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Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8: Should I upgrade?

Our Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8 comparison takes a close look at the fresh new Pro handset, an update over the original Honor 8 from 2016. How has the specs, camera tech and other features been upgraded for the new 2017 Pro model?

Honor is best known for its affordable handsets, which offer strong specs and a great range of features at a wallet-friendly price. The Honor 6X is one of our recent favourites, although it’s the Honor 8 that really showed off what Honor was capable of. This is the most premium smartphone in the Honor brand, delivering flagship quality specs and a feature-packed dual-lens camera for under £400.

Now the Honor 8 has been updated in the form of the Honor 8 Pro. Not just updated in fact, but super-sized too. The mighty 5.7-inch Honor 8 Pro is a beast in every sense, packing specs as strong as the Huawei P10 Plus for just £475 here in the UK. That includes a super-crisp Quad HD screen, the latest Kirin processor and yet another capable dual-lens snapper.

So what’s the difference between the Honor 8 and Honor 8 Pro and should Honor 8 owners already consider upgrading? Here’s our direct comparison, and don’t miss our Honor 8 Pro review for our in-depth thoughts.

Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8: Specs

Phone Honor 8 Honor 8 Pro
Screen size 5.2-inch 5.7-inch
Screen resolution 1920×1080 2560×1440
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
OS Android 7.0 + EMUI 5.0 Android 7.0 + EMUI 5.1
Processor Kirin 950 Kirin 960
Memory 4GB 6GB
Storage 32GB 64GB
microSD Yes Yes
Rear camera 12+12MP 12+12MP
Price £399 £475

Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8: Design

While the Honor 8 was a relatively compact mobile at 5.2-inches, the Pro version boosts the dimensions up to a hand-filling 5.7-inches. You’ll really notice the difference when you clutch the Honor 8 Pro, which is less manageable with a single mitt.

That said, you get the same rounded corners and edges as the original phone and the Pro is just as slim at roughly 7mm. The result is a comfortable clutch, even if one-handed use isn’t particularly easy. Luckily Huawei’s Emotion UI helps out in this regard, with built-in gestures to shrink the desktops and multiple ways to pull down the notifications tab. You get all of these features on the standard Honor 8 too of course, but they’re a lot less necessary on that handset.

Flip both phones over and you’ll notice the Honor 8’s glossy finish has been replaced with a matte metal surfacing on the Pro. This makes for a slightly more premium look and feel, which is less prone to scuffs and resists fingerprints. You can pick up the Honor 8 Pro in the same eye-pleasing navy blue colour too.

Neither Honor phone is water resistant, but they seem pretty rugged, putting up with plenty of punishment on the go.

Read next: Honor 8 Pro vs Huawei P10 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9, which is best for me?

Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8: Screen and media

While the Honor 8 delivered a sharp and satisfying 5.2-inch IPS screen, the Honor 8 Pro boosts this to a mega 5.7-inch panel. Resolution has been upgraded from Full HD to Quad HD, so you can expect even more crisp images despite that size hike. The Pro really is a serious media machine.

That said, the original Honor 8 is still just as sharp at a glance. Vibrancy levels, brightness levels and the rest are near identical on either phone. You also get the same Eye Comfort mode built into both Honor mobiles, to reduce eye strain in the evenings.

Both of these phones support microSD memory card support, so you can carry around a massive media collection either way. Of course the Pro boasts more built-in storage, with 64GB to fill up.

Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8: Features

The Honor 8 and Honor 8 Pro both rock Emotion UI 5 on top of Android Nougat, which means you get a butt-load of features packed into either handset. This is the slightly more up-to-date EMUI 5.1 on the Pro, while the Honor 8 currently has EMUI 5.0 as standard. However, the older model should receive an update to 5.1 soon and in the meantime there’s very little difference.

You get a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on both phones too, which can be used to quickly and securely unlock to the desktop. This is equally accurate and responsive on the Pro and the standard Honor 8. Likewise, both phone sensors recognise pre-set gestures, such as a swipe down to drag the notifications bar onto screen.

Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8: Performance and battery life

After six months of use, we still find the Honor 8 pleasingly smooth for everyday use – as you’ll know if you read our long-term Honor 8 review. That Kirin 950 processor backed by 4GB of RAM is a solid mid-range combo, so apps load instantly and the latest games play with a super-smooth frame rate.

Of course, the Pro updates these specs to Huawei’s latest Kirin chipset. The Kirin 960 is also found in Huawei’s premium phones such as the P10 Plus, and in the Honor 8 Pro it’s just as powerful. In fact the Pro benchmarked even higher, thanks to the generous 6GB of RAM packed inside.

While there’s little difference in terms of everyday performance right now, the Honor 8 Pro offers true future-proofing compared with the original. If you want a mobile to keep you going for two to three years, we’d recommend bagging this handset over the standard Honor 8.

When it comes to battery life, the Honor 8 Pro is again a big step up. Compared with the original device’s day of life between charges, the Pro offered a minimum of 36 hours even with heavy use. Standard operation – messaging, web browsing, camera use and the occasional bit of media streaming – resulted in a full two days of use before the battery died.

Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8: Cameras

One of the only areas where the Pro seems near identical to the Honor 8 is the camera tech. Both smartphones boast a dual-lens rear snapper, with f/2.2 aperture and laser-guided autofocus. You also have digital image stabilisation to help out with hand judders, but no optical image stabilisation.

Both cameras are great in decent lighting conditions, capturing detail-packed realistic shots. In low light they struggle a little however, with quite grainy results. Still, their Full HD video results are strong, with the lens reacting well to changes in lighting and focal points. And the Honor 8 Pro can shoot up to 4K resolution footage, something not possible on the original Honor 8.

Check out our Honor 8 Pro camera review for photo and video samples from this fresh new 2017 Honor handset.

Our full Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8 video shows these two mighty handsets side-by-side. Check it out below.

 

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