The Honor 8 launches in Europe with Huawei sister company Honor presenting a device that’s a massive departure from previous efforts.
Honor returns to present the glossy Honor 8, a smartphone that does not look like it has any relations to previous Honor devices. It hasn’t even been a year since the Honor 5X saw it’s presentation in Munich last year, but it has been over a year since the Honor 7. According to Honor vice president Michelle Xiong, the Honor 8 is aimed at millennials, confidently expressing three key points will make the Honor 8 a hit with the chosen demographic.
Apparently cool young people want mesmerising aesthetics, excellent cameras and a pragmatic fingerprint sensor. The design is the most noticeable difference between the Honor 8 and past devices. It is the first Honor device to have a glass body, a double-sided design crafted from 15 layers of glass. Comparisons to the S7 will be forgiven as the sapphire blue option supports the case.
The second point is the camera, the Honor 8 has a dual-camera system and is identical to the Huawei P9. One is monochromatic while the secondary snaps in RGB colour. Honor (and Huawei with the P9) claim this offers more detail in pictures. Leica didn’t co-engineer this camera, so don’t expect any branding on the back. It also has laser auto-focus, oppose to the phase detection auto-focus in the P9. Selfie shooter is 8-megapixels, again seen on the P9.
Finally the last point is the fingerprint sensor. Huawei and Honor often make the fingerprint sensor a focal point in their product launches. The 5X is one of the cheapest devices you can get with a rear-facing fingerprint sensor, and the P9 has the lighting quick ‘Level 4’ sensor. The Honor 8 gets a handy sensor which is also an action button. With 1-3 presses of the button consecutively, you can launch apps, and take screenshots depending on what you map to it.
An AMOLED screen is not in tow, but rather an IPS LCD panel with full HD resolution. Powering the show is an octa-core Kirin 950 processor, a mid-range processor akin to the Snapdragon 616. A massive 4GB of RAM is also in tow, enough for multi-tasking duties.
A non-removable 3,000mAh battery is also onboard with a USB-C port, capable of 50% charge in 30 minutes. Straight out of the box the Honor 8 will run Android 6 Marshmallow, with Huawei Android skin, Emotion overlaid. With Emotion, knuckle gestures are present, where you can tap the screen with force to take a crop screenshot, and launch the camera.
32GB/64GB options are available, expanding via microSD is also a choice. (up to 128GB). Both versions will come with 4GB of RAM.
It’s not a smartphone to hit the heights of the Galaxy S7 or iPhone 6s, Honor usually cater to the low to mid-range market, but it looks like Honor are aiming higher. There’s a big price increase from the Honor 7 (£249.99) retailing for £369.99.
The price brings it close to the power-house OnePlus 3 (£329) but far from the Galaxy S7 (£509.99).
To further play up to millennials, the best place to get the Honor 8 is online – with retailers such as Clove, Ebuyer and Expansys stocking the Honor 8 SIM-free. It will also be available exclusively at Three.
Three colours will be available at the end of September in: pearl white, sapphire blue, sunrise gold and midnight black.
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