Paying heed to the global buzz around Artificial Intelligence (AI), Chinese smartphone major Huawei has brought to India a mid-premium flagship device, Honor View 10, that includes a Neural-Network Processing Unit (NPU) tasked with handling AI functions.
Housing the latest homegrown "Kirin 970" chipset that is powered by an eight-core CPU and a new generation 12-core GPU, the device can perform AI computing tasks faster, using far less power.
At Rs 29,999, the smartphone is a successor to Honor 8 Pro and essentially competes with the likes of OnePlus 5T and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.
The company markets it as "your first AI phone". Does the smartphone live up to the hype? Here is what we think of it.
The phone sports a metal body with a matte finish and the review unit was Honor's trademark navy blue colour that looked stunning.
The rear had concealed antenna bands running at the top and bottom, with a slight gleam.
Unlike other edge-to-edge display smartphones, the fingerprint sensor is placed under the screen, leaving the back of the device untouched aside from a pair of protruding camera sensors and the Honor branding.
In fact, the smartphone looks quite like the Honor 7X, albeit for a bigger frame and no fingerprint scanner at the back.
The front had thin bezels to accommodate a 5.99-inch, "Full View FHD+" display with a resolution of 1080p x 2160p. The IPS LCD display was bright and vivid and we did not have trouble in viewing text and images under direct sunlight.
However, we missed the punch that AMOLED displays offer. Users who wish to add a little "pop" to the display can switch to "Vivid" mode.
It is good to see the device run the latest Android 8.0 Oreo Operating System (OS) topped with Honor's custom EMUI 8.0 out of the box.
The primary camera with 20MP + 16MP lenses and f/1.8 aperture uses NPU to understand and recognise subjects such as human faces, food and changes the settings accordingly to click the perfect picture in any condition.
Images shot in daylight conditions were sharp but slightly over-saturated while macro shots turned out to be impressive.
The camera is especially good at locking focus. The 13MP front shooter captured neat selfies with good colour reproduction.
We were impressed by the smooth performance of the phone, courtesy 6GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage.
Honor View 10 is powered by a 3,750mAh battery with "Super Charge" technology. We found it lasted over day with normal usage, including surfing videos on YouTube and using WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.
What does not work?
It is disappointing to see the face unlock feature work only for showing notifications on the lock screen.
The primary shooter has a significant and uncomfortable protrusion that is a put-off. Honor has protected the lenses with metal surrounds but that also make them rough to touch.
We also found lack of extra detail in photographs taken in HDR mode.
At times, the primary camera was aggressive in dealing with low-lighting conditions and noise reduction that resulted in loss of detail.
The placement of the fingerprint sensor is rather awkward as the device has a big form factor.
Conclusion: Banking on AI capabilities, decent battery and a good camera, the View 10 is a dependable contender with some great hardware in the mid-premium flagship segment.
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