Honor Pad 8 review: Large high-resolution display on a budget

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In the world of tablets, there aren’t a whole lot of options. You’ll pretty much only ever stray towards Samsung in the realm of Android or, more likely, an iPad. A lot of Android users will be swayed by the allure of an iPad, as Apple just simply does tablets better. However, the Honor Pad 8 is an interesting tablet that does it just a little bit differently. It’s geared a whole lot more towards media consumption but has a price tag to match, too.

If you need a tablet for watching videos, listening to music or controlling a smart home ecosystem, then this might be the tablet for you. It’s not the most powerful, so don’t expect productivity, but it’s got a great, large screen and some fantastic speakers. It’s a cheap device for watching your favorite movies, TV shows, or even YouTubers, and it does a great job at exactly that — much better than most of the competition in this price bracket.

What I love about the Honor Pad 8 is that it’s not trying to be anything more than a media consumption device. It’s great at what it’s designed to do, and it doesn’t try to shoehorn a ton of other stuff on top of that. If you want productivity, don’t get the Honor Pad 8. If you just want something to consume media on, then this is nearly as good as any tablet that’ll cost a good bit more.

    The Honor Pad 8 is a media-focused tablet that does a great job on a budget. Want to watch TV shows, movies, or YouTube on an Android tablet? Get this.

Honor Pad 8 showing Futurama while the tablet is on a stool

Honor Pad 8: Pricing and availability

The Honor Pad 8 is available for €329 on both Honor’s HiHonor website and on Amazon throughout Europe. If you live in the United Kingdom, it comes in at £269.99.


Honor Pad 8: Specifications

Honor Pad 8
CPU Snapdragon 680
Dimensions and weight
  • 240.2mm x 159mm x 6.9mm
  • 520g
Display
  • 12-inch 2K IPS LCD
  • 2000×1200
  • 350 nits
  • 60Hz
Camera
  • 5MP main
  • 5MP front-facing camera
Memory 4GB RAM/64GB, 128GB
Battery 7,250mAh
Network LTE: Enhanced 4X4 MIMO, 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat. 20
5G
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor
Ports USB-C
OS Android 12 with MagicUI 6.1 on top
Colors Blue
Price Starts at £269.99

About this review: Honor sent me the Honor Pad 8 for review. The company did not have any any inputs into the contents of this review.


Honor Pad 8: Display and build

Honor Pad 8 showing Futurama, with Professor Farnsworth saying "Bring it on, Santa"

The Honor Pad 8 display is crisp, clear, and decently bright

The display is the most important part of the Honor Pad 8, and it’s something that the company has nailed pretty well here. It’s crisp, it’s clear, and it’s decently bright. It’s great for sitting back and watching Netflix or YouTube, and it was great for a recent trip to Berlin for IFA 2022 where I was able to sit down and watch something in downtime.

It’s not the most technically impressive display, and it does lack some features. For example, there’s no HDR support, and it’s an IPS panel instead of an OLED. While there is a debate to be had as to whether OLED or IPS is better for watching movies or TV shows, OLED is certainly better in most other scenarios. If you prefer an IPS panel for consuming media, then you’re not going to have a problem with this device.

Honor Pad 8 camera module

The Honor Pad 8 does a fantastic job at packing what’s necessary

For a cheap tablet based on media consumption, the Honor Pad 8 does a fantastic job at packing what’s necessary. The large display with a high resolution is the most important part of the entire ordeal, and the wider 5:3 aspect ratio can display all kinds of content at ease. Both older 4:3 content (such as older episodes of Futurama) and newer 16:9 content look great. Overall, the Honor Pad 8 does a brilliant job with the display for such a cheap device, and it’s clear that this is where the bulk of its focus went.

Back of the Honor Pad 8

However, one thing I did notice is that the back of the device got a little bit scratched up from being carried in my bag. I didn’t do anything particularly damaging to it, but there are still visible scratches from using it over the course of two weeks. It’s a cheaper device and the back is made of plastic, so I assume that’s how it happened. It’s not a huge deal really, but just worth keeping in mind that you will likely need to protect it a bit if you want it to remain flawless-looking.


Audio

Honor Pad 8 speakers

The Honor Pad 8 packs eight speakers — four on each side, capable of pumping out loud, clean-sounding audio. They’re perfect for consuming content and sound pretty decent for being integrated speakers. The one criticism I have of the Honor Pad 8’s audio is that there isn’t a headphone jack, which I feel is a bit of a letdown given that it’s such a media consumption beast.

I tested these speakers across a wide range of music and different TV shows and YouTube videos, and I found that they generally didn’t struggle too much. Depending on the songs (the second chorus of No Halo by Sorority Noise being a prime example), it can sound incredibly muddy, but that’s because these are tablet speakers. For the most part, it’ll be fine for music, and for other types of content, these speakers are more than adequate.


Performance, battery life, and software

The performance of the Honor Pad 8 doesn’t really matter all that much, because this is not a productivity machine and isn’t being marketed as such. Nevertheless, it’s important to state that this device has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680, which is merely a mid-range chipset. It’s fine for pretty basic gaming and the like, but you will notice it struggles with more intensive workloads. When it comes to media decoding, that’s where it’s most apt. I get a score of 3

When it comes to battery life and software, I no longer have the numbers that I had saved from watching YouTube and Netflix on this device, and the reason for that is linked to the software. When I took the tablet out of my bag, I noticed that it wasn’t switched on anymore. Turning it on, I discovered that the device had reset itself and I had lost everything. This included my battery screenshots, benchmarks, and other data that I had collected throughout the course of this review. While I assume that it’s linked to the fact my device was on pre-release firmware previously, I have to report on it because nothing has been communicated to me from Honor to state that officially.

Nevertheless, the battery life was pretty good when using it. I could charge it up with the included 22.5W charger in the box quickly (for a 7250 mAh battery, anyway), and it would last me a whole day pretty easily.

That software, though, is Magic UI 6.0. While it looks like EMUI on Huawei’s phones currently, that’s set to change according to Honor’s EU president. That means what you see here could be drastically different with the next release of Magic UI 7.0. It looks decent and isn’t difficult to use, and the tablet UI makes sense. There’s nothing special here, but there doesn’t have to be.


Should you buy the Honor Pad 8?

This is a pretty good price all things considered as while it has subpar specifications in other departments, it packs upper mid-range specifications for what it’s made for — media consumption. It’s hard to really fault the Honor Pad 8 in any particular way because of its lower price tag, and it’s a lot more budget-friendly than the Honor 70 that launched alongside it. I thought that the Honor 70 was too highly-priced, but I think that the Honor Pad 8 is nearly in the flagship-killer territory with how good it is at what it does.

To be clear, not everyone wants a tablet for more than watching movies and TV shows, and you normally have to spend a lot to get a really good screen. That’s because a high-resolution display will normally command higher specifications as well, especially if the user is gaming or doing other intensive tasks. If you want a tablet for working on the go, then skip this device. You won’t really be able to use it for that, and it won’t really get the job done.

If however, you’re like a lot of people who just want to watch something good in the evening on the couch or in bed, then you can’t go wrong with this tablet. It’s cost-effective and looks good, and that’s all it really needs. You could spend a bit more to get an iPad, but why bother? The iPad (2021) for example is the closest, but it still costs €70 more with a smaller screen and a more outdated design. The bigger screen really matters here. This is honestly one of the best budget tablets that I’ve used in a long time.

    The Honor Pad 8 is a media-focused tablet that does a great job on a budget. Want to watch TV shows, movies, or YouTube on an Android tablet? Get this.



Date Of Publish

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