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Budget phones are often a bit of a gamble. Sure, you’re spending less money, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want the best smartphone you can? When it comes to the Huawei Honor 10, you get quite a lot for less than $400: this phone has a premium glass design, dual camera setup, speedy CPU, lovely display, and fabulous battery life. Even though the Huawei Honor 10 isn’t our top pick for the best dual sim phone or the best Chinese smartphone, it’s a steal of a deal for users that want a phone that looks and feels premium without the premium price.
The Huawei Honor 10 encompasses a lot of the greatness we’ve come to expect from Huawei’s sibling company. This phone often performs as well as its pricier siblings from Huawei, making it look and feel far more expensive than it really is.
As is to be expected with Huawei and Honor phones, the Huawei Honor 10 runs quickly and smoothly thanks to the Kirin 970 processor. Reviewers unanimously praise this phone’s performance, though some do complain about Huawei’s oft-maligned EMUI operating system. Here, the OS has the same quirks users have come to expect from EMUI like crashing apps and missed notifications, but many users find the problems to be minor enough to live with the flawed system. Unfortunately, the camera system on this handset is not quite as good as that on higher-end phones like the Google Pixel 5. The dual camera setup on the back has two lenses that capture photos simultaneously before combining them together into one final product. Several reviewers found photos taken with the rear camera to be typically either over or underexposed, and low light photo results are especially poor. The 24MP front camera performs a tad better, especially in portrait mode, but it’s still not the selfie camera on the Samsung Galaxy A50.
It should come as no shock to anyone familiar with Huawei and Honor phones that the battery life on the Huawei Honor 10 is absolutely fantastic. Even with moderate to heavy use–checking social media, taking photos, and streaming content over wi fi– this phone can more than carry a charge into the second day. Because it’s a lower-cost phone, the Honor 10 doesn’t support wireless charging, but it does have fast charging that easily takes the phone from 0 to 100 in less than 2 hours. You can check out the Ulefone Armor if you would love a phone with a better battery life since it has a 5500mAh battery.
This may not be the AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy S10, but the Honor 10’s display is rather stunning at this price point. The phone sports a bright, vibrant, and crisp IPS LCD screen with Full HD+ resolution. For most people, unless you’re holding this phone up side-by-side with the competition, it’s unlikely you’ll see much of a difference. The display is also home to the fingerprint sensor, which is couched underneath the glass to provide a smooth and seamless surface. Unfortunately, the fingerprint sensor can be a bit finicky at times, but this phone can also be unlocked via facial recognition.
The Huawei Honor 10 looks like many other modern smartphones: it has an aluminum frame–available in Phantom Blue, Phantom Green, Midnight Black, Glacier Grey, and Lily White– sandwiched between two pieces of glass. Both pieces of this glass design are made of Corning Gorilla Glass, so both should stand up to scratches fairly easily. This phone doesn’t fare as well in drop and bend tests, both of which result in heavy damage. The Huawei Honor 10 is also not IP certified, so, while it will survive the rain and some light splashing well enough, dunking it in water is a bad idea.
It’s no surprise that the Huawei Honor 10 is yet another excellent value from the Chinese brand. Despite its modest price, the Honor 10 is fast and reliable. Its camera isn’t mindblowing, but it isn’t offensively bad either, while the battery manages to outperform much of the competition. Concerning storage, this phone’s storage cannot be extended with either microSD or Huawei’s own sim card sized nano memory, but its 128GB internal memory is more than likely enough for most users. Especially because this phone isn’t IP certified, and because of its glass design, it’s a smart idea to also invest in a protective case. And, as with every Huawei phone, it’s a great buy if you’re, say, in the United Kingdom, but less so if you’re in the US. Due to government pressure, not all US carriers will support Huawei phones, and getting one here can involve extra taxes and fees.
The Huawei Honor 10 is an excellent phone. Though not the best by any means, the fact that this phone works and feels as premium as it does for less than $400 is pretty fantastic. While the camera isn’t the best available, and the lack of expandable memory and IP certification might be a dealbreaker for some, overall this phone performs fabulously. It’s fast and reliable, with a beautiful display and stellar battery life. If you can get your hands on one, the Huawei Honor 10 is one great deal.