This Honor 70 review is aimed at anyone who needs a smartphone that won’t break the bank but that manages to deliver in all the key areas with solid performance, a big FHD+ screen and a decent point-and-shoot camera.
When you first take the Honor 70 out of its box you’ll be struck by how much has gone into the design of the phone. Honor's kit still very much echoes the devices made by their previous parent company, Huawei, especially when it comes to shape, finish and even the available colourways.
I’m not complaining though because the Honor 70 is truly stunning and could have you fooled as being a much more expensive handset than it actually is, this is one of the best cheap phones in town when it comes to looks alone. Of course, it's not all about looks and this phone has a lot more going for it than just that.
In this Honor 70 review, you can find out everything you need to know before you buy one, from details on its display and design to how I found its camera system, performance and battery life.
Honor 70 review: price and what’s new
You can buy the Honor 70 starting from £480 in the UK for the model with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, that goes up to £530 for the version that comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Take a look at the widgets on this page to see where you can pick one up.
Following on from the Honor 50, which is a much cheaper version of the handset, the Honor 70 introduces some more premium features and hardware while remaining very much a mid-range smartphone.
The screen is slightly bigger at 6.67-inches, while the camera system is made up of a 54MP main sensor, a 50MP ultrawide angle camera and a 2MP depth sensor which are complemented by a dual-LED flash as well as more advanced camera modes and settings.
Under the hood, you’ll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ 5G processor and a 4800mAh battery as opposed to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G CPU and a 4,300mAh battery in the Honor 50.
Honor 70 review: design and display
Describing the design of the Honor 70 is easy, it’s simply one of the sleekest handsets I've seen - the combination of aluminium alloy and glass with curved edges make it look seriously sophisticated while the two rounded camera modules help it stand out against the usual square equivalents.
You can buy it in Midnight Black, Emerald Green or Crystal Silver, I tested out the green and loved how the smooth casing catches the light although it was a little prone to fingerprint marks so I did find myself wiping it down a lot. Despite that, it feels robust, well made and comes with a protective case included in the box, although admittedly doesn't have an IP rating so can't claim to be waterproof or dustproof.
Around the frame, you’ll find the usual suspects including a power button, volume rocker and a USB-C port, there’s no 3.5mm audio jack here so you’ll need either an adaptor or a pair of Bluetooth headphones to use with it.
To unlock the Honor 70, there’s an in-display fingerprint scanner, it works well each time but I did find it was placed slightly too far down the screen to where my thumb naturally sits.
What I really like about this phone is how it feels in the hand, at 178g it’s much lighter than a lot of flagships, and being 161.4 x 73.3 x 7.91mm my thumb easily reached the opposite side of the screen. It was good to use on a flat surface as well because the camera notch doesn’t make the handset doesn’t rock as you tap it.
The 6.67-inch OLED screen is a beauty, it has a resolution of FHD+ 2400 x 1080p with curved edges that wrap around the sides of the phone. Sharp, bright and colourful it looks great no matter what sort of content you display on it be that mobile games, photos or TV shows. And thanks to the 120Hz maximum refresh rate, it works smoothly too, every scroll swipe and tap is responsive and instantaneous.
Honor 70 review: cameras
Packing a three-lens rear camera system made up of a 54MP main sensor, a 50MP ultrawide angle camera and a 2MP depth sensor, the Honor 70 can snap some pretty decent shots if you get the lighting right.
Well contrasted with an accurate representation of colour, the shots looked great even when I was snapping on an overcast day. They weren’t too oversaturated but managed to give some life to the subjects, as you can see in the sample shots below. My only qualm was the level of detail, lines aren’t quite as defined as you’d get from a more accomplished phone camera and so the results do lack intricate details and definition.
When you go to use the ultrawide mode, you get a lot more in the scene but it does mean you lose out on even more detail, so the shots won’t be able to be blown up without coming out a little grainy. Similarly, the 10x digital zoom leaves a lot to be desired, it barely shows you more than you can see with your own eyes and the pictures aren’t really useable at all.
For those who plan to shoot a lot of video footage, you’ll be able to capture it in resolutions up to 4K (up to 3840 x 2160p) and there are some handy modes to play around with too including Multi-Video which lets you combine different views when you’re filming from cameras on both sides of the phone. For more casual day-to-day videos that will be a little overkill but if you’re capturing more important moments then it’ll make the footage look more professional.
Honor 70 review: performance and battery
When it comes to performance, the Honor 70 is a mid-ranger through and through with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ 5G processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There's no MicroSD card slot to expand it.
In terms of day-to-day running, the Honor 70 coped with just about any task, I used it to browse the web, flick through social media and open up a Google app or two. It had no problems with lag or heating up in those instances but this is by no means a phone fit for heavy gaming.
On Geekbench 5, the Honor 70 picked up scores of 821 in single-core and 2,931 in multi-core, which place it amongst other mid-rangers like the Poco F3 but also matches up to some slightly more premium handsets like the Oppo Find X5.
One area where this phone absolutely thrives is battery life. The 4,800mAh battery is one you can rely on, it lasted me two days of use. During that time I snapped photos, sent messages and scrolled through social media so was impressed to see it still up and running towards the end of the second day.
To test it out a bit more accurately I downloaded and played a video on full brightness over the space of two hours, by the end, the battery percentage had only dropped by 8% which suggests it would have lasted a total of 25 hours. That's pretty amazing by any standards.
Using the 66W wired charger included in the box, the Honor 70 can give you 60% battery in as little as 20 minutes, although there’s no wireless charging option, unfortunately.
The brain of the operation is Magic UI 6.1 which is based on Android 12. I find its layout to be a little too cluttered for my tastes and it comes with tonnes of apps pre-installed so you might need to spend time going through and deleting some when you first start it up. But aside from that it does run very smoothly and there’s plenty of customisation for the always-on display, you can easily adjust the theme and you get the choice to use an app drawer if you want to organise it differently.
Honor 70 review: verdict
For a mid-range handset, the Honor 70 does pretty well across the board, it’s not going to wow you with top-tier specs and hardware but it does everything you could need your next smartphone to do.
When you take the price into consideration, everything about it is impressive. It has a stunning design with a bright screen, decent performance and a solid point-and-shoot camera, but there is one area where this phone really excels, the battery life, it’s one of the longest-lasting smartphones you can buy. Plus the fast charging only makes it more convincing.
You will have to sacrifice some more high-end features like wireless charging and waterproofing but unless you're after every trick in the book, I don’t think that should put you off because the Honor 70 is still fantastic value for money.
Honor 70 review: also consider
If this price point appeals to you, then a phone like the OnePlus Nord could be a good choice as well. Excellent value for money, it takes everything you could need from a smartphone and squeezes it into a very affordable package and I'm personally a big fan of Oxygen OS which is OnePlus' Android skin - this phone is well worth a look!
For another attractive but affordable smartphone, take a look at the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G - it looks just like one of their flagship phones but it actually comes at a fraction of the cost. You’ll get a lot for your money as well with a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display, a fantastic three-lens rear camera that snaps some pretty good shots and astonishingly good battery life.