Whenever there’s a new Huawei flagship smartphone, you can always expect an affordable alternative from the honor lineup. This time, they have launched the honor 8 and it is a remarkable improvement over its current honor 7.
With constant improvements in build quality, the honor 8 is stepping up with the use of metal and glass with a choice of 5 colours – Pearl White, Sunrise Gold, Midnight Black, Sakura Pink and Sapphire Blue. The edges get an iPhone-nish rounded look while both front and back are covered with refined 2.5D glass.
The display is still similar to its predecessor with a compact 5.2″ Full HD screen. While it is often regarded as the “cheaper” Huawei P9, the honor 8 is a slight notch below with a Kirin 950 Octa-Core processor instead of a newer Kirin 955 unit. It comes with either 3GB or 4GB RAM along with an on-board storage of 32GB or 64GB. As usual, you can expand storage further up to 128GB via microSD on its hybrid dual Nano SIM tray.
For imaging, the honor 8 gets a similar dual-camera set up as the Huawei P9 without the Leica badge. Both are 12MP f/2.2 shooters with one unit shooting in black and white, while the other in full colour. Over at the front, the 8MP f/2.4 camera with a large 1.4 micron pixel size takes care of selfie duties.
Over at the back, it also gets a 3D fingerprint scanner like the Huawei P9. It’s capable of scanning 3D ridge depth of your fingertips making it more secure than conventional sensors. On top of that, it also doubles as customisable button which replaces the former action key on the honor 7.
Like the Huawei P9, it also uses USB Type-C but it is still based on a slower USB 2.0 standard for data transfer. However, you can still charge the device quickly with a 9V 2A fast charger. The honor 8 gets a 3,000mAh battery that’s rated to last 1.7 days with average use. Out of the box, it runs on Android 6.0 with Huawei’s latest EMUI 4.1 skin on top.
In terms of connectivity, it gets the usual 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 and even NFC. There’s also an infrared blaster which can be used as a universal remote. For a reliable connection, it features an intelligent dual antenna design and it supports a wide range of 4G FDD and TDD LTE bands along with VoLTE.
The base honor 8 model with 3GB RAM + 32GB storage is going for 1,999CNY (about RM1,190) while the higher spec 4GB RAM + 32GB model is priced at 2,299CNY (about RM1,369). The top of the range 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant is listed at 2,499CNY (about RM1,488) which is quite remarkable for its price. It will be available in the China this month and we expect Malaysia to be among the first countries internationally to get it.
When the honor 7 was launched in Malaysia, it was priced from RM1,399 and we reckon that the honor 8 could be priced higher. It will face stiffer competition in this segment especially with the Xiaomi Mi 5 that’s currently going for RM1,549 and ASUS’ new Zenfone 3 series that’s arriving soon.