Chinese technology company Huawei is the biggest seller of smartphones within its home market but has yet to make a significant foray into the U.S., despite the launch of its flagship P9 device in June. And now, the company is hoping to make inroads into the lucrative American market with the planned launch of a “flagship killer” smartphone from its Honor brand.
Huawei’s Honor 8 packs a big punch for its price. With a 5.2-inch full HD LCD display, the phone is powered by Huawei’s own octa-core Kirin 950 chipset (four 2.3 GHz Cortex-A72 and four 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 chips), the first device the company is selling in the U.S. with the Kirin processor. Both the storage variants, 32GB and 64GB, come with 4GB of RAM and a MicroSD slot. A fast fingerprint sensor in the back allows you to log in to your accounts and also supports touch gestures to open apps.
A USB-C connector helps with both fast data transfer as well as speedy charging. The company claims the smartphone can charge up to 50% in 30 minutes when using the standard charger that ships with the box. An infrared port also allows the device to be used as a universal remote. A 3,000 mAh battery keeps the phone ticking.
However, it is the camera on Honor 8 that may be the clincher for some buyers. The front features an 8-megapixel shooter while the rear has two 12-megapixel lenses and an LED flash. One of the twin lenses captures colors and the other takes monochrome images, and the two combine to produce impressive photographs, even in low light. The monochrome lens can also be used as standalone to take black-and-white pictures.
Honor 8 ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei’s Emotion UI layered on top. Huawei, which has been barred by the U.S. government from supplying networking equipment to U.S. carriers, will ship the phone unlocked and it will work with AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S.
The 32GB variant of the flagship killer is prices at $399, while the 64GB variant is $449, and they come in three color options — black, blue and white. Preorders open on Wednesday, Aug.17 and Huawei is giving away a $50 gift card for orders places before Aug. 31.
Honor 8 will ship to U.S. customers later this month, the company revealed at the launch event in San Francisco on Tuesday.