Honor 10 Review

June 25, 2018 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


Launched in April 2018, the Honor 10 is the new flagship smartphone from the Huawei sub-brand.

Being part of Huawei, but offering much cheaper phones, you’ll often find that a lot of the specifications of Honor’s budget-oriented range have come directly from the more expensive Huawei variants (with some notable compromises).

The camera is a dual-camera setup, with a 16 million pixel colour sensor, paired with a 24 million pixel monochrome sensor. The latter of which is used for detail, rather than as an telephoto lens. As a point of difference from the Huawei branded phones, you don’t get Leica-branded lenses.

Also included for this camera is artificial intelligence, which is deployed by the camera to recognise the scene or subject that you’re photographing, adjusting the settings accordingly.

Other features which may be appealing to photographers include a 5.84-inch Full HD+ screen, a 3,400mAh battery life, and USB-C for fast-charging.

At the time of writing, you can buy the Honor 10 (SIM free) for just under £399. Only the 128GB version is available in Europe.

Ease of Use

Despite costing less than £400, the Honor 10 has a look and feel of something a little more premium - in fact it’s reasonably close in look and feel to the Huawei P20. The 5.84-inch screen has a 1080x2280 resolution, which is very similar to the P20’s 5.8inch, 1080x2240 screen. Another thing the Honor 10 shares in common with its more expensive cousin is that it has a notch in the display. Like with the Huawei devices, the notch is about as minimal as its possible to be, but if it bothers you, you can turn it off in the main menu (essentially creating two black bars alongside the notch to give the illusion of a straight top).

We’ve been using the rather attractive “Phantom Blue” finish - which is best appreciated when moving the device to catch the light. Sometimes it will look blue, while at other times it will have a purple sheen to it. Other colour ways available include “Phantom Green”, “Glacier Grey” and “Midnight Black”.

Honor 10
Front of the Honor 10

You can access the Honor 10’s native camera app directly from the lock screen by swiping up from the bottom right hand corner. Here you’ll be greeted with something which is very similar to the Huawei P20’s interface - with the notable exception of the P20’s fantastic “Night Mode” - another point of difference for which you’ll pay an extra £200 for.

As standard, the camera app opens in “Photo” mode, but along the bottom of the screen you’ll find other options you can jump straight to, including Aperture, Portrait, Video and “More”. Within the “More” section, you’ll find lots of extra options, including Monochrome, Time-Lapse, Panorama and the very useful “Pro” mode.

Honor 10
Rear of the Honor 10

The standard “Photo” mode is pretty self-explanatory, with the option to take a picture either with the on-screen shutter release, or by using one of the physical volume buttons on the side of the phone. Along the top of the screen, there’s a few different icons to take note of. Most interesting, perhaps, is the “AI” icon, which you can use to switch the artificial intelligence on or off. With it on, you’ll notice that the previewed image changes depending on what you point the phone at. You’ll know if it’s recognised a subject by an icon displayed at the bottom of the screen, some examples I’ve seen include dogs, greenery and blue skies. It’s not necessarily always obvious what changes are being made, but for example you might see a boost in saturation when it’s pointed at big swathes of green grass. It’s great to be able to quickly switch it off, though, if you want to keep things a bit more neutral. If you are shooting with AI enabled, you won’t be able to use the flash.

Other icons include “Moving Picture”, which basically creates a short video when taking a video, and the flash icon, which gives you options between auto, off, on, or always on. A cog icon can be tapped to make further changes to settings including image resolution, GPS tag, adding a watermark and so on. This cog icon appears in other different modes, with different options contained within depending on which mode you select. For example, in Video mode, you can choose different video sizes. In Pro mode, you can tap the cog and switch on raw format shooting - which is quite an unusual feature to find in a sub £400 cameraphone.

Honor 10
Front of the Honor 10

Switching to Pro mode gives you the opportunity to alter a number of other different settings. You can adjust ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, AF type, white balance and metering. If you’ve made quite a few changes to a number of different settings, you can return them all quickly to the default setting by tapping an icon which looks a bit like a sun.

Back to the standard modes found in the main camera app screen. “Aperture” is the now increasingly familiar fake shallow depth-of-field effect that is pretty common among many smartphones. In this mode, you can choose an aperture you want to recreate, then tap around the screen to select your subject and take the shot. The good thing about this is that as it’s just a software effect, you can change the focus point, and the selected aperture, which is useful if you’re slightly off with the focus point, or if you’re just not happy with how the result has come out.

Honor 10
Front of the Honor 10

Portrait mode gives you options to apply various “lighting effects”, including “Butterfly lighting”, “Classic lighting”, and “Split Lighting”. You can also choose a “Beauty Level”, via a slider - you can choose between 0 and 10. Basically, the stronger you set this, the more smoothing, teeth whitening and so on will be applied to the portrait subject. If you want to go for the most natural look, leave it on 0, but a low number, up to around 3 or 4 is quite flattering. Any more than that, and the results start to look a little odd or disturbing.

The Honor 10 has a 24 megapixel front facing camera, which you can activate by tapping an icon from the main screen. When you do so, you’ll find there’s a set of different shooting modes here, too. There’s the standard Photo and Video mode, but also Portrait - which gives you the same Lighting and Beauty options as with the rear cameras - and Aperture, but if you tap that, the camera automatically switches back to the rear one - I’m not sure why it’s included as an option on the front-facing camera. In the settings menu for the selfie camera, you’ll find a number of options including Mirror reflection - where by the image will be flipped - and “Perfect Selfie”, which you can use to take a three dimensional photo of yourself, which is edited to result in what the phone thinks is a “perfect selfie”.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 24 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

In good light, the Honor 10 produces excellent images. JPEGs display pleasing colours, with a good level of saturation. The AI assistant does a good job of identifying the scene and adjusting settings accordingly - in fact it’s a little more tempered than what we’ve seen in the Huawei P20 and the P20 Pro, making shots seem a little more natural in appearance. The overall impression of detail in good light is also very good.

As light levels drop, image quality is not quite so good - and with the absence of the P20’s “Night Mode”, don’t expect low-light shots to be quite so good - but again, for a sub £400 phone, what you do get is pretty admirable.

Most of the time, the camera’s all-purpose metering system produces well-balanced exposures, without too much need for intervention. If you’re photographing a high-contrast scene, you may find it beneficial to change the autofocus point to a mid-point in the scene, as metering is drawn from the active AF point.

Aperture mode - the Honor 10’s fake shallow depth of field effect - produces decent results, providing you don’t inspect them too closely. As is often the case, it works best when the subject is well-defined and there isn’t too much of a complicated outline.




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Focal Range

Optical Zoom - 1x



Rear Camera - Flash Off


Rear Camera - Flash On


Selfie - Flash On


Rear Camera - Flash Off


Rear Camera - Flash On








Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Honor 10 camera, which were all taken using the 24 megapixel JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Honor 10 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some OnePlus RAW (DNG) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 17 second movie is 84.1Mb in size.

Product Images

Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro
Huawei P20 Pro


These days, there’s a good smartphone available for the majority of people, no matter what their budget. The Honor 10, with it’s £399 price tag falls squarely into the “mid-range” segment of the market, but gives you a lot of value considering it’s relatively cheap.

Images directly from the camera are lovely and vibrant, with a good amount of detail. Those from the Huawei P20 are a little better, but you may only notice that if you’re looking at images shot with both of them side by side.

Despite the fact that this is a relatively cheap model, it still feels well constructed, while the finish is also attractive - especially the “Phantom” editions which have a two-tone effect. The screen is also nice and bright, with plenty of detail on display. It’s also a good size, having a large enough screen to display your photos well, without being overwhelmingly large.

The camera app itself takes the lead from Huawei, and features a good range of shooting modes and features. Having both manual control via the Pro mode and the ability to switch on raw format shooting is great news for enthusiasts who want an extra degree of control - and something which is relatively rare at the cheaper end of the market. Meanwhile, for those who want to keep things a little simpler, the standard Auto mode, coupled with AI, is great for everyday shooting.

If you can afford to spend a little more money, the Huawei P20 is available for around £600, and will give you the added benefit of Leica-branded lenses, plus an excellent “Night” mode . In many other ways (including screen, battery life and operating system), the P20 and Honor 10 are remarkably similar - so if you’re not overly bothered about either of those features, then the Honor 10 is probably everything you need.

In this mid-range sector of the market, the main competition is the OnePlus 6 - but that will set you back (at least) an additional £70, making the Honor 10 a superb budget option.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Honor 10.

Apple iPhone 7

The Apple iPhone 7 is the newest version of the most popular smartphone in the world, offering photographers 12 megapixel resolution, an f/1.8 28mm lens with optical image stabilisation, and 4K video recording. Read our in-depth Apple iPhone 7 review, complete with full-size sample images, test shots, videos and more...

Apple iPhone X

The Apple iPhone X is the most anticipated smartphone of 2017, but can its photographic capabilities really satisfy the keen photographer? Read our in-depth Apple iPhone X review to find out...

Asus Zenfone 4

The Asus Zenfone 4 is a flagship smartphone with a mid-range price and a surprisingly long list of photographer-friendly features. Read our in-depth Asus Zenfone 4 review to find out if it's the right smartphone for the keen snapper...

Google Pixel 2

According to DXO, the Google Pixel 2 offers the best image quality of any smartphone currently on the market, but is it really the best option for photographers? Read our in-depth Google Pixel 2 review to find out...

Honor 7X

The Honor 7X is a mid-range smartphone that offers a lot of bang for your buck, including a 18:9 format 6-inch screen, a 16 megapixel rear camera with additional 2 megapixel depth sensing camera, and Full HD 1080p videos at 30fps. Read our in-depth Honor 7X review for photographers now...

Honor View 10

The Honor View 10 is a flagship smartphone that won't break the bank. Key features include a 18:9 format 6-inch screen, a 16 megapixel twin rear-facing cameras each with f/1.8 apertures, and 4K video at 30fps. Read our in-depth Honor View 10 review for photographers now...

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

The Mate 10 Pro is the latest flagship phone from the Chinese manufacturer Huawei, and as with a lot of new smartphones these days, it promises a lot for the keen photographer, not least Leica-branded f/1.6 lenses and dual colour / monochrome image sensors. Read our in-depth Huawei Mate 10 Pro review for photographers now...

Huawei P10 Lite

The Huawei P10 Lite is a new budget smartphone with a 12 megapixel sensor, fast-charging battery and a 5.2-inch Full HD display. Read our Huawei P10 Lite review now...

Huawei P10 Plus

The new Huawei P10 Plus smartphone has once again been co-developed with Leica, this time around focusing on delivering "stunning artistic portrait shots in the Leica image style". Is this the best smartphone for photographers? Find out by reading our in-depth Huawei P10 Plus review...

Huawei P20 Pro

The Huawei P20 Pro is one of the most exciting new smartphones of 2018 for photographers - find out why by reading our in-depth Huawei P20 Pro review with full-size sample images and videos...

Huawei P20

The Huawei P20 is the cheaper alternative to the flagship P20 Pro smartphone that wowed us a couple of weeks ago, but that doesn't mean that it's not worth a look. Check out our in-depth Huawei P20 Pro review with full-size sample images and videos...

Kodak Ektra

The new Kodak Ektra is billed as the perfect smartphone for keen photographers, from enthusiasts to experts, but does it offer enough to replace the smartphone that's currently in your pocket? Find out by reading our Kodak Ektra review...

OnePlus 6

The OnePlus 6 is the latest flagship smartphone on the block, but this one doesn't cost the earth, retailing for about half the price of the big players. Can it really take on Apple, Samsung and the rest though? Find out now by reading our in-depth OnePlus 6 review...

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung's biggest and most expensive smartphone, but is it also the best? Find out what it offers photographers in our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review...

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The Galaxy S9 Plus is Samsung's flagship smartphone for 2018, boasting a 6.2-inch screen, dual cameras with dual-aperture, 4K video at 60fps and super slow motion video at 960fps. Is this the ultimate smartphone for keen photographers? Find out by reading our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus review...

Samsung Galaxy S9

The Galaxy S9 is the smaller of two new flagship smartphones from Samsung for 2018, featuring the much heralded variable aperture lens and super slow-motion video recording at 960fps. Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S9 review with full-size sample images and videos now...

Sony Xperia XZ

The Sony Xperia XZ is a new photography-focused premium smartphone, featuring a 23-megapixel primary camera with a 1/2.3"-type Exmor RS imaging chip. Read our in-depth Sony Xperia XZ review now...

Sony Xperia XZ1

The Sony Xperia XZ1 is a new flagship smartphone that's a little more affordable than the other flagships out there. For photographers, it offers a 19 megapixel Exmor RS sensor, f/2 25mm Sony G branded lens, 4K video recording, and a manual shooting mode. Read our Sony Xperia XZ review now to find out more about Sony's latest handset...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Honor 10 from around the web.

techradar.com »

Honor’s last few top-end phones have impressed us, and the Honor 10 is no exception. There’s a lot to love here, especially considering the price compared with other flagships, and we particularly enjoyed the camera, the display and the overall design.
Read the full review »

androidcentral.com »

Last year's Honor 9 featured a reflective pattern at the back that was made up of 15 layers of glass, and the Honor 10 outmatches that with its Aurora Glass design. The phone comes with a "nano-scale optical coating" with the Phantom Blue and Phantom Green color options that consists of 15 layers of shimmering color, and the result is breathtaking.
Read the full review »

theguardian.com »

The Honor 10 is Huawei’s cut-price premium smartphone offering that hopes to go toe-to-toe with iPhones and Samsungs for about one-third less than the average price.
Read the full review »


Android 8.1+EMUI 8.1
Phantom (Glacier) Grey , Phantom Blue
5.84 inches
Kirin 970
3400 mAh (typical)
Rear: 24 MP +16 MP Front: 24 MP
WLAN , Bluetooth 4.2
Dimensions: 149.6 mm x 71.2 mm x 7.7 mm, Weight: 153g
SIM slot
Primary SIM card: 4G/3G/2G Secondary SIM card: 4G/3G/2G
Gravity Sensor / Ambient Light Sensor / Proximity Sensor / Gyroscope / Compass / Fingerprint sensor / infrared sensorr / Hall sensor
External Interface
Type-C, USB 2.0, 3.5 mm Headset Jack
5 V/4.5 A


Honor has just launched the Honor 10, its flagship smartphone for 2018, priced at £399.99.

Honor Press Release

Honor Launches the Honor 10, its Flagship Model for 2018, at £399.99, Unrivalled Smartphone AI Photography and Exquisite Aurora Glass Design

LONDONMay 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Honor launched the Honor 10, its flagship smartphone for 2018, today in London. The launch will bring to life the concept of "Beauty in AI", and reveal two major ground-breaking and industry leading smartphone technologies to consumers.

The first is the advanced AI 2.0 technology, applied chiefly to the smartphone's dual-lens camera. Second is the Honor 10 CMF1 design, a 3D glass back with a stunning nano-scale optical coating composed of 15 layers of shimmering color. The Honor 10 will be available at £399.99 for purchase at Hihonor from May 15 16:00 BST in select markets including UK, FranceGermanyItaly and Spain, with other markets to follow.

According to George Zhao, President of Honor, before 2016, most phones came in just three colours: black, white and gold. Honor introduced Phantom Blue in 2016, Phantom Grey in 2017, and now the exquisite Aurora, a true breakthrough in smartphone design.

"We believe the recipe of success is simple -  providing consumers with a really good product! That's what we work hard for everyday at honor," said George Zhao, President of Honor. "But we don't just stop at making a good product. We want to co-create a new lifestyle with young people worldwide. We listen to them, bounce ideas around with them, and cheer for them. They are our inspiration."

With the innovative devices and a precise targeting strategy, Honor continues to lead the industry in its home market as the No. 1 smartphone e-brand in China, while expanding rapidly overseas. The brand has achieved 100% growth in overseas markets since its inception. In the UK, the Honor View10 was given 5-star rating by Stuff, The Guardian, T3 and Recombu. The combination of award winning products and extensive partnership in both carrier and open markets has contributed to the growth rate of 200% in the country.  In Russia, it ranks top 3 for 11 consecutive months, head-to-head with Samsung and Apple. In India, it remains the fastest growing smartphone brand which puts the brand among the top 5.

Key Features of the Honor 10

AI 2.0 Camera

24MP + 16MP rear camera

The Honor 10 24MP+16MP dual-lens AI camera was developed and supported by the NPU processor in the Kirin 970 chipset, which means it recognizes 500+ scenarios in 22 categories in real-time. It can pinpoint the outlines of various surrounding objects, like the sky, plants, people or even a waterfall, and identify their locations instantly.

This feature is supported by the industry-first Semantic Image Segmentation technology, which allows the Honor 10 to identify multiple objects in one single image. It is here where the Honor 10 really stands out from the crowd. These industry-first Honor 10 features apply scene-specific parameters to each photo in real-time when taking a picture, making every photo you take a professional shot with just one click.

24MP front camera

Not only is the rear camera supported by AI 2.0 technology, the Honor 10's 24MP front camera is your intelligent selfie companion. It supports 3D face recognition, optimizes facial details and detects over a hundred facial points to pixel-level accuracy.

The Honor 10 front camera also supports studio lighting effects with a range of lighting conditions. The advanced and precise facial recognition ensures an accurate bokeh, and captures subtle features of everyone's face, even in a 'groufie' shot.

Avant-garde design

Aurora glass, radiance from every angle

The process taken to achieve the Honor 10's minimalist finish wasn't simple, it was a result of the world-class industrial techniques and sophisticated engineering processes, which required the utmost precision and delicacy.  The Honor 10 glass design is made with 15 layers of 3D glass on the back, and this design reveals a colorful radiance from every angle, in natural light and shade.

Chic and stylish colors designed by The Paris Aesthetics Center

Immersed in art history and the digital world, the Honor 10 brings a stunning combination of colors to consumers - the Phantom Blue and Phantom Green.2 These two iconic and ground-breaking colors were created at The Paris Aesthetics Center, where the creativity and enthusiasm of Honor engineers and designers came to life.

Trendy characters all-in-one: Honor FullView and Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor Under the Glass

The Honor 10 embodies the industry-first front-placing ultrasonic fingerprint sensor under the glass, and a 5.84-inch FullView FHD+ screen with a 19:9 bezel-less display and 86% screen-to-body ratio.

Upgraded and Intimate Experience

The Honor 10 is powered by an independently built-in NPU processor. The 4GB RAM and 64GB/128GB ROM storage gives sufficient space to stock all your exciting moments recorded in galleries, apps and files. The Honor 10 also comes with Honor Super Charge3 5V/4.5A with the 3,400 mAh (typical value) battery, it can recharge 50% of power within 25 minutes.

The Honor 10 is based on the latest EMUI 8.1, which represents an overall upgrade in software function and capability, and particularly features the Easy Talk function, it reduces background noise in a windy environment when you're talking handsfree on the road, it also increases the volume of whispering for quiet conversations.

About Honor

Honor is a leading smartphone e-brand under the Huawei Group. In line with its slogan, "For the Brave", the brand was created to meet the needs of digital natives through internet-optimized products that offer superior user experiences, inspire action, foster creativity and empower the young to achieve their dreams. In doing this, Honor has set itself apart by showcasing its own bravery to do things differently and to take the steps needed to usher in the latest technologies and innovations for its customers.

For more information, please visit Honor online at www.hihonor.com or follow us on: 

Preview Images

Ahead of our full review, here are some sample images taken with the new Honor 10 smartphone.

A gallery of sample images taken with the Honor 10 smartphone.

Honor 10 Sample Images

Sample RAW Images

The Honor 10 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some OnePlus RAW (DNG) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 17 second movie is 84.1Mb in size.

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