The budget smartphone market is buzzing this year in Pakistan where all major mobile phone manufacturers are fighting to lure users to their affordable offerings. Honor also joined the race recently with its Honor 8S smartphone which comes with a beautiful design, Helio A22 chipset, 2GB RAM and 32GB of storage.

The smartphone was initially launched with a price tag of Rs. 18,999. With so many interesting phones in the budget category, does Honor’s new phone deserve our attention. Let’s find out in our detailed review.

Design

While all smartphone brands are rushing to offer a glossy finish, the Honor 8S has taken a new route with a new design which comes with both matte finish and pattern at the back. The major advantage of this design is that you can use the smartphone without worrying about fingerprint smudges.

Honor 8S back

The volume rocker and power button lie at the right side of the phone while the SIM card slot is present on the left side. For users who want more space, the phone offers a dedicated microSD card slot so they won’t have to sacrifice the dual-SIM feature.

Honor 8S buttons

Honor 8S SIM slot

The phone comes with a micro USB port for charging at the bottom accompanied by the speaker while the 3.5mm headphone jack rests on the top.

Honor 8S charging port

Honor 8S headphone jack

It was quite refreshing to see the back cover inside the Honor 8S box es especially because most companies neglect this accessory in their budget phones. It is quite a sturdy cover which can guard the phone in case of an accidental fall

Display

The smartphone comes with 5.71 inches of IPS LCD display and 720 x 1440 screen resolution. Unlike Honor 7S, it has a Full View display and a small notch at the top to provide more screen space to the user. It also sports minimal bezels on the sides and bottom.

Honor 8S

The display of Honor 8S is bright and you can easily see the phone’s content even when you are using it under direct sunlight. It also has good viewing angles and provides a good movie watching experience indoors and outdoors.

The phone’s screen is a bit on the cooler side and to avoid any strain on your eyes, you can change the color temperature to a warmer tone from the display settings.

Software

The smartphone features EMUI 9.0 based on Android Pie which is very user-friendly and easier to understand even if you are someone who is new to the world of smartphones. It is quite refreshing to see the absence of all unwanted apps/games and bloatware on the phone and thus, we get a simple user interface similar to Huawei’s pricier phones.

Honor 8S EMUI 9

Honor 8S uses Google’s Messages as default texting app which means that you can access or send messages through your computer as well. There is also a simple mode which can help the users, switching from feature phone to smartphones, to ease using a device with a touch display.

Honor 8S simple mode

The user can also switch between on-screen buttons or gesture navigation system via settings and also can get rid of the notch if they prefer a phone without one.

You also get the option of choosing between the on display buttons and gestures for navigating the smartphone. If you find the notch bothersome, you can also get rid of it through the phone’s settings.

Honor 8S also comes with a File Safe in the settings that can encrypt and protect your documents, photos, videos, etc.

Performance

Honor 8S is powered by  Helio A22 chipset which is present in the slightly pricey Huawei Y6 Prime 2019 (Review). It also hosts 2GB RAM with 32GB of internal storage under the hood. Here are the phone’s benchmark scores:

Honor 8S benchmarks

The smartphone works smoothly during light or moderate usage and we didn’t find any problem while we tested it by simply texting, calling, browsing the web, using social media, watching videos on YouTube and even Netflix. During heavy usage, it shows lag when you try to switch between heavy apps like Asphalt 9, PUBG, etc. due to 2GB RAM and its budget chipset.

It is not something to be too much concerned about as the budget devices do have their own limitations when it comes to heavy use. By looking at the price tag, you know that it is not the phone for multitaskers but for the people who want a gorgeous device for daily use.

The smartphone also packs a 3020 mAh battery which can charge from 0 to 100% in just 2 hours 50 mins. During our light-usage testing, the Honor 8S consumed 10% battery in one hour and in heavy usage, it ate through 15% of the phone’s charging.

Camera

The smartphone features a 13 MP main camera at the back which is capable of shooting some decent pictures in the daylight.

Honor 8S back camera

The interface of the camera app is quite simple. The user can slide between vide, beauty and photo mode and can play with HDR mode, Panorama, and Pro mode by tapping the More option.

Honor 8S camera interface
Camera App Interface

Here you can see that the smartphone does not falter too much while taking pictures with natural lighting. The colors are quite vibrant and you do not see oversaturation in the image.

Lahore museum with auto focus by Honor 8S
Auto Mode

shot in auto mode by Honor 8S
Auto Mode

HDR mode can not just help to take better photos against the sun but also helps to brighten up the subject by increasing the exposure.

auto mode by Honor 8s
Auto Mode

HDR mode by Honor 8S
HDR Mode

cannon in auto mode by Honor 8S
Auto Mode

Cannon in HDR mode by Honor 8S
HDR Mode

Moving on to selfies, the smartphone also has a 5MP shooter which resides inside the notch and can take good pictures in the daylight.

Honor 8S notch

The phone’s beauty mode tends to smoothen the skin tone of the subject while the auto mode tries to capture the natural colors.

Honor 8S selfies
Auto mode (right), Beauty mode (left)

Verdict

Honor 8s is a beautiful smartphone which offers great moderate performance and display. Though it does not offer a lasting battery life with 3020mAh  battery, the light usage, and budget chipset will help to drag its life further when you are using this device.

It can take decent photographs and is a good match for users who are either switching from feature to smartphone or want a budget device which can fulfill their everyday needs.