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Honor V10 Review: A View to a Thrill

The Honor View 10, or V10 for short, is the most expensive Honor smartphone that you can pick up in the UK. However, at £449 this full-sized handset still offers strong value for money, just like its biggest rival the OnePlus 5T.

With the likes of Honor and OnePlus producing premium quality smartphones for under £500, you have to wonder why anyone would pay close to a grand for the likes of the iPhone X or Pixel 2 XL. The Honor V10 is another great feature-packed mobile, offering most of the advantages of devices that are twice the price. After all, it’s based on the Huawei Mate 10, which was only recently released for 699 Euros.

Like the OnePlus 5T, you get a spacious and gorgeous 6-inch display, as well as future-proofed performance and some very strong camera tech. So, does the V10 struggle in any other areas, or is it one of the best value blowers you can pick up right now? Here’s my in-depth review after using the device as my personal smartphone for three full weeks.

Honor V10 Review: Design

These days, a 6-inch smartphone is pretty much the norm. So it’s not too surprising to see Honor make the leap to a full-sized six incher, to match the likes of the OnePlus 5T.

Thankfully, like that handset, the Honor V10 also boasts some very slender bezels. That display almost entirely fills the front of the phone, with just enough room for the selfie camera and earpiece up above. You also get a narrow fingerprint sensor, wedged into the tiny space beneath the panel.

Don’t get us wrong, the Honor V10 certainly isn’t compact, and still no match for the gorgeous Infinity Display design of the Samsung Galaxy S8. However, with those slim bezels and some nifty software shortcuts, one handed use is just about possible.

Flip the hefty chassis over and you’ll find a rugged metallic backing. Our preference is the sleek dark blue model, which looks lovely and manages to repel scuffs and muck with ease. You also get a transparent cover bundled in the View 10’s box, for extra protection from drops and scrapes.

Our only bugbear is the jutting camera lenses around back, although they’re not too intrusive.

We certainly have no complaints when it comes to the fingerprint scanner. Despite its narrow design, the sensor is remarkably accurate. Only mucky or wet hands will flummox it, at which point the upcoming facial recognition should come in handy; more on this feature later.

Honor V10 Review: Screen and media

That 6-inch IPS screen is certainly spacious, which is ideal for enjoying movies or shows on the go. Good news for media fans too, because the Honor V10’s display isn’t just big; it’s also beautiful.

As is fast becoming fashionable, this device sports a panel with a ‘stretched’ 18:9 aspect ratio. This is better suited to consuming cinematic video, as you get less letterboxing.

While a lot of apps and games still don’t support the 18:9 screen aspect ratio of many modern mobiles, EMUI has a built in ‘Fullscreen Mode’. This essentially fudges the view, so your app is expanded to fill the display. This does mean a little bit of cropping takes place at the edges, but in our experience this wasn’t a problem. Plus, you can always undo the effect if desired.

Visuals are perfectly sharp thanks to the 2160×1080 resolution, which matches most rivals around this price point. We also love the colour reproduction, which is bold and vibrant without making photos appear artificial in nature. You also get the usual night mode, which makes for more comfortable viewing in low light.

A generous 128GB of storage space gives plenty of room for your downloaded movies and music, as well as your apps collection. You can even expand this space via microSD, if you find yourself running low. That’s one feature the OnePlus 5T doesn’t offer.

Honor V10 Review: Features and OS

When it comes to the software experience of the Honor V10, there’s absolutely no difference compared to the Mate 10. Once again you have Google’s latest Android Oreo OS on board, although Huawei’s Emotion UI 8.0 is slapped on top to add a heap of extra features.

We’ve covered these in our full EMUI 8.0 breakdown, but in summary, these features are (for the most part) worthy additions. The smart assistance bits are some of the best bolt-ons, which especially help considering the size of this handset. Those one-handed modes, which shrink apps and shift the keyboard position, are particularly useful.

You also get plenty of apps and tools to play around with. From tracking your exercise sessions to backing up your important data, chances are you’ll find an app on the V10 that does the job. You can clean up any clutter, block nuisance numbers and scan for viruses with the Phone Management app, or even play with your IR-enabled devices using the Smart Controller app.

Don’t worry if this all seems a little overwhelming either. Honor has included a useful Tips tool on the View 10, which leads you through the main features in an easy-to-understand manner.

In the near future you can also expect the Honor V10 to boast facial recognition, as an alternative security option. This feature is coming in an over-the-air update, so stay tuned for our full thoughts.

Honor V10 Review: Performance and battery life

Packing the latest Kirin 970 chipset from Huawei means the Honor V10 is one of the most powerful smartphones around. Not bad at all for a £449 handset.

The Kirin 970 platform appears to offer a very similar level of performance to the Snapdragon 835, which is found inside of the OnePlus 5T. You once again get a generous 6GB of RAM on board, which helps Android and EMUI 8.0 to run seriously smoothly at all times.

Good news for gamers too, as the Game Suite allows you to dedicate full performance to the latest titles. You can also prevent any pesky notifications from distracting you when you’re deep in a gaming session, which is particularly useful in fast-paced reaction games.

You might expect battery life to suffer a little with that beefy processor and massive display on offer. However, the Honor V10 manages to cram in a mighty 3750mAh cell, which means you can expect around two days of moderate use per charge. Even if you absolutely hammer the View with non-stop media streaming and gaming, you’ll comfortably get a day of life before the phone needs plugging in.

You get plenty of battery settings to fiddle with if you do end up low on juice, which cull some non-essential features to stretch out the dregs. Best of all, Huawei’s SuperCharge tech means you can refill the battery in just over an hour, using the bundled charger. The phone stays reassuringly cool throughout, too.

Honor V10 Review: Cameras

Honor has certainly been a major advocate for dual lens smartphone cameras, and the Honor V10 again boasts a double shooter. Like the Mate 10, you get a 20-megapixel monochrome lens and a 16-megapixel RGB lens, which work together to capture crisp, detailed photos. You can add funky bokeh-style effects and play around with well over a dozen bonus camera modes, or simply stick to the AI-powered auto mode.

Video is well catered for also, with up to 4K resolution on offer. You can shoot slow motion or timelapse footage and even switch on manual controls, to tweak results on the fly.

Check out our full Honor V10 camera review for photo and video samples and everything you need to know.

Honor V10 Review: Verdict

The Honor V10 is exceedingly stiff competition for the OnePlus 5T, offering many of the same benefits for the same killer price. In fact, you get the benefits of more storage space (comparing the base models), especially as expansion is possible, as well as improved one-handed functionality. Anyone demanding a premium handset for under £500 should fall in love instantly, and be happy for the long run.