The Honor Pad 8 could be the perfect entertainment tablet for many. While you’ve got to live without most premium features at a price tag of 350 Dollars, you do get a large 12-inch display, eight speakers, and Honor tablets are finally running the Google Play Store again. Sounds like a cool tablet on paper, but is it really? That’s what you’ll learn in this Honor Pad 8 review.
Display: Low-Resolution 12-Inch
We start with the 12-inch display of the Honor Pad 8 because that’s the unique selling point of this tablet. For 350 Euros or 350 Dollars, we usually get 10-inch tablets only. And that also means that in most countries, this is the cheapest 12-inch tablet available.
At 12 inches, it’s a little bit smaller than 12.4-inch tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ and Galaxy Tab S7 FE. But that’s noticeable in a direct comparison only. I immediately noticed, however, that the pixel density is low. We’re getting a traditional LCD with a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels which is just a bit above full HD.
On a 10-inch tablet, I think that resolution is good enough. But the bigger the screen, the lower the pixel density gets. And here it’s noticeable that especially texts and icons don’t look as sharp as I’m used to.
Is that a deal breaker? If you care about a high resolution, then yes, of course. But I think for most it’s okay. It’s still a full HD screen and I think for most that’s good enough. Yes, you can see some pixels when looking closely. But when you’re watching a movie, for instance, and the tablet is sitting on a table, the pixel density is high enough. I don’t want to be too easy on it, so, be aware, if you hold it closely in front of you, it’s not sharp.
Besides that, all other aspects are pretty good. It’s fully laminated, the colors look nice and the contrast is good too. It’s also bright enough. Not like an iPad Pro, but similar to other mid-range tablets. You can work with it outside in the shadows just fine, for instance.
Netflix & Speakers
The Honor Pad 8 has a Widevine Level of L1 which means that you can watch Netflix and other streaming services in HD quality. Sounds normal, but some Huawei devices weren’t capable of that in the past, so it’s nice to see that you can enjoy Netflix on here fully. 4K YouTube videos are not supported since the screen is not capable of displaying such a high resolution.
I think the Honor Pad 8 is a great entertainment tablet. Full HD is certainly high enough for movies and in addition to that, the speakers are fantastic for this price range. We get four speaker grills in total and according to Honor, there are eight speakers behind those. Four for high tones and four for deep tones.
The sound is not on the same level as the 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro. But the speakers are surprisingly good. Really excellent in this price range and even better than the pricier Galaxy Tab S7 FE.
Hardware & Performance
The opposite of excellent is the performance. Inside the Honor Pad 8 runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 octa-core processor. I like that we get a lot of storage with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. There’s no LTE version at the moment.
In the Geekbench 5 benchmark, you can see that its CPU performance is just a bit above entry-level tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8. However, it’s much weaker than similarly priced tablets like the 10 and 11-inch Galaxy Tab S6 Lite and Xiaomi Pad 5.
Graphics performance is even weaker. In the 3D Mark Wild Life test, it’s on a similar level as cheap 8-inch tablets. Most 10-inch devices that cost around 200 Dollars offer a better graphics performance.
So, it’s not a big surprise that games run on the Honor Pad 8 with the lowest graphics settings only. PUBG Mobile works and is surprisingly smooth. But you can’t even select HD graphics. Instead, you’ve got to play it with graphics set to balanced which are the lowest available.
You can install Fortnite and you can even set the graphics to medium. However, especially when turning up the 3D resolution, it stutters so heavily, that you can’t really play it. It runs okay when setting the graphics to low and reducing the 3D resolution to between 50 and 75 percent. With those settings, it can stutter a bit too, but I’d say it’s playable. Simpler games run better, of course.
Besides that, the performance is pretty good for normal apps like Chrome, YouTube, Netflix, Microsoft Office, and so on. When switching between apps fast, it runs quite smoothly. You can also open Chrome, YouTube, and Gmail at the same time without any problems. I think that’s due to the 6GB of RAM. Most tablets with a similar chipset have 2GB or 3GB only. So, Honor is giving us much more RAM and that’s very noticeable.
Design & Built Quality
I love that the Honor Pad 8 looks like a premium tablet and it feels like one. We’re getting a high-end metal body that’s quite thin at 6.9mm and weighs just 520g. It’s available in blue only which I think looks nice. And again, it is premium-feeling.
When looking carefully, however, you can see that the built quality is not on the same level as higher-end devices. For instance, the WiFi antennas are not integrated into the metal body. Instead, there’s a plastic cover on the top. And the transition from the screen to the metal body is not as elegant as with flagship devices from Apple and Samsung.
A headphone jack and microSD card slot are missing. There is a USB C port, four speaker grills, a volume rocker, as well as a power button. A fingerprint scanner is missing. You can unlock it with facial recognition using the 5-megapixel webcam and that works very well. But since the camera is used for that alone, it’s not that secure.
The quality of the front-facing camera is pretty good and well suited for video chats. With that being said, the main 5-megapixel camera on the back is disappointing. Sure, not the most important one on a tablet. But the quality is bad even in good light.
By the way, Honor is not selling a keyboard cover or an active pen for the Pad 8.
Software: Android 12 & MagicUI
The Honor Pad 8 is running Android 12 out of the box and on top sits the MagicUI 6.1 which is their UI that resembles the one from Huawei. I think there’s almost no difference since Honor belonged to Huawei until recently.
It’s normal Android but because of the MagicUI, it looks a bit overloaded and some elements seem copied from iPadOS. There are tons of Honor apps pre-installed, as well as some ads but you can uninstall them easily.
Since Honor is not a part of Huawei anymore, the Google Play Store is pre-installed again. And we also get all Google apps like Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, and so on and they work just as we’re used to.
The split-screen view works very well and I also like that you can open apps in a free-floating window. So, the interface is excellent for multitasking.
Now, the question is if and how many updates this tablet will get. In the past, Huawei hasn’t been as exemplary as Samsung and Apple have been. So, I wish I could tell you now, but only time can tell how good Honor will be with updates for their tablets. This is the first one that’s been released internationally.
In my battery test, the Honor Pad 8 got a runtime of 6.5 hours. For this, I’m always looping an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness.
Honor Pad 8 Test: Final Verdict
So, is the Honor Pad 8 the perfect entertainment tablet for you? I think it’s great that we’re getting a 12-inch screen at just 350 Dollars and Euros. The built quality is very high-end, we get great speakers, lots of storage, and large memory. Sadly, the graphics performance is quite low. And it’s a bit disappointing that we get a rough full HD resolution only.
With that being said, if you’re looking for an affordable entertainment tablet, I think it’s a good choice. For Netflix and other videos, a full HD resolution is high enough and other aspects of the screen are great. In addition to that, the speakers are particularly good for this price range. But it’s certainly not a great gaming tablet.
Overall, I think Honor is giving us a good 12-inch entry-level tablet. It’s very interesting if you’re looking for a large screen but don’t want to get a flagship device. In case other features are more important to you, however, like a great performance, an active pen, or a high pixel density, then you should check out the competition.
Let’s take a look at those alternatives.
The biggest competitor is the 12.4-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE which is another 12-inch mid-range tablet. Usually, it costs at least 100 Dollars more but is offering better performance, a higher-resolution display, and the S Pen stylus is included. Just keep in mind that the internal storage is only half of the Honor.
If you want to get as much performance for your money as possible, check out the Xiaomi Pad 5. Its 11-inch display is a bit smaller but it has a higher resolution. Due to a better processor, it’s much more powerful and it has good speakers as well. Prices are similar, but here we get a plastic back instead of a full metal one. Updates are as unlikely and unsure as with Honor.
- Affordable large display
- Premium design
- Very good speakers
- Large internal storage
- Lots of RAM
- Android 12
- Full HD resolution only
- Weak processor
- Updates unsure
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