The Honor 70 isn’t just great to look at. The phone is packed with features that make it an excellent option, expecially considering the price point. If you’re a vlogger or you love taking excllent pics on your smartphone, then the Honor 70 should be a serious contender for your cash.
- Brand: Honor
- Storage: 128/256 GB
- Battery: 4800 mAh
- Ports: USB Type-C
- Operating System: Magic 6.1 UI (Android 12)
- Camera (Rear, Front): 53 MP rear, 32 MP selfie
- Dimensions: 6.35 x 2.88 x 0.31
- Colors: Emerald Green
- Display type: OLED, dual cuved, 6.67-inch
- Weight: 6.27 ounces
- Charging: 66W supercharge
- Micro SD card support: No
- Excellent battery
- Fantastic camera system
- Perfect for video bloggers
- OLED screen is gorgeous
- Great for productivity
- Central button positioning inconvenient for gimbal use
It seems that Honor is very much on a roll with its hardware, and the brand’s latest mid-range handset—the Honor 70—is no exception to that rule. As mid range handsets go, it certainly exceeds expectations… or it exceeded mine, at least.
The Honor 70 received its European launch at IFA 2022, and you can buy it now for an incredibly reasonable price of €599. If you are in the market for a new smartphone and you’re on a budget, then the Honor 70 should be a serious contender for your consideration, perhaps even nudging the Pixel 6a and the Nothing Phone (1) out of the way. It will also be of interest if you’re in the vlogging game, or looking to enter it.
Wanna know what we know? OK then… let’s dive in.
Unpacking the Honor 70
Right, I’m fairly sure most of you will have unboxed at least one smartphone in your lifetime, but for the avoidance of doubt, the box contains:
- Honor 70 smartphone
- USB Type-C Honor Supercharger and cable
- Plastic protective case
- Sim tray key
- Device literature
There is no protective screen film in the box, but this is because Honor has gone to the trouble of applying one for you already, saving you from creating a bubbly mess all over your new screen.
Anyway, with all you need unpacked, you can now take a closer look at the Honor 70 itself.
A Beautiful Phone
OK, so the Honor 70 is a mid-range phone, but that doesn’t mean Honor has skimped in the aesthetics department. It might lack the luxurious glass back-panels we often associate with flagship handsets, but it still looks premium.
Here, we’re reviewing the Emerald Green version. The rear panel has a brushed metal finish to it, which has an almost iridescent quality when you move it around in the light, shades of blue appearing among the green. You can also get the handset in Midnight Black, Icelandic Frost, and Crystal Silver.
Taking our usual walk around the Honor 70’s exterior, we have the usual setup for an Honor smartphone. The bottom edge features the sim tray, pinhole mic, Type-C port, and the external speaker grille. The right edge carries the volume rocker at the top, and the power button is just below that.
The front face of the phone, aside from the attractive dual-curved screen, features a central hole-punch selfie camera located at the top, and if we flip the handset over, we can see that Honor has abandoned the Eye of Muse present on its Magic4 Pro, in favor of a more subtle Dual Ring camera array. There is a noticeable camera bump, but the plastic case you get with the phone protects this.
In terms of how it feels in your hands, the Honor 70 is light and easy to hold thanks to its 6.27 ounce weight, and measures 6.35 x 2.88 x 0.31 inches. This makes the phone easy to operate with one hand without overstretching your thumb and risking dropping your new device.
OK so now we know what the phone looks like, but it is what’s on the inside that counts, right?
Honor 70 Specs
The Honor 70 ships with Honor’s Magic UI OS, which is basically a skin Honor applies to Android 12 to add some extra features in keeping with their ecosystem.
The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 778G Plus 5G processor, so it isn’t the newest chip on the market, but this is nonetheless a perfectly ample SoC for driving both productivity and gaming requirements, particularly for a mid-ranger. No complaints here.
The GPU is an Adreno 642L, and the CPU comprises one Cortex-A78 clocked at 2.5 GHz, three Cortex-A78 clocked at 2.4GHz, and four Cortex-A55 clocked at 1.8GHz.
In terms of memory, you’re looking at two versions of the Honor 70; both versions have 8GB RAM, while you can choose between 128GB (€549) and 256GB (€599) storage. We’re testing the latter, here.
The display is a 6.67-inch OLED with curved edges. It can display 1.07 billion colors, achieving 100% of the DCI-P3 full color gamut, and boasts HDR 10+ certification. It has a 120Hz refresh rate, a 300Hz touch sampling rate, and a 2400 x 1080 resolution.
The imaging system is a particularly interesting point. The Honor 70 ships with the 54 MP Sony IMX800 image sensor as its main camera. This is the debut for this sensor in a smartphone, and as you’ll find out later in this review, this really boosts the Honor 70’s photography and videography chops.
Otherwise, you also have a 50 MP ultra-wide and macro sensor, along with a 2 MP depth sensor. The selfie camera is a 32MP sensor, so you can enjoy high-quality selfies instead of a load of grainy rubbish.
The battery is a 4800 mAh Honor Super Battery, meaning it can charge (wired) at 66 W, which Honor advertises as taking as little as 20 minutes to reach 60% charge.
It also supports Wi-Fi 6, so you’ll be able to enjoy an uninterrupted connection in crowded spaces.
A Confident Daily Driver
If you’re looking for a mid-range smartphone that can deliver on daily tasks, gaming, and media consumption, then the Honor 70 is a perfect choice.
Carrying out my usual “real world” performance tests, I found that the device is an excellent all-rounder. It can handle having multiple apps open at once without stuttering, lagging, freezing, or any other issues. In short, it runs as smooth as a hot knife through butter.
It is great for your everyday tasks like emails, calls, and messaging (as your smartphone should) with multi-screen viewing a real boon. 5G cellular data connectivity is also a must, and this works perfectly when you’re out and about.
With media streaming, the Honor 70 shines. That OLED screen makes for some wonderful visuals when you’re watching your favorite movies and shows, as I found when I decided to see how One Punch Man’s vibrant color palette looks on the screen. Very nice too.
The HDR 10+ certification is likely to help when it comes to streaming movies and TV shows. It optimizes every single frame before you view it, meaning it widens the color range and dynamic brightness, so the movie scenes become more vivid and therefore more immersive.
Gaming is actually a decent experience on the Honor 70, presumably because of the Honor Turbo GFX software enhancements, which direct resources to processing the game and the graphics while you play, while also overclocking the GPU slightly to squeeze those extra few drops of juice out of it.
The Honor 70 performed just fine in my usual Genshin Impact game test, so if you like mobile gaming of this ilk, then the 70 will lap it up. Genshin Impact is a resource-intensive game, so the fact that the phone coped well with it is a good sign. You’re likely to see good results on PUBG or COD mobile as well, if you play those games.
So, a great little smartphone for your daily duties in both work and play.
Benchmarking the Honor 70
So, we know that the Honor 70 is great in practice, but how about some benchmarking?
I launched PCMark for Android and returned the following results:
- Work 3.0 performance test: 12561
- Storage 2.0 test: 23464
I also launched 3DMark for Android and returned these results:
- Wild Life for Android test: 2660
- Sling Shot for Android test: 6599
So, not the most mind blowing results ever, but perfectly good in terms of what we expect from a mid-range handset. Don’t forget, it is what you see in practice that is most important and, in practice, the Honor 70 performs really well.
Given the fact that Honor is making much of the 70’s prowess in the vlogging department, I felt that the camera performance needed its own section.
Starting first with your “standard” daytime photography, and I can report that the Honor 70 produces wonderful images in the daytime. The Sony IMX800 comes with a large f/1.9 aperture, letting in more light, and delivering colorful, crisp subjects with a gorgeous depth of field as a result.
On to low-light photography. This is where you’ll see the capabilities of Honor’s hardware, coupled with its intuitive Honor Image Engine, for outstanding results. Low-light photos come to life before your eyes as the software processes them on screen. I am consistently surprised by the resultant quality of images taken at night or in low light. I found the same with the Honor Magic 4 Pro—but that’s a flagship device at almost three times the price.
But is the Honor 70 any good for the vlogging crowd? You’re damn right it is. For a start, you get 4K video recording at 30fps, so if you’re a budding vlogger, this will make a great starting point for you.
You also have the excellent Solo Cut mode, which allows you to create a portrait video of a subject at exactly the same time as creating a landscape video of the entire scene. This means you can focus on one subject among a group of people, filming them in a portrait frame, while also filming the rest of the group in landscape orientation. Quite remarkable, really.
There is also the multi-video mode, illustrated in the screenshot above, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities while you shoot your video content.
First up, it can flip between front and rear camera recording with ease, or you can film with the front and rear cameras simultaneously; great for if your vlog follows an on the ground report-style. You can also capture in 0.5x, 1x, 2x and 4x speeds, meaning you can capture your questionable dance moves or the insane 1080 you’ve perfected on your BMX in all their glory.
The photography and videography capabilities of the Honor 70 stand shoulders above its competition in the mid-range market; a very impressive camera at this price.
You Want the Honor 70
Go on, admit it, the Honor 70 is a super-attractive prospect. I highly recommend it; the features make it more than worth its RRP, it has a beautiful OLED screen, and it will surpass your expectations when it comes to a mid-range camera—it has photography and videography capabilities that should be making a few flagship smartphones shift nervously in their proverbial seats.
In all, an excellent handset, and one I’ll continue to use past testing and reviewing.
Read the full article here