Honor 200 Pro first look

Honor 200 Pro first look – This premium portrait optimised camera phone has a Magic AI feature that is perfect for TikTok

Ahead of the impending launch of the Honor 200 series phones in Malaysia, Honor graciously allowed us the honour, quite literally, of field testing the Honor 200 Pro at arguably the most gruelling tech event of the year – Computex 2024. 

This time around, Honor has deviated from their usual game plan by quite a bit. For the first time ever, they’re launching a Pro version of a numbered series phone – specifically the Honor 200 Pro in Malaysia alongside the base Honor 200 and in another first, they’re teaming up with the legendary Studio Harcourt to create a custom set of portrait filters for the phones that emulate the studio’s signature look and settings. 

Honor 200 Pro first look front

Here’s our Honor 200 Pro first look where we took a gander at what their latest phone has to offer, and, in particular, one particular feature that it has that ought to be on all phones.

Honor 200 Pro first look – what’s in the box, build and design

The Honor 200 Pro is arguably the brand’s first Pro variant numbered series phone released in Malaysia. Its predecessor, the Honor 90 only deployed in a Lite and base variant last year in Malaysia. While it looks aesthetically similar to the base Honor 200, the Honor 200 Pro has a better processor, a slightly larger display and a better camera sensor along with two additional Magic AI features unavailable to the base Honor 200.

Out of the box, our Honor 200 Pro first look sample comes with a solid array of kit that consists of the phone itself, a soft TPU protective case, a 66W fast wired charger, the obligatory SIM eject pin, a USB manual and a quick start manual. In keeping with many of their other phones, the Honor 200 Pro also has a pre-applied screen protector which comes in handy if you aim to use it immediately.

Honor 200 Pro first look base

The hardware is respectable as smartphones go and lets it straddle the line between a midrange and premium phone. You get a premium 6.78-inch 120Hz AMOLED quad curved display, Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset, 12GB RAM, 512GB of onboard storage and a 5,200mAh silicon-carbon battery that comes with 100W wired and 66W wireless charging. Of note with our Honor 200 Pro first look sample is the fact that it has a special chip that the base Honor 200 lacks – an Honor C1 + RF enhanced chipset that improves and ensures steadier connectivity.

The rear triple camera array is interesting, with the main 50MP camera using a 1/1.3-inch H9000 sensor that is also used on the flagship Honor Magic6 Pro. This is paired with a 50MP telephoto camera that uses the new Sony IMX856 sensor along with a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera. To ensure steadier shots, the phone has both an OIS and EIS stabilisation. Up front, it has a single 50MP selfie camera.

Honor 200 Pro first look cameras

As mentioned earlier, the Honor 200 Pro and its lesser sibling both have a trio of filters created in collaboration with Studio Harcourt – Harcourt Vibrant, Harcourt Colour and Harcourt Classic that use an advanced algorithm to create their signature look.

Thus far taking it for a whirl around Taiwan, the rear cameras are exceptionally impressive and optimised for portraiture with the sensor almost instantly looking onto human faces and then snagging excellent shots with the Harcourt filters yielding some darned good shots that would give any other flagship-grade phone a run for their money.

Honor 200 Pro first look angled

We’ve yet to put it through its paces but thus far through the grueling three-day Computex 2024 marathon, it’s been a trouper, tackling showroom floor shots and the odd candid shot or two after work in Ximending.

Even with shots straight off the cuff, the Honor 200’s Studio Harcourt-tuned Portrait mode has delivered surprisingly good street shots and portraiture that were sharp, stylish and moody too without the need for any heavy tinkering.

@hitechcentury We test Portrait mode on the new HONOR 200 Pro! Codesigned with Studio Harcourt, Portrait mode offers 3 filters that recreatr Studio Harcourt’s unique aesthetic look – check out these amazing test shots! #honor200pro #studioharcourt #fyp #smartphone #honor #malaysia #techtok #sembanggadget @honormalaysia ♬ snowfall – Øneheart & reidenshi

Honor 200 Pro First Look – Magic AI and the magic of Air Gestures

While it acquitted itself well, where our Honor 200 Pro first look sample really impressed was its Magic AI enhancements; a series of AI-powered enhancements that come with MagicOS 8.0 and that were originally deployed on the Magic6 Pro.

While I originally waved it off, quite literally, as an amusing curiosity, one Magic AI feature proved to be surprisingly useful to the point that it ought to be standard on all phones. The feature in question? Air Gestures – the ability to use hand motions to navigate the menus in lieu of relying on the touchscreen. It’s not a new-fangled concept and it has been something that Huawei and even Samsung has explored over the years in selected phone models though the lukewarm response over the years made it fade back into the annals of smartphone history. Until now that is.

Getting Air Gestures working on our Honor 200 Pro first look sample needed a bit of work though as it isn’t enabled by default. To get started, you have to go into Settings>Assistant> Air Gestures and then manually toggle on Air scroll, Grabshot and Air back.

In essence, Air scroll lets you hold your hand palm forwards and then waving it downwards to scroll up in websites or selected apps. Alternatively, you can show the back of your hand with fingers pointed downwards in a beckoning gesture and then move your hands upwards to scroll downwards.

With Grabshot, you simply have to hold your hand with fingers splayed and then clench it shut to perform a screenshot. WIth Air Back, you can simply twist your hand from your palm to the back of your hand to go backwards in a menu or app.

Combined, this trio of air gestures came in clutch when I had to scroll through a particularly long press release with the phone propped up on a table and both of my hands otherwise engaged in tackling a particularly obstinate piece of piece of fried fowl. Prior to this, I turned Air Gestures on and never paid it much mind but as a lark, I presented my greasy palm to the display and waved it downwards…and it worked like a charm.

Curious, I explored more and realised that Air Gestures are perfect for another thing – scrolling through TikTok! Rather than having my finger constantly on the display, all I had to do was simply hold it up to the front camera and wave, which shaved a few seconds off the time especially when scrolling through my feed in bed.

Honor 200 Pro first look front display

To be fair, these features are still rather niche for many users but I found them useful and practical. It’s early days though and it doesn’t work with all apps and features but it works where it is needed most – Google Docs, Chrome and TikTok though it did seem somewhat wonky on YouTube. Air Gestures aside, the other Magic AI gestures like Smart Folder, Magic Capsule and the rest are still being evaluated and I’ll sum it up in our Honor 200 Pro review. For more details,check out Honor’s official page at https://www.honor.com/my/shop/new-launch/