Honor 8 Pro - Performance and software

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Honor 8 Pro – Performance

Impressively, the Honor 8 Pro has the same Kirin 960 chipset as the Huawei P10 Plus and Huawei Mate 9, which means it’s no slouch. This is a chipset that will be able to go toe-to-toe with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, which is soon to be available in the Samsung Galaxy S8. It’s paired with a generous 6GB of RAM – which is probably more RAM than anyone will ever need, however.

There’s no sign of any slowdown or stutter when navigating around Android 7.0. Apps open without hesitation and animations are as slick and smooth as you’d want. Paired with that quick fingerprint scanner and you’re at the homescreen within milliseconds.

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With the Honor 8 Pro’s internal specifications, Honor has a phone that can proudly stand among the heavy-hitters. Even in our synthetic benchmarks, the Honor 8 Pro proved to be a top performer, with 6121 score in the multi-core Geekbench 4 test. That eclipses the Pixel XL (4152) and the iPhone 7 Plus (5793), but is a fraction shy of the Huawei P10 Plus (6237). Needless to say, the Kirin 960 processor is very capable.

The Honor 8 Pro comes with 64GB of storage but there’s also a microSD slot, which can be used to add a further 128GB.

Honor 8 Pro – Software

Like the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, the Honor 8 Pro runs Huawei’s Android skin Emotion UI. In this instance, it’s EMUI 5.1, which is based upon Android 7.0. This is by far the best version of Emotion UI seen so far, and by that I mean it’s the least intrusive.

Where previously Emotion UI was guilty of changing many aspects of Android purely for the sake of change, a far lighter touch has been applied here. You’re interrupted by annoying memory management notifications far less frequently and aspects, such as the notification panel, have been largely left alone.

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You even now have the option out of the box to switch between an iPhone-esque homescreen where all the apps are displayed, or actually having an app drawer akin to most Android phones. Huawei has made some customisations, but many of these are under the hood.

Huawei has promised performance improvements thanks to memory optimisation and machine learning, which should mean EMUI 5.1 is less prone to slowing down over time as it learns your behaviour.

It’s also commendable that the number of pre-installed apps has been greatly reduced. When I reviewed the Honor 8, it came with the likes of Booking.com and Trip Advisor installed – but happily, these are now absent.