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Late last evening Honor announced the Honor 8 for the United States market, and we finally got a chance to go hands-on with the phone. As you may already know, the phone is basically the Huawei P9 on the inside, albeit aimed at millennial consumers and given a completely new external aesthetic. This phone has a glass back, a fingerprint sensor that you can press for app shortcuts, a dual-camera setup, and more…

Based on my quick initial hands-on (part of which you can see in video form below), I’m impressed. The phone gives you a lot — flagship-level specs — for the money, making this clearly Honor’s OnePlus-like play. For $400, you get a really well-built smartphone with specs the compete with the top dogs. And of course there’s plenty of neat (and kinda gimmicky) features that Honor is aiming at millennials — in line with the company’s mission here in the US to break into that segment of the market with phones that are capable and affordable.

But just as much as the software additions arguably add to the experience, Honor’s Android skin is still its one crutch. It still looks like an iOS knockoff, which doesn’t seem to bode well with American consumers, it feels unpolished, and it lacks any respect for Google’s design language, Material Design. Thankfully Honor decided to ship this phone with Google Keyboard as the default, and that’s a step forward, but I want to see more improvements here. Hopefully EMUI 5.0 will bring some.

Inside, you’ll find a dual-camera system similar to the one on the P9, a 5.2-inch FHD display, an 8MP front-facer for selfies, a fingerprint sensor (which doubles as a handy quick action button) an octa-core Kirin 950 chipset inside with 4GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage, a 3,000 mAh battery, NFC support, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EMUI 4.1.

Check out our initial hands-on below:

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.