Honor 70 and Honor Pad 8 promise high specs for modest money

Honor has announced two new mobile devices, the Honor 70 smartphone and Honor Pad 8 tablet, both of which will be available at the beginning of September in the UK Let’s take a look at these two new devices, which promise great features and performance for modest money.

honor 70

This mid-range Honor 70 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor and comes with 8GB of RAM, along with 128GB or 256GB of storage. The screen is a 6.67-inch OLED with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ certification, and a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) of 1920Hz, which Honor says makes the screen more comfortable to view due to reduced flicker. A 4800mAh battery provides power and is recharged using the included 66W charger.

Honor 70 from behind.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Honor talks about the camera on the back of the Honor 70. It has a “Dual Ring” design, like Huawei P50 Pro and OnePlus Nord 2T, which is the first camera to use the 54MP Sony IMX800 camera. It is joined by a 50MP wide-angle camera and a 2MP macro camera. Using Honor’s photo engine, the phone has a video feature called Solo Cut. This AI is used to focus on a single person when shooting video, placing it in a small picture-in-picture window in completed shots.

It does not use facial recognition, but instead focuses on human movement to capture the subject, and is smart enough to refocus if the person leaves the frame and re-enters it. Both the main image and the Solo Cut window are recorded in 1080p at 30 frames per second (fps). It’s an unusual feature and likely only useful in very specific situations. Other camera features include Night Portrait mode with bokeh effect and a 32MP selfie camera in the display.

The Honor 70 does not share a family resemblance to the Magic4 Pro. It has an attractive design but is fairly standard. The frosted glass back panel looks excellent and cool to the touch, but the dual camera modules stand out a lot from the otherwise smooth body, spoiling its look a bit. It has an old problem of being uncomfortable to hold due to the heavily pointed sides.

MagicUI worked well on Magic4 Pro and they look very similar here. Helping with this is the 120 Hz screen, which scrolls quite smoothly. We haven’t tested the camera yet, but we’ll have more to say about it in our next full review in the near future.

The Honor 70 comes in three different colors – Midnight Black, Crystal Silver, and Emerald Green – and will be released on September 2, with pre-orders starting August 26. The base 8GB/128GB model costs £480 ($570) and the 8GB/256GB version costs £530 ($625).

honor plate 8

Honor hasn’t launched a tablet internationally before, so this is a first for the brand. But instead of using a higher-spec model to rival the iPad Pro, it offered the modest 8 panel at a reasonable price. Only 270 pounds ($320) buys you the Pad 8. So, you get a huge 12.1-inch 2K screen, surrounded by a 7.2mm-thick bezel for an 87% screen-to-body ratio. It’s made of aluminum, weighs 520 grams, and is very thin at 6.9mm.

Honor Pad 8 screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Power is provided by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor, there is a large 7250 mAh battery, along with eight speakers around the body that deliver stereo sound with DTS: X Ultra Hi-Res audio support. Like the Honor 70, the Pad 8 uses Honor Magic UI 6.1 built on Android 12, with multitasking for four apps.

The screen ratio is wide, which means the black bars above and below TV shows and movies aren’t intrusive, as you can see from our example of playing a trailer with a 21:9 aspect ratio (below). Despite the relatively normal processor, the tablet appears to be responsive. The slenderness of the chassis makes it comfortable to hold, but the spaciousness means it can feel quite unbalanced due to the weight when held in one hand.

It’s a shame the refresh rate isn’t higher than 60Hz, but the screen is otherwise bright and colorful. A full review is coming soon, but first impressions are good. The software is fast and attractive, has full access to Google Play and all the streaming and reading apps you want, and it doesn’t cost a fortune either.

Android tablets have always been second only to the iPad, even the cheapest. But recent changes to the software help improve the experience. If the Honor Pad 8 continues to perform well, it could end up changing all that, at least for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money.

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