Huawei subsidiary Honor launched its Honor 8 in the US last year, and now it’s bringing the successor to Europe. The Honor 8 Pro, known as the V9 in China, is a spec bump in pretty much everything you’d care about. Honor has added a 5.7-inch Quad HD display, alongside Huawei’s updated Kirin 960 octa-core processor, 6GB of RAM, and a large 4,000 mAh battery.
Only the camera remains the same as the Honor 8, with a 12-megapixel dual-camera system. One captures images in RGB color, and the other in monochrome. Honor’s software then processes both images to create a single photo with better detail. Other specs include a microSD slot, dual-SIM support, a fingerprint sensor at the rear, NFC, and USB-C charging. Essentially, the Honor 8 Pro is a slightly better (in terms of specifications) Huawei P10 at a much lower cost (around $590).
Honor has opted for rounded corners and a matte aluminum finish on the 8 Pro instead of a glass back, and it feels and looks a lot like the iPhone 7 Plus as a result. Even the footprint of the device is similar if you compare them side-by-side. It feels more comfortable to hold than the regular Honor 8, even with the larger display.
Honor’s also shipping the 8 Pro with Google’s latest Android Nougat release, and it’s optimizing the Android kernel with its EMUI 5.1 system to open apps quicker. AI algorithms will learn and understand what apps you open regularly and then optimize memory efficiently. Honor says it has 29 patent applications related to this technology, but we’ll have to test it fully to judge whether it actually works on a daily basis.
One of the more interesting parts of the Honor 8 Pro is its packaging. Honor has created a box for the 8 Pro that converts into a Google Cardboard viewer for VR. It’s a neat way to reuse something you’d typically store away or throw in the trash, and it’s a nice introduction to VR basics for all 8 Pro owners.
Unlike the Honor 8, the Pro model won’t be launching in the US. Honor only has plans to sell the 8 Pro across Europe right now, with preorders beginning today for £474.99 (549 euro). Amazon will start shipping the Honor 8 Pro on April 20th, and it will be available in platinum gold, midnight black, and navy blue.
Honor is also launching a beta program today to collect feedback on its software, just like Samsung, Microsoft, and OnePlus. The beta launches today in the US, and anyone interested can join Honor's Facebook group to apply.