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Is the Honor 8 Pro the ‘Best Gaming Smartphone’?

Is the Honor 8 Pro the ‘Best Gaming Smartphone’?

The latest Honor 8 Pro is an exemplary embodiment of Honor’s design philosophy as it not only packs hardware that can easily match any current flagship phone and then some, it’s also quite a looker in the bargain. The fact that it comes with a price tag that is lower than most top-shelf smartphones today at RM1,999 elevates it into a class of its own.

To wit, the Honor 8 Pro managed to earn the  Best Consumer Smartphone award for 2017-2018 conferred by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA). For the uninitiated, EISA is an association of 53 special interest magazines from 25 countries across the globe that host experts from multiple fields including audio, photography and, of course, tech and smartphones. When they pin an award on a product, it’s something worth noticing.

While snagging an award for Best Consumer Smartphone is certainly nothing to sneeze at, it’s the excellent hardware that the Honor 8 Pro packs within its 7mm thin smoothly machined metal casing which also makes it one of the best gaming device in the market too but does it deserve the title of ‘Best Gaming Smartphone’? Let’s find out!

The Mobile Gaming Curve
Mobile gaming is more sophisticated than ever before with games that offer graphics, sound and gameplay that would have been unimaginable a scant few years ago. The list of games that are playable on a phone today span multiple genres though the triple-A list includes gaming classics that were once the sole domain of gaming PCs and gaming consoles.
Honor 8 Pro game demo

With the right phone, RPG aficionados can now enjoy evergreen classics like Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic that has users as an amnesiac Jedi out to discover their past or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a wonderfully realised adventure that remains a cornerstone of many of the sandbox action games that we know today. Gamers who are long in the tooth will likely recall a host of other RPG classics like the Final Fantasy series of games on consoles, many of which can be enjoyed in their full glory on the Honor 8 Pro.

If you’re up for something a tad more competitive, you can opt for the likes of multiplayer games that demand both cutting edge reflexes and killer instincts like World of Tanks Blitz which has you running around in a tank blowing other tanks up. If you’re up for something far more intense, you can opt for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Quaint name aside, it has you picking a character from a roster of heroes and teaming up with a posse of players to take out your opponent’s base. What complicates things is them actively trying to do the same to you. Add in deep tactical gameplay, a proper league system, thousands of dollars in cash prizes and you have a recipe for some seriously engrossing mobile gaming. The fact that the Honor 8 Pro is the official phone for the game attests to just how powerful it is.

What all these top-shelf mobile games have in common though is that they’re all extremely demanding affairs that require a phone with some of the best hardware on the planet the likes of the Honor 8 Pro.

Without top notch hardware, powerful games like these will run slowly, at reduced resolution or frame rates or worse, not even run at all. Fortunately, the Honor 8 Pro is able to tackle any game in the market and then some. Here’s how the hardware on the Honor 8 Pro tackles high-end mobile gaming.

The Gaming Pro
The Honor 8 Pro is impressively equipped for gaming with specifications that can handle the latest mobile games in the market today. To handle intensive gaming the likes of the aforementioned Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Knights of the Old Republic and more, the Honor 8 Pro runs a  Kirin 960 64-bit octacore processor paired with a generous 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM.

Kirin 960 processor
The Kirin 960 processor is the very same chip running on the flagship Huawei P10 and is currently one of the most powerful processors currently available. The ace in the hole for the Kirin 960 is that it fully supports the Vulkan API, allowing for enhanced graphics performance in mobile games by a huge margin along with ultra-smooth Virtual Reality experiences too. Combined with the 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM, the Honor 8 Pro is capable of running even the most demanding games at full tilt and VR content too without slowing down.

The Honor 8 Pro also pips other phones to the post on the VR front as it comes with a free VR headset, allowing you to literally enjoy VR content straight out of the box; something that usually requires a separate purchase for many other phones.

VR headset for Honor 8 Pro

The packaging of the Honor 8 Pro can be reconfigured to become a VR headset

The latest high-powered games by their very nature require tons of storage with the best games requires several gigabytes of space though the Honor 8 Pro is up to the task with 64GB of expandable storage which is equal or more than many mainstream phones. The provision of a hybrid SIM/SD card slot means you can add even more storage to the Honor 8 Pro, allowing you to add both rich multimedia content like movies and a host of games too without having to micromanage your storage.
VR for Honor 8 Pro test

All this power wouldn’t amount to much if the display isn’t up to snuff. Fortunately, the Honor 8 Pro is well equipped with a large, and vivid 5.7-inch LCD display that is even crisper than Full HD resolution at an exceptionally sharp 1,440 x 2,560 pixels. Having a bigger, sharper screen means that both games and VR can be enjoyed the way they were meant to be.

Honor 8 Pro battery performance
Keeping all this powered is a massive 4,000mAh battery that allows for true all-day performance and better yet, all-day gaming without having to be tethered to the mains or having to tote around a heavy power bank. The Honor 8 Pro also supports fast charging too, allowing you to quickly top up the phone when the opportunity presents itself.

As an added bonus, the Honor 8 Pro also has a capable dual 12-MP rear camera that can take shots with superb depth of field effects as well as 2160P video too.
Honor 8 Pro camera
Taken individually, many of these features on the Honor 8 Pro are present on many other smartphones. The Honor 8 Pro however is greater than the sum of its parts as it combines all this powerful hardware – the Kirin 960 processor, 6GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB of storage, a 5.7-inch 2K screen and a massive 4,000mAh battery – all in one slim casing. The fact that it costs just RM1,999, offering just as much value than many competing phones while offering a flawless gaming experience allows it to be a very compelling proposition indeed, not just a solid all-rounder but the king of the mobile gaming jungle!

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