On Monday, phone maker Honor introduced its new mid-range flagship models Honor 90 and 90 Pro in China. The lineup is the successor to last year’s Honor 80 series and features a 200MP camera sensor, a quad-curved screen, a 5,000mAh battery, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. It is priced at RMB 2,499 ($350) for the standard model with 12GB + 256GB RAM. 

Honor also announced that the two devices will have GMS (Google Mobile Services) included in the global versions. 

Why it matters: As China approaches a major mid-year shopping festival known as 618 (June 18), many phone makers are releasing new affordable models to boost sales. In addition to Honor, Oppo launched its mid-range Reno10 series on May 24, while Vivo will unveil its Vivo S17 series on May 31. 

Details: As part of Honor’s new mid-range phone line, the Honor 90 series boasts a high-performance imaging system and display.

  • Both models adopt a 200MP sensor for the primary rear camera and a 50MP selfie camera, while the Pro version features an additional 32MP portrait camera. 
  • The Honor 90 features a 6.7-inch OLED curved-screen with 2,664 x 1,200 pixels, 1,600 nits peak brightness, 1 billion colors, and a 120Hz refresh rate. It is powered by the Snapdragon 7 Gen1 chipset. The Pro variant offers a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset and a 6.78 inch display with a resolution of 2,700 x 1,224 pixels. 
  • Both models support what Honor says is the industry’s first 3,840Hz ultra-high frequency pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming technology to protect eye health. PWM is a common dimming feature used to adjust the current in white-LED driver devices. The company claims the phone is the most eye-health-friendly device on the market. 
  • The Honor 90 Pro packs a massive 5,000mAh battery and supports 90W fast charging. Honor said it takes 15 minutes to reach 56% power. The 90 model only supports 66W fast charging. 
  • Both models go on sale on June 7 in China; their global launch date has yet to be disclosed.

Context: Due to a slowdown in domestic consumption, China’s smartphone shipments declined 8% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, reaching their lowest level since the first quarter of 2020, according to Counterpoint

  • The top five vendors in the first quarter of 2023 were Apple (with a 20% market share), Oppo (18%), Vivo (16%), Honor (16%), and Xiaomi (12%).
  • Honor was established by Huawei as a budget smartphone brand in 2013. It was sold by Huawei in late 2020, partly in an attempt to ensure it avoided US sanctions targeting the Chinese telecommunications giant. 

Jessie Wu is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. She covers consumer electronics, semiconductor, and the gaming industry for TechNode. Connect with her via e-mail: jessie.wu@technode.com.