It was a very good-looking, well-specced device. But when it was launched last year, it was kind of overshadowed by its sister from Huawei, the P9 (complete with its dual lens and Leica tie-up) in terms of attention. And when it was launched in India at Rs 29,999 (USD 464 approx), in the market, it ended up being compared with the lesser priced and (on paper) better-specced OnePlus 3, and then its successor the OnePlus 3T.
However, fast forward to today and the erstwhile Honor flagship, the Honor 8 is available online in India and other markets for a price that is almost a third lesser than its launch price – Rs 19,500 (USD 300 approx), and even lower on some sites. That actually brings it into striking range of the Moto G5+, and in the same league as the Gionee A1 and some other mid-segment devices from Vivo and Oppo.
And almost a year after its launch, there is still nothing mid-segment about the Honor 8 even almost a year after its launch. With its beautifully crafted glass back which reflects light in different patterns (best showcased in the sapphire blue model), a 5.2-inch full HD display, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB storage (expandable), and dual 12.0-megapixel cameras (one colour, one monochrome, just as in the P9, although minus the Leica branding) as well as multiple connectivity options (4G, Wi-Fi, NFC and infrared), and a 3000 mAh battery. The Kirin 950 processor was a very good performer, and although the device on sale runs on Android Marshmallow with Honor’s EMUI 4.1 UI on it, we hear it is set to get an update to Nougat with EMUI 7 soon. Though it didn’t launch with VoLTE support, users will be able to manually flash the update now.
And take our word for it, the Honor 8 is not a paper tiger. The dual cameras are a very good proposition and deliver some decent shots as well as bokeh, and well, there is EMUI’s rather rich UI giving you plenty of shooting options. We would go so far as to say that in the sub-Rs 20,000 price segment, it goes toe to toe with the Nubia Z17 mini in terms of camera. In terms of processing power, it is pretty much among the best out there (the Kirin 950 was last year’s flagship and considered closer to the Snapdragon 820, remember) and well, we still think it is one of the most gorgeous looking phones we have seen.
It has the looks, the specs (except for being single SIM), and the performance, and while a tad expensive at its launch, it is actually a terrific proposition at its reduced price point, and is perhaps one of the best phone options available for anyone with a budget in the vicinity of USD 300 (Rs 19,000 – 20,000). Yes, there is an Honor 9 on the horizon (and an Honor 8 Pro too in India), but if you have not the bucks for either and want a world-class device (and a traffic stopper) for about USD 300, the Honor 8 is a really sweet deal.