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Honor 8 Pro vs Huawei P10 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Battle of the mega-phones

The Honor 8 Pro is the most premium Honor smartphone so far, offering top-end specs and a dual lens camera like the Huawei P10 Plus and Mate 9, except for less cash. So how does the Honor 8 Pro compare to those flagship Huawei mobiles and which should you buy?

Honor just launched its latest handset, the Honor 8 Pro, which sports some seriously strong specs for under £500. In fact, with its spacious Quad HD display, dual lens camera tech, powerful Kirin processor and feature-stuffed OS, you’d probably wonder: why should I pay extra for the similarly specced Huawei P10 Plus or Huawei Mate 9?

These three smartphones are all constructed by Huawei and sport pretty much the same interface and features, as well as very similar dimensions. So is the Honor 8 Pro an obvious choice, or should you still consider the P10 Plus or Huawei’s latest Mate? Here’s our full Honor 8 Pro vs Huawei P10 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9 comparison to help you decide.

Check out our early Honor 8 Pro review for everything you need to know.

Read next: Honor 8 Pro vs Honor 8, what’s been updated?

Honor 8 Pro vs Huawei P10 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Specs

  P10 Plus Honor 8 Pro Mate 9
Screen size 5.5-inches 5.7-inches 5.9-inches
Screen resolution WQHD (2560×1440) WQHD (2560×1440) Full HD (1920×1080)
OS Android 7.0 w/ EMUI 5.1 Android 7.0 w/ EMUI 5.1 Android 7.0 w/ EMUI 5.0
Rear cameras 12/20-megapixels 12/12-megapixels 12/20-megapixels
Front cameras 8-megapixels 8-megapixels 8-megapixels
Processor Kirin 960 Kirin 960 Kirin 960
Storage 128GB + microSD up to 256GB 64GB + microSD up to 256GB 64GB + microSD up to 256GB
Battery 3750mAh 4000mAh 4000mAh

Honor 8 Pro vs Huawei P10 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Design

Want a mini mobile? Well, you’re wasting your time reading this, then. The smallest phone in this round-up is the P10 Plus and that’s a rather hefty 5.5-inch handset. That’s followed by the 5.7-inch Honor 8 Pro and then the Mate 9, which is a 5.9-inch whopper.

One-handed use of course isn’t particularly easy with any of these blowers, but Huawei at least tries to help out. That Emotion UI interface includes a few nifty features, including the ability to shrink down the desktops towards the bottom of the screen. You can also drag down the notification bar with a swipe of the fingerprint sensor, on the Mate 9 and Honor 8 Pro at least.

That scanner is found on the rear of the Mate and the Honor handsets, but the P10 Plus relocates the fingerprint sensor to beneath the display instead. Personally we prefer it on the back as it’s easier to use. The reason for this redesign is Huawei’s new home button gestures, which replaces the on-screen home, back and recent apps buttons with gesture recognition. It’s not a better way of doing things, just different. Check out our P10 Plus tips and tricks guide for more information.

The Mate 9 and Honor 8 Pro sport a brushed metal finish, available in a couple of different hues; our favourite being the navy blue model of Honor 8 Pro. If you want a more diverse choice, check out the P10 Plus. This comes in either a matte or glossy finish, complete with a selection of bright and vibrant colours. Attention seekers will particularly love the bright green handset.

None of these mega-phones are water resistant, sadly.

Honor 8 Pro vs Huawei P10 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Screen and media

Although the Mate 9 boasts the biggest screen in this group, the resolution is also the weakest. Both the Honor 8 Pro and the P10 Plus sport a Quad HD screen, offering pixel-perfect visuals, while the Mate 9 makes do with a Full HD display. But despite the weaker specs, the Mate 9 still pumps out sharp images. You’ll need to stream movies on all three phones side-by-side to notice any difference, which is far from significant.

In fact, the only serious advantage of that Quad HD screen is when enjoying a spot of VR. Luckily the Honor 8 Pro packaging smartly converts into a set of Google Cardboard style VR goggles, which can be used to enjoy virtual reality games and experiences on the likes of Jaunt VR.

Huawei’s Eye Comfort Mode is available on the Honor 8 Pro, Mate 9 and P10 Plus. This can be scheduled to filter blue light between set times, for an easier-on-the-eye viewing experience at night. That’s great news if your phone is still glued to your hand in bed, to reduce eye strain.

You can carry a mighty media collection on any of these phones, thanks to the microSD memory card expansion. The P10 Plus boasts the most built-in storage (128GB) compared with the others (64GB).

Honor 8 Pro vs Huawei P10 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Features

As previously mentioned, all three phones here come packing Huawei’s Emotion UI interface, sat snugly on top of Android Nougat.

The Mate 9 runs an ever-so-slightly older version, EMUI 5.0, compared with the Honor 8 Pro and P10 Plus (which sport EMUI 5.1). However, the differences are minimal. All three handsets offer strong resource management, plenty of gesture controls, split-screen multitasking and other helpful features, including the aforementioned one-handed modes.

Honor 8 Pro vs Huawei P10 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Performance and battery life

When it comes to performance, these mighty mobiles all deliver. You get Huawei’s latest Kirin 960 chipset packed inside, which provides perfect everyday running in all three cases. The Mate 9 may support it with less RAM (4GB compared with 6GB in the Pro and P10 Plus), but we haven’t noticed any dip in performance as a result. Apps pop up the instant you tap them and you can expect a smooth experience when you stream HD video or play fast-paced games.

What about battery life? Well, one of the benefits of owning a massive handset is the sizeable cell packed inside. All three phones offer around two days of regular use per charge, which is above average for a modern mobile.

Honor 8 Pro vs Huawei P10 Plus vs Huawei Mate 9: Cameras

You’ll find a dual-lens rear camera on all three of these handsets and at first glance they’re very similar. The P10 Plus and Mate 9 both have a 20-megapixel monochrome lens and 12-megapixel colour lens, while the Honor 8 Pro sticks with two 12-megapixel lenses instead. You have a laser-guided autofocus in all three cases, to help keep your victim sharp and reduce the shutter speed. There’s also a dual LED flash to light up your subject at night.

However, the P10 Plus sports a wider f/1.8 aperture lens design, as well as Optical Image Stabilisation. By comparison, the Honor 8 Pro and Mate 9 have an f/2.2 aperture and no OIS (just digital stabilisation). That means the P10 Plus can produce more detailed shots in low light, as well as smoother video results when you’re moving and shooting.

You can shoot up to 4K resolution video on all three handsets, while all three also boast an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, for those essential selfies.

Check out our Honor 8 Pro camera review and Huawei Mate 9 camera review, and stay tuned for our in-depth Huawei P10 Plus camera review.

Want to see the Honor 8 Pro and Huawei Mate 9 stacked side-by-side? Check out our full Honor 8 Pro vs Mate 9 comparison video below.