The recently unburdened Honor is aiming to get back to its glory days, and it is doing all the right things. The Magic Vs is one of the best foldable phones and a great showcase of what the brand can achieve, and with the phone slated for a debut in global markets later this quarter, Honor has a shot at challenging Samsung's dominance.
The Honor 70 ticks a lot of the right boxes as well, with the device combining a gorgeous design with decent mid-range internals and good cameras. Rounding out Honor's portfolio is the Honor Pad 8, an Android tablet that has a lot to offer. Honor launched the tablet back in July 2022, and don't be fooled by the name — this isn't an eight-inch tablet. The Honor Pad 8 has a huge 12-inch screen that's ideal for streaming videos, and the number in the name is a reference to the speaker system that has eight drivers in total.
Although the Honor Pad 8 is massive, it doesn't feel too heavy; the metal chassis feels great, and the 520g weight is manageable. The tablet looks premium thanks to the 6.9mm thickness, aluminum body, and the matte finish at the back, and overall, Honor did a good job with the design here. The blue color lends itself very well to the design.
The Honor Pad 8 is somewhat unwieldy to hold and use due to that gargantuan 12-inch screen, but the weight itself is balanced well. The screen has large bezels when seen against the best Android tablets, but it works to Honor's advantage here as there's enough room to hold on to at the sides. The 12-inch IPS LCD panel has an FHD+ resolution of 2,000 x 1,200, and the 15:9 ratio works really well for reading content and streaming videos.
My biggest downside in this area is that the screen is limited to 60Hz. With more and more tablets getting 90Hz and 120Hz panels, Honor should have added at least a 90Hz refresh here as it would have made the tablet a little more enticing. There is some latency for the screen, and that makes it seem slower than it actually is. That said, the screen gets sufficiently bright in daily use, and I didn't run into any issues.
You won't find any HDR, but the tablet has good colors out of the box, and you get decent customizability, including the ability to adjust the color balance. Where the Honor Pad 8 truly shines is with the onboard audio — the eight drives do a phenomenal job, and you get an immersive sound that's great for playing videos and movies on the device. It has Widevine L1, so you get Full HD playback on the likes of Netflix and other streaming services.
As for the hardware itself, the Honor Pad 8 features Qualcomm's 6nm Snapdragon 680. It is an aging design and includes Cortex A73 and A53 cores, and while it won't win any performance awards, it is reliable. You won't see any lag while browsing the web or streaming videos, and while Honor's rivals offer better hardware, the differentiator here is the large screen. Elsewhere, there's 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and you get Wi-Fi ac and Bluetooth 5.1. The lack of Wi-Fi 6 is a big omission, and Honor should have done more in this area.
You'll find two 5MP cameras on the Honor Pad 8: one at the back, and one tucked into the side bezel at the front. The front camera is decent enough for video calls, and the one at the back is usable if you need to take a few photos, but given the size of the tablet and its intended use case, the rear camera is largely an afterthought — you're better off using your phone for taking photos.
The Honor Pad 8 comes with a 7,250mAh battery, and it is more than adequate for day-to-day use. You'll get over ten hours of screen-on-time when streaming videos or movies, and just over that figure for web browsing. And when it comes to charging, the tablet takes just over two hours to fully charge the battery. Considering the use case for the Honor Pad 8 and the fact that it will mostly be used mostly for multimedia in the house, the lengthy charging times aren't a huge issue.
Switching over to the software side of things, the Honor Pad 8 comes with Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12 out of the box, and it is very similar to EMUI builds of old. You'll find the Play Store and Google services installed out of the box, and Magic UI has a few nifty additions, including split-screen multitasking, split notification pane, floating windows, large folders, and a good mix of customizability.
Affordability is a key feature of the Honor Pad 8, and the tablet is available for just £229 in the UK and ₹21,999 in India. That's a good value when you consider the size of the screen and the build quality, and while it isn't the fastest in this category, it is well-suited for multimedia. So if you want a budget tablet mainly for streaming videos or browsing, you'll find a lot to like in the Honor Pad 8.
Thanks to a massive screen and decent onboard audio, the Pad 8 works as a good budget tablet for multimedia. It isn't the fastest tablet in this category, but it gets the basics right.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.