The Honor 8 launched at the end of last summer for just $399 in the US market. It included specifications closely matching flagships priced at twice the cost and it is receiving the Nougat update before some of those high end smartphones.
The Honor 8 is still available for $399.99 and sometimes you will see sales offering $50 off. While HTC is promoting it's glossy colored glass backs, the Honor 8 has a similar 15 layer rear glass panel design that costs hundreds less.
While I personally never had an issue with EMUI 4.x on the Honor 8, see my full review, I read all over the Android enthusiast sites about hate for EMUI. EMUI 5.0, covered in more detail in the Mate 9 review, brings the software experience closer to stock Android with an app drawer option, improved quick controls and notification shade, improved settings, multi-window support, and more behind the scenes improvements.
A few manufacturers, LG and Honor to name a couple, decided to roll out user interfaces with all apps shown on the home screen panels like we see on Apple iOS. Many Android fans did not appreciate this and provided feedback directly to the companies. You can now find an option to show an app drawer on the Honor 8.
I am a huge fan of customizing the quick controls found on the notification shade. With the Honor 8 I can put exactly what I want on the top line, including WiFi hotspot. The WiFi hotspot button is often removed on phones sold by carriers.
Settings are accessed quite a bit on Android devices and with this update we see an improved layout to provide quicker access to specific controls.
The Honor 8 has a 5.2 inch display, but it's still large enough to comfortably view two apps side-by-side in landscape orientation. Native Google multi-window support is provided with this update.