When unboxing the recently launched Honor 70, something immediately caught my attention. The phone looked remarkably like the Huawei nova 10. Even the way the phones are packed is identical. The dimensions are a little different, but by mere millimetres. Both phones come with a screen guard and protective cover. The boxes contain similar-looking chargers, the only difference being the Huawei logo and the Honor logo. Besides the external similarities, a quick comparison on GSMArena.com showed that the phones use similar components and offer similar performance.
The big difference: the Honor connects to the Google Play Store, which is barred to Huawei due to the 2019 ban by the United States government on some organisations in the US from doing business with Huawei. The Chinese company then spun off its Honor division into an independent business, at this stage unaffected by the ban, but the move partly explaining the similarity in technology.
The Honor 70 comes with a pre-installed screen guard, a protective cover, a USB-C charger and cable. Setting it up is much the same as any other Android phone, but there are a few extra security features. One enters a six digit code to unlock the phone. Then register fingerprints and, finally, let the phone scan one’s face for facial recognition. Previously, when I used phones needing facial recognition and fingerprints, I found they soon forgot what my face looked like or failed to pick up my fingerprints. Not with the Honor. It worked first time, every time.
If data and apps have been backed up to Google, reinstalling them on the Honor is a quick task. Enter the Google username and password and all previously installed apps are downloaded to the phone.
The large OLED 6,67” display makes rearranging and grouping shortcuts easy, and it works seamlessly with the three rear and one front camera.
The phone supports NFC (near-field communication), so one can transfer information from an older device to the Honor without using any data. NFC also allows the phone to be charged wirelessly. It uses Honor’s Magic UI 6.0 platform, based on the Android 12 operating system. Under the hood is 256GB storage with 10GB of RAM, which is all powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus CPU. The result is that most apps run flawlessly with no lag or buffering. This also holds true when numerous apps are running simultaneously.
Other features include:
– A 4 800 mAh battery. Using fast charging, the battery will reach 60% in just 15 minutes.
– Dual SIM capabilities.
– A max screen resolution of 2 400X1 080.
– A selfie camera offering a resolution of 50MP and three rear cameras with resolutions of 54MP, 50MP and 8MP with a dual LED flash.
On the cameras, the Honor has a few tricks up it sleeve. Besides standard filters, low-light mode and the ability to sharpen images, the phone allows one to use the front and rear cameras at the same time for videos and pictures – a feature increasinly offered in handsets targeting the youth market.
The only issue I had was with the volume rocker and power button. Both are on the right-hand side of the phone and are so close that I couldn’t always differentiate between them. This meant that I sometimes turned off the phone when I just wanted to lower the volume.
The Honor 70 is an elegant and very capable smartphone that won’t shy away from hard work. It has a decent battery life and great cameras. The fact that it comes with a charger and charging cable, unlike some of its competitors, is the cherry on the top.
Expect to pay: R15,800
Stockists: Takealot.com and most reputable cellular retail outlets.