Honor 10i: AI triple-camera on a budget?

Can the Honor 10i deliver the best camera experience at its price?

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In a saturated budget to mid-tier market, the Honor 10i is the company’s newest addition. To stand out, it boasts an AI-powered triple-camera setup with a wide-angle lens.

Design and display

One of the things that stands out with the Honor 10i is its design. The gradient Phantom Red finish is an eye-catcher but the overall build of the phone is good too. Primarily glass, the device offers a good feel in the hand. The curve on the edges also makes the phone easy to grip. Yet, the lightness of the 10i could make it feel less premium for some users.

You get a 6.21-inch Full HD+ display with a more than 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio

The right of the phone is where the tactile power and volume buttons sit. The front is an impressive 6.21-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD panel. Its quality may not be the best but for this price point, the tear-drop style display has only a thin bezel around. This makes multimedia consumption immersive although the mono bottom-firing speaker distorts easily. To avoid this, we would recommend using headphones via the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Will the microUSB port put you off?

Aside from this, the back of the phone houses a capable fingerprint scanner and the triple-camera setup. But that microUSB port is something that stands out for the wrong reasons. When USB-C has become standard – even in budget devices – it is difficult to understand why phones still ship with the microUSB port. While it can still charge the 3,400mAh
on-board battery fast, we think it may be an issue when it comes to future compatibility in the long run.

AI triple-camera

On the back, the Honor 10i sports a 24MP, 8MP and 2MP trio of cameras. The primary 24MP camera comes with an f/1.8 aperture and a Quadra CFA sensor for better low-light performance. At the same time, the camera also lets you capture 120-degree photos with its wide-angle lens. Powering the camera hardware is the phone’s artificial intelligence (AI). With this, the camera can recognise more than 500 scenes and professionally grade your final photos.

Is there a need for three cameras for a phone at this price?

The front 32MP camera also comes with built-in AI that is based on Honor’s algorithms. The unique feature here is the front camera’s ability at night combined with its screen ring light-filling technology. You can have a look at some photo samples in our first look video.

Processing power

The HiSilicon Kirin 710 octa-core processor found on the Honor 10i is quite capable. In daily usage, you can expect some stutter here and there. But for heavy games such as Asphalt 9, its performance is good. The phone also gives you 4GB RAM for multitasking and 128GB of microSD expandable storage. The glass back also means NFC support, which is nice to see at this range.

The HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor is a great all-round processor

Software-wise, the phone is running an older EMUI 9.0 over Android 9.0 Pie. It bundles theme and gesture support in an easy to navigate user interface. There are pre-installed applications that you may not find useful but the good thing is that Honor lets you uninstall these.

Pricing and availability

The Honor 10i is available for pre-order starting April 16 priced at Dh999. It will be available in red, blue and black colour variants. It will be available starting April 24 at all leading retailers.