The Honor 8 has a very promising and flagship-worthy 5.2" IPS LTPS display. Arguably, 1080p is a bit outdated, but the 423ppi is more than enough for achieving an excellent mark in pixel density. The LTPS screen promises deep black and high color gamut.
The 2.5D screen glass trend continues, but we'd have really appreciated an adequate glass protection to keep the scratches away from the display. Once again, there is no protective glass mentioned anywhere in the Honor's promo materials and official specs. And we we can confirm it accumulates scratches rather easy.
The display is almost as bright as the P9's 500nits unit - the Honor 8 screen has a maximum brightness of 460 nits and a minimum of just 1.6nits - great for reading. Thanks to the deeper blacks the contrast is now excellent at 1243:1, even better than the P9.
You should know though the auto brightness option is somewhat broken as it often dims the screen way too much and it's barely visible. Huawei needs to fix the auto brightness calculations with an update as soon as possible. This came to be an issue on the both Honor 8 units we had, so unless it's a defective batch of ambient light sensors, it should be a software issue.
Regarding color reproduction accuracy, the Honor 8 screen is an average performer as was the P9's. It came out less than stellar with an average deviation (DeltaE) of 7.5 - a bit higher than what we would ideally like. We've seen worse even in flagship devices, so this one sits somewhere in the middle. For a screen to be considered properly calibrated it needs to have a maximum DeltaE of 4.
Using the built-in Color temperature modes, we managed to get a better color reproduction by going with the Warm one (Avg. DeltaE 5.8), but that came at the expense of slightly lower maximum brightness (450nits). The Warm option fixed the bluish white color, which was the one to drag the Maximum DeltaE up to 14.1.
|Display test||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
The Honor 8 did very good in our sunlight legibility test. A score of 3.346 is a very good achievement for a non-AMOLED panel.
The Honor 8 is powered by a sealed 3,000 mAh battery. It supports rapid charging with a 9V/2A charger, which fills about 40% of the capacity in 30 minutes. The phone ships with a proper 9V/2A plug for this type of fast charging, which is nice.
We ran our battery test and the Honor 8 scored a 70h rating, which means you can count on the battery to last few hours short of 3 days if you do an hour each of calling, browsing the web and video playback a day.
If you want to use the phone with two SIM cards, it will cost you five additional hours.
The Honor 8 posted very balanced scores on all tests. Standby battery life was gauged in the Performance mode, which does not put any limits on the hardware. The Standard mode will add a couple of hours to the rating, while the Ultra Power Saving will keep your phone alive for quite some time.
There is also the so-called ROG power-saving, which lowers the resolution down to 720p and will give you more battery life when playing games.
The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.
The Honor 8 is properly equipped in terms of connectivity. The radio support includes up to four 2G bands, five 3G bands, and five 4G bands. The P9 covered a lot more bands than Honor 8, which is a concern for those planing to import it from another market. If you get a unit destined for your country all the important 4G bands are covered.
Our variant (FRD-L09) comes with a hybrid nano-SIM/microSD slot. Its second card can only tap into 2G networks while the first gets the full cellular connectivity.
The Honor 8 supports dual-band 2.4/5.0GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, with Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot capabilities. Bluetooth is v4.2, where interference issues with LTE networks should be fixed. There's NFC on board, no matter the Honor 8 model.
The satellite receiver supports GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou, so there isn't a corner in the world where the smartphone won't be able to pinpoint your location.
There is no FM radio though.
A 3.5mm jack provides standard connectivity for wired headphones. There is the new USB Type-C connector for charging and wired connectivity. Mind you, it defaults to charge-only every single time you connect it to a PC, and you have to manually switch the mode from the notification shade if you want to do something else.
Finally, there is an IR blaster on top, so you can use the Honor 8 as a universal remote via the Smart Remote app.