This isn’t honor’s first dance in the US. The Huawei sub-brand has made a couple of smartphones available in this primary market, but they all have one thing in common. They are all mid-range models. honor’s higher end, but not exorbitantly more expensive, devices were reserved for its home market and a few others. That changes today with the launch of the honor 8 in the US, which ups honor’s game in the Western hemisphere. The honor 8 offers almost flagship specs with that intriguing camera from the Huawei P9, at the price tag that honor is known for.
Much of the honor 8’s specs closely follow that of many 2016 flagships. Although the octa-core Kirin 950 processor isn’t Huawei’s highest, which is currently the Kirin 955, it comes quite close. There’s also 4 GB of RAM and 32 or 64 GB of storage inside, supplemented by a microSD card capable of holding up to 128 GB more.
If anything, the 5.2-inch Full HD display might be a bit disappointing, but majority of the Chinese manufacturers are still pushing against 2K resolutions. The honor 8 boasts of Huawei’s fast charging technology, which can top off its 3,000 mAh battery up to 50% in just 30 minutes, provided you use the 9V/2A charger that comes with the box.
In terms of design, the smartphone also diverges from its peers. While most have taken to adopting a full metal body, the honor 8 wholeheartedly embraces glass, reminiscent of the iPhone 4 or Sony’s earlier Xperia flagships. honor doesn’t stop there either, boasting of a 15-layer process that creates a light-reflecting effect underneath the glass.
The honor 8 is also loaded with features that definitely make it noteworthy, starting with the dual 12 megapixel rear cameras. It’s not the first time we’ve laid eyes on a dual camera setup, but honor has done things differently. Like the Huawei P9, one of the cameras is a monochrome sensor which delivers better contrast data and depth to the regular RGB sensor. For selfie lovers, there’s an 8 megapixel wide-angle shooter on the front.
Even the fingerprint scanner isn’t your run of the mill feature from the likes of Samsung or Apple. This sensor is capable of distinguishing different gestures, allowing for more than just unlocking the smartphone. Swiping down, for example, can pull down the notification panel, while a simple tap can take a photo, which selfie lovers will, well, love.
The honor 8 also brings with it some of the company’s more popular usability features, like a smart key that can be used to launch apps or start actions, and “Knuckle Sense” that performs actions, like taking a screenshot, when you knock or draw on the screen using your knuckle.
Despite being loaded with features and high-end specs, the honor 8 is still quite affordable, rivaling the OnePlus 3 in that arena. The 32 GB model goes for $399.99 while the 64 GB will sell for $449.99.
Both configurations will be available in Sapphire Blue, Pearl White, and Midnight Black colors. Pre-orders will start August 17 through September 3 on Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo Video, Newegg, and HiHonor.com/us/.
Whatever their store preference, owners who register their honor 8 on honor’s US website will get a one-time repair for any accidental screen or back-cover glass damage within three months from purchase.