Yesterday, the world was shown Honor 10. Technically, it was introduced on April 19, but only at the Chinese market, which was native to the brand. On May 15, its global launch took place in London. The device can be divided into several key features that Honor marketers: the iridescent colors of the back cover, “monobrow” (which already without it in 2018), an ultrasonic scanner of prints under the screen, an unblocking face and a dual camera with AI algorithms. All this we tried to test in the allotted period of using the phone.
Honor 10 belongs to the line of flagship smartphones of this brand. His brothers – the series View, X and Lite – are cheaper and, naturally, inferior to the main line in terms of performance. Finally the flagship Honor will come to Belarus officially. Responsible for this brand, people saw that Honor 9 sold well in the Russian market, and decided not to lose sight of the Belarusian market, which in the mid-budget segment actively podmyayet for themselves Xiaomi.
Of course, much in the success of Honor 10 will depend on the price in our market. In a private conversation representatives of the brand said that it will be officially sold for the equivalent of “up to $ 600” in Belarusian rubles.
Design and ergonomics
Naturally, the first thing Honor 10 pays attention to is its gradient body coloring. We were tested for the same apparatus with a shimmering from blue to purple. Such volatile colors have already been tested on older models of the Huawei P20 line. It looks all quite attractive. At least, it’s unusual.
Of course, the back cover of the phone made of aluminosilicate glass is covered with fingerprints. But on the color model, they are not so strong and noticeable: a couple of times he rubbed his jeans – and the spots disappeared. Unless around the protruding camera lenses dust is constantly collected, but you notice it only if you look closely at the case.
The smartphone was rather thin and light. At the same time in his hands he feels firmly assembled. Perhaps, this feeling is facilitated by the metallic and slightly matt frame of the case.
On the front of the smartphone draws attention to itself “monobrov” almost like you know which company. But in the case of Honor 10, this is a fairly narrow protrusion with a sensor, a 24-megapixel self-camera, a speaker and a warning light. Unlike the iPhone X, information on both sides of the “monobrovi” is placed more. If someone like me does not like this black ledge, then in Honor 10 it can be easily hidden in the settings, darkening the notification area.
At the top of the smartphone is an infrared port for controlling home electronics and a microphone for noise reduction. At the bottom there is a connector for charging and synchronizing USB Type-C, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a speaker grille along with a microphone. By the way, this grate is not entirely successful. When watching a video in a horizontal position, the index finger continually strives to close it. The auditory speaker does not play, there is no stereo sound in Honor 10. As well as a slot for memory cards.
The smartphone screen with a diagonal of 5.84 inches, but it is much more compact, for example, Mate 9 with a diagonal of 5.9 inches. In figures this is 149.6 × 71.2 × 7.7 mm compared to 156.9 × 78.9 × 7.9 mm. In general, to wear Honor 10 in a pocket of trousers where it is more convenient.
IPS-display, of course, deep black can not boast. However, thanks already for the lack of inverted colors: information from the smartphone can be read at any angle. Problems can occur under direct sunlight with a screen-stained screen.
The settings provide for changing the color temperature of the screen and the ability to lower its resolution from 1080p to 720p. Honestly, I did not notice much difference in looking at the fonts in search of differences.
Fingerprint scanner and face unblocking
On the front panel of the familiar “Home” button there is no. Instead, a region under which the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is located beneath the glass is marked below the screen under the dotted border. This area is located quite low, and touching it is not very convenient. But this is rather a purely personal feeling after the usual scanners on the back panel.
Nevertheless, under the glass there is an ultrasonic scanner, which means that even with the recognition of grooves on the wet finger, the smartphone will not have problems. It would seem. But the degree of humidity can be different, and at home with a wet finger a beautiful promo could not be repeated. More precisely, the sensor began to work when the finger was almost dry after several unsuccessful attempts.
Fortunately, when you can not reach for the scanner, the facial recognition function helps out. It works well enough, I would like to, of course, quickly, but now on the unlocking of the screen the face takes about the same number of milliseconds, and how to bring a finger to the scanner of prints.
Face recognition is turned on not only by the lock button, but also trite when you pick up your phone and start looking at it. However, from the first time such an unlocking does not always work. Especially if you, like me, wear glasses and a cap. Sometimes unlocking can take a long time, and the smartphone will ask you to put your finger on the scanner. Alternatively, you can move your smartphone at a slightly different angle or raise your eyebrows. In my case, it works, and the phone will recognize me. Thus, you can unlock the smartphone in total darkness.
Specifications and Performance
The smartphone has the latest chip Kirin 970. The eight-core platform has four cores Cortex A53 with a frequency of 1.8 GHz and four cores Cortex A73 with a frequency of 2.4 GHz. The crystal is produced by a 10-nanometer process technology and is equipped with the Neural Processing Unit, which supports and speeds up work with neural networks and machine learning. But we’ll discuss this in more detail in the block about the camera, because all the forces of artificial intelligence are directed there yet. The graphics are answered by the Mali-G72 MP12.
Surprisingly, in the AnTuTu Benchmark test the new product scored less points than the Huawei P20 with a similar chip. Perhaps this should be attributed to the lack of optimization of the device, which is only selected for the global market.
In the stress test AnTuTu Benchmark smartphone after three minutes, significantly heated in the area just below and to the left of the camera, as well as on the side edge of the functional buttons. To be honest, in games (especially casual games) such heating was not achieved, the smartphone did not deliver discomfort, although it was warm.
The smartphone is equipped with a battery for 3400 mAh. And it is enough for a light day. Of course, with a heavy load, playing videos from YouTube and “heavy” games in the evening, you risk going home with a “reddened” battery. The device supports fast charging: for 25 minutes filling the battery from 0 to 50%. Very nice feature that can help out more than once.
The smartphone is running on Android version 8.1 with the proprietary EMUI 8.1 shell.
Neural networks in the chamber
Seriously, Honor marketers call the camera of the device nothing less than an innovation and a “milestone in mobile photography.” They also refer to a breakthrough with neural networks in a separate independent module of the Neural Processing Unit of the Kirin 970 chip. This module allows real-time recognition of objects and more than 500 scenarios in 22 shooting modes in isolation from the Internet and “clouds”. A similar neonetet-pumped chip already figured in the smartphone Huawei P20.
In principle, research and development in the field of neural networks are seen as one of the main directions for improving smartphones. Especially in a world where the number of processor cores, the clock speed and the amount of RAM mean less.
As for our experimental, he received a double (24 Mp black & white + 16 Mp with aperture f / 1.8 in both) camera module, pumped by “semantic image segmentation” (SIS, Semantic Image Segmentation – those same neural networks). According to the representatives of Honor, this makes it possible to make for a simple layman a quality survey available in one click, adjusting its parameters for different scenarios and applying improvements to them.
For example, when the AI function was turned on, this photo was recognized as a landscape, the horizon line appeared on the screen, everything became more colorful: the tile “warmed up”, the sky acquired a more intense blue tint.
The smartphone takes off well at dusk. At least the amount of noise is minimal. True, the lack of optical stabilization affects the clarity of the pictures, if you do not calm the tremor of the hands.
Naturally, no one canceled the possibility of more fine-tuning for real professionals in mobile photography. With this function, you can severely restrict the appetite of the camera to ISO, reduce the time of the shutter and achieve the ideal realism of the picture for your personal taste.
On the front panel is a camera at 24 megapixels without autofocus with aperture f / 2.0, which seems to hint, which is now important for the young owner of Honor 10. For him, the effects of background blur are important. This is what the neural networks that recognize the face are doing, dividing the frame into several layers depending on the distance and the patterns laid down in the base, and then mercilessly “zamylivayut”.
In general, the attraction of AI to photography looks like an interesting idea. The most pleasant thing is that the embedded software should be modified in time and you can hope for improvements in the future.
In the meantime, we publish a couple more photos without callous improvisers.