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Honor V10 Camera Review: Serious smarts from this OnePlus rival

The Honor V10 boasts an almost identical dual lens camera to the premium-priced Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, with some serious smarts and a massive selection of shooting features.

One of the final smartphone releases of 2017 was the Honor View 10, or V10 for short. Like previous Honor mobiles, the V10 is essentially a remodelled version of an existing Huawei handset (in this case the Huawei Mate 10), served up for a much more affordable asking price.

Like the Mate 10, you get a funky dual lens camera slapped on the back of the V10. The 16-megapixel RGB lens is backed up with a 20-megapixel monochrome snapper, both featuring an f/1.8 aperture lens. In combination, these can shoot great-looking portrait snaps, with some gorgeous bokeh-style effects.

You can also shoot up to 4K resolution video, while the V10 is crammed full of interesting features for stylish results.

We’ve been testing the Honor V10’s camera tech for a full fortnight and here’s our in-depth review, complete with photo and video samples.

Honor V10 Camera Review: Features and user experience

When it comes to the camera app and general shooting experience, the Honor V10 is certainly a dense experience.

Right there on the main screen you’ll find several settings which can be toggled and played with, including Portrait and Wide Aperture modes. These use both lenses to focus on your subject and keep them crisp, while blurring the background to help them stand out. You also have a Moving Picture mode, which rivals Apple’s own Live Photos option. This brings your photos to life as you swipe through the gallery, capturing a brief video clip with every still image.

Swipe right and you’ll encounter no less than 17 special camera modes, which can replace the default auto shooting. The Pro Photo and Pro Video modes, for instance, flash up full manual controls for tweaking your shot before you hit the shutter button. Good news for anyone with photography experience, especially as they offer RAW shooting. You also get filters, panorama modes, watermarks and the funky Light Painting feature, which produces trippy results at night times. Plus there’s a band of video modes, including slow motion and time lapse.

If you swipe left from the V10’s main camera screen instead, you’ll open up the settings menu. This allows you to change the resolution, play with grids, add timers and turn on special features such as smile capture and object tracking.

There’s a lot to learn if you’re willing, for sure. However, anyone who’s less confident with photography or who simply wants to capture good looking everyday snaps can simply stick with the Honor View 10’s auto mode. This adapts to any given scenario all by itself, with Huawei’s new machine vision smarts detecting specific scenes and adjusting the settings to compensate. This all happens in the blink of an eye, so you can simply point and shoot. No hanging around.

Honor V10 Camera Review: Photo quality

At this sort of price point, the Honor V10 is competing with some strong camera phone tech; its closest rival is the brilliant OnePlus 5T, and the V10 certainly stands solid when it comes to photo quality.

The adaptive nature of Honor’s snapper is one of its finest qualities. Thanks to Huawei’s scene detection AI, the View 10 can work out what you’re pointing the phone at and adjust its settings to suit. From plants and wildlife to burgers and nightclubs, chances are you’ll get a good looking snap using just the auto mode. Colour reproduction is especially pleasing to the eye; vibrant hues stand out without appearing artificial.

Although the Honor V10 isn’t quite as suited to low light shots as the Huawei Mate 10 on which it’s based, the f/1.8 aperture lenses certainly cope with dim conditions well. Dingy cellars and pub interiors still pack plenty of detail, with grain only appearing in very dark scenarios. You’ll often need a steady hand to prevent any blurring, however.

Strong contrast is also handled admirably, with only occasional oversaturation of brighter areas.

Swap to that front-facing selfie camera and you’ll once again get slick photos. We found that our faces were perfectly captured at almost any time of day, with the screen flash mode helping to illuminate us at night. However, you’ll also find that the background is often oversaturated in bright conditions, especially at night if you’re shooting against a well-lit building.

Still, the portrait mode using either camera helps your subject to really stand out. This also beautifies them with the usual wrinkle smoothing, for an attractive finish. Likewise, the wide aperture mode is a great way to get some bokeh-style snaps that look great when blown up.

Check out some more of our Honor V10 test photo samples in the gallery below.

Honor V10 Camera Review: Video quality

Video quality is another high point, although here the Honor View 10 isn’t quite as strong as the OnePlus 5T here. You can record in up to 4K resolution, or Full HD at either 30 or 60 frames per second, all of which offer respectable detail capture and realistic colour reproduction.

Image stabilisation isn’t quite as smooth as we’d have liked, which is where the OnePlus handset really excels. However, as long as you aren’t striding about as you shoot, you’ll still get decent results.