Huawei has been dropping hints regarding the next smartphone to wear the Honor brand name for weeks, and now it’s here. It’s the Honor V8, and like the recently announced Huawei P9, it also has a dual-lens camera setup on the rear. However, it’s also quite a lot larger than the P9, and even the 5.5-inch P9 Plus. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Beyond size, there’s another difference, because the Honor V8’s camera doesn’t have Leica branding, meaning it’s lacking the camera company’s input into the software, tuning, and lens development. It’s impossible to say how this will affect picture quality without testing the phone, but Honor has added at least one new feature to make up for the lack of Leica’s name on the 12-megapixel cameras.
Related: Our review of the superb Huawei P9
While the adjustable depth-of-field mode seen on the P9 is still present, the Honor V8 has a cool 3D picture mode, where unusual, almost GIF-style photos can be taken. Honor has some examples on its website here, where the views can be explored by clicking and dragging the photo left or right. It’s not 360 degrees, it’s more like a panoramic image but with a tighter viewpoint.
To make it easier and more immersive to view these ultra-wide, scrolling pictures, Honor has made a Google Cardboard-style viewer that doubles as the box in which a product is sold. It’s an unusual approach we’ve not seen before, but it’s not that clear from the launch event whether the VR box will be sold separately, or if the V8 will come packaged inside one. The camera is accompanied by a dual-tone LED flash, laser autofocus, and it has an f2.2 aperture just like the P9.
Big 5.7-inch screen
Moving on to the size of the V8. It has a 5.7-inch screen, larger than both the P9 and P9 Plus, and there is a choice of either a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution model, or one with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. Which ever you choose, it’ll be wrapped in a 2.5D piece of curved glass, and a similar shaped 7.7mm thick metal body. If you just want the 1080p model, it comes with a Kirin 950 octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM, plus 32GB of storage space. The 1440p model has the Kirin 955 octa-core chip seen in the P9, also with 4GB of RAM, but an additional 32GB of storage, taking the total to 64GB.
The V8 has dual-SIM card support with the option of using a MicroSD card in the second slot, a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, a 3,500mAh battery with USB-Type-C fast charging, and an 8-megapixel selfie camera. Android 6.0 Marshmallow is the operating system, covered with Huawei’s own EMUI user interface. There are six colors to choose from, including white and rose gold, with prices starting at around $350 for the 1080p model to $430 for the higher-specced model with the 1440p screen.
If you’re not familiar with the Honor brand name, it’s a spin-off of Huawei, offering fun, funky, and competitively priced smartphones for the younger generation. It’s a global brand, and launched in the U.S. earlier this year with the Honor 5X, a close relation to Huawei’s Honor 7. The Honor V8 has only been announced in China for now, but there’s a chance it’ll be sold elsewhere in the future. We’ll keep you updated.
Updated on 05-11-2016 by Andy Boxall: Rewrote article to reflect the Honor V8’s official announcement
Updated on 04-26-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in the Honor V8’s appearance on the TENAA website
Updated on 05-09-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in new leaked pictures, and some details about a 360 degree photo mode