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The Honor 200 Pro can take better Portrait shots than the Galaxy S24 Ultra

OPINION: Honor has lifted the lid on its new Honor 200 range, including the Honor 200 Pro, the first Pro model from the line to make an appearance in the UK. 

Coming in at a cool £699, it’s very much a premium affair with a smattering of high-end specs, a gorgeously detailed 6.7-inch OLED screen and solid battery life, but it’s the camera, and the Portrait mode in particular that really stands out. 

The Honor 200 Pro has a pretty impressive suite of cameras, headed up by a 50MP main camera with a 1/1.3-inch Super Dynamic H9000 sensor with a wide f/1.9 aperture, flanked by a 50MP telephoto and a 12MP ultrawide. While you might assume that it’s the main camera driving the experience, for me, it’s all about that telephoto lens.

Honor claims that you can get ‘studio-level portrait camera performance’ from the snapper, which is a claim that I’ve heard all too often from manufacturers, and usually without the evidence to back it up. However, the Honor 200 Pro is different.

The Honor 200 Pro features an updated camera module over the Honor 90
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

That’s because Honor has teamed up with famous French photography studio Harcourt, and by using AI that has been trained on the various styles of photography the studio is known for, the phone can replicate the look without the high-end camera equipment. 

This is far more than just a filter that’s added to portrait photos too; the camera AI is smart enough to understand individual elements of the photo and how to light and colour them independently, with impressive results.

In fact, I was so impressed by the first few snaps I took that I decided to see how it’d fare in a head-to-head shootout with the top-end Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. You might say that it’s an unfair comparison – the S24 Ultra costs £550 more than the Honor 200 Pro, after all – but reader, it doesn’t matter.

That’s because the Honor 200 Pro, using the AI-powered Harcourt Portrait effects, consistently delivered better-looking portrait shots than the competing Galaxy S24 Ultra, both in terms of overall detail and style. 

Take the shot below. It was taken on the first of three Harcourt shooting modes, Harcourt Vibrant, and the vibrancy is immediately noticeable, even compared to the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s saturated alternative. 

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Both offer similar levels of impressive edge detection, but it’s the framing that makes it. The field of view is also slightly different across the two despite both using a 2x zoom, with the Honor 200 Pro’s tighter field of view offering better portrait shots than Samsung.

That’s all well and good, but what about when you get into more stylised options? That’s where Harcourt Colour and Harcourt Classic come into play. The former offers a slightly warmer look than the Vibrant mode, emulating the classic Harcourt portrait palette, again providing a better look and style than what the Galaxy S24 Ultra can achieve without heavy editing.  

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I’ve got to admit, it’s the Harcourt Classic that’s my favourite of the bunch. This is arguably the most easily recognisable Harcourt style, focusing on black and white photography with an emphasis on extreme highlights and lowlights that can add a lot of drama to a portrait shot, as seen below.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra remains an absolutely stunning camera phone with superior zoom prowess and a more capable main camera to boot, but that doesn’t mean it towers above the competition in every single photo mode. 

In comparison to the Honor 200 Pro, the Portrait mode on the S24 Ultra seems a bit basic, lacking much in the way of stylisation, instead only offering the ability to adjust the bokeh or enable an overly aggressive portrait mode. If anything, I’d say it’s more similar to Apple’s portrait mode effects, but even compared to Apple’s option, I think these shots look better.

All this makes the Honor 200 Pro the better fit for portrait photography – and honestly, that’s not something I thought I’d ever say when I first got my hands on the device. I have to hand it to Honor, the company’s more than pulled it out of the bag on this one.

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