Honor made a number of announcements at the IFA event in Berlin in September. I’ve already reviewed the Honor 70 smartphone, but the company has also announced its first tablet to arrive in the UK, the 12-inch Pad 8. An attractive price of £269.99 may suggest nominal specs and performance, but on the other hand, the handheld’s large screen could be attractive. With fewer Android tablets available these days, does the Honor Pad 8 offer enough features or should you spend your money elsewhere?
While Honor likes to offer a variety of color options for its smartphones, the Honor Pad 8 is available in just one color – the oddly named Blue Hour. This slate blue shade, matte finish picks up fingerprints easily and is slightly slippery. The Honor branding sits inconspicuously in the center of the back plate, while the camera lens is in the upper right corner (viewed in landscape mode). The camera area doesn’t stick out that much.
The 8 corners of the plaque are neatly rounded. One long edge is completely open, while the other houses the power button and volume rocker. One short end has a USB-C charging cable and two speaker grilles, while the other has two more. The design is neat and ergonomic.
The Honor Pad 8 is a comfortable grip for a 12-inch tablet. It’s only 6.9mm thick and weighs 520g, and its 278.54 x 174.06mm footprint is no slouch – my backpack, for example, can easily fit it. The sleeve adds some size and weight, but it’s recommended to protect the screen from scratches.
The screen is actually 11.97 inches from corner to corner, and it’s sized to allow for a comfortable grip without fingers falling on the screen. Honor claims an 87% screen-to-body ratio, but we measured it at 84.6%. The 2000-1200-pixel IPS panel is nice and sharp: video looks great and text is sharp.
If you want to adjust the color settings of the tablet screen, you can adjust the color temperature, while the Eye Comfort mode reduces blue light and can either be switched manually or set to turn on and off at a set time. You can set the blue light filter level to your liking. I’m glad to see an e-book mode that grays out the screen; I found this very useful on the Honor 70, and here, reading e-books in widescreen format with two pages at once was a pleasure.
The Honor Pad 8 runs on Android 12 overlaid with Honor Magic UI 6.1. A number of third-party applications are pre-installed, including social, streaming and sales apps. If they exceed the requirements, they can be removed, freeing up some internal storage. Honor offers 128 GB, of which 112 GB is free to use. There’s no way to expand the storage via microSD card, so you’ll need to make sure 128GB is enough.
The Multi-Window tweak, part of Honor’s Android overlay, is available on the Pad 8. I mentioned it in my review of the Honor 70, and here on the bigger screen, it’s much more capable. Indeed, the Honor Pad 8 can open up to four windows at once, mixing 50/50 split screen or floating windows as needed. You bring up the multi-window app picker by swiping from either side, then select the apps you want to view. Having a working document and web page side by side has been very productive for me.
Honor also lets you zoom in on folders containing apps so all apps are visible. Press and hold on the app, select “zoom in” and you’re done. To return to standard size folder icons, press and hold and select “minimize”.
Honor Pad 8 is designed for video calls, games and media consumption, and for this there are no less than eight speakers – four high and four bass. I was impressed with the sound quality: no high-end distortion, it’s very loud and has plenty of bass. Both rock and classical music sounded good, both live and telecast. Word of mouth was good, including video calls.
The front 5 MP camera is good for video calls. The rear camera is also a 5MP unit next to smartphone cameras, but Honor provides multiple capture modes, including document scanning, portrait, photo and video, as well as a time-lapse mode. Digital zoom up to 8x produces slightly grainy images, but the camera’s AI improves color in some image types to improve quality. There is no macro studio and the photography is very simple but adequate.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset with 4GB of RAM performed well, scoring 375 (single-core) and 1533 (multi-core) on Geekbench 5. In real-world use, I never felt like I was pushing the Honor Pad 8 too hard, but a gamer might be better off looking elsewhere.
The 7,250mAh battery lasted the Honor Pad 8 for an impressive 16 hours and 46 minutes in PC Mark’s battery life test for Android Work 3.0, and drained just 29% of a full charge when playing a YouTube video for three hours. Those are good numbers.
When it comes to charging, it’s a different story. Charging the battery with only 22.5W charger is very slow. I once started charging the battery at 10% and after 105 minutes it still wasn’t full and it was at 94%.
Android tablets aren’t as common as they used to be, and the options are limited. The Honor Pad 8 offers a large screen, great speakers and long battery life at an affordable price. This should definitely be considered if you don’t need microSD card storage and fast charging.
Honor Pad 8 Specifications
|Android 12 + MagicUI 6.1
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
|4 GB, 6 GB
|– MicroSD card slot
|12-inch IPS LCD, 2000 x 1200 (5:3, 194ppi)
|5 MP front • 5 MP rear
|Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
|USB-C (USB OTG)
|8x speakers, 1x microphone
|accelerometer, ambient light
|278.54 mm x 174.06 mm x 6.9 mm (10.96 in x 6.85 in x 0.27 in)
|520 g (1.15 lb)
|Inside the box
|tablet, quick release, charger, Type-C data cable, service warranty card, CPE bag
|The price is
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