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Honor 50: Former Huawei subsidiary introduces smartphone with Google services

The former Huawei subsidiary Honor is returning to the German market – with a smartphone that looks confusingly similar to the recent presentation of the former parent company. But it has one key advantage: It comes with Google services. The Honor 50 will be available in Germany from November. Prices start from 529 euros. A lite version, which costs 299 euros, will follow in December.

In contrast to the recently introduced Huawei smartphone Nova 9, the Honor 50 runs with Android 11 with Google services and is equipped with a 5G modem. And that’s almost all of the differences.

Huawei Nova 9 on the left, Honor 50 Lite on the right: can you tell the difference? We neither.

(Image: c’t)

In November 2020, Huawei sold the former subsidiary to a newly formed consortium called Zhixin New Information Technology. Since then, Honor has no longer been affected by the US government’s trade restrictions, which, among other things, deny Huawei access to Google services. According to its own information, Honor has been an independent company from Huawei since November 17, 2020.

Like the Nova 9, the Honor 50 is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G mid-range SoC. While Huawei is only allowed to use this chip without a 5G modem, the Honor smartphones also work in the new network. The quad camera consists of a wide-angle 108-megapixel camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle and a macro and a bokeh lens. The 6.57-inch 120 Hertz OLED has a resolution of 2340 × 1080 pixels and, according to Honor, covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color space. The smartphone comes to Germany in two memory variants: 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash memory cost 529 euros, for 8/256 GB Honor calls for 599 euros.

Honor 50 Lite

(Image: Honor)

A cheaper Lite version – not unlike the Huawei Mate 40 Pro – of the Honor 50 will be available from the beginning of December. The Lite also comes to Germany with Google services. The SoC used, a Snapdragon 662, is not 5G capable. The 6.67-inch display shows a static 60 Hertz. Like its larger sister model, it is equipped with a quadruple camera. It comes to Germany with 6/128 GB of memory for 299 euros. Honor did not provide information on how long the smartphones will receive updates.

The striking similarities between the new Honor and Huawei smartphones should also be registered in the USA. In US politics, concerns about Honor had recently increased – primarily by Republican politicians. Most recently, the Republican Senator Marco Rubio Honor had as a threat to US national security designated. A group of congressmen had previously called for Honor to be placed on the so-called entity list, on which Huawei has been since May 2019. In her view, Huawei only sold Honor to circumvent the US government’s export controls.

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