Honor announces US beta program and European Honor 8 Pro

In an effort to engage with customers in the US, Honor is launching a beta program to collect feedback on software updates. And the Honor 8 Pro is also launching today in Europe, priced at €549.

Image: Honor

Huawei's Honor brand continues to try to reach the younger generation by offering a new program and a new device. One is aimed at the US market, while the other will be available in Europe.

Honor beta program

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Last year I tested out the Honor 8 and found it to be a compelling $400 smartphone. More recently I tried out the Honor 6X and was surprised by the quality of a $250 smartphone. I was able to test a beta release of Android Nougat on the Honor 8 prior to its release, and now Honor is bringing that opportunity to more people.

While Honor has a couple excellent reasonably priced smartphones for US consumers, it is still a young brand that doesn't yet have the name recognition of other major brands. As it tries to reach more people and create devices and experiences that satisfy the needs of consumers, the Honor beta program is launching.

If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, then visit the Honor beta US Facebook page and submit an application. The Honor beta team will review the applications and select qualified applicants. Honor stated that the selected beta testers will provide feedback on products currently in market and hardware or software slated to reach the market in one or even two years from now. So it sounds like it will be more than just evaluating the next version of Emotion UI.

Honor 8 Pro release

Today, Honor announced the immediate availability of the new Honor 8 Pro, a flagship device priced at €549. ZDNet's Sandra Vogel has some hands-on impressions of the device.

The Honor 8 closely matches the high end specifications of the Huawei Mate 9, as you can see in the table below.

Feature Huawei Mate 9 Honor 8 Pro
Display size 5.9 inches 1080p 5.7 inches 2K
Processor Kirin 960 Kirin 960
Battery capacity 4000 mAh 4000 mAh
Dual rear cameras 20 MP mono/12 MP color 12 MP each
Dimensions 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm 157 x 77.5 6.97 mm
Price EUR 699 EUR 549

The Honor 8 Pro does not have the Leica-branded dual rear cameras, but it does have a smaller higher resolution display with the same massive 4,000 mAh battery. There's plenty of RAM at 6GB, as well.

The Honor and Huawei devices are very close in specs, design, and experiences. There is a €150 price difference between these two devices and I honestly don't know why one would choose the more expensive Huawei Mate 9 when a cooler looking Honor 8 Pro exists.

A look at the Huawei Mate 9 smartphone:

Huawei Mate 9 smartphone