Honor 8 wants to win you over with dual cameras and a cheap price

A new contender that's kind to your wallet

Honor, sister company of Huawei, is looking to make waves in the US, and its latest attempt is a camera-forward phone focused on millennials.

The Honor 8 is a fairly cheap device with flagship ambitions. Though it falls a bit short of making it onto the same playing field as the iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy Note 7, its price may tempt users away from the usual suspects and towards Honor's offering.

The Honor 8 features a silky 5.2-inch Full HD display, one that's smaller than the 5.7-inch screen of the Galaxy Note 7, but perhaps a bit kinder to your hand. The phone's screen is made of 15 layers of glass, Honor says, helping diffuse light so you can better see what's on your phone.

The thin 7.5mm Honor 8 is backed by a 3,000mAh battery and the company's own Kirin 950 processor. It also supports USB Type-C, if you've been spoiled by the new charging cable standard.

Honor 8 launch

You can choose between 32GB or 64GB internal storage, and both options come with 4GB of RAM. Thanks to a microSD slot, the Honor 8's memory is expandable to 128GB.

The Honor 8 was recently released in China, but it's now on a worldwide tour that's bringing it stateside.

This the company's second phone to come to the US after the Honor 5X, launched earlier this year. The Note 8 continues that device's tradition of hearty specs packaged with a low price point, though it's more akin to the Huawei P9.

Seeing double

The marquee feature of the Honor 8 is its dual 12MP cameras on the rear. One takes color photos, the other black and white, and together they combine to give you one image.

Dual camera lenses are a unique design element, though one that doesn't call too much attention itself, and the images it takes - enhanced by some pro-style filters and settings - are rather impressive.

The dual-camera set-up isn't new for Huawei; the P9 had it, too. The OnePlus 3, likely to pose a threat to the Honor 8 for that almost-flagship-but-not-quite title, only holds a single camera on the back.

The Honor 8 runs Android 6 Marshmallow with Huawei's Emotion UI mixed in. We've found this proprietary UI cumbersome in the past, so we'll have to see if the Honor 8 falls into the same traps with extended use.

Honor 8 knuckle gestures

A round fingerprint scanner on the back acts as a shortcut to various applications and functions. A single tap, double tap and long press will each do something different.

The tricks don't stop there; Honor's baked in what it's calling knuckle gestures, which literally let you draw letters over your screen to carry out different functions. It's a really weird way to work about your phone, but maybe millennials will think it's cool?

As for the price, the 32GB editions sells for $399.99 and the 64GB model for $449.99. The Honor 8 will be available in three colors: midnight black, pearl white and sapphire blue. Pre-orders start tomorrow at various retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy and Newegg. The price is a bargain compared to most high-end devices - including the pricey Galaxy Note 7 - and right in light with the OnePlus 3.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

News Editor (US)

As the US News Editor, Michelle (Twitter, Google+) keeps her eye on all things tech with particular interest on phones, tablets and finding out who the people are behind the devices. Any phone that can survive a regular (accidental) drop has her vote for best handset. Michelle previously worked covering local news in the Bay Area and has been with TechRadar since July 2012.