Honor 200 Pro Review: Midrange Mixed Bag

Honor’s 200 Pro is an upper-midranger or maybe a lesser flagship. It has a lovely screen, good battery life, fast charging, a versatile camera, and the AI features of Honor’s flagship, Magic 6 Pro. Compromises are minimal. Sure, the processor is a step down from the flagship tier, it’s slightly less water resistant, the camera isn’t quite as good, and the 200 Pro misses out on secure face unlock, but it offers a pretty similar experience at a much more affordable price (£700 in the UK or 800 euros in Europe). It is not officially sold in the US.

Honor focused on the portrait prowess of the 200 Pro in the unveiling, talking up its partnership with Paris-based Studio Harcourt (a famous portrait studio). But, like many of the 200 Pro’s AI features, this stuff feels a bit gimmicky. The real reason to look at the 200 Pro is the hardware you get for the price. Just be aware that Honor’s software can be jarring, and the design is not for everyone.

Classic or Old

While the Honor 200 Pro feels like a classy phone, the design gives me grandmother vibes. I acknowledge this might just be me, but something about the cameo brooch-shaped camera module (supposedly inspired by Gaudi’s “Casa Milá”) and the pale green (Ocean Cyan), swirly, mother-of-pearl finish has me picturing Grandma fishing it out of her handbag. There’s nothing wrong with the design, and I feel bad dunking on an attempt to do something different with the camera module, but it’s just not for me.

The 200 Pro is light, slim, and curves front and back into the aluminum frame. It’s very comfortable to hold. But I have grown tired of curved screens and the inevitable accidental touches. I have no other complaints about the 6.78-inch AMOLED screen. The 2,700 x 1,224-pixel resolution is plenty sharp, the refresh rate goes up to 120 Hz, and it’s bright enough to read outdoors (Honor claims 4,000 nits of peak brightness, but that sounds optimistic). The sound quality of the stereo speakers is also impressive.

A book teal mobile phone and pair of glasses on a wooden surface

Photograph: Simon Hill

The fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the screen proved fast and responsive. I’m not keen on the double cutout for the front-facing camera, and there is no 3D time-of-flight sensor, so the 200 Pro doesn’t boast the secure face unlock of its more expensive sibling. The 200 Pro scores an IP65 rating, meaning rain and spills are probably fine, but you should avoid submersion.

The 200 Pro relies on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 processor, which is intended for the midrange. Somewhat confusingly, it is a step down from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but I doubt many folks will feel a lack of processing power. The 200 Pro felt snappy, mostly keeping its cool while running games like Asphalt 9: Legends. Honor has generously appointed the 200 Pro with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage.

Portrait Photography

The Honor 200 Pro has a triple-lens main camera that combines a 50-megapixel main shooter with a fairly large 1/1.3-inch image sensor, a 50-megapixel telephoto lens with a customized Sony IMX 856 sensor capable of 2.5X optical zoom, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide that can also handle macro photography. Honor made a big deal of this phone’s portrait chops, developed with the help of Studio Harcourt. True to that theme, there is a 50-megapixel front-facing camera with a 2-megapixel lens for depth sensing.

Honor has been quick to roll AI features into its phones, and the 200 Pro has its “AI Portrait Engine” built in, which is supposed to make the most of shadow and light to help you nail your desired artistic style with portrait photos. There is even a Harcourt Portrait mode in the camera app that lets you choose between vibrant, color, or classic (black-and-white) styles, but it only works with the main camera, not the front-facing selfie camera.

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