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5 things to know about Honor 8 in Europe

Honor 8
Honor 8

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

Honor 8 dual sim

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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

Honor 8 colors

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!

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

9 Comments
  • Good to know. Nice to be able to select which sim.
    Not many dual sim devices in the UK, so I still don't understand why they are not a huge battery drain.
  • it's almost sold out. Black nowhere to get in germany, blue sold out at offical store also. Amazon waiting time 1-2 months for black variant. This thing is selling very well. People love that device and 2 years OS Updates is nice, too . XDA partnership also which is a plus Most beautiful phone 2016 - by far. Well done Honor. 399€ well invested and Amazon giving free FireTV stick.
  • Users are reporting problems with the O2 net in germany. The device ( or some ) devices have problems switching between eplus/O2 nets when calling. Also when using two SIM cards and one is O2 there are problems when making calls I'm using O2 :( Device says " no network available" when trying make calls users are reporting.
  • The price puts away many buyers.The P9 costs the same or lower in the UK.Also the new nexus(es) coming soon.If the price were be under £270 definitely would make a better expectation in sales.
  • While I agree, it should be noted that average consumers couldn't care less for Nexus phones.
  • The blue one is absolutely gorgeous.
    Pity the phone itself is from an untrustworthy Chinese brand and therefore completely out of question for me.
    Hopefully other OEMs will also pick up the dark blue glass (I'm looking at you Sony and Samsung...)
  • "Untrustworthy Chinese manufacturer?!“, you must be joking, Huawei is #1 telecommunications eq. manufacturer in the world, when it comes to smartphones, only Apple and Samsung are (still) in front of Huawei. My God, you're a dumbass!
  • Haha Huawei have been making components for almost every other mobile manufacturer for donkeys years... im surprised it took them as long as it did to break out and make their own! Picked up an Honor 8 blue on an upgrade last week with 3. Got two free tickets to Dr. Strange and 4x Marvel movie downloads through Google play movies... very nice design. Fantastic battery life. Light. Some nice features. Still comes with all the google/android crap you cant remove like hangouts etc but thats true of most android phones.
  • "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." Danish reseller Elgiganten is listing the 64GB version at 3999 DKK. About 500 more than the 32GB model