The Honor Pad 8 is reasonably affordable, but it offers plenty of positives for that price. The screen is good, the performance is smooth, and the cameras aren’t bad either.
- Large screen
- Good cameras for a tablet
- Large battery
- Good performance
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
- No IP rating
- LCD rather than OLED display
- 12-inch displayThis tablet has a large display that supports over a billion colours, and has a 2000x1200p resolution
- Large batteryA 7250mAh battery supports this device, along with 22.5W wired charging
- 5-megapixel camerasThere’s a 5-megapixel camera on both the front and rear of this tablet
Launched at IFA 2022, the Pad 8 is Honor’s latest tablet and I have been testing it ahead of the official release.
This affordable 12-incher packs a rich screen that supports over 1 billion colours, and a beefy battery that clocks in at 7250mAh – but how did it hold up when we tried playing games, watching videos, and running a variety of apps?
Design and Screen
- Practical matte rear panel
- No 3.5mm headphone jack, no IP rating
- Four loudspeakers
- Good colour depth, but a middling resolution
The general aesthetics of this tablet are fairly pleasing. For one thing, the finish on its rear panel is certainly a good choice; it stayed remarkably free of smears and smudges in my time using it. It also felt fairly robust in the hand too, with little flex apparent when I applied pressure to both ends.
However, there were a couple of niggles that hold it back from my wholehearted approval.
For one, it does lack an IP rating for one thing and it doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack. While we’ve become accustomed to this omission in smartphones over the past few years, begrudgingly or not, it’s much more of a loss on a tablet in my view. Having to switch your Bluetooth headphones between your phone and another device is a bit of a pain, and while the jack might save space on a phone it is less clear that this trade is worth it in the case of a tablet.
On the other hand, in a more positive spin on its audio, there are four speakers on the tablet so that when you’re playing music or sound out loud, there is more encompassing feedback.
The screen itself is fairly good, measuring at 12-inches and supporting over 1 billion colours, thereby giving impressive depth. Honor describes it as an Eye-Care screen, meaning that it has Low Blue Light and Flicker Free certification from TUV Rheinland, and these qualities are likely to be helpful especially if you’re using your tablet to read e-books.
The resolution is 2000x1200p (resulting in a 195ppi density), but I found this to be a little underwhelming. You can clearly see jagged edges and pixelation on some elements in the display when flicking around the operating system, which does detract from enjoyment and immersion. What’s more, you won’t get the perfect contrast offered by OLED since this is an LCD panel, so the blacks simply can’t be as profound.
Nonetheless, it works pretty well as a companion for video since the aspect ratio (10:6) is clearly well-suited for widescreen content. Watching nature videos on YouTube was perfectly pleasant, and whilst the colours aren’t as punchy nor the resolution as crisp as it is on many smartphones, it acquits itself well against other tablets at this price point.
- Decent performance standards
- No noticeable hitches in the software
- No Micro SD card slot
Generally speaking, most casual users are unlikely to need their tablet to be an absolute powerhouse in the performance department. As long as it runs most apps smoothly, that suffices, as most intensive mobile games are often better suited to the smartphone form factor anyway.
In my experience, the Pad 8 held up well with most standard apps, and gave a generally smooth experience thanks to its Snapdragon 680 chipset. This experience actually stands in good contrast to one of its peers, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 which irritated me quite a bit with its occasional stuttering.
In benchmark tests (where the Geekbench 5 scores assess the CPU and the 3DMark results reflect the GPU performance) here’s how it did by comparison to its peers:
Honor Pad 8 Benchmark Comparison Scores
Additionally, the Honor Pad 8 offers dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.1 and comes in two memory configurations; either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, while the storage remains unchanged on both at 128GB. Unfortunately, there’s no Micro SD card slot for expandable storage, so you might be out of luck if you were hoping to transfer a lot of photo or video files to your tablet that way.
The software is Honor’s own Magic UI 6.1 overlaid on Android 12. Honor is now fully separate from Huawei, so it has the full complement of Google Mobile Services that were previously missing from its devices following US legislation.
There are a few apps that come pre-installed whether you like them or not, including the likes of Facebook and Booking.com, but there aren’t so many as to get in your way. What I did feel was that there was a general scaling problem, with elements from certain apps just seeming a bit too enlarged for the display; this is just an aesthetic complaint rather than anything more serious though.
A much-welcome software feature is multi-window viewing, including a split-screen mode that is really useful for multi-tasking between two different apps as the same time in a way that’s a little closer to the desktop experience with a screen as big as this one.
- Large 7250mAh battery capacity
- 22.5W charging
The Honor Pad runs on a generously-sized battery, which has a capacity of 7250mAh, and fortunately you can rely on it to see you through a long session of playback. If you’re planning on stowing this away for a long train or plane trip, it should easily see you through without dying half way, and so it’s a reliable device to take with you.
In my experience, making use of some day-to-day functions, the tablet lost 8% of battery when using that big screen to play videos on YouTube, whilst it only lost 2% of the battery when streaming songs online from Spotify.
The Honor Pad 8 has 22.5W charging when you need to top up that big battery again, and while that might sound like a decent rating for a modest tablet, it does still mean that charging is going to take a while to complete.
I plugged in the Pad 8 for a half hour charging session, and it had topped up by 15% afterwards, so you can imagine that a full charge is still most likely going to be something you’ll have to leave overnight to be ready the next morning; if you forget, a quick boost in the morning will probably not get you very far.
- Decent camera on both the front and rear
- Good enough for video calls
Camera is not usually the priority for tablets, so we can be more forgiving about flaws here rather than on smartphones; however, this tablet actually does a pretty good job with this in mind, and will certainly function well for its intended purposes.
Sure, they might not make the family album, but considering you’re likely just to use the tablet for rare photos it’s a perfectly decent pair of snappers.
Both images taken with the rear camera (as above) and the selfie camera (as below) are good enough for their purpose, and even though they’re not strong by the standards of smartphones, these results are actually not that bad for modestly-priced tablets such as this one. Yes, the pictures are not as crisp or bright as you might hope for ideally, but they are at least fairly clear.
Video from the front-facing camera is also more than sufficient for taking video calls, so this device could be a good working companion if you might be expected on a Zoom or Skype meeting while you’re on the move and would prefer not to haul your laptop along.
Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a modest tablet that’s good across the board for the price, this is a good buy.
If the lack of a headphone jack will be a major annoyance, then look elsewhere
The Honor Pad 8 is a good tablet in all the key areas, and you’re likely to get hours and hours of entertainment if you choose to buy it.
The screen, while not perfectly sharp nor offering OLED levels of contrast, is still large and colourful, with an ideal aspect ratio for watching widescreen content. As for audio, it’s got a good set of speakers when playing aloud but the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack is a significant miss.
Performance standards are good for a tablet of this price, and I didn’t experience the kind of stuttering or lag that does afflict some similarly-priced tablets, while the battery was long-lasting and relatively fast-charging too.
This is a great all-round tablet for the price, and would be a good buy as long as you’ve got a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
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Used for a full week
Benchmarked with standard industry tools
Camera tested in a variety of situations
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