Honor 8 vs Honor 7: the duel of the mobile bad boys

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© NextPit

Honor 7 was considered in its time to be a flagship killer, rubbing shoulders with the Galaxy S6 and other top of the range competitors. Now the Honor 8 has taken the wheel and enjoys provoking the most popular smartphones of the year. In our comparison, we want to see which bad boy is better. Is the Honor newcomer is better than the previous model and to which degree.

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Honor 8 vs Honor 7: design

Even bad boys can’t stand the test of time. In just over a year, much water has flown under the bridge and Honor 7 lost its claim to fame. It had much potential when it was released, showing its aluminum design and gorgeous silver color that gave it a premium look at the time. Today, the device seems to have just blended into the background.

All eyes are fixed on the Honor 8, its successor, that chooses glass over aluminum. Yes, the frame is still metal, however the front and back panels are completely made of glass to reflect light… and to attract attention. As for the color, you can forget about silver and grey, Honor 8 is available in black, white and a new premium color: Sapphire Blue (a relatively deep blue).

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Honor 8’s design is attractive but fragile. © NextPit

If you’re a regular user of this brand, you’ll notice common traits between the Honor family members: the volume and power buttons are on the right side, and the SIM and microSD card ports are on the left. Another notable difference: the brand name is written underneath Honor 8’s screen whereas Honor 7 only has a (ugly) blank space above the screen like the Google Pixel.

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Honor 7’s screen. © NextPit

The back of the device has also been changed. The camera lens used to be above the fingerprint reader, but on the Honor 8, all camera equipment (a dual camera may we point out) is found on the upper corner just like the iPhone. The fingerprint reader on the back panel now doubles as the quick launch button that used to be situated on the left-hand side of the device.

The headphone jack is no longer situated on the top of the device’s frame but on the bottom. Honor has also disposed of its second loudspeaker grill that was only included for cosmetic purposes and never omitted any sound. It was only integrated out of a concern for symmetry.In summary: the design has changed a lot. Honor 8 is less traditional, more original and eye catching.

Honor 8 vs Honor 7: display

If the Honor 7’s design makes it look dated, the screen quality will restore your confidence in the device. It received criticism upon its release reproaching its resolution which didn’t live up to those of the major flagships. In concrete terms, it has a Full-HD resolution (1080 x 1920) compared to QHD which is featured on many other top of the range devices. The Honor 7 made such a great impression with it that Honor decided to reproduce the experience with its latest device.

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Simple Full-HD is more than enough for those who aren’t interested in VR. © NextPit

Honor 8 also uses Full-HD resolution and, generally speaking, their screens are more or less the same. This sneaky copycat smacks of arrogance by using the same 5.2-inch screen. Of course, Honor 8’s is a step up. Screen brightness and the saturation are more advanced, which is all fine and good, but it will hardly be noticeable for the average user.  

Honor 8 vs Honor 7: software interface

It’s at this point in the comparison that pure Android fans might stop reading. Honor uses EMUI, the same interface as Huawei. It is esthetically original and functions well in practice but is the right opposite to what Google can offer with its pure interface. Is this a good or a bad thing? It’s neither one nor the other, it’s simply a question of preference.

Honor 7 was released with EMUI 3.1, an interface based on Android 5.0 Lollipop, and then updated to Android Marshmallow with version 4.0 of EMUI. On the other hand, Honor 8 had EMUI 4.1, the most recent version, from the beginning. Overall, we found the same advantages (for example, that all pre-installed applications that can be uninstalled) and disadvantages (notifications often are not received). In short, there’s not much to compare in this area.

Honor 8 vs Honor 7: performance

Honor 8’s youth puts it in a better position. It has an octa-core Kirin 950 processor (4x2.3 GHz Cortex-A72), paired with a Mali-T880 GPU as well as 4GB of RAM. Perhaps this processor isn’t the best in the market but it’s also not the worst and 4GB of RAM is still rare. It’s an excellent device, especially if you consider the price, it’s value for money.

Honor 7 has an octa-core Kirin 935 (4x2.2GHz Cortex-A53) and a Mali-T628 graphics chip with 3GB of RAM. This is still good even by today’s standards but it doesn’t allow the device to compete with the current top of this device range.

That was the technical side, but what about the practical side? The Honor 7 can run just about any game but suffers slightly with lags due to the 3D being too demanding. The Honor 8 doesn’t have this problem: once it is powered up, nothing can slow it down. That being said, Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890 are superior to it and if high performance is a deal maker for you, you should perhaps look to the competition (which costs a little more).

Honor 8 vs Honor 7: camera

Honor 7 has proved its affinity for creating great photos. On paper, the main camera shoots 20 megapixels with a f/2.0 aperture and the front camera has 8 megapixels and a f/2.4 aperture. In practice, it allows you to take excellent pictures (even in poor lighting), thanks to various modes offered by Honor.

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Honor 7 has a 20-megapixel camera. © NextPit

Honor 8 goes even further. From an equipment perspective, it uses two combined lenses that provide excellent results. One lens allows you to take a 12-megapixel image, the other works in black and white to capture more light. The aperture is of f/2.2. The front of the device has an 8 megapixel lens and a f/2.4 aperture.

Honor 8 vs Honor 7: battery

Honor 7’s battery was already good when it functioned under Lollipop, thanks to its 3100 mAh battery capacity. With Honor 8, the battery lost 100 mAh but remains good. It’s even better than the HTC 10. With both devices, your battery will last at least a day, even two with moderate usage. With both devices, you’ll have fast charging capability. If you’re hesitant, you can opt for the Honor 8 which is faster.

In both cases, your battery will last at least a day, even two with moderate usage. 

We often tell you that hardware optimization allows you to gain battery life. Huawei and Honor are rather good in this area thanks to a function that allows you to close unused processes that are running in the background. On the other hand, this could be problematic as sometimes this can block notifications. The devices’ general performances also allow you to update quickly, which is even better.

Honor 8 vs Honor 7: verdict

Honor 8 is more youthful, much more attractive and much more powerful. Honor 7 isn’t an old-timer just yet and still holds its own, particularly regarding its screen and battery. If money is no object for you and you want the best of the two, opt for the Honor 8. If the flashy glass design isn’t to your liking, opt for the Honor 7. Whatever you choose, you’ll get a mobile bad boys that can compete with major flagships, all while remaining a step behind.

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  •   10
    Deactivated Account Oct 23, 2016 Link to comment

    i have the Honor 7 bought second hand. I am so loving it, won't be giving it away anymore. The Honor 8 would be a step up, but now waiting for the Mate 9 and 9 Pro