Honor 70 Review: Great Main Camera, Decent All-Rounder

Honor 70
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Honor is aggressively expanding their range of options in the Philippines. Just last month, the brand introduced the flagship Magic4 Pro and the midrange Honor X9 alongside the X7 and X8. In this review, we are taking a look at their premium midrange option, the Honor 70.

It comes with a solid enough feature set including a Snapdragon 778G+ chip, a 120Hz 6.67-inch OLED screen, a 54MP f/1.9 main camera and a 50MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens, and a 32MP f/2.4 selfie camera bolstered with camera software including Solo Cut, all in a package priced significantly below a flagship device.

Honor 70 Review – Specifications

Honor 70

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Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+
Screen 6.67-inch OLED, 2400 x 1080, 120Hz, HDR10+
RAM 8GB, 12GB
OS Android 12, Magic UI 6.1
Rear Camera 54MP f/1.9 Main, 50MP f/2.2 Ultrawide, 2MP f/2.4 Depth
Front Camera 32MP f/2.4
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Network Dual-SIM, 5G
Connectivity WiFi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, USB-C
Battery 4,800mAh, 66W Fast Charging, 5W Reverse Charging
Others In-Display Fingerprint Scanner
Dimensions 161.4 x 73.3 x 7.9mm
Weight 178g
Colors Midnight Black, Emerald Green, Icelandic Frost, Crystal Silver

Honor 70 Review – Unboxing

Honor 70

The Honor 70 ships in a white box with its name embossed on the box. It comes bundled with a silicone case, a 66W wall adapter, a USB-A to USB-C cable, a SIM ejector pin, and documentation.

Design and Aesthetics

Honor 70

The smartphone has various colors available but arguably the most unique and eye-catching of the lot is the Crystal Silver variant. It has a two-tone Gold and Silver colorway with crisscross lines that mimics the look of diamonds. Its design is certainly striking and Honor has also a smudge-resistant finish at the back to keep fingerprints off its looks.

Instead of having a single camera bump, Honor has opted to use two circular bumps for its triple rear camera setup. They are raised significantly from the chassis and will be the first to get scratched if you don’t use a case. Unfortunately, the chassis does not have any IP rating for dust or water resistance.

The sides are curved and feels natural in the hand. All the buttons are tactile and are bundled at the right-hand side. The bottom houses a single speaker, a USB-C port, and a dual SIM tray. The smartphone does not support MicroSD storage expansion.

Screen and Audio

The Honor 70 sports a 6.67-inch 2400 x 1080 OLED screen running at 120Hz with support for HDR10+. Its edges are curved so there are no side-bezels and more of the screen takes up real-estate. The smartphone comes with a pre-installed screen protector to keep the display sheltered.

Performance is great but this is expected from a premium midrange smartphone. Everything looks crisp especially little details thanks to a great contrast ratio from its OLED panel. Colors are fairly even and color coverage is good at 99% sRGB and 81.30% DCI-P3. Brightness is also terrific with the panel achieving 480.64 cd/m2, which should be enough for the device to be used under direct sunlight or against strong backlight sources.

  • sRGB – 99.00%
  • AdobeRGB – 81.30%
  • DCI-P3 – 84.40%
  • Luminance (Minimum) – 4.79 cd/m2
  • Luminance (Maximum) – 480.64 cd/m2
  • Gamma – 2.08
  • Contrast Ratio – 1:1

The device depends solely from its bottom-firing speaker for external audio. It’s disappointing that Honor did not use a secondary speaker at the top to at least bolster speaker performance. Overall speaker performance is decent but it lacks volume for a smartphone at its price point. Vocals are clean and the mids are detailed but the bass lack punch and there’s minimal sound stage.

Software

Unlike some of their X series devices, the Honor 70 automatically comes with Android 12 with Magic UI 6.1. Performance is good but it still looks like the Android skin of their previous parent company. There is some bloatware to be found but most of them are ads that act as shortcuts to their download page.

Its OLED panel allows the use of always-on display. There are several ways you can customize it like choosing from a wide assortment of pre-made assets or downloading themes through the store.

The overall experience of Honor’s Magic UI is standard Android affair. Android 12 comes with a suite of additional security features and that carries over to the Honor 70. It also has access to face unlock and an in-display fingerprint scanner both of which are accurate and fast.

Honor 70 Review – Cameras

Honor 70

Honor equips the smartphone with a total of four cameras – at the back are its 54MP f/1.9 main lens, a 50MP f/2.2 ultrawide, and a 2MP f/2.4 depth lens, and a 32MP f/2.4 selfie camera at the front. The camera app packs all the essentials along with a few extras like Multi-Video and High-Resolution Mode.

The smartphone also comes with what Honor calls “Solo Cut” mode. This allows the smartphone to record a video while AI tracks a person in the frame. Think of it as a picture-in-picture mode with the second video source intelligently tracking a subject.

For video, the Honor 70 supports 4K/60fps and 1080p/60fps on its main camera while the ultrawide lens is capped at 4K/30fps and 1080p/60fps. Its front camera hits its video limit at 1080p/60fps.

Main Camera

The 54MP f/1.9 camera is one of the first lenses to be powered by the Sony IMX800 sensor. It natively takes 12.6MP photos with its full resolution taken via High-Resolution mode. Photos taken with the Honor 70 are fantastic – they come out sharp with good details and plenty of color.

It has no problem with clouds even in overcast weather though shadows look somewhat artificial with shaded areas looking a bit dim than what we were expecting.

Ultrawide Camera

Its 50MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens also has a native resolution of 12.6MP when taking photos. The center of the images look sharp and the shadows look natural albeit lacking in detail. Colors at the middle are good but can be oversaturated at times.

There are, however, significant softness and chromatic aberration at the edges. Details are blurry at the edges and colors look outright terrible especially when there are finer details present like tree branches.

Honor 70 Review – Benchmarks

Honor 70

The Honor 70 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage for variants in the Philippines. Performance is smooth for the most part and it is based on a smaller 6nm lithography but lags behind some of the “flagship-killer” smartphones sporting a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the same category – at least in benchmarks.

Synthetic benchmarks look solid despite its chipset lacking the sheer horsepower compared to other smartphones in the range. PCMark Work 3.0 places it 12,510 in its benchmark and it scores above the 500,000 mark in AnTuTu benchmark.

As for gaming, the Honor 70 consistently hits the framerate cap of most mainstream games at their highest possible settings. Genshin Impact remains the most graphically-intensive with the game running at an average of 51fps at its highest possible preset. Multiplayer games like Apex Legends, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and League of Legends: Wild Rift runs smoothly though they do not support 120Hz mode on the smartphone.

Honor 70 Review – Battery Life

Honor 70

A 4,800mAh battery powers the device. The battery is slightly smaller than 5,000mAh standard we expect but Honor trades capacity for a thinner device. You will be able to get a full day of usage with average use with the Honor 70 with occasional video streaming using 4G or 5G turning down the screen’s refresh rate is required for maximum battery life.

Its 66W power adapter will be able to fill up the smartphone just around an hour – a speedy recharge rate for a smartphone of its caliber. The device also supports 5W reverse charging so you can charge peripherals via a wired connection like TWS earphones.

Honor 70 Review – Conclusion

Honor 70

The Honor 70 has a great set of features but also has some compromises. It 6.67-inch OLED display is smooth and delightful to use, the design is modern and slim, its 54MP f/1.9 main lens is an impressive shooter for a midrange smartphone, fast charging battery, and overall performance is decent.

It does have some caveats. The ultrawide camera has reasonable performance in the middle but produces soft edges with tons of chromatic aberration. Its 778G+ chipset is good on all accounts but we can’t help imagine that a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 would be better given its pricing. External audio also had passable performance but Honor could have bolstered its performance with a secondary speaker.

While the Honor 70 has its faults, it is still a terrific smartphone for the money. The overall package more than makes up for its current issues.

The Honor 70 is still a terrific smartphone despite its faults. The overall package and performance more than makes up for its drawbacks. If you are looking for a sub-flagship midrange smartphone packing a decent imaging system, then the Honor 70 might serve your needs.

Honor 70 Price and Availability

The Honor 70 is priced at PhP 26,999 in the Philippines. It is available through the official Honor Shopee and Lazada stores as well as authorized retailers nationwide.