Honor have today announced their new flagship device for the UK, the £369.99 Honor 8. Previously announced for the US and China, the UK gets the 4GB / 32GB model, complete with a hybrid slot which means you can either add a microSD card or a second SIM card.
The device has a lot in common with the acclaimed Huawei P9, retaining the same dual 12 Megapixel cameras, one of which is colour and the other is monochrome. Due to the lack of Leica co-branding, the device makes do with the 'regular' Huawei range camera app and eschews the native monochrome mode (although it seems likely this can be added back, indeed the Leica app can be flashed and works fine on the Honor 8, albeit still without the monochrome option). An 8 Megapixel camera is on the front of the device.
At the heart of the Honor 8 ticks the Kirin 950 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, slightly slower than the 2.5GHz in the P9 but in reality, indistinguishable to the user. With the ample 4GB RAM on board, it's no surprise that this thing is fast. We've been using it for a few weeks now and it's ultra smooth.
The device has a metal frame but features glass on both the front and the back. The look and feel of the device is frankly stunning, particularly in the 'Sapphire Blue' colour ('Pearl White' and 'Midnight Black' are also avaiable). As is common on Huawei devices, the fingerprint reader is on the back (and responds as quickly as 0.4 seconds), but this time it also doubles up as a physically clickable button, replacing the smart key on the side of the device's predecessor, the Honor 7. Thanks to the glass, there are no unsightly antenna bands to ruin the look of the device and reception (both cellular and from the dual band wifi) is excellent. NFC support is included this time round which means working Android Pay, a must for a high end device in 2016.
Despite the proliferation of 5.5" and bigger devices now, 5.2" is probably the real sweet spot, which is where the Honor 8 sits. The LTPS panel has a 1920x1080 FHD resolution, but unless you are big into VR applications you won't be left wanting, it's a great display, protected with 2.5D glass all round.
USB Type C is now well and truly upon us and the 8 is the first UK Honor device to feature the new connector, complete with support for HiSilicon 9V 2A fast charging, although this is not cross compatible with Qualcomm QuickCharge. A 3.5mm connector is still included for headphones of course. A 3000mAh battery looks set to provide the excellent battery life we've come to expect from Honor devices.
On the software front, the Honor 8 runs Android Marshmallow with Honor's love-it or hate-it Emotion UI (EMUI). The good news is that with every device release, the skin is slimmed down and that too is the case on the 8. In addition, with so many Google apps being available on the Play Store now, it's much less of an issue than it used to be. MoDaCo will be providing today shipping ROM images for the device, full TWRP support, EMUI and Stock Style custom ROMs as well as guides on making the device appear stock Android and details on how to bootloader and SIM unlock the device if required. As with previous devices, the Honor 8 is very accessible to the keen modder.
The Honor 8 will be available from August 24 on Honor’s vMall for £369.99, including an anniversary package worth £69.99 (while stocks last, contents to be confirmed). On Amazon in Europe, the Honor 8 will be bundled with an Amazon Fire TV Stick free of charge (while stocks last), however we understand this won't extend to the UK.
Selected online retailers like Clove, Ebuyer and Expansys will also stock the Honor 8 Sim-free along with it being available on contract exclusively at 3 in the next coming weeks.
Edited by PaulOBrien