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  • Fitri Aiyub

HONOR 70 Review : Boring But Convenient (Best Mid-range?)

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

As we get closer to the end of the year, the likelihood of more and more flagships or 1-inch sensor phones fighting for the limelight is inevitable. But what if none of that actually matters and a decent-well-equipped phone is all that's necessary for the near future?

After many iterations of Honor phones of late looking awfully similar to one another, this does feel refreshing. A very lightweight and thin design weighing only 178g, it feels very comfortable in the hands. Although this Emerald Green colour-way might not be the best of colours we've seen on a phone, it's still a nice gradient that compliments its thin frame but may leave more smudges than intended. So do slap on a cover if that's the "case" Other colour-way choices such as Icelandic Frost might be your go-to if you're all about aesthetics and something we personally would've preferred to see up close, coming with a diamond-like pattern and could be worth taking a second glance. Complementing the front side is this stunning super-curved 6.67" OLED 120Hz HDR10+ display, which pretty much takes up most of the entire front of the phone. Measuring a 90.8% screen-to-body ratio, watching movies or videos on it is truly a viewing pleasure.

In a time where " Content is King '', you won't have any faults here when it comes to consuming your favourite shows, as viewing angles are vivid, vibrant, and not to mention bright if you've got this on full brightness reaching up to 900nits. But where it lacks is sound, as the mono speaker placement easily blocks speaker grills when playing games or in horizontal position. It lacks depth and bass for music but is still relatively loud despite it being a mono speaker. Alternatively, bluetooth headphones should enhance the sound experience a little further and reap the benefits of HONOR Histen sound effects — which has multiple settings for 3D audio, Natural, and Standard profiles. The HONOR 70 comes with 8GB of RAM, Snapdragon 778G + chipset Adreno 642L. Our Geekbench scores show 806 for Single-Core and 2910 for Multi-Core. Not the highest we've seen but sits comfortably with some of the older flagships.

3D Mark Wild Life test however, records an overall score of 2652 and manages an average frame rate of just 15.92, which does tend to feel like it's lacking in graphics. Temperatures also got a little warm after just 2 rounds of Call Of Duty while also making some characters in-game seem to be a little less detailed than usual. Racing games such as Asphalt 9 or Real Racing 3 don't exactly show any signs of frames dropping but still operates on relatively higher temps than we're used to.

Either way, normal usage won't drastically affect power consumption and should warrant longevity but if you're wary, may be best to just close apps that might be running in the background. But taking a new step forward is its cameras, with an all-new IMX800 image sensor and a 54MP Main camera, accompanied by another 50MP Ultra-wide and a 2MP Depth Sensor. Image computations with Honor's Image Engine, surely doing most of the work in getting photos to look just right as soon as you take a picture. In some cases, it does take awhile before clever AI wizardry takes over and cleans up most of the noise or corrects exposures. But most of the time, computational results show best in low-light situations and still manages to stay consistent throughout both focal lengths of the Ultra-wide and Wide angles.

But if we were to nitpick on quality alone, colours do tend to shift to the warmer side under artificial lighting and on the cooler side in daylight. Then again, it's a very minute flaw and still deserves a solid A in delivering great photos. Video outputs handle very well in low light — topping at 4K at 30fps and an f/1.9 aperture in the 54MP main camera, keeping shadows intact but it inevitably gets noisy like most cameras would when it gets too dark. Daylight situations capture very high dynamic range and performs equally as good under artificial lighting. Although, we ran into some light flickering every now and then for not being able to sync frequencies at 30fps.

But the shorter end of the stick ultimately presents itself when you really look for it, and for us is not-so-great stabilisation. While gyro-EIS is still present here, some warping might be visible but it's more than capable in most walking or handheld shots.

Another interesting feature found in the camera UI is Multi-video – which lets you record yourself using the front facing 32MP camera and Main camera for that vlogging setup, OR both the ultra-wide and wide angles simultaneously. Quite a neat 'extra' that hasn't been seen yet in other phones and could be quite useful for those looking into getting variable angles without having to change focal lengths. Battery life with its 4800mAh capacity got us about a day and a half of casual use. Some intense gaming would ultimately burn through that quite significantly, then you're probably looking at less than a day's worth but at least it still comes with a 66W fast charger included in the box, and will get you from 0 to 100% under 45 minutes.The HONOR 70 comes with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, Android 12, Honor's Magic UI 6.1and is priced at RM1,999 or S$619. So let's get things straight.. good cameras, good battery life, super fast charging, a beautiful display, practical performance levels — and minusing some points off for temperature fluctuations when gaming. While it's near impossible to label anything "Best Of".. well anything, this Honor 70 surely leaves an impression for knowing how to sit on the fence without straying too far to one side. Not too cheap, nor too expensive. Not too powerful and not too underpowered either. Not too big and not too small. You get the point, right? Landing the needle right at zero degrees may not exactly be exciting news for anyone but might be something someone out there needs or is looking for. Purely stability and no distractions. You might even yawn hearing all the practicality this phone provides, while letting those sleepy tears roll free. But for its price and form factor, maybe a good sense of "structure" every now then isn't such a bad idea? It truly depends, did you catch yourself napping? If you did, then this Honor 70 might not be for you. But if you're wide awake up to the end of this review, well.. Thank you! and perhaps give this phone a chance?


Written by Fitri Aiyub

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