of the same here, but that’s unfortunately not the case. The Honor 200 Pro has a more typical curved display.

Some people are sure to love it, and it definitely helps to make the device feel slim in the hand and pocket, but it’s more prone to accidental touches than I’d like. 

Elsewhere, I have zero complaints. The panel is sharp and high-resolution, the color rendition looks fantastic, and it’s more than bright enough to compete with the springtime sunshine. There are plenty of eye health features included here, too.

The display can deliver an astonishing PWM dimming rate of 3840Hz, besting some of the priciest flagships on the market. The Samsung S24 Ultra only supports 480Hz PWM dimming, for example. If you’re not familiar, this tech essentially ensures low flicker at all brightness levels, to reduce eye strain for those who are sensitive to such things.

  • Display score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Cameras

Honor 200 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)
  • 50MP main (f/1.9)
  • 50MP 2.5x telephoto (f/2.4)
  • 12MP ultra-wide macro (f/2.2)

Honor describes the 200 Pro as “the portrait master”, so clearly it believes in the phone’s photographic capabilities. And indeed, this phone packs some serious hardware to support that claim.

Around the back, you’ll find a 50MP main camera with a 1/1.3-inch sensor and OIS, a 50MP 2.5x telephoto with OIS and a 12MP ultra-wide with macro focusing capabilities. On the front, there’s a pill-shaped cutout housing a 50MP wide-angle selfie camera.

As usual, the main camera delivers the most impressive results, especially in low light, where the larger sensor comes into play. The camera app gives you a 2x button for digitally cropping in with this camera, and there’s almost no loss of quality when the lighting is sufficient.

The 2.5x telephoto is very impressive, too. Personally, I would have liked a longer focal length, but this 70mm-ish equivalent is still very useful. You can get good results pushing it to about 5x or so before the image starts to break down, but if you go above 10x with the digital zoom, prepare for disappointment.

The ultra-wide is decent, but with a 16mm equivalent field of view, it’s not quite as wide as some of the competition. It does have autofocus, though, and it can focus extremely close for some unique macro shots. It’s lower resolution than the other sensors, but it still captures a good amount of detail. It’s not great in low light, but that’s usually the case with ultra-wides.

The selfie camera has an ample 50MP resolution and a wide FOV that makes it suitable for group shots. Of course, you can also digitally crop into a more typical focal length. It doesn't seem to have autofocus, which is a bit disappointing, so you’ll need to ensure that you’re standing in the sweet spot for the best results.

The most impressive thing about this camera isn’t the hardware, though, but a new portrait mode developed in collaboration with legendary Parisian portrait studio Studio Harcourt. And yes, it does amount to just a few AI-enhanced filters, but they’re really, really good ones.

Harcourt Classic aims to recreate the studio’s signature black and white headshots, and the results can be stunning. It’s most effective with portraits – that’s what the feature is designed for, after all – but I got great results with animals, too.

Harcourt Color is a similar effect, but in color, as the name suggests. It creates images with a lovely warm color palette. Both modes add an artificial bokeh effect, and they seem to accentuate lens flares from light sources, too. Honor’s edge detection is second to none, and I was really impressed with how well it managed to cut out wisps of hair and other difficult scenes.

Finally, there’s a Harcourt Vibrant, and I found this a little less impressive. It processes color similarly to the normal camera modes, and it loses some of that vintage allure that the other modes provide. Still, it might be useful to have if you prefer a poppy vibrant shot.

I was a little disappointed to learn that these effects only work on the main and telephoto rear cameras, so you can’t use them for snapping selfies. I’d love to see support for that added, but maybe this selfie camera didn’t quite get the Harcourt stamp of approval.

When it comes to video shooting, the Honor 200 Pro supports capture at up to 4K 60fps on the main and telephoto cameras, while the ultra-wide and selfie camera max out at 4K 30fps. The resulting videos have great stabilization, and as usual, Honor’s software has tons of features packed in, including full manual controls.

  • Cameras score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro camera samples

Honor 200 Pro review: Performance

  • Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset
  • 12GB RAM and 512GB storage

The Honor 200 Pro is powered by the new Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset, which is supposed to bring some of the flagship Gen 3 experience to more affordable price points. In day-to-day use, I’d say it achieves that goal; the phone feels snappy and apps open quickly with no stuttering or hesitation.

In benchmarks, the difference becomes more apparent. The Honor 200 Pro finds itself lagging behind last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered phones in graphical performance, and occasionally beating them in computational workloads. So, it’s not quite top-of-the-line, but it’s still a more capable gaming machine than the Exynos-powered Galaxy S24 or Pixel 8, for example.

I had no issues playing graphically demanding games like Wuthering Waves at maximum settings, so in the real world, the 8s Gen 3 provides more than enough horsepower for most people. The phone does heat up a bit when you give it such a demanding workload, but it always remained comfortable to hold. Honor’s new super-sized vapor chamber is clearly working as it should.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Software

  • Magic OS 8.0, based on Android 14

The Honor 200 Pro runs Magic OS 8.0, a heavily customized skin that’s built on top of Android 14. This is the same software that we tested on the Honor Magic 6 Pro, and it’s a pretty significant departure from the stock Android experience.

Honor takes some inspiration from Apple for Magic OS. The notification shade and quick settings menu are separated, the app drawer is disabled by default, and there’s even a Dynamic Island-like feature that Honor calls Magic Capsule.

If you’re used to a more traditional Android experience, Magic OS will take some getting used to. On the flip side, if you’re coming from an iPhone, you might have an easier time. As an Android user, I found it jarring at first, but it has grown on me. I especially like the Magic Capsule, as it gives me quick access to my media controls and timers no matter which app I have running in the foreground. 

Another great feature is Honor’s Magic Portal. This allows you to drag text or images to the side of your display, and a selection of recommended apps will pop up. Then you can quickly share or search for your selection in the relevant app. I love being able to drag an address into Google Maps for speedy directions, and it’s a really fast way to reverse image search, too.

It’s not all perfect, though. There’s a little bit of bloatware to clean up when you first set up the phone (mostly just Honor’s own apps), and the Magic Capsule had a couple of hiccups during my use. Again, nothing horrific, but it wouldn’t let me tap the media controls at some points, and then it randomly started working again. I am using pre-release software, mind, so in all likelihood, these issues will be ironed out.

  • Software score: 3 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Battery

Honor 200 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)
  • 5,200mAh silicon-carbon battery
  • 100W wired charging
  • 66W wireless charging

The Honor 200 Pro uses the same cutting-edge battery tech as the Honor Magic 6 Pro to squeeze a 5,200mAh battery pack into a very svelte shell. This means it’ll easily get you through a day of very heavy use, a day and a half poses no issue, and you might even get two days out of a charge if you use it sparingly.

What’s more, the Honor 200 Pro charges up very quickly with the included 100W wall adapter. By my count, it took just 50 minutes to go from completely dead to fully charged. Half an hour on the charger will get you up to around 70%.

It also boasts the same lightning-fast 66W wireless charging speed as the pricier Magic 6 Pro. You’ll need Honor’s SuperCharge stand to get the full power output, but I happen to own one, and it’s impressively quick. It’s well worth the investment to be able just to slap your phone down and have it fully topped up in about an hour.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Honor 200 Pro?

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Honor 200 Pro score card
AttributesNotesRating
ValueVery few phones in this price range offer competing specs.5 / 5
DesignThe elongated camera array is a little unusual, but this phone feels premium and well-built throughout.4 / 5
DisplayThe display is bright, vibrant and speedy. There are plenty of eye-care features included too.4 / 5
CamerasThe Honor 200 Pro takes great wide shots and portraits, but its selfie snapper disappoints.4 / 5
PerformanceWith Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 onboard, the Honor 200 Pro delivers speedy day-to-day performance and solid gaming experiences.4 / 5
SoftwareHonor's Magic OS will be divisive. It’s a huge departure from stock Android, but it has great features like Magic Portal.3 / 5
BatteryThe sizable 5,200mAh battery lasts for a long time and charges extremely quickly.4 / 5

Buy it if...

You want a more affordable version of the Magic 6 Pro
There are plenty of similarities between this phone and Honor’s flagship Magic 6 Pro. If you like the look of that device, but it doesn’t fit your budget, then this is a great alternative.

You love taking portrait shots
The Studio Harcourt-inspired portrait modes are some of the most impressive I’ve ever seen. If you take lots of portraits, you’re sure to love this phone.

You want a slim phone with great battery life
The Honor 200 Pro has a slim chassis and its curved edges make it feel even slimmer. Despite that, it packs one of the biggest batteries in its class and can go a long time in between charges.

Don't buy it if...

You’re an avid selfie snapper
While the rest of the cameras impressed, I found the selfie camera underwhelming. There’s no autofocus and you can’t use the awesome Harcourt filters, either.

You love stock Android
Honor’s MagicOS 8.0 is a big change from stock Android, and some users are sure to find it overwhelming.

Honor 200 Pro review: Also consider

The Honor 200 Pro delivers impressive specifications and features at a competitive price point, but the competition has plenty to offer, too.

Image

Samsung Galaxy S24
Samsung’s most affordable flagship is a more compact option that doesn’t compromise on specs and quality. If you’re keen on generative AI features, it offers a lot more in that department.

Image

Google Pixel 8
Google’s Pixel 8 is a formidable photographic rival. It might not game as well as the Honor 200 Pro, but it offers a clean stock Android installation and plenty of AI-powered goodies, too.

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Honor 200 ProSamsung Galaxy S24Google Pixel 8
Price (at launch):£699.99$799 / £799 / AU$1,399$699 / £699 / AU$1,199
Display:6.78-inch OLED6.2-inch OLED6.2-inch OLED
Cameras:50MP wide; 16MP ultra-wide; 50MP telephoto (2.5x)50MP main; 12MP ultra-wide; 10MP 3X zoom50MP main; 12MP ultra-wide; No zoom
Chipset:Qualcomm Snapdragon 8s Gen 3Exynos 2400 / Snapdragon 8 Gen 3Google Tensor G3
Battery:5,200mAh4,000mAh4,575 mAh

How I tested the Honor 200 Pro

  • Review test period: Two weeks
  • Testing included: everyday use including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used: Geekbench 6, 3DMark, GFXBench, native Android stats, Honor 100W charger and wireless SuperCharge stand

I popped my SIM card into the Honor 200 Pro and lived with it as my main device for around two weeks before reaching any conclusions. I used it exactly as I would use any other phone, taking tons of pictures, gaming, messaging, working, streaming video and navigating with Google Maps.

I also compared the experience of playing graphically demanding games like Wuthering Waves, Genshin Impact and PUBG Mobile to my experiences with other Android flagships like the Honor Magic 6 Pro, Vivo X100 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. In addition, I ran several benchmarks on the handset including 3DMark, GFXbench and Geekbench.

Battery performance was assessed based on my real-world usage and charging times were measured using the included 100W wall adapter and cable. I also tested the wireless charging capabilities with Honor’s Wireless 100W SuperCharge stand. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed June 2024