Honor Unveils Its First Flagship Smartphone for the U.S.
Available for preorder, the Honor 8 features dual rear cameras, 32GB or 64GB of on-board storage, and prices from $400 to $450.SAN FRANCISCO—Huawei's budget smartphone division, Honor, has launched its new Honor 8 premium phone, marking the company's first flagship phone specifically aimed at U.S. consumers. The unlocked handset, which is encased in glass, front and rear, and surrounded by an alloy frame, is built to take on Honor's target U.S. market—millennials—with a wide array of high-quality features, including a 5.2 inch Full-HD touch-screen display (1,920x1,080 resolution), the company's own octa-core Kirin 950 processor, 4GB of LPDDR 4 memory, 32GB or 64GB of on-board storage and a microSD slot for expandable storage cards up to 128GB. Also highlighting the Honor 8 are dual 12-megapixel rear-facing cameras and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, which both feature a wide range of automatic and manual photographic capabilities, as well as an assortment of creativity tools. The Honor 8 is priced at $399.99 for the 32GB model or $449.99 for the 64GB version, and is available for preorder immediately through Sept. 3. The handsets were unveiled in a glitzy media event here at the California Academy of Sciences just steps away from exhibits of a living coral reef and skeletons of dinosaurs and prehistoric humans. "I'm very excited to bring the Honor 8 to the U.S. market," George Zhao, president of Honor, said at the event. Zhao said the company, launched in December 2013, is "like a little baby" that has been slowly taking small steps to go after U.S. consumers. The company differentiates itself from competitors and is able to sell its premium phones for less money by eschewing traditional expensive advertising campaigns and relying instead on word of mouth from buyers who are attracted by the company's "young-at-heart" products and designs, said Zhao.
Honor, which mostly sells its phones to consumers directly through the internet, also uses social media and targeted events -- including the co-sponsorship of an event with Amazon Prime Music at SXSW -- to connect with millennials, who are its primary target audience. Some 80 percent of Honor's more than 100 million global "fans" on social media networks are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to the company.