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(Pocket-lint) - Not everyone has a spare grand in their pocket to drop on buying the priciest of flagship phones. Besides, there's no need, as proven with the Honor 10: this affordable phone might be less than half the price of some competitors, but its specifications don't cut any corners. Here's the headline features that make this Android handset stand out beyond its competition.

Top-spec processor

  • Kirin 970 octa-core processor - the same as found in flagship devices
  • Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for artificial intelligence
  • 4GB RAM to make light work of multiple apps

First thing's first, the chipset at the heart of the Honor 10 is the highest-grade processor made by HiSilicon. There's no corner-cutting here, just the best-of-best processor that's good enough to compete with what Qualcomm can offer.

It has some special tricks, too. With a neural processing unit (NPU), the Honor 10 is ultra fast when it comes to artificial intelligence, besting its competition in scene recognition tests. 'Why's that useful?' you might ask? It means the phone's cameras can make adjustments in double-quick time for the best results, as one example, or writing recognition will convert quicker.

Loads of storage

  • 128GB storage as standard (in the UK)
  • microSD card slot for further expansion

If there's one thing budget phones tend to scrimp on, it's storage space. So many offer just 32GB, but in the UK the Honor 10 comes with a massive 128GB, meaning there's heaps of storage to save all those pictures, games, apps and music.

If you're a total gamer and camera lover and have dozens of titles and thousands of pictures then the option to expand via microSD card comes as an additional bonus. You could put as much as 2TB storage into this phone, without breaking the bank.

Design like no other

  • Phantom Blue and Phantom Green colour options
  • 15 layers of glass, two-tone effect

It's impossibe not to notice: the Honor 10 comes dressed like no other phone out there. And that's no exaggeration; its Phantom Blue and Phantom Green options are made from 15 layers of tempered glass, giving a two-tone blue-and-purple finish, depending on how the device is angled when catching the light. It is, in a word, beautiful. And who can say that about their new boring slab of overpriced black phone?

Dual cameras with artificial intelligence

  • 24MP Colour and 16MP monochrome sensors with wide apertures (f/1.8)
  • Portrait mode for pro-looking blurred background portraits
  • AI Camera for automatic scene recognition and intelligent adjustment

A major development in phone cameras was the introduction of two optics and two sensors. The Honor 10 also employs this dual camera idea, but it does things differently to most: with one colour and one monochrome sensor working together, it has the advantage of the greater detail and dynamic range of black-and-white photography, along with all the benefits of colour.

Plus, as the AI Camera print on the rear of the phone makes clear, the Honor 10 is all about artificial intelligent. This is where that neural processing unit comes into play, auto-recognising scnese at hand, selecting the best options automatically, and adjusting the colour, exposure and dynamic range accordingly to produce the best shot. You can even see the before and after when clicking the AI Camera icon within the camera app, for a quick glance at the automatic improvements.

Dual cameras also bring other benefits. The two lenses mean depth data can be derived, which can be used for Portrait mode, where the camera detects a subject, then software blurs the background behind for a pro-like portrait shot. And because the Honor 10 has colour and mono sensors, you can choose whether to shoot in black and white too, for some extra dramatism.

Fingerprint scanner smarts

  • Under-glass fingerprint scanner

Continuing with design excellence, the Honor 10 doesn't have an indented fingerprint scanner like so many phones. Instead its under-the-glass scanner is exactly that: tucked away beneath the single sheet of front glass, so it sits flush, creating a seamless finish. The scanner is marked out visually, making it even more of a design talking point. 

How many other phones can you think of that opt for such a sophisticated integration? It's a future-facing tech idea, minus a massive price tag.

So how much does it cost?

We saved this treat until last. The Honor 10, with all those amazing features described above, costs just £399.99 SIM-free. That's less than half of many flagship phones, almost a third. And you wouldn't think it when it's in the hand: this is an affordable, mid-price phone with a feature set and design that is truly flagship.