Honor’s new AI-powered portrait mode made me feel like a movie star

Honor’s new AI-powered portrait mode made me feel like a movie star
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Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and Honor partnering with a luxury brand to promote its latest mobile innovation. Having already teamed up with Burberry, British Vogue and Porsche Design on a slew of high-end mobile products throughout the past year, the Chinese electronics brand has now joined forces with legendary French photography studio Studio Harcourt on a cutting-edge portrait mode for its latest phone, the Honor 200 Pro.

Famous for its black-and-white portraits of movie stars and celebrities, Studio Harcourt has immortalized the likes of Ingrid Bergman, Salvador Dalí, Cate Blanchett and Roger Federer at various points in its 91-year history, and the Honor 200 Pro aims to put the studio’s secret sauce in the hands of everyday smartphone users by combining high-end hardware with AI software. 

Honor has used the latter to condense the four key components of a Studio Harcourt portrait – professional make-up, complex lighting, advanced hardware and expert post-production – into a seamless on-device photography process. You’re essentially getting a glorified filter (or rather three glorified filters: Harcourt Classic, Harcourt Vibrant and Harcourt Colour), but the Honor 200 Pro nonetheless delivers portraits that feel truly distinct from those you can snap using even the very best camera phones

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♬ stellar (Sped Up) – .diedlonely & énouement

I was given a tour of Studio Harcourt in Paris to see for myself how the Honor 200 Pro recreates the Harcourt method of photography. And as you can see from the below images, the phone did a pretty great job of making me look decidedly more important than I am in real life (mind you, I doubt I’ll be getting a call about the vacant James Bond job any time soon).

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Honor 200 Pro portrait shots

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor 200 Pro portrait shots

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor 200 Pro portrait shots

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor 200 Pro portrait shots

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor 200 Pro portrait shots

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor 200 Pro portrait shots

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

Of course, these portraits were captured in optimal lighting conditions at Studio Harcourt itself, but the Honor 200 Pro proved capable of taking great portraits in everyday scenarios, too. We wrote in our Honor 200 Pro review: “The results [using the phone’s Studio Harcourt mode] can be stunning. It’s most effective with portraits – that’s what the feature is designed for, after all – but we also got great results with animals.

“Harcourt Color is a similar effect, but in color, as the name suggests. It creates images with a lovely warm color palette. Both modes add an artificial bokeh effect, and they seem to accentuate lens flares from light sources, too. Honor’s edge detection is second to none, and we were really impressed with how well it managed to cut out wisps of hair and other difficult scenes.”

Honor 200 Pro

The Honor 200 Pro boasts three rear lenses: a 50MP main, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 50MP telephoto (Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)

In other words, the Honor 200 Pro is a portrait photography powerhouse, and thanks to its Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset, 6.8-inch OLED screen and supersized 5,200mAh battery, it’s a pretty great all-rounder, too.

The Honor 200 Pro costs £699.99 in the UK and comes in one storage configuration: 512GB with 12GB RAM. It’s available to pre-order now from Honor directly, though like all other Honor phones, it won’t be going on sale in the US or Australia.

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