Honor 70 test: are you nostalgic for Huawei? A Belgian operator may have a solution for you…

A few weeks, Orange since the exclusive official distribution of the Honor brand in Belgium. Before being resold by Huawei in 2020 following its American setbacks, Honor was a separate range of products geared towards younger generations. In 2022, its main advantage for fans – is to be an almost exact copy of Huawei smartphones, which were systematically N.1 in the world and in Belgium at the end of the 2010s. Explanations.

It is a brand that is talked about less and less: Huawei, since its blacklisting by the United States in 2019, no longer has the means to equip its Android smartphones with essential Google services, which make them universally unsaleable in the Western world. The Chinese company, which almost became the world’s No.1 in smartphones and 4G/5G, is struggling as best it can to save what can still be saved, but it’s complicated (it makes very good smartwatches , for example, but this is quite anecdotal).

I have always had sympathy for Huawei, because it was around 2012 that started the trend of cheap and good quality Chinese smartphones. Over the years, it has pulled the price of smartphones down, it has created a valid entry-level market. This allowed him to meet the expectations of a very large clientele of “faithful”, including in Belgium. So many orphans who, for 3 years, have had to find their happiness at Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo or even Xiaomi.

The Honor Case

It’s time to talk about Honor, which was once a ‘young’ and ‘online only’ brand from Huawei for a few specific markets (there was even an attempt in Belgium, including the Honor 9 that I tried in 2017). The two brands shared research and development centers, production/manufacturing of smartphones, and after-sales service. Only marketing and distribution were managed by separate teams. In 2020, Huawei sold this subsidiary to another Chinese company (Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology), which was authorized to integrate Google services into its smartphones. Honor has since been trying to carve out a place for itself alongside everyone who benefited from Huawei’s departure, including China’s Oppo, OnePlus and Xiaomi. He tied an exclusivity for the distribution operator in Belgium with Orange; and since they are not currently available in Belgian stores, it is only through this operator that you can buy “Belgian” Honor smartphones.

Honor 70, a good mid-range

The Honor 70 is therefore the first smartphone supplied by Huawei to be offered in Belgium. It is a mid-range device sold 549€ by Orange (if you don’t link it to an additional ‘data’ subscription, which is a kind of credit, in which case the purchase price can go down to €9). Its technical data sheet is quite logical for this price range: a Snapdragon 778G+ system on chip (SoC) with 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage, proprietary 66W fast charging, 5G and Wi-Fi 6. is added, and these are fine qualities, a big drums of 4,800 mAh allowing to reach 2 days of autonomy, a nice screen 6.67″ OLED occupying the entire front panel, a pattern very elegant combining finesse and curvatures on both sides, three photo sensors spread over two modules, one of which is (new and) excellent Sony IMX800 of 54 MP. In general, I found it quite responsive (not as fluid as Oppo and OnePlus can be, though), pleasant to handle and observe, quite original in its approach to Android. The photos are of very good quality, especially those of the main sensor, and even in the dark. In short, at 499€, you get what you pay for, and you have to accept the absence of certified waterproofing or wireless charging.

Where do you find Huawei?

For those nostalgic for Huawei, the interest of the Honor 70 is to find their favorite brand. What exactly are the commonalities? Here are the ones I spotted after a few days of use:

  • the pattern elegant and curved
  • the format of the charger and the cable whose connectors are colored (in orange here, Huawei favored purple at the time)
  • The presence of a cover silicone (other brands do the same now)

The rest is to be found, logically, on the software side. The clues are all in Magic UI, which at the time was just a slight variant of EMUI, the software overlay Huawei put on Android. I found an “old” Huawei in my drawers, the P40 Pro which dates from 2020, the latest (crazy) proposal for an Android smartphone without Google services, and with a very poor application store. The similarities are striking:

  • The police interface character
  • Icons from the notification drawer
  • Menu of settings same as Huawei
  • Very close icons for home apps like Gallery, Clock, Calendar, Files, etc…
  • Application presence Themeswhich allows you to download interface graphic customization kits (font, icons, wallpapers, etc.)
  • Function of sought universal: when you swipe the screen with your thumb, from top to bottom (but not from the top of the screen), we find this field which allows you to search, by typing the first letters, for an application, a contact, a email, an appointment in the calendar, etc.
  • Much less useful, the application My honor, linked to the Honor account that you will have to create (do not try to put your Huawei credentials, it will not work). It is both a diagnostic center for your phone, an Honor product store, a kind of forum where members talk about Honor products. It’s quite similar to My Huawei, specifically.


You got it, nothing looks more like a Huawei smartphone than an Honor smartphone. It was true 5 years ago, it’s still true in 2022, while the former has disappeared from the western world. So if you’re nostalgic, if you’ve always loved Huawei, if you can’t find what you’re looking for among the wide competition, if you have €499 to invest in a smartphone, you know what you have to do.

Be aware, however, that at the software update level, it is not at Honor that you will have the best follow-up. It’s hard to know if Android 13 will arrive one day (at OnePlus and Oppo, it’s already the case on several models), and the version of the Android security patch dates from August 2022 (it’s November at Oppo).


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