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HONOR 8S Unboxing and First Impressions

OPPO
Huawei
HONOR has a new phone in town, the HONOR 8S. It's a budget phone with a modern-looking design and an expected budget-friendly price tag.
HONOR 8S Unboxing and First Impressions
HONOR's newest budget phone in town

Basically, HONOR crafted this device to those who need a sleek looking device with good specs and cameras for less.

In particular, it highlights a 5.71-inch display with a tiny dewdrop notch, 12nm chipset for better power efficiency, 13MP camera with f/1.8 wide-aperture lens, and 4G LTE connectivity.

Now, let's see if it is the one for you.

Unboxing/Accessories

Unboxed!
Unboxed!

HONOR 8S comes with a familiar HONOR box with the print of the phone design and model name in front. Inside, you'll find that it goes with 5V/1A USB wall charger instead of a faster 5V/2A charger.

You will also see that there's a USB-A to micro USB cable for data transfer or charging and SIM ejector tool.

In front of the phone itself, there's a pre-installed plastic screen to protect your screen from scratches.

Sadly, it doesn't come with earbuds with a mic included in the package. No case was found inside as well.

Build Quality/Design

Dual SIM, microSD slot
Dual SIM, microSD slot

The materials used in the HONOR 8S is similar to the Huawei Y5 2019. It uses a mostly plastic yet durable-looking unibody frame with good curves on the sides and back.

Respectable build, sweet-looking design

The back has a two-tone design. The smaller darker shade on the left has a smoother finish while the larger shade at right comes with slanted line texture for better grip. Plastic could be prone to fingerprint 

On the lighter shade, you'll see the slightly protruded main camera on top with an LED flash underneath.
Small notch
Small notch

In front, it uses a flat glass-like 5.71-inch display with no mention of glass protection. Fortunately, HONOR included a pre-installed screen protector on top.

The highlight of its screen is the tall 19:9 screen aspect ratio with a small dewdrop notch. HONOR claimed that it has 84.6 percent screen-to-body ratio which is a bit impressive for a budget phone. Chin bezel is still large enough to house the HONOR logo, but overall I cannot complain at this price point.

The small dewdrop notch has the 5MP selfie shooter. On top of the notch, it has the earspeaker and LED notification at the right of the top bezel.

However, unlike the Y5 2019, it doesn't have the hidden selfie toning flash at the right side of the top bezel.

The measurements of this device are similar to Y5 2019 at 147.13 x 70.78 x 8.45 mm.
Top view

At the top, there's a mic and a 3.5mm headphone slot. Below, there's another mic, micro USB port, and down-firing speaker.
Left
Left
Right
Right

At left, you'll see a hole for the triple slot tray (dual nano, dedicated microSD). At right, there's the volume keys and power button.

Overall build and design are above-average for the price.  It is not heavy at 146 grams as well.

Initial findings

1. HONOR 8S has a big display on a small body. The 5.71-inch 19:9 panel of this handset with 1520 x 720 resolution also looks quite good. It has decent colors and good enough sharpness. Sunlight legibility needs improvement, but it is respectable for a budget device.

By the way, its screen hasTÜV Rheinland eye comfort certification to lessen the emission of blue light.

2. Inside, it is powered by the 12nm 64-bit MediaTek Helio A22 quad-core processor and PowerVR GE8300 graphics. However, 8S is only aided by 2GB RAM. Do not expect it to perform as smoothly as phones with 3GB RAM or higher. The good thing, it loads with 32GB internal storage.

MediaTek's Helio A22 is capable and power-efficient budget chip

The 3,020mAh battery is a bit of a concern. But, based on our experience with other phones with similar specs, it won't be a problem at all. It should last for an entire day of use on a single charge.

Helio A22 also has 4G LTE. It even has the Band 28 700MHz frequency for better indoor signal reception.

3. It runs with Android 9.0 Pie OS with EMUI 9.0 skin, another advantage of this device. Why? There are few phones with Android Pie OS out of the box. It is not perfect, but this skin is more than decent for a budget phone. At least it is feature-rich and it goes with an option to activate or deactivate the app drawer.

No need to worry as well as Trump already lifted the ban on Huawei/HONOR devices. Most of the apps will work on this device.
The cam UI
The cam UI

4. It is one of the few with a wide and bright f/1.8 lens on a budget. Its main 13MP shooter is respectable so far. It even has PDAF for speedy and more accurate focus. The selfie cam at 5MP f/2.2 is just okay, not great.

5. It doesn't have a fingerprint scanner, but it goes with a face unlock tech that comes with a lift to wake function. Its face unlock solution works in the dark as well.
Sadly, there's no gyroscope. WiFi and the rest of the connectivities works.

HONOR 8S Specs

Display: 5.71-inch IPS screen w/ HD+ 1520 x 720 resolution at 295 ppi
CPU: 2.0GHz 64-bit Helio A22 quad-core processor
GPU: PowerVR GE8300
RAM: 2GB
ROM: 32GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 512GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 13MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5MP f/2.2 w/ AI face beauty
Battery: 3,020mAh
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ EMUI 9.0
Connectivity: WiFi, 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, proximity, sound
Others: Face unlock, loudspeaker, dual mic, Colors: black, blue, gold
Dimensions: 147.13 x 70.78 x 8.45 mm
Weight: 146 g
Price: PHP 5,490

As of the moment

So far, HONOR 8S has the design, specs, and cameras that could change the way we look at budget phones. I like that it is a budget phone with a tiny notch and it even has a pretty powerful 13MP f/1.8 camera with PDAF focus that could help you take better images.

Possibly, the only downside could be its use of smaller battery capacity and the lack of gyroscope. 

BUT, HONOR 8S could still be a hit if the price is right. 

HONOR is set to make the 8S available at Shopee Philippines on July 13.

Stay tuned for our full review!
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