The Honor Pad 8 breaks a fundamental law in the tablet world: despite having an ‘8’ in its name, it doesn’t have an 8-inch screen.
When you remember that the Amazon Fire HD 10 has a 10-inch screen, Lenovo Tab P11 has an 11-inch display and the iPad Pro 12.9 has a 12.9-inch panel, it feels jarring to pick up the Honor Pad 8 and find a device with 12 inches of LCD staring up at you.
The name is likely due to the fact that this is a successor to the Honor Pad 7, but this numerical naming strategy of the tablets is a rarity compared to the competition.
If you’re wondering why we’re focusing on the Honor Pad 8’s name instead of any of its features, then you’ve started to catch onto the issue with this tablet; there’s little that’s really impressive or eye-catching about this Android tablet beyond its erroneous name.
It’s a cheap tablet, but not as affordable as an Amazon Fire or Samsung Galaxy A one. It offers a big screen, but not significantly more so than alternatives from Lenovo or Nokia. It has a long-lasting battery, but outside of the iPad, most tablets do.
A few years ago, the Honor Pad 8 would have been an intriguing model, but after the Covid-induced tablet boom of 2020 and 2021, this is a flooded market and Honor has failed to create a tablet that really stands out.
The Honor Pad 8 may be a more tempting option if it at least ruled the ‘cheap tablet’ roost, but it has a few annoying issues that even similar-priced rivals like the Xiaomi Pad 5 avoid.
For one, it’s very slow, making gaming or other intensive processes unenjoyable. The Snapdragon 680 here just doesn’t cut it, unless for some reason you like your games frequently freezing or crashing.
The software is also a problem. Android doesn’t naturally fit the larger form of tablets, and while some tablet makers have tweaked the stock formula to create their own better-suited software, Honor evidently didn’t go to that length. Its version of Android feels awkward to use on a large device and would have been better suited to a smartphone.
Despite not standing out from the crowd, the Honor Pad 8 does have a few things in its favor. The big screen and long-lasting battery make the tablet good for streaming or simple work tasks like checking emails or writing text documents (well, if you buy a third-party Bluetooth keyboard – the only accessory Honor is selling is a simple case).
For some people, these tasks are all you’ll want a tablet for, and if that’s you the Honor Pad 8 will be a fine budget option. But there are lots of other equally viable options on the market for those buyers too.
Honor Pad 8 price and availability
Unveiled at the annual tech event IFA 2022 in September 2022, the Honor Pad 8 went on sale immediately after.
The tablet costs £269.99 in the UK. That converts to roughly $320 or AU$460, though Honor doesn’t sell products in the US and rarely in Australia, so don’t expect to see it on sale there.
At that price, the slate is pricier than members of Amazon’s Fire, Samsung’s Galaxy A or Lenovo’s Tab P11 lines, but more affordable than the entry-level iPad or Xiaomi Pad 5. It’s still a fairly low price for a tablet.
That’s a tablet with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage - there’s not much choice if you want more power or storage, though expandable memory up to 512GB could solve most storage woes.
Honor Pad 8 design
Compared to many other Android tablets on the market, the Honor Tab 8 is pretty large, and you’re certainly not going to be using it one-handed.
Beyond that, though, it’s your standard-looking tablet. It has a USB-C port (though no 3.5mm headphone jack - sorry, wired audio fans) and four surrounding speakers. On the back, there’s a camera bump that doesn’t stick out too far, so the slate can practically lay flat.
It feels pretty premium to hold, thanks to the glass material,. However, due to its size, we wouldn’t recommend using it with your hands – better to buy a stand or keyboard accessory and use it propped up on a surface.
Honor Pad 8 display
As we’ve mentioned, the Honor Pad 8 has a 12-inch display. This screen size makes it one of the biggest tablets we’ve seen, save for premium models like the iPad Pro 12.9 or Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus or Ultra.
The resolution is 1200 x 2000, which technically counts as 2K, though its use of LCD tech and 60Hz refresh rate means it’s not the best-looking display around.
Still, if you care about size over quality, this is a good tablet for you, and people who just want to look at documents or do work won’t necessarily mind anyway.
Honor Pad 8 cameras
The Honor tablet has a 5MP front and 5MP rear camera. Of course, you’re probably not buying this for photography, because even a dirt-cheap phone has better snappers, but they’re fit for purpose.
For scanning documents, conducting video calls and scanning QR codes, these cameras are all you’ll need, especially since many other tablets don’t even offer 5MP of resolution. You can also use the front camera for facial unlocking, which was reliable during our testing.
Honor Pad 8 performance
Our main gripe with the Honor Pad 8 is that it felt slow – slower, in fact, than other similar-priced slates.
There’s a Snapdragon 680 chipset here, which is admittedly low-end, but it hasn’t felt as slow on other (mainly smartphone) gadgets we’ve used it on. It’s paired with 4GB RAM, which in and of itself isn’t a red flag, but they don’t work well here.
The tablet generally feels sluggish to navigate, but the issues were worse for things like games or heavier apps. We tried to play Northgard and it kept stuttering, freezing and even crashing, and that’s not even the most top-end game we normally try.
Again, for some people, performance isn’t important, but it did make the user experience a little frustrating at times.
There’s 128GB storage, which isn’t too bad for a tablet of this price, and will likely be enough for most users – if you do need more, though, a microSD card slot gives you up to 512GB extra space.
Honor Pad 8 software
Software is the make-or-break feature for tablets, and the Honor-designed Magic UI sadly falls down onto the ‘break’ side of things.
This is a fork of Android, specifically Android 12. Lots of other brands who fork Android add their own useful features since stock Android isn’t well-optimized for tablets, and this is even more important for these big-screen gadgets.
Magic UI hasn’t been optimized for the tablet’s 12-inch screen, though, making the software experience rather frustrating. You need to do massive swipes to jump between menus, there’s only one swipe-down menu that houses notifications and settings (unlike in iPadOS or MIUI for Pad, both of which have separate notifications lists and quick settings depending on where you swipe down from).
Widgets and app icons take up loads of space on the home page too, meaning it can be annoying to navigate the menus. Navigating this tablet is just a pain.
Honor Pad 8 battery life
If there’s one surprising point in the Honor Pad 8’s favor, it’s that its battery life is surprisingly good.
There’s a 7,250mAh power pack, which could be considered on the small side for a tablet with a giant 12-inch display, but it performed admirably in our tests – this thing will outlast an iPad with little difficulty.
Charging isn’t particularly quick, at 22.5W, but fast charging hasn’t made its way to the tablet world yet.
Should I buy the Honor Pad 8?
But it if…
You need a big screen
At this price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many other tablets with a 12-inch screen, making the Honor Pad 8 good for people who like big displays.
You like long working stints
Thanks to its long battery life, the Honor Pad 8 is good if you like to park up at coffee shops for long stints or watch movies back-to-back.
You’re on a budget
While not one of the cheapest tablets around, the Pad 8 is still fairly low-cost and undercuts many competing tablets.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re a busy worker
The Honor Pad 8 can’t support intensive work processes, and the software isn’t great for people who jump between apps and tasks quickly.
You’re a hardcore gamer
The Honor Pad 8 just won’t give you a good gaming experience, thanks to its weak processor, so don’t expect long gaming sessions to be fun on this.
You like buying extras
Honor sells just one accessory alongside the Pad 8, and that’s a carry case, so if you want a stylus or keyboard there are better tablets with a native accessory experience.
Amazon Fire HD 10
For a lower price, you can get the 10-inch Fire HD from Amazon. It’s built for entertainment, particularly music, TV and books, just like the Honor, but is cheaper and smaller.
Check out our full Amazon Fire HD 10 review
Xiaomi Pad 5
Xiaomi’s Android tablet has a great software experience, more processing power and a better-looking display, but it’s smaller and a little bit more expensive.
Check out our full Xiaomi Pad 5 review
Apple’s entry-level iPad may cost more than the Honor, and is smaller and feels more antiquated too, but it’s quicker, has a much cleaner software experience and will be supported for much longer.
Check out our full iPad (2021) review
- First reviewed September 2022