Honor 70 Review And Full Details December 2022
The Honor 70 lineup made its debut back in May, but this is the first time we get to see it in Europe. The Honor 70 is the most affordable option in the series, with the Honor 70 Pro and Pro+ being higher-tier. The Honor 70 is also a direct successor to the Honor 50 from December last year and there are only a few changes made to the newer model. However, Honor made the right ones. We’ve got a slightly upgraded SoC, newer Android with Magic UI 6.1 on top and more importantly, new cameras. The new Honor 70 gets a slightly bigger sensor, albeit with fewer pixels, and to our surprise, the ultrawide camera has been swapped out for a proper 50MP one with autofocus. Honor also skipped the useless macro camera and uses the ultrawide for the close-up shots instead.
In addition, the Honor 70 is powered by a 4,800 mAh battery, which is a tad lower than average for a midranger, but it’s also a big upgrade over the previous generation adding 500 mAh to the total. We also have a fast 66W charging and reverse charging support, which is a rare feature to have in this price bracket. Design-wise, there’s little to no change, and that’s a good thing. We liked the build the first time, and we are glad to see the same slick and lightweight body. We see the same curved OLED display on board as well, supporting 10-bit color depth and going up to 120Hz. Although, it measures 6.67″ in diagonal this time around – exactly 0.1″ bigger than the Honor 50’s. Still, we think that this phone’s main appeal is the cameras. Most of the phone’s competitors fail to impress with good cameras aside from the main ones. It’s quite refreshing to see a mid-range smartphone with a good ultrawide camera. This is also the biggest upgrade over the Honor 50.
Price-wise, though, the situation is tricky. Just like its predecessor, the Honor 70 faces quite a bit of competition, but we believe that the device is better equipped for the job this time around, and some features help it stand out. Unboxing the Honor 70 The Honor 70’s retail box is nothing out of the ordinary. The device ships with the usual user manuals along with the USB-A to USB-C cable for charging and data transfer as well as the appropriate 66W charging brick. Honor is back! The former subcontractor of Huawei is now completely independent. The Chinese have introduced Honor Magic4 Pro and Magic4 Lite and proven that they can build good phones without the former parent company, which now finally comes with unlimited Android with Google services. The Honor 70 is a high-priced mid-range device in the portfolio of the new, yet old-fashioned manufacturer, which brings some interesting features like fast charging, a lot of screen real estate, and a high-resolution wide-angle camera. So, let’s put the phone through our comprehensive test course and see how it compares to similarly priced phones.
The design is dominated by the unusual camera unit of the Honor 70, which actually consists of two large, circular elements that are arranged underneath each other. In addition, there is a back that is decorated with a diamond-shaped pattern on the white model, which refracts the light. The green and black variants, on the other hand, are covered with matte glass, which spreads a velvety shimmer. The whole thing looks very high-quality and transitions into a frame with a slight curve. The screen is also curved over the edges and takes up 91% of the front, so the edges are quite slim. The Honor 70 feels good in the hand, the material transitions are slightly noticeable, but overall pleasant. At 178 grams, the phone is quite light for its screen size. A creak is audible when the chassis twists, but overall Honor has built a stable smartphone.
The software is based on Android 12, but Honor puts its MagicUI on top of it, which changes the look and many aspects of the operation. There are also own apps in most areas, for example, the phone or the calendar, which ultimately offer the same functions as the standard Android software, but look and operate differently. If you like to work with Google apps, you can simply install them, but the Honor apps can only be deactivated, not completely removed. Some third-party apps are also pre-installed as advertisements. software is not optimally designed in all aspects: it is a bit complicated to add widgets to the home screen. Thus, we would like to see frequent updates to improve the functionality.
However, Honor is not yet that well positioned here: the Honor 70 is still equipped with the security patches from July 2022, which are already clearly outdated at the time of testing. The update promise of two new software generations and three years of security patches is also standard at best. The Honor 70 uses a USB-C port for charging and data transfer. This is internally connected with USB 2.0. Many 4G frequencies are supported by the Honor phone, but it is not quite enough for a real-world phone: some bands that are used in the US, for example, are missing.
The Honor 70 is a 5G phone. The frequency diversity is also good in this range, but it might not be possible to access the 5G network when traveling to distant countries. The most important bands worldwide, especially n77 and n78, are available, though. The signal strength in the 4G network is quite good in our sample test in the urban environment, but cannot quite keep up with high-end phones. WiFi 6 is available as the maximum WLAN standard. Thus, the Honor 70 achieves acceptable transfer rates on its own, but they fluctuate strongly in our test with the reference router Asus ROG Rapture AXE11000 and also lag behind the comparison devices overall. The Honor 70 is a new mid-range smartphone for 2022, sporting a very attractive rounded design with a large screen, impressive camera specs and fast performance.
The Honor 70 offers enough photographic prowess to satisfy more demanding users, with a quadruple lens set-up which includes a 54 megapixel “main” camera using the new Sony IMX800 1/1.49″ sensor, a 50 megapixel 122° wide-angle camera which doubles up as a 2.5cm super-macro camera, and a 2 megapixel depth camera. Other specifications relating to the Honor 70’s camera include 4K/30p video recording, an LED flash, brand new Solo Cut video mode and a 32 megapixel front-facing “selfie” camera. General features include a 6.67-inch OLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate, 4800 mAh battery, 66W supercharging, Snapdragon 778G Plus chipset, support for 5G, Wi-Fi 6, NFC and Bluetooth 5.2, and either 128Mb or 256GB of built-in memory with 8Gb RAM for both variants.
Honor devices continue to fully support Google Play services, including the new Honor 70, which means that all of your favourite Android apps are fully accessible via the Google Play Store – this includes big names such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Honor also has its own Honor Store app which gives you access to lots of other apps.
At the time of writing, the Honor 70 is available in Midnight Black, Emerald Green or Crystal Silver priced at £429.99 for the base model with 128GB of storage and £479.99 for the 256GB storage model in the UK. With its new 6.67-inch OLED screen, the Honor 70 is on the large side for a smartphone, but still fits comfortably enough in one hand, and it’s not quite as big as a device like the Samsung S22 Ultra, which has an even larger 6.8-inch screen. We’ve been using the “Emerald Green” colourway with 256Gb of storage for this Honor 70 review, which is the flashiest of the three different colourways that are currently available – there’s also the more understated Midnight Black and Crystal Silver.
The display takes up virtually all of the screen, with just a small circular cut-out in the top-centre for the selfie camera. As such there’s no “notch” in the traditional sense, but there is always a small amount of display that’s permanently reserved for the phone settings when viewing anything in full screen mode. Launching the native camera app requires a simple swipe up from the bottom right hand corner of the lock screen. Anyone who has used a Honor or Huawei phone before will already know that the native camera app is very well-featured, giving you lots of shooting modes to experiment with, so there’s no need to install a third-party app to take advantage of everything that it has to offer.