Best Honor phones 2021: these are the top Honor handsets you should consider

Asia's Tech News Daily

The best Honor phones offer dependable hardware but potentially with a big caveat. That’s because right now, the majority of its handsets don’t offer Google Mobile Services.

However, with Huawei recently selling the Honor brand, things are starting to change. The Honor 50 is on its way although currently only available in limited locations right now, and it turns out that Google Mobile Services is making a comeback via it. It’s too early for us to feature the Honor 50 in our rankings, of course, but it’s worth keeping an eye on in future.

It’s a similar story for the Honor Magic 3 series too although – again – it doesn’t feature on our rankings just yet until we’ve had time to run it through its paces. Still, it boasts some camera-centric features and an OLED panel that should appeal to many.

For now, older Honor devices are still worth checking out. They provide useful key features away from the Google ecosystem including Petal Search which lets you download Android apps from other sources, so many of your favorite apps will still work. In our ranking, we’ve also included older Honor phones like the Honor View 20 which still has the Google Play Store, and continues to top our list despite being over two years old now.

Honor has a range of (often blue) phones at various price points, so there’s something for everyone here. Honor phones also typically have the same specs and features as Huawei devices but at a cheaper cost which is sure to appeal to budget-conscious users.

Traditionally aimed at slightly younger audiences, Honor phones often include decent camera features to appeal to those selfie and social media loving fans. However, like any Android device, they’ll work well for anyone.

We’ve ranked all the best Honor phones here, with a summary and breakdown of the good and bad about each device. Be sure to check out our full reviews of each one to learn more about what works best for you.

Best Honor phones 2020

Honor View 20 (Image credit: Future)

1. Honor View 20

The best Honor phone you can buy right now

Release date: December 2018
Weight: 180g
Dimensions: 156.9 x 75.4 x 8.1mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.4-inch
CPU: Kirin 980
RAM: 6 / 8GB
Storage: 128 / 256GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + ToF
Front camera: 25MP

Reasons to buy
+Great battery life+Intriguing, smart camera

Reasons to avoid
No wide or zoom rear lensesThat finish is an audience-divider

The Honor phone that tops our list right now is the Honor View 20, technically released first in China in late 2018 and then globally in early 2019.

This was one of the first smartphones with a punch-hole front camera cut-out, and also one of the first handsets with a 48MP rear camera, so its certainly a piece of history. But it’s also a decent phone in its own right too.

Sure, some may call the phone’s back ugly, but others might not mind – and even like it. At the end of the day, it’s not like you’re going to be looking at it that much anyway.

Read our full Honor View 20 review

(Image credit: Honor)

2. Honor 20 Pro

The only Pro device on this list

Release date: July 2019
Weight: 182g
Dimensions: 154.6 x 74 x 8.4mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.26-inch
CPU: Kirin 980
Storage: 128 / 256GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 16MP + 2MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy
+Fantastic four-camera array+Easy-to-use fingerprint sensor

Reasons to avoid
No headphone jackMagic UI looks rather childish

Arguably Honor’s most ‘premium’ phone on this list is the Honor 20 Pro, which is certainly at least the top-end version of the 20 line (which, confusingly, the Honor View 20 isn’t part of).

The phone has four high-quality cameras on the rear including one of the first macro lenses on a smartphone, and its front-facing snapper is great, too. it’s also a good-looking phone with decent specs and features.

Sure, it might be a little harder to get a hold of than its non-Pro version (featured lower on this list), but it’s definitely worth looking into if you want a great Honor phone.

Read our full Honor 20 Pro review

(Image credit: Honor)

3. Honor 9

Old but also gold

Release date: July 2017
Weight: 155g
Dimensions: 147.3 x 70.9 x 8.4mm
OS: Android 7
Screen size: 5.15-inch
CPU: Kirin 960
RAM: 4 / 6GB
Storage: 64 / 128GB
Battery: 3,200mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 20MP
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy
+Attractive design+Affordable price

Reasons to avoid
One speaker driverHeavy bezel

The Honor 9 isn’t exactly a new phone, but it’s still an impressive all-rounder, and it’s now decidedly affordable thanks to being a little older. The phone has two decent cameras, and is more compact than other devices on this list, so if you want a smaller phone this might be the one for you.

Sure, it’s not the most premium phone in a lot of ways, as it’s got a lot more bezel than you’ll find on most other Honor and other modern phones. That doesn’t matter to everyone, though, so if you don’t want to break the bank but want an Honor phone, this is a decent contender.

Read our full Honor 9 review

(Image credit: Honor)

4. Honor 9X

Unrelated to the Honor 9

Release date: October 2019
Weight: 198.6g
Dimensions: 163.5 x 77.3 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.59-inch
CPU: Kirin 710F
RAM: 4 / 6GB
Storage: 64 / 128GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP

Reasons to buy
+Has a pop-up camera+Long battery life

Reasons to avoid
Rather big bodyCameras are okay, not great

The Honor 9X is part of the company’s X-series of affordable handsets (and is not, in fact, related to the Honor 9 from several years prior).

The phone has a pop-up camera and a large, all-screen display, with a camera array topped by a 48MP snapper and also a fairly large battery. In general, there’s a few decent features, but it’s really the price that should appeal to prospective buyers, as this is a fairly cheap handset.

Read our full Honor 9X review

(Image credit: Honor)

5. Honor 20

The basic sibling to the Pro

Release date: June 2019
Weight: 174g
Dimensions: 154.3 x 74 x 7.9mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.26-inch
CPU: Kirin 980
RAM: 6 / 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 3,750mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy
+Speedy performance+Decent camera results

Reasons to avoid
Magic UI is uglyLevel of app bloat is ridiculous

If you don’t need the extra storage or better cameras of the Honor 20 Pro, you might find the Honor 20 is a good enough phone for you.

The device has the same design build and many of the same features as its Pro sibling, and you’re not getting a significantly worse phone despite the lower pricetag.

Saying that, our main pain points from the bigger device are still present in the Honor 20, so if that phone doesn’t look right for you, this one might not either.

Read our full Honor 20 review

(Image credit: Honor)

6. Honor 10

An older Honor flagship

Release date: May 2018
Weight: 153g
Dimensions: 149.6 x 71.2 x 7.7mm
OS: Android 8.1
Screen size: 5.84-inch
CPU: Kirin 970
RAM: 4 – 8GB
Storage: 64 / 128GB
Battery: 3,400mAh
Rear camera: 16MP + 24MP
Front camera: 24MP

Reasons to buy
+Bold reflective back+Great integrated fingerprint scanner

Reasons to avoid
No microSD supportAverage battery life

The 2018 Honor flagship was the Honor 10, which was a decent smartphone (although its ranking below the Honor 9 from the year before should tell you something).

In many ways it’s an average Android smartphone, but we liked its fingerprint scanner and found the cameras pretty decent, too. It’s also more stylish than most other handsets, even from its heyday.

Read our full Honor 10 review

(Image credit: Honor)

7. Honor View 10

Before the V design struck

Release date: January 2018
Weight: 172g
Dimensions: 157 x 75 x 7mm
OS: Android 8
Screen size: 5.84-inch
CPU: Kirin 970
RAM: 4 – 8GB
Storage: 64 / 128GB
Battery: 3,400mAh
Rear camera: 16MP + 24MP
Front camera: 24MP

Reasons to buy
+Good screen+Long battery life

Reasons to avoid
Loose camera exposure meteringNo water resistance

We were big fans of the Honor View 10 when it was released, and though it’s slightly older now, that doesn’t mean it’s any worse a device – just that its successors are better.

There are some strengths, and some weaknesses to the phone, but overall it’s decent for people looking for an all-rounder phone that’ll see them through normal use. It’s worth pointing out, though, that the price of the Honor View 10 hasn’t sunk as low as its contemporaries since release.

Read our full Honor View 10 review

(Image credit: Honor)

8. Honor 20 Lite

The budget Honor 20

Release date: April 2018
Weight: 164g
Dimensions: 154.8 x 73.6 x 8mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.21-inch
CPU: Kirin 710
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 3,400mAh
Rear camera: 24MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy
+Strong screen for price+Camera capable of quality pictures

Reasons to avoid
Wide-angle camera isn’t greatEMUI continues to underwhelm

Honor’s Lite phones haven’t always been the most impressive devices, but they’re good enough for people on a budget who don’t need all the smarts and specs of the mid-range devices.

The Honor 20 Lite was seemingly just an iterative upgrade on its predecessor, the Honor 10 Lite, but there are a few improvements – enough so to make the phone worth considering over the 10 Lite at the very least.

Read our full Honor 20 Lite review

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