The Honor 8 Pro’s expected arrival should worry OnePlus
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The battlelines have well and truly been drawn. After all the excitement around the OnePlus 5 and how it is now all grown up in terms of the price, specifications and personality, it may just be time to deal with some competition. And that could come from the Honor 8 Pro smartphone, which is expected to be launched in India in early July. The pricing details are not yet confirmed, but it is expected that this will go toe to toe with the OnePlus 5 (Rs32,999 onwards). In fact, if the Honor 8 Pro can undercut the OnePlus 5 in terms of price, it may be very well be placed to take over the mantle of the genuine Android flagship smartphone alternative.
For starters, the Honor 8 Pro has a rather chunky design, which not only looks contemporary, but feels quite solid when you’re holding up the phone. That is something the OnePlus 5 had missed out on, in the mission to reduce weight and become slimmer than OnePlus 3T. Yes, slim and light phones are nice, but there must be a bit of heft when you hold it—that reassures you about the solidity of the build quality. The Honor 8 Pro does that very well, with a very reassuring form factor.
OnePlus’s smartphones have always packed in the latest specifications. This time around, the 5 comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and the options of 6GB and 8GB RAM. The Honor 8 Pro will match this with Huawei’s own HiSilicon Kirin 960 processor, with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. This will also have a memory card slot, which the OnePlus 5 doesn’t. In terms of performance, the Kirin chips are up there direct competition with Qualcomm chips over the years, and we see no reason why this will not offer top-notch Android and apps usage experience. Huawei will need to ensure that the interface they wrap around Android is well optimised.
There has been a debate ever since OnePlus 3 was launched last year in June whether the smartphone needs a resolution higher than Full HD (1,920x1,080 pixels). Even with the 5, OnePlus has retained the 5.5-inch display size with the same resolution as the 3T. The Honor 8 Pro would want to upstage that, with a slightly bigger canvas. What you will get is a 5.7-inch IPS screen, packing in the 2,560x1,440 resolution.
The Honor 8 Pro also has a bigger battery—4000mAh, compared to the 3,300mAh battery in the OnePlus 5. However, the comparative battery performance depends a lot on factors such as how apps behave, the software and customization optimizations as well as the processor efficiency—while a bigger battery pack will have an advantage for sure, we will only be able to give a verdict when we check the performance during standard testing.
Also Read: OnePlus 5’s closest Android rivals
OnePlus touted the dual cameras of the 5, claiming excellent performance. From what we experienced, the 5’s cameras can alternate between some extremely good photographs and some equally inaccurate ones. A lot of that must do with further software optimizations that were essential, and because the 5 does not have optical image stabilization. The Honor 8 Pro will also have 12-megapixel dual cameras, and because previous Huawei phones have also used dual camera setups, they have the software and algorithms well in place.
As we prepare to witness this impending battle between the OnePlus 5 and the Honor 8 Pro, we feel that pricing will remain critical for the latter to succeed. This time around, the OnePlus 5 does not have the advantage of disruptive pricing as its predecessors, and that magnifies its faults more than ever before. If the Honor 8 Pro is priced below Rs30,000 for this sort of specs and performance, we may indeed have a winner on our hands.