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Review: Honor View 10

Hardware Software Wrap-Up Comments  

Mar 27, 2018, 6:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Honor's flagship device, the View 10, takes many of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro's best features and puts them in a more affordable metal chassis. This phone includes a top-of-the-line processor, dual cameras, advanced software, and a slim profile. This unlocked Android handset is appealing for many reasons. Find out what we like and what we don't about the Honor View 10 in Phone Scoop's in-depth review.

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Is It Your Type?

The Honor View 10 is a scaled back version of Huawei's flagship Mate 10 Pro, or an upgraded version of the Honor 7X (take your pick). (Honor is a brand of Huawei.) If you are looking for an affordable premium smartphone that has modern flourishes and an attractive design, the View 10 is a fine place to start.

Body

The View 10 takes the specs from the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and puts them in the body of the Honor 7X. The phone isn't as immediately impressive as the glass-backed Mate 10 Pro, but I'd say it's a bit more appealing than the Honor 7X. Accordingly, it is priced about exactly in-between, and may be the best option for many buyers.

Face

Face

The View 10 has the tall, narrow shape common to phones with 2:1 displays. It's smooth all around. A curved aluminum frame wraps around the edges and an aluminum panel forms the rear surface. The rear piece has slightly curved edges where it fits into the frame, similar to the 2.5D curved glass that covers the front. Reflective, color-matched chamfers are polished into the frame and give the phone some sparkle. The View 10 comes in a really nice blue color, or black. Both options have a matte finish that I rather like.

The View 10 is a sizeable device thanks to the 6-inch screen. It stands 6.18 inches tall and sits about 2.95 inches wide. I appreciate that Honor kept the width in check. The thickness is impressive at just 6.9mm. I had no trouble holding or using the View 10 for hours at a time. It may be tall, but the slim profile and reasonable weight (6.07 ounces) make it a comfortable companion. It drops into pockets with ease.

Honor did a fine job assembling the phone. The glass and metal components are more than fitting for this price point. The metal frame that circles the phone feels strong, and the aluminum rear panel is more robust than glass. All these major chassis pieces are put together tightly, with even seams all around. The phone isn't waterproof, nor is it rugged, but I have total confidence that it's well made.

View 10  

The display comes close to filling the entire face of the phone. The earpiece, user-facing camera, and sensor are visible above the screen, while the fingerprint reader is below the screen. The reader is an oval-shaped, capacitive button that doubles as a home button. It's recessed just a bit, which makes it easier to find by feel. I dislike that it's right up against the bottom edge of the phone; this makes it awkward to reach while holding the phone. (I prefer a rear-mounted fingerprint reader.)

Fingerprint Reader

Fingerprint Reader

You'll find the volume and screen lock buttons on the phone's right edge. Both buttons are easy to find by feel. The volume toggle is flat and smooth; travel and feedback is just okay. The screen lock button is a bit closer to the View 10's midline. It has a fine texture to it, to help differentiate it from the volume toggle. Travel and feedback are decent.

Honor tucked the card tray in the left edge of the phone. It accepts both the SIM and a memory card.

The View 10 includes a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom. The phone uses USB-C for charging (unlike the 7X, which uses microUSB) and you'll find the port next to the headphone jack. Five small circular holes on the bottom allow sound from the speakerphone to push out. An IR blaster is located on the top edge so you can control your home theater gear with the included app.

Ports

Ports

The rear panel is entirely flat. It's a big piece of totally smooth aluminum. Just like the Honor 7X, the View 10's dual camera array is pushed into the upper-left corner. The lens modules stick out quick a bit, and look like frog eyes bugging out at you. In fact, the cameras stick out enough that theyleave the phone a bit wobbly when placed on a hard flat surface. The two-tone LED flash is off the right of the camera array. The Honor logo is painted on the metal and is just barely visible.

Rear

Rear

The aluminum panel is fitted into the frame tightly and cannot be removed. Neither can the battery.

The Honor View 10 is a slim, attractive smartphone that is put together well. It's not the most unique phone in the market, but it looks good, feels good, is good.

Cameras

Cameras

Screen

The View 10 has a 5.99-inch LCD display that uses the 2:1 aspect ratio with 2,160 by 1,080 pixels. This is now a common size and resolution at this price point. I'm pleased with the screen. At 403ppi, pixel density is fine. The resolution is more than adequate for surfing the web, browsing social media, and checking out the latest videos from Netflix.

The screen is bright enough for use most anywhere you might take it. I had no trouble using it outdoors under sunny skies. Colors are generally accurate. Viewing angles are good.

Honor makes sure you have lots of control over the display. The View 10 allows you to manually adjust color temperature, blue light, text/icon size, resolution, color modes (normal, vivid), and more. I like that phone makers are providing these options lately.

The View 10's screen competes well with other devices in this class.

Display  

Signal

Honor sells the View 10 to U.S. consumers unlocked. Like many unlocked phones, it has basic support for U.S. LTE bands. It includes the core bands used by AT&T and T-Mobile (2, 4, 5, and 12). It lacks bands 29 and 30 for AT&T, and bands 66 and 71 for T-Mobile. This means you may not get the absolute quickest speeds available, nor best service when the network is crowded. I tested the View 10 on AT&T's network around NYC and found it did okay.

The phone managed to latch onto LTE 4G most of the time. I did notice it drop to 3G ("H" in AT&T parlance) several times. The phone needed one or two attempts to connect calls, and dropped some when in a moving car. Data speeds were usable. The View 10 was decent at loading Instagram stories, streaming Google Play Music, and my favorite Netflix shows. I did see more buffering than I care for, and experienced some hiccups during playback. For an unlocked device, the View 10 gets the job done, and yet I feel it could be a bit better.

Sound

The View 10 is a surprisingly good voice phone.

Calls blast out of the earpiece at alarming levels. You'll find you can keep the volume at about 60% most of the time, even in semi-noisy spaces. If you crank the View 10 up all the way, you'll quickly learn that everyone around you can hear your full conversations. The earpiece doesn't distort at all, even at full blast. People I spoke to via the View 10 said I sounded very good.

The speakerphone is similarly impressive. Sound blares from the bottom-firing speaker at eye-popping volumes. You can easily hear calls in cars, crowded offices, and other spaces that might overwhelm other phones. As with the earpiece, the speakerphone maintains clear sound even when set up all the way. This is good news.

Accordingly, the ringers and alerts frighteningly loud. The vibrate alert is quite good.

Battery

The View 10 has a 3,750mAh battery. The View 10 carries over the advanced power management features from the Mate 10 Pro.

The View 10 effortlessly pushed from breakfast to bedtime with plenty of power to spare each night. It can handle lots of social media time, app downloads, streaming music, email, and more, all without sapping too much energy.

The phone supports charging at up to 4.5A. With the included charger, 30 minutes boosts the battery by 50%, meaning a quick top-off easily gets you hours and hours of uptime.

The View 10 doesn't include wireless charging.

Battery  

Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, WiFi

The View 10 has a standard configuration of secondary radios. The Bluetooth 4.2 radio managed to connect to a range of headphones, headsets, speakers, and other devices. Phone calls sounded very good through traditional mono headsets and music was good when pushed to a Bluetooth speaker. The phone was a little finicky about pairing with my car, though once I got them on the same page, calls sounded excellent.

I didn't run into any trouble with the GPS radio. It handled real-time navigation like a pro. Accuracy was as good as 20 feet.

The NFC radio worked like a charm for pairing some Bluetooth accessories and supports mobile payment services such as Google Pay.

The dual-band WiFi radio did a great job.

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