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Honor 50 Series is Very Different from Honor Devices Launched at Huawei Time

by Yiwen Wu | Jun 17, 2021

Honor unveiled new Honor 50 series on June 16th, 2021, in Shanghai China. Analysts from Strategy Analytics joined the event onsite.

Honor 50 series include 3 models: Honor 50 SE, Honor 50, and Honor 50 Pro.  

Honor 50 is the vanilla version. It is powered by Qualcomm 778G 5G chipset and spots flexible OLED display. Honor 50 Pro is upgraded to more advanced camera modules and comes with larger display and faster charging capability. Honor 50 SE is downgraded to MTK900 chipset and features LCD display.

The retail prices of Honor 50 series ranges from RMB 2399 (USD 372) to RMB 3999 (USD 620), positioned to China’s mainstream markets. It will land to China market first in June and hit 40+ overseas markets with unspecified timeline.

Honor 50 series is very different from the Honor products launched during Huawei time.   

  • First, Honor 50 series is powered by 3rd party chipsets. For China variant, it preloads Huawei Mobile Services. For its upcoming overseas variant, it is going to preload Google Mobile Services.
  • Second, Honor 50 series targets to female users, rather than tech-savvy young male users. Its blingbling design and its branding approach remind us very much of Huawei’s nova series. The new model seems not to fight against Xiaomi, but OPPO and vivo in offline channel.
  • Third, Honor 50 no longer competes via cost-to-performance ratio. The increased BOM cost due to third party chipset, the reduced scale and purchasing power, and more importantly the channel margin required by Honor’s offline distributors (who are also its investors), combined has made Honor 50 challenging to be priced as competitive as the brand used to be. The pricing is still reasonable for offline channels, though.

The launch of Honor 50 series is the most important milestone that new Honor has so far achieved. It not only signals a new start for the vendor, but also indicates its successful cut-off from the US ban on Huawei. This is a huge relief for the new-born and for its partners.

But questions remain. How attractive is Honor brand for female users in offline channel? Is Honor’s brand equity strong enough to support current price-to-performance ratio? Can Honor secure sufficient 5G chipsets in the second half of 2021 under industry’s supply constraints? Let us see how Honor is going to address these questions in the following months.

For old Honor fans who may feel forgotten by Honor 50, here is the good news: Honor is going to upgrade its Play series to an online-focused sub-brand. The new sub-brand will be more like old Honor, competing head-to-head with Redmi series in online channel. Moreover, Honor is going to unveil a more premium Magic series soon with male users as key target group.

Honor is on the right track in China.

Honor 50 Launch

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