Huawei Honor 8 Review: A Stylish, Affordable Android Smartphone

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Honor 8 Software Setup And Camera

We've already seen what Huawei's Emoticon UI (EMUI) looks like on top of Android 6 Marshmallow when we evaluated the company's Mate 8 handset. What we said then still applies today—there are some bits that feel borrowed from iOS both in look and feel. That makes for an easy transition for anyone coming from an iPhone, but for folks wanting a more traditional Android experience, they might not like what they see here.

Huawei Honor 8 Home Screen Huawei Honor 8 Apps

Huawei Honor 8 Shortcuts Huawei Honor 8 Themes

One thing not found is an app drawer. Every installed app takes residence on the home screen. The good news here is that the phone isn't bogged down by a bunch of bloat, which is one of the benefits of not having the Honor 8 tied to a specific wireless carrier. And while there's no app drawer, swiping down from the top brings up the notification bar and shortcuts to various settings, such as brightness controls, Wi-Fi, and so forth.

Huawei provides an assortment of themes and wallpapers to play with. Users can also add widgets, apply different transition effects, and toggle a few fine grain controls, such as whether to let the home screen loop and if shaking the device should realign the home screen icons.

Some will like Huawei's skin, some won't. Objectively, however, navigating is made smooth and effortless by the Kirin 950 SoC—we didn't experience any lag or hiccups while bouncing around menus and settings.

Huawei Honor 8 And Sample Camera Shots

The Honor 8 uses a dual-lens system consisting of a pair of 12-megapixel sensors on the back. Huawei gives users a lot of control over their photography, especially when enabling the Pro mode, which unlocks all kinds of fine grain settings. Even when not in Pro mode, there's a wide aperture setting to blur the background and bring more focus to the subject, and owners can configure the camera to take a picture when someone says "cheese" or when it detects a certain level of volume (so subjects can yell whatever they like), among other tricks.

Huawei Honor 8 Camera Software

Huawei Honor 8 Bikes Huawei Honor 8 Mountains

Huawei Honor 8 Tree Huawei Honor 8 Rock

Huawei Honor 8 Lady Morgan Huawei Honor 8 Motorcycle

The Honor 8 has an HDR mode so we used it for our sample shots above. It adds a bit of richness to the colors. Overall the Honor 8's camera is very good, though like just about every smartphone on the market, adequate lighting is key to a great shot—don't expect great photos in dimly lit environments.

Taking solid shots is also largely dependent upon the skill level of the person taking them. Of course, it helps to have access to a wealth of settings and capable filters, and the Honor 8 provides those things. If shooting photos is one of the primary things you do with a smartphone, the Honor 8 won't leave you wanting for a better phone.

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