Not content with launching the Honor 7X and the Honor View 10 at the end of 2017, Honor has already announced its first smartphone for 2018 — the Honor 9 Lite. While it takes the name of Honor’s stunning Honor 9 smartphone, it shares more of a visual resemblance to the Honor 7X while carrying over over one of the Honor 9’s best design features — the beautiful mirrored rear cover.
Honor says it has applied a nanoscale optical coating made of glass to the rear panel to give it that distinct mirrored finish. Unlike the Honor 9, the Honor 9 Lite has an 18:9 aspect ratio screen under a 2.5D piece of glass on the front, which measures 5.65 inches, and a 2160 x 1080 pixel resolution. This gives it a bezel-less appearance, which Honor has embraced with all of its most recent phone releases. While the design will turn your head, it’s the camera setup that makes the Honor 9 Lite interesting.
The phone has four camera lenses — yes, four — two on the front and two on the back. Both have the same dual-lens 13 megapixel and 2 megapixel sensors. Honor uses its dual-lens cameras to produce a blurred background bokeh effect, which can be re-created in regular shots taken with the rear camera, and with selfies taken with the front camera. The front cams have an f/2.0 aperture, and a new beauty mode so you always look your best.
This is a midrange smartphone, so it doesn’t use Huawei’s high performance Kirin 970 chip like the Honor View 10. Instead, it has the Kirin 659 inside, just like the Honor 7X. The fingerprint sensor is set in the top center of the rear panel, and Honor says it’ll unlock your phone in 0.25 of a second. There’s no word yet on face unlock, or other technical features like RAM or storage space. The Honor 9 Lite has already been announced in China, and the version coming to the U.K. has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, plus a MicroSD card slot.
Finally, the Honor 9 Lite comes with Android 8.0 Oreo installed with version 8.0 of Huawei’s EMUI user interface over the top. This is the same as what’s installed on the Honor View 10 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. If you’re wondering about the price and release date for the Honor 9 Lite, it will be sold in the United Kingdom starting February 6 through various retailers including Amazon for just 200 British pounds — less than the Honor 7X — or around $280 when converted over. An Honor representative told Digital Trends there are no current plans for a U.S. release; but Honor has consistently released its phones in the United States recently, so this could change.