Picking up an Honor 8 in Europe? Here’s what you need to know.
The Honor 8 is the latest affordable flagship phone from the Huawei-owned brand, having officially broken cover in Europe on Aug. 24. The European model is a little different to the Honor 8 that’s coming to the United States however, so it’s worth taking a quick primer on what exactly UK and Euro buyers get for their £369.
1. It’s a dual-SIM phone
Unlike its U.S. counterpart, the European Honor 8 (model FRD-L09) features Huawei’s hybrid slot, which can take either two nano-SIMs, or one nano-SIM and a micro-SD card. That means you get the option of using a second SIM or augmenting the phone’s 32 or 64GB of internal storage. (Unfortunately you can’t use two SIMs and a micro-SD at the same time, like you could with the Honor 5X.)
If doesn’t really matter which slot you load your SIMs into (unless you care about the order of signal bars in the corner of the screen.) You can choose which card gets to use 3G/4G, and which is the default for mobile data Settings > Dual card management. (You’ll almost always want to set those two options to the same card.) The card management menu also lets you choose whether to use one SIM as the default for calls, or whether to show two “call” buttons in the dialer app, one for each SIM.
A dual-SIM phone can be useful if you’re traveling and want to use a local SIM for data while also receiving calls and texts on your normal phone number — or if you need to be reachable on a work and personal number at the same time.
2. It supports a bunch of LTE bands
The European Honor 8 supports 7 bands of 4G LTE, meaning you’re good for 4G coverage across most of Europe and Asia. The 4G SIM slot supports LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 38 and 40, along with 3G (HSPA) on 900, 1900 and 2100MHz.
In practical terms that means you shouldn’t run into any problems using 3G or 4G services on any carrier that uses those bands.
Unfortunately for those traveling to the United States, the major coverage gaps include basically all the U.S. LTE bands, so you’ll be limited to 3G speeds on T-Mobile or AT&T, provided you’re in an area with 1900MHz coverage.
In China, support for TDD-LTE (bands 38 and 40) as well as FDD-LTE on band 3 should allow for good 4G coverage on China Telecom or China Unicom.
3. There’s a choice of freebies depending on where you buy
Honor’s latest marketing push has given buyers a wide range of incentives to pick up the new phone, with the Huawei-branded vMall letting customers “mix and match” any combination of coupons up to the value of £69.99. Vouchers from Gameloft, Elex, Truecaller and Deezer are available.
Meanwhile Honor has announced that orders placed with Amazon will receive a free Amazon Fire TV stick while stocks last.
4. Buy on PAYG with Three, use anywhere
In the UK, Three is the exclusive carrier partner for the Honor 8. Fortunately for anyone wanting to buy on the high street and use with another carrier — or carriers, given the dual SIM slot — all of Three’s phones are sold SIM-unlocked. That means once the Honor 8 goes on sale with Three in the coming weeks, you’ll be able to walk into a store and pick up the handset (with a Three PAYG SIM, of course) and use it anywhere else.
5. Black, white and blue are your main color options
Wherever you’re buying the Honor 8 your main color choices are black, blue or white. (Our favorite by far is the blue model, for what it’s worth.)
There are also gold and pink models, but these are harder to track down. The gold Honor 8 will be focused on the Russian and Middle Eastern markets to begin with, while we’ve yet to see the pink version outside of China.
By the same token, the only storage option available at present is the 32GB version. The more expensive 64GB variant hasn’t shown up anywhere in the few days since launch.
Anyone picking up an Honor 8 in Europe in the coming weeks? Shout out in the comments!