Honor 70 test: a smartphone with endurance and power

In fact, Honor offers few technical innovations on its 70 model in terms of screen or performance, and Honor focuses primarily on photography to stand out from the crowd of mid-range smartphones. It thus embeds a triple photo module, of which two elements must be remembered:

  • A module with a Sony IMX800 sensor (54 megapixels, 1/1.49 inch) with wide-angle optics (f/1.9)
  • A module with 50 megapixel sensor and ultra wide-angle optics (f / 2.2) They are accompanied by a 2 megapixel sensor with f / 2.4 optics dedicated to depth measurement.

Main module: 54 Mpx, f/1.9, eq. 27 mm

Sony’s IMX800 sensor recently measures 1/1.49″ and its photosites 1 µm. We hadn’t had the chance to test it before, and for good reason: the Honor 70 series is the first smartphone to interest us here, user pixel binding to combine four pixels into one, which should result in a resolution of 13.5 megapixels; here it is increased to 12.5 Mpx. This is also what the Phone (1) from Nothing offers, with a 50 megapixel sensor.

During the day, the image has a very bright exposure, more so than the phone’s (1). The level of detail is high, although some textures are only partially rendered (the cover of the book, on our scene). There is a little noise and a slight lack of sharpness that tarnishes the whole; we feel that the software processing could gain in precision. The periphery of the image, which gives a slight distortion, remains at the same level as the center of the image, which is a good point.

Nothing Phone (1) (f/1.8 24mm equiv., ISO 104, 1/100s)

Honor 70 (f/1.9, 27mm equiv., ISO 146, 1/100s)

Night shots are a challenge for mid-range smartphones. With its slightly larger-than-average sensor and large pixels, the Honor 70 gave hope of a good surprise. In fact, he has difficulty distinguishing the small elements of a complex scene, which produces an uneven result. The micro contrasts are accentuated, for good overall readability, but there are artifacts and moiré issues in various parts of our scene. For fixed scenes, it is interesting to go through the “night lighting” mode, provided you can stabilize the smartphone correctly, as it is then a long exposure.

Nothing Phone (1) (f/1.8 equiv. 24mm, ISO 4777, 1/20s)

Honor 70

54 megapixel mode

When the light is there, the IMX800’s photo spots make it possible to offer high-quality images in full definition. It is therefore a mode that we recommend for those who want to crop, although it should be noted that the colors tend to become fluorescent in this mode. On the other hand, in low light, it is better to avoid it.

Honor 70

Honor 70

Ultra-wide-angle module: 50 Mpx, f/2.2

If we observed some misfocusing, the ultra-wide angle module of the Honor 70 is generally of good quality. It can be seen from the image below, certainly a bit smooth at the level of the book’s cover, but sufficiently contrasted and with natural colorimetry. Distortion is contained, but the periphery of the image is, unsurprisingly, too blurry to exploit.

Nothing Phone (1) (f/2.2, eq. 14mm, ISO 288, 1/100s)

The intensity of the treatment in the picture is visible at night: the playing card regains its decor, and the pattern a little color. But the colorimetry lacks accuracy, and as a wide angle the artifacts affect the quality of the whole.

Nothing Phone (1) (f/2.2, eq. 14mm, ISO 5312, 1/15s)

Honor 70

50 megapixel mode

Probably due to a smaller aperture (f / 2.2), less light reaches the sensor on the ultra-wide-angle module. Even during the day, the image lacks information, and therefore sharpness in 50 megapixel mode. It therefore turns out to be of little use.

Honor 70

Honor 70

Front module, portrait and video mode

If the results achieved by the wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle modules are ultimately quite comparable in terms of photography, it is also the case in the video department. Honor doesn’t play one-upmanship here: its smartphone can shoot up to 4K at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps, with electronic stabilization, and that with the two modules. The quality is convincing, the exposure control is very accurate and we find the shooting modes dear to the Honor. It is therefore possible to film simultaneously with two modules (wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle, front/rear, etc.) as desired, or even, for the most daring, to change the configuration during recording. A mode called “Storia” allows the amateur videographer to be guided in the production of short clips. As for the Solo Cut mode, it offers automatic tracking of the subject of the video: the image is automatically cropped to follow its movements and is recorded in parallel with the video recording in a wider shot.

On the portrait side, provided you disable embellishment effects that struggle to convince us, the Honor 70 proves to be quite talented, although it is a little too generous with the bokeh effect, which is not possible to soften. The cutting of the hair is done correctly even when using the front sensor (32 megapixels) of the device.

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