Monday, April 15, 2024

Comebacking Honor wants to ‘take over’ PH smartphone market

Weeks after announcing its official return to local shores, smartphone brand Honor – a former subsidiary of consumer tech giant Huawei — has unveiled the initial roster of devices it will be launching in the Philippines.  

Honor Philippines VP for marketing Stephen Cheng during the formal relaunch event of the brand
Photo from his Facebook page

During the livestreamed launch of the new offerings, Honor executives stressed that all its phones will be running Google Mobile Services (GMS), a feature that is not offered by its former parent company.

Back in October 2021, the company announced that the Honor 50 model would be its first smartphone product with GMS following the USA’s ban on Huawei due to alleged “spying” concerns. After identifying itself from Huawei as a separate entity, Honor now have access to Google applications like the Google Play Store, Gmail, and YouTube.   

“We are happy to announce that our market share for 2022 according to IDC is 16.7%, number one in China,” said Honor Philippines VP for marketing Stephen Cheng. “Honor Philippines is ready to go beyond. We are definitely ready for 2022. We are here to take over the Philippines.”  

Recently, the global arm of Honor announced its strategy to launch two flagship products for its international markets during the International Franchise Association (IFA) annual convention. Apart from the dual flagship strategy, Honor also shared what MagicOS 7.0 will look like, and launched the Honor 70 smartphone, the MagicBook 14 laptop, and the Pad 8 tablet.  

“Our strong research and development capabilities led to creation of six R&D centers and over 100 innovative labs focusing on performance, structure, design, camera, telecommunications, and charging technologies in order to create innovative products for everyone to enjoy,” Cheng continued. 

The first four Honor smartphones to arrive in the Philippines would be three midrange X-series devices: the power-efficient X7 with extended battery life, the stylish Honor X8 with a large display, and the premium X9 with memory-boosting capabilities, and the Honor Magic4 Pro.

“Our X-series would be very affordably priced for its specifications and features,” Honor Philippines National Training head Gladys Macalalad claimed.  

The cheapest among the three – the Honor X7, will retail for P9,990, while the Honor X8 is priced at P12,990. In the premium midrange price point, the Honor X9 launches with a price tag of P14,990.  

“The Honor Magic4 Pro will be available for P52,990. The power of magic is indeed in your hands with an 8GB RAM and 256GB storage variant. Purchase this and get a free Honor Watch GS 3 worth P11,990,” added Blake Garcia, national sales head for Honor Philippines.

The Honor Watch GS 3 is a luxury smartwatch with a sleek aesthetic direction and a curved screen, equipped with an 8-Channel Heart Rate AI Engine, blood oxygen monitoring, dual-frequency GNSS positioning, and magnetic charging.  

“We’re also proud to announce that Honor phones will be available and sold in over 600 retail partners nationwide,” he added.  

Honor Magic4 Pro 

This model features what Honor calls the “Eye of Muse,” its own take on circular rear camera islands that is backed by a 50MP wide camera, a 50MP ultrawide camera, a 64MP telephoto lens, a flicker sensor, and a multi-point laser focus sensor.  

Inside its aluminium frame, the Magic4 Pro is powered by a 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor — an SoC that enables 8K HDR video capture, volumetric rendering, Unreal Engine 5 support, 5G uplink carrier aggregation, lossless wireless music streaming, and many more.  

The Honor Magic4 Pro charges its 4600mAh battery at 100W capacity, has an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, uses adaptive refresh rate and 1920Hz PWM dimming technology on its display, and runs mobile games with AI super rendering to combine high-quality display and low energy consumption.  

Honor X-series trio 

Below the singular flagship, there are three midrange phones from different price points. Honor launched both the X7 and X9 for the international market back in April 2022, while the X8 was released earlier in March.  

All three devices sport IPS LCD displays with 90Hz refresh rate, Magic UI 4.2 based on Android 11, up to 1080p recording at 30 frames-per-second, near-field communication (NFC) technology, USB Type-C ports, side-mounted fingerprint sensors, 6nm Snapdragon 680 processors, and 3.5mm headphone jacks.  

Currently, customers can purchase Honor devices either through physical authorized partner retailers, or through its official Lazada flagship store. Aside from the four smartphones, the brand is also selling an AMOLED tracker – the Honor Band 6, which retails for P2,000. 

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