Zhao Ming, president of Honor made a speech on the launch ceremony for Honor 8 held in Shanghai on July 11, 2016.(Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's separate brand Honor unveiled a middle-end smartphone with sleek design on Monday, highlighting the company's determination to tap into young Chinese consumers' growing desire for aesthetic products and quality life.
The move also marked Huawei's latest step to target different user groups with dual brands, as the company safeguards its top position in China's smartphone market amid mounting pressure from smaller rivals such as Oppo Electronics Corp.
Unlike its peer products which look roughly the same, Honor 8 features a unique glass back, which can reflect colorful lights, and 12-megapiel dual-cameras, which allow it to deliver better photo-taking ability.
"Most of handsets are equipped with metal bodies and look quite similar to Apple's iPhones," said Zhao Ming, president of Honor.
"We want to change that with Honor 8. We will prove young Chinese consumers are aesthetics-conscious and willing to pay for elegant designs," Zhao said, adding the company is chiefly targeting consumers between 18 to 34 years old.
Honor 8, starting from 1,999 yuan, will also be equipped with Huawei Pay, an NFC-enabled mobile payment tool.
Consumers in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou will soon be able to use Huawei Pay to take buses and subways. "We are also talking with dozens of banks for cooperation," Zhao said.
To protect Honor 8's glass back and its beautiful back design, the Shenzhen-based company also unveiled a line of tailor-made transparent smartphone cases.
James Yan, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, said Honor 8 reflects Huawei's clear strategy when Chinese's smartphone market is reaching saturation.
"Low price is not enough to attract buyers. Honor 8 is a well-positioned product by targeting Chinese young consumers with good tastes and purchasing power," Yan said.
The new product also complements Honor V8, a handset released in May and designed to target businessmen, experts said.
But when it comes to the handset design on which Honor spent half hour talking about, Yan remains cautious. "It remains to be seen whether these design improvements will set the next wave of trend."