Honor 10 review: An impressive mid-ranger - Software and Performance

Score

Sections

Honor 10 – Software

Honor phones use the same EMUI skin as parent company Huawei. In the past EMUI has been a key contributor stopping Honor and Huawei phones from achieving top marks on Trusted Reviews for a variety of reasons.

The first is the sheer number of pointless UI changes and duplicate applications it adds to Android. Key offenses here include removing the app tray and rejigging where certain options sit in the settings menu to the point even seasoned Android users can’t find them straight away.

Being fair to both, the skin has gotten a lot better in recent years and makes it easy for you to do simple things such as re-add the app tray. The settings menu has also been cleared up so it’s now fairly easy to find most options. But the fact is that EMUI is still nowhere near as clean or pleasant to use as vanilla Android.

The UI’s full of duplicate apps for things like music, calendar and email. The company’s also ditched the OS Material Design, replacing the app icons with fairly childish looking equivalents. Since Android Nougat the OS design has been pretty nice and I really wish companies would stop feeling the need to make needless changes like this.

Related: Best Android phones

Honor 10 – Performance

EMUI also had a terrible track record for impacting phones’ performance. Early Huawei phones running it were terribly buggy and suffered from serious performance degradation over time, in part because of the Android Skin.

Huawei and Honor have done excellent work addressing these issues over the years, but the Honor 10 does still seem to have a few issues. In general the phone is smooth to use, wonderfully reactive and plays even the most demanding of 3D video games, like PUBG, with zero effort.

But it can on occasion still feel a little buggy. At least once a day I notice a very, very minor chug swapping between menu screens or have an application inexplicably crash. The events aren’t anywhere near frequent enough to be deal breakers, but considering the Honor 10’s powerhouse Huawei Kirin 970, octa-core and more than adequate 4GB RAM, they shouldn’t be happening at all after a week’s use. The CPU is the same one seen in Huawei’s premier P20 and P20 Pro phones.

The Honor 10’s synthetic benchmark scores back up my findings, showing the device is, outside of its minor bugs, a powerhouse performer. You can see how it compares to the P20 and Galaxy S9 in the table below.

Single-Core Multi-Core AnTuTu 
Galaxy S9 3690 8757 251,205
Pixel 2 1917 6312 184,336
Huawei P20 Pro 1921 6837 TBC
Honor 10 1889 6514 204543