HONOR 70 5G
Recently Honor 70 made its international debut, and we were pretty lucky to quickly get our hands on the global model. Since we reviewed the Magic 4 Pro, a pretty decent premium model, we were looking forward to the Honor 70, marketed as an upper mid-range device. So we reviewed the phone in the first instance.
Design & Impression
The phone we have is the Mirrored-black color model, which best emphasizes the premium feel of this phone. And to be honest, the black model doesn’t look like one of those mid-range models with compromised built quality. It inherits some of the classic design features of the high-end Honor series, such as the curved screen, the more palm-fitting frame design, and the very integrated feel from the front to the back.
Another pleasant surprise is that it is lightweight. It doesn’t have a large camera module like the Magic 4 Pro, which in turn allows the phone to keep its weight down to 181g. However, this doesn’t mean that we didn’t have fun with its cameras. On the contrary, its camera performance still could be the reason you buy this phone.
The dual-circle design of the camera setup is reserved on the new Honor 70. What’s slightly different from its predecessor is that the circles are not joined on an elevated island. But it doesn’t change the fact the camera module has a significant bump. I didn’t particularly like the design, but it did stick with me right away.
And the glossy glass cover easily collects fingerprints. But the good news is that it can hide these fingerprints from your view at certain angles. So, it won’t be as annoying as the other glossy models.
Unlike the curved bezels on both sides, the top and bottom are flat. There’s only a microphone on the top. And the bottom sim-card slot is available to load dual sim cards with a 5G network. There’s only one speaker at the bottom and no headphone jack available. And we couldn’t find an official description of its waterproofness, so maybe it’s better to keep it away from water. For a promised IP rating, you can check out the Magic 4 Pro, which supports IP68 waterproof rating.
120Hz Oled display
The front face is covered with a 6.67-inch 120Hz edge-curved OLED display. The FHD+ display looks great with wonderful colors and has a smooth visual experience with fast response. We can hardly even tell the difference between it and some premium models through the naked eye, but it’s still not a screen supplied by Samsung. It’s quite surprising that other suppliers have caught up with the Samsung display, no matter its panel colors or functions.
From the app DRM Info, we learned that the phone is compatible with Widevine L1 level, so there’s no problem watching HDR content on platforms like Netflix. In addition, the display also supports 1920Hz high-frequency PWM dimming, which is probably the best eye-protection solution available for OLED screens.
Performance & Gaming
The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 788G+ chipset. The chipset has pretty good power efficiency and good heating control due to TSMC’s 6nm processing, though its peak performance doesn’t compare to the Snapdragon 870 chip. From the benchmark results, we can see that Honor’s tuning of the chip is not bad, and there’s roughly a 10-22% performance gap between them.
The main difference comes from their graphic computing, but according to the gaming results we got here, the gap is not that significant. Whether in PUBG Mobile or Genshin impact, the Honor 70 could release the full potential of the chip.
For PUBG Mobile, the gaming experience is almost the same as what we had on most flagship models, while For accessing the smoothest gaming experience in heavy games like GenShin Impact, We would not suggest playing under the highest graphics.
But a surprise is that the Honor 70 has the best heat control among all the phones we tested. Even when running the Extreme test in 3Dmark, it maintains excellent performance stability with no throttling.
Software & GMS
As for software, Honor’s global model has all the Google services ready for global users. And they’re over 40 system languages supported on the phone. Plus the 120Hz display performs very close to Huawei phones in terms of system stability and smoothness. There’s no notification-missing issue that we had on Vivo models. And it also has good management of multiple apps running in the background, and I barely experienced the issues of apps being forcibly shut down.
So it performs very close to Huawei software in terms of system stability and smoothness. And coupled with the free Google services and apps, I think the global version of Honor’s Magic UI is almost the best Android-based software I have ever experienced.
The Honor 70 is equipped with 3 rear cameras and a 32MP selfie camera. The triple setup includes a 54MP main camera, a 50MP wide-angle lens, and another depth sensor.
The main camera is driven by the debut IMX800 sensor, which has a fairly large size featuring 54MP resolution even when compared with those special camera phones.
Combined with the Honor Image Engine, the great camera hardware offers decent light capture and is able to reproduce rich details with good purity, especially for the shadow part. But sometimes when shooting high-contrast scenarios, the dark areas of the images might be too bright to give a proper contrast, but the good news is that it always has good exposure for the overall image without losing details.
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50MP wide-angle lens
The wide-angle lens is not as aggressive as the main camera’s overexposure, and it also reserved pretty decent detail with its 50MP sensor.
However, like the other wide-angle lenses, it sometimes also suffers from fringing issues.
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Although the phone doesn’t equip a zoom lens for a long shot, the 2x digital-zoom images also look good with decent colors and detail.
For night shooting, the large sensor gives great power to the main camera. Even in extreme low light conditions, it could reproduce rich dark details and significantly improve the overall brightness. Although the wide-angle lens is less stable than the main lens, there are still great optimizations that the image engine brought to the wide-angle samples. But due to the lack of OIS, if using the night mode, there’s still a risk of getting blurred images caused by hand-shaking.
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Solo Cut Mode
And there’s a creative feature for video shooting, which is called the Solo Cut. It enables real-time focus-tracking for selected portraits and creates dual clips at the same time: one is about the whole picture you shoot, and the other one is the solo clip that is generated by the figure-tracking mode.
As we mentioned, there’s a single loudspeaker available on the Honor 70, but it doesn’t sound as bad as I thought.
Battery & charging
The lightweight phone amazingly features a 4800mAh large battery with 66W fast charging, which took us 45mins to finish the charging test. And supported by the large battery, it’s pretty easy for the phone to last for the whole-day use.
It’s good to see the midrange model inherited some of the great features of the flagship Magic 4 Pro. The complete software experience and the premium design would easily make it stand out in its price segment. What’s even more surprising is that it dares to use a flagship-level camera sensor here and another 50MP wide-angle camera. That said, it’s definitely not perfect as it has quite obvious drawbacks, such as the single speaker used here and the less powerful chipset.