It hasn't been long since Honor split from Huawei because of a trade ban placed on the Chinese company. Fortunately, the best Honor phones can now access Google Play Services and serve delicious specs in enticing packages. Unfortunately, there aren't as many options out just yet, but Honor's comeback looks promising. Keep in mind that you won't get CDMA compatibility in any Honor device. With that said, here are the best Honor phones you can find right now.
Honor 50 5G
The Honor 50 marks the culmination of Honor's struggle to survive and put out an exceptional product despite the odds. The phone casts one billion colors, boasting a vivid 6.57-inch 120Hz OLED display. In addition, you get Android 11, the SD 778 5G chipset, 66W SuperCharging, an under-display fingerprint sensor, and a jaw-dropping 108MP primary camera. All with Google Play Services, of course.
A Lite option
Honor 50 Lite
This stripped-down version of the show-stopping Honor 50 swaps a 6.67 LCD screen for an OLED. It maintains the 4,300mAh battery and 66W SuperCharge feature. You also get a 64MP primary shooter, a side-mounted fingerprint reader, a Snapdragon 662 SoC, and 6GB/128GB memory specifications, providing bang for your buck.
Old dog plays neat tricks
The Honor 20 has all the hallmarks of a great affordable phone: an evocative design with a hole-punch cutout, powerful hardware in the form of a Kirin 980 chipset, and four cameras at the back with a 48MP primary lens. There's also a 32MP front camera, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal memory, and a 3,750mAh battery with 22.5W fast charging.
Honor 9X Lite
You get a gigantic 6.5-inch LCD on the Honor 9X Lite, marred only by the 8MP front camera unit. On the other hand, this phone has a rear-mounted fingerprint reader, a solid 48MP main camera, 4GB of RAM, and a whopping 128GB of storage. Yes, the 3,750mAh battery is underwhelming, but you get something modern flagships lack: expandable storage and a headphone jack.
Pop-up selfie camera
With the Honor 9X, the brand offers a retractable module that hides the front camera, leading to a bezel-free screen. It's powered by the mid-range Kirin 710F chipset, has a 48MP camera at the back, and the 4,000mAh battery should last two days between charges. Let's not forget the bold and beautiful pattern on the back.
An old View
Honor View 20
The View 20 features a unique V-shaped Color Edge design at the back that makes it stand out. Even by today's standards, the 48MP camera at the back takes pretty good photos. Huawei's Kirin 980 platform powers the phone, along with 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery with 22.5W fast charging.
Honor 10 Lite
Built with a tight budget in mind, the Honor 10 Lite gives you a 6.21-inch FHD LCD with a Kirin 710 chipset and a 3,400mAh battery. It has 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage expandable up to 512GB. There isn't really anything to rave about here, but the Honor 10 Lite becomes a great option when you factor in the cost.
The Honor 20e is a product of turmoil, having launched during the infamous Huawei trade ban. The Kirin 710F combined with the 4GB/64GB memory options, 6.21-inch LCD panel, and a 3,400mAh battery all deliver a decent entry-level phone with unexpectedly good cameras for the price.
A Kirin 710 chipset powers the Honor 8X, and there's 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. You'll find a 20MP AI camera and depth sensor camera at the back, a 16MP front shooter, and a 3,750mAh battery powering it all. Sure, it's not going to be great for gaming, but it should hold up just fine for everyday tasks.
Compromises are a given with Honor for now
The problem with Honor is that you only get GSM compatibility, eliminating support for any CDMA carrier like Verizon and MVNOs that use its network. Since Honor doesn't officially operate and conduct trade in the U.S., you can't get your hands on fresh units easily. The ones you find are usually imported from the U.K. or Europe, so they cost a lot more than their retail prices. Still, you don't have to settle for Honor's outdated phones with the right budget.
Honor is just starting to crawl its way back out of the dark, led by the dazzling light of the Honor 50 5G. The camera unit may not be for everyone, but you'll be extremely pleased with the performance and feel of the device. Powered by the Snapdragon 778, it runs Android 11 out of the box with Magic UI 4.2 layered on top. You get a stunning 6.57-inch FHD+ curved OLED and a 120Hz refresh rate. Perhaps even more impressive is the Honor SuperCharge tech bringing 66W charging to the phone.
If you're in the market for something more affordable, you can't go wrong with options like the Honor 10 Lite, Honor 20e, and Honor 8X. They may be old, but these phones feature gorgeous designs backed by robust hardware that should easily last a few years.
There are plenty of great Android phones available at all price points, and almost all the options on that list are more recent than Honor's devices. Nonetheless, the Honor 50 series is a worthy adversary for many popular mid-rangers of today. If you can swallow the non-CDMA support, that is.
Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
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