Honor 8 Pro review

Big and powerful but not quite perfect

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The Honor 8 Pro is a well-rounded, accomplished phone that’s not overly lacking on any front. It pairs a stunning design with more power than you’re ever likely to need and solid if far from ground-breaking performances on the camera and battery front.

Its interface is still clunky though, and certain features, such as its speakers, still feel rushed and lacking thought. There’s also a distinct lack of additional features to push the phone into the realms of greatness.

Simply put, it’s a solid smartphone, but it’s not special. At £475 (around $590, AU$770) it’s affordable compared with the iPhones and Galaxy S8s of the world, but it’s still undercut considerably by the likes of the OnePlus 3T. If you’re going to spend this much on a phone, you want something special, and unfortunately, that’s what the Honor 8 Pro lacks.

Who’s this for?

Forget the brave, the Honor 8 Pro is a phone for the money conscious and specs enthusiastic. It’s a device that although lacking on some fronts, doesn’t at any point actively disappoint.

It gives you a decent array of flagship-worthy features, and is kinder to the wallet than many of the rival devices out there. If you’re after a phone that looks great and will take you from answering emails to enjoying a quick VR session, you could do much worse.

Photo enthusiasts will be pleased but not ecstatic. The same goes for those who covet decent battery life over all else. If, however, you’re after a phone that combines style with generally solid performance, this might be the handset for you.

Should you buy it?

If high-end specs without the high-end price tag are your thing, the Honor 8 Pro is a phone worthy of your consideration. Emotion UI is still a bugbear of ours, but it has progressed since past devices.

This isn’t a phone that will fill your friends with envy whenever you pull it from your pocket, but it is a device that will comfortably fit into every facet of your life without ever leaving you feeling like you’re missing out. You will need pretty sizeable pockets to carry it around though.

The Honor 8 Pro is a great phone, but it's far from in a class of its own, and one of its main rivals even comes from the same parent company. Here are two strong alternatives.

Huawei Mate 9

Arguably the Honor 8 Pro’s main rival, Huawei’s flagship phablet features a similar design and a near identical array of specs, but it will hit you for more than £100 (around $125/AU$165) more.

Honor has undercut its big brother without compromising on power or performance. If anything, the 8 Pro’s slightly edgier look is a bonus too.

OnePlus 3T

The Honor 8 Pro is an affordable phone compared to many flagships. Compared with the OnePlus 3T, however, it’s positively pricey.

OnePlus rewrote the rules on what affordable phones with high-end specs can offer. While the Honor’s dual-lens camera brings something different and it’s almost unrivalled on power, OnePlus’s phone feels more well-rounded and accomplished.

First reviewed: April 2017