As is often the case it takes a while to get to know a device and really be able to enjoy the full cabalities.
Having used the Honor 8 for a while it seems I have gelled with phone and it is an extension of me when out and about.
I have really fallen for the monochrome cabality esoecially as it seems I sometimes see in black and white.
Walking, working and generally living in the capital region of Finland it has always been a habit of mine to document life and its beautiful moments.
The beautiful light in this city, the architecture, the people. Especially in the fall and spring the light is almost constantly in such a low degree that it casts beautiful shadows.
Indoors in Helsinki you can see the lovely architecture, this photo taken in a library testifies of that.
Or you can enjoy the lovely seaside in many places, often gazing upon fellow Finns basking in the sun, enjoying the calm serene moments of life. And the camera, the phone, always along for the ride.
So, after a while, I am once again lucky to have something that is cutting edge to use and review. May I present: Honor 8, the new smartphone that was released just a couple of days ago. I have had the honor to use it for a while and get to know the phone.
Disclaimer, the phone is lent to me by the manufacturer, but all that I write is my feelings.
These are my early thoughts along with a few photos made with the device. But first, here are some product photos I made of the phone, just to show what it looks like:
As you can see from my photos, the version I have is the beautiful, golden colored specimen with 64 GB of memory built in. It can be enlarged by the user with a micro-sd card, which I did, and now have 32 GB of additional memory. The phone has the possibility to use two sim cards or one sim card and one memory card, whichever suits your needs the better. The front and the back of the phone is made of glass and the sides of metal.
The screen is 5.2″ large and is pretty much the right size for my hands, yet not being too large. The colors are also great. The resolution is fullHD, which is good, but not the best that there is, but is the standard for this price range of phones. And resolution is not everything, as there are other factors like the usability of the touch screen that are also important. And a bigger resolution would be more hungry for energy and thus the battery would not be able to last so long. The front facing camera or selfie camera is 8Mpix and has also a beautify mode, which makes even me look nice..
The phone is based on Android 6.01 but there is Huawei’s own skin on top of it, which to me makes the phone a bit easier to approach, especially if coming from an iPhone. For hardcore Android users the feel might be even too simple.
At the rear of the phone, there is fingerprint scanner, with which you can be sure no one who is not allowed to use the phone cannot use it. I love this feature, as it also is the quickest way to open the phone to use. The fingerprint scanner also works as a button that you can configure to say, open the camera etc. Excellent!
There is also two cameras in the rear as you can see. The other a monochrome or black and white and the other color, both with 12Mpix. A feature that debuted in this phones big sister, the Huawei P9 earlier this year.
In use the phone has been easy to configure and use, and the battery for me lasts two days if they are normal office days, and from morning to late night if it be a saturday or sunday, so pretty OK? There is also a ultra battery saver mode which is good if you are traveling and wish to save the battery.
For me, as an avid photographer, I am naturally always interested in the phones capabilities to be used as the stand in for a bigger camera, or just to make great photos without being burdened to carry a camera at all.
The monochrome sensor of the other camera is a wonderful addition, as I love to take b&w photos, and usually have to convert them in another app or on the computer. Here, they can be created instantly. The black and white camera is also great in darker moments where there is less light.
Together the sensors create photos with nice color and a lot of capability to be manipulated afterwards to taste. Here I boosted the saturation and opened the shadows a bit in post.
This is straight from the phone, just cropped in VSCO.
Sunset toward the “wrong” direction gave this beautiful photo its light. The swimmer, made the ripples that to me created a stronger photo.
Monochrome in use again, this time by the sea, as the sun was trying to break through the cloud cover and the beautiful light shone upon the sailboat in the distance.
The camera is very quick to use, and also has a pro mode, were you can control the camera much like a “real” camera with shutter speed, iso, white balance among the options the user can manipulate.
All in all, a great cameraphone to use, and it has been by my side constantly so far.
So I had the possibility to test the Nokia(Microsoft) Lumia 1020. A phone that has been out for a while now. But still has perhaps the best camera in all the real cameraphones (there are a couple of models that are maybe more camera and less phone). This is phone first and camera second.
The model I had for test was a dull black version, the phone has been on sale in many bright and nice colors, and I would myself pick something else than black anyway when possible.
The screen is 4.5″ in size. Small in nowadays terms, as even the iPhone grew big in the current 6 and 6+ models. I think that for most people the sizes between 4-5″ is the best for one-handed use. I have huge hands so I have been always a bit more addicted to the bigger screen versions. Having used the earlier iPhone (3.5-4″ screen) I was constantly pressing the wrong place on the keyboard etc. The small increase to 4.5″ seemed to help a lot as I did not do so many typing errors etc. Still a relatively small phone and screen in 2015. From the era of phones getting smaller we are going backwards nowadays..
Comparison photo in size to a 5.5″ phone. Not that much in it. In the back you can see the cameramodule as a small hump.
Actually grew to like it as it was something to hold onto and the phone felt way more secure than it would have otherwise.
One of the great things about the phone and the WP8.1 running in it is this. Glance-screen. You have the clock etc showing like in the old Nokia phones like 6110 or 1100 and no real penalty to the battery usage. This in my opinios is a great feature, as with most phones, you need to activate it to see the time, or to check if you have new messages etc. And every time you needlessly open the screen it uses the battery.
Continuing on the topic of Windowsphone 8.1. Having extensively used both Android and iOs in pretty much all their iterations I have to say. I do not understand the fuss about WP being a bad operating system. It is different. But everything works well and swiftly. The configuration into use from the box was very easy. All in all it took me maybe 5 minutes to learn where everything is. The only things I did not like about the OS was that every single app seemed to require to know my location. Privacy is admittedly getting smaller all the time, but it would be nice to be able to choose.
The built in camera app in action. The basic camera is easy to use, just either open it with the dedicated camera button or open the camera app. Click and you are done. Bacic setting is: 5Mpix +38Mpix photo captured. The latter is better to edit on the computer and the 5Mpix version is good for sharing stuff on the phone. The added benefit is cropping or what some may call digital zoom. Lot of real estate to crop from in the full resolution photo. The phone was also the first to do DNG from the factory (Raw photo which has more latitude in editing).
The second post will show photos taken with the phone as well as thoughts on the camera part.