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

It could soon be all change when it comes to the best Honor phones as Huawei has now sold the Honor brand meaning that the handsets could soon offer Google Mobile services again. That might include the ability to run the Google Play Store as well as use all your favorite Google apps like Google Maps and Gmail.

It's not a guarantee just yet but in the meantime, Honor phones still provide some useful key features away from the Google ecosystem which makes them a tempting proposition. This includes Petal Search which lets you download Android apps from other sources, so you should be able to run most of the apps you need. 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 two years old now. 

Typically, Honor has a range of (often blue) phones at various price points, so there’s something for most people here and we can't see that changing any time soon. Honor phones also often have the same specs and features as Huawei devices but at a cheaper cost which is sure to appeal to those on a budget. Honor phones typically include decent camera features as they're traditionally aimed at slightly younger audiences than some other Android phones. Ultimately though, like any Android device, they'll work well for anyone.

To make deciding easier, we've ranked all the best Honor phones right 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 2021 at a glance

  1. Honor View 20
  2. Honor 20 Pro
  3. Honor 9
  4. Honor 9X
  5. Honor 20
  6. Honor 10
  7. Honor View 10
  8. Honor 20 Lite
  9. Honor 10 Lite
  10. Honor Play

Best Honor phones 2020

Honor View 20

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

Great battery life
Intriguing, smart camera
No wide or zoom rear lenses
That 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 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128 / 256GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 16MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP

Fantastic four-camera array
Easy-to-use fingerprint sensor
No headphone jack
Magic 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

Attractive design
Affordable price
One speaker driver
Heavy 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

Has a pop-up camera
Long battery life
Rather big body
Cameras 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

Speedy performance
Decent camera results
Magic UI is ugly
Level 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

Bold reflective back
Great integrated fingerprint scanner
No microSD support
Average 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

Good screen
Long battery life
Loose camera exposure metering
No 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 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,400mAh | Rear camera: 24MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP

Strong screen for price
Camera capable of quality pictures
Wide-angle camera isn't great
EMUI 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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