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Honor 60 launch live blog: catch up with the ex-Huawei brand’s latest smartphone

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And so it begins – welcome to our Honor 60 live blog, which we’ll be fawning over for the next few hours as the device launches. 

This is the standard Honor 50 smartphone, which saw a global release. (Image credit: Future)

So what are we expecting to launch at the Honor 60 event? Well, we peered deep into our scrying orb and it told us… the Honor 60 smartphone.

Jokes aside, there were actually four members of the Honor 50 family; a Pro, Lite and SE model joined the vanilla one. The Pro was obviously the top-end model with an extra front-facing camera and faster charging than the original, but was basically the same in most other departments.

The Honor 50 SE was also quite similar to the original but its screen didn’t curve at the edges, it had a different (though roughly equal) chipset, it missed out on a depth sensor at the back (no real loss), its selfie snapper was lower-res, and its screen was a little bit bigger. The Honor 50 Lite was the real budget option here though with a lower display refresh rate, lower-res main camera and completely different design.

Other than the Lite, all Honor 50 phones were first unveiled alongside the first one at its June launch event, though only the main Honor 50 saw a global launch. That means it’s very likely we’ll see an Honor 60 family, and not just one phone, launched today – in fact, the company has teased a Pro model so this will almost definitely show up.

And beyond that? Well, we know a tablet is coming, because Honor itself teased it. Let’s see what that’s like at the launch. 

The Honor 60 itself isn’t a total mystery to us, as the brand has teased us with some information already. 

Mostly, we know the design, which is how we know the Honor 60 looks startlingly like the Honor 50, particularly in the camera bump department as it has the same dual-round-bump array. The picture at the top of the article is of the 60, as well as that tablet we mentioned.

It’s also a 5G phone, according to a big poster, but we don’t know exactly what chipset it uses.

Honor 50

Me taking a selfie on the Honor 50 (Image credit: Future)

You might find this Honor 60 launch a little surprising – didn’t TechRadar’s Honor 50 review only go live a month ago?

Well, it did, but that doesn’t mean the device itself is only a few months old. You know how we said the Honor 60 launch is China-only? So was the first Honor 50 launch, which took place in June, and it took quite a while for it to get launched globally.

So don’t expect Honor 60 release information for outside China to be unveiled today – we’ll likely be waiting until the new year for that. CES and MWC happen in January and February respectively – both are global tech events that bring loads of big unveilings, so we could see a launch then.

MWC 2022 is more likely, as that stands for Mobile World Congress and is more focused on smartphone devices, though we’ve also seen Honor use CES to show off products so nothing’s out of the question.

Case in point, regarding the recent Honor 50 launch:

When I went to get breakfast earlier (picked up some croissants and cheese, thanks for asking – also ended up buying more coffee and some mince pies) I passed my local bus stop.

The advert on the side is for the Honor 50, which only just went on sale in the UK. And now the Honor 60 is getting unveiled.

Huawei Nova 9

The Huawei Nova 9, which looks super similar to the Honor 50 (Image credit: Huawei)

The spectre of Huawei still looms over Honor, even though they’ve been… divorced? Separated? ‘Just friends’? – for the best part of a year now.

Take the Honor 50 – it’s a dead ringer for the Huawei Nova 9, which launched shortly afterward. Not only does it look identical, but the specs and internals are almost all the same too, with the one major exception being the main camera.

You could say the same about the Honor Magic 3, which was unveiled in August 2021 but never actually released. It looked like your average Huawei Mate mobile (so, super-top-end), with a super-curved screen, top camera specs and a premium design, and if it’d had a Huawei logo we would have assumed it was the next flagship from the brand.

So maybe we’ll see something today which reminds us of Huawei quite a bit – though judging by early specs, Huawei Nova 10, anyone?

Honor Watch GS Pro

The Honor Watch GS Pro with a custom watch face. (Image credit: Future)

We also could see some wearables, though it’s not certain.

If I may break cover and jump into the first-person temporarily – I’ve always been a huge fan of Honor’s wearables. Smartwatches like the Watch GS Pro or Watch ES have brought interesting and innovative features to devices that feel fairly priced, not like the super-expensive Apple or Samsung alternatives.

We haven’t actually seen an Honor smartwatch since it gained independence though, possibly because its devices were quite similar to Huawei’s, which suggests a lot of cooperation which obviously isn’t possible now. We did get the Honor Band 6 fitness tracker, but the less said about that, the better.

This dry spell can’t last forever though, and we’d hope to see some new wearable tech – or something that isn’t a smartphone, at least – before too long. Maybe today’s the day!

We’ve found the official Honor live stream – click here to find it on Weibo.

The ‘start’ time on the stream is actually half an hour before the event is due to begin – presumably we’ll see thirty minutes of trailers for the brand or other similar filler.

There’s 40 minutes until the event kicks off – if you were going to pop some corn and brew some coffee, now is the time.

You could pop quite a bit of popcorn in that time, though, so why don’t you entertain yourself by reading about today’s big tech news?

Giant chipset maker Qualcomm has unveiled its latest top-end chipset, called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (not exactly a catchy name, is it?).

Loads of upcoming phones are confirmed to have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – these include the Xiaomi 12, Oppo Find X4, Realme GT 2 Pro and a future Motorola phone. Exciting!

The Weibo livestream has officially kicked off – but for now, it’s just promotional material that we’ve already seen.

Huawei MatePad 11

Huawei’s MatePad 11 (Image credit: Future)

We’re used to seeing Honor and Huawei put out similar products, but that might not be the case today.

The tablet pictured in the header image of this article is completely unlike anything we’ve seen Huawei put out – the brand’s latest MatePad 11, pictured just above, looks quite different.

We look forward to hearing more about this slate soon.

Five minutes left! Looking for something to do to bide these last few minutes? How about you check out one of the two stories our phones team has worked on this morning?

Firstly, some Samsung Galaxy S21 FE colors have leaked, and we think we know all the bright and bold options for the upcoming device.

Secondly, a rumor suggests the next iPhone SE will come out around March 2022, though we don’t know if this is the iPhone SE 3 or iPhone SE Plus.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

The pre-roll adverts have finished…

… and we have begun.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

The CEO of Honor has taken to the stage to talk about the company.

If you’re expecting to hear some juicy details straight away… is this your first tech event? Brands often spend ages waffling on about the past, present and future of the company, its devices and so on. Sometimes we have to wait half an hour into a tech event for anything real.

Hopefully it won’t take that long for the Honor 60 launch – I really want lunch. But we’ll have to see.

Honor just showed a video of the Honor 60 being made, accompanied by inappropriately-epic music.

The name has been confirmed on-stage for the first time, though we already knew it’d be called that

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

We’ve just seen the phone for the first time – the CEO pulled out two versions of it in different colors. What a shiny thing!

The Honor 60 screen edge is quite curvy at 81 degrees on the edges, but it also bends on the top and bottom at 52 degrees – most smartphones with curved-edge displays only have them on the side, so that’s an interesting design twist.

By the way, I’m not getting all this information from my fluent language skills – but when you watch enough of these tech events, you start to understand what they’re talking about.

And a giant ‘1080 x 2340’ next to a picture of a screen isn’t hard to figure out, for example – that’s display resolution.

Why am I saying this, instead of telling you what’s happening at the event? Well, not much is happening. We’re just hearing about how the bezel is a tiny, tiny, tiny bit smaller than on the Honor 50. What fun.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

Here’s the Honor 60 Pro screen specs – 6.78-inch 120Hz FHD+ display. It curves at the edges – presumably the only difference for the non-Pro one is this last spec.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

They’ve shown off a few different Honor 60 Pro color versions.

We like the autumnal one pictured above but a dark green, shiny blue or black version can be chosen instead. There are also a few funky cases being shown off, but we’d imagine these will only go on sale in China.

In basically every single video it has shown during this event, Honor has used the same song. I started by not rating it but it’s grown on me.

I’ve done some research (read: Googling the lyrics). It’s apparently called Vibrations by Gill Chang featuring Stonefox. Click here for a Spotify link to the song, if you’re interested.

Honor is talking about its AI at the moment – hopefully this is a bridge into discussing its camera capabilities or software or something.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

It’s becoming more and more clear that the Honor 60 Pro is being positioned as a phone for budding vloggers – presumably that’s a big audience in China – between these camera features, and the fact the company’s Weibo is calling it a Pro streamer” phone. 

Lots of advertising in the build-up to the Honor 60 launch prominently featured the word ‘Vlog’ too. Maybe if I test this phone I’ll have to start vlogging my life. Oh dear.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

There’s 66W fast charging on the Honor 60 Pro – the company says it’ll get from empty to 50% power in 15 minutes.

There’s also a 4,800mAh battery, which is fairly big for this kind of phone, though we’ve seen loads of 5,000mAh power packs on devices of all prices too.

It’s been quite a quiet event so far, and we’re still waiting on key details like cameras, Honor 60 specs (we’ve mostly heard about the Pro) and pricing.

I want to go and get some juice, and it’s been quiet enough that that shouldn’t be a problem. But I know if I leave the desk, something massive is going to be unveiled.

It’s a dilemma for sure.

Okay, I managed it. You’re now reading the words of a proud drinker of some OJ.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

Here we go, Honor has provided the ‘full’ Honor 60 Pro specs. Lots is missing so far.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

And here are the specs for the standard Honor 60 – again, we’re missing camera details and screen specs. That is, unless the display is the same as the Pro’s one, which is looking pretty likely.

Let’s see what else Honor says before we unpack this information more – maybe we’ll get more details, and there could still be a Lite or SE version coming.

And where’s that tablet?

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

These are the prices for the Honor 60 – that starting price converts to $420, £320, AU$590. 

Below are the Honor 60 Pro prices, which start at $480, £440, AU$810.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

We’re hearing now about the Honor Band 6… which we’ve already heard about, like, a year ago?

The band first launched at CES 2021 in January – presumably this is a tweaked version with some new features.

Either way, we wouldn’t expect this to get launched globally, as Honor doesn’t tend to launch its tweaked fitness trackers outside China, only the main-series ones.

Now Honor is detailing its TVs, another gadget we don’t expect to come to the global market judging by past performance.

And… it’s over (!?)

So that’s it, Honor has done unveiling its new smartphones, as well as a tweaked version of an older fitness tracker and some new TVs. The event has wrapped up and the livestream has stopped.

The fun isn’t over though – we’re going to pick back through our notes and give you the low-down on what you need to know from the event.

Let’s look more in-depth at those Honor 60 prices:

Honor 60 prices
RAM Storage Price in CNY Converted $ price Converted £ price Converted AU$ price
8GB 128GB 2,699 $420 £320 $590
8GB 256GB 2,999 $470 £350 $660
12GB 256GB 3,299 $520 £390 $720

For context, the base version of the Honor 50 had 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, so it’s a little hard to compare. However there was an 8GB / 256GB version too, which is the middle of the above options, and it cost £529 ($710, AU$960).

Saying that, conversions from Chinese prices are often way out as brands launch their phones for less in China, so don’t expect those converted costs to be very accurate.

Now let’s look at the Pro prices:

Honor 60 Pro prices
RAM Storage Price in CNY Converted $ price Converted £ price Converted AU$ price
8GB 256GB 3,699 $580 £440 $810
12GB 256GB 3,999 $630 £470 $890

The Honor 50 Pro didn’t release globally so we can’t compare costs for that – and we can’t say for sure if the 60 Pro will come out worldwide.

So what’s the difference between the Honor 60 and 60 Pro? Uh… not much.

The Honor 60 has the Snapdragon 778 chipset, while the Pro gets the Plus version of that processor. In addition the 60 has a 32MP front camera while the 60 Pro has a 50MP one.

The main – or only – other difference is the display.

The Honor 60 gets a 6.67-inch display which curves at the edges, while the 60 Pro has a 6.78-inch screen which is curved at the edges and top and bottom too.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

Honestly, we were expecting a little more from the Honor 60 event – but we’re not complaining that it’s short, it means there’s less work we need to do!

As our final two posts, we’re going to collect all the information on the two new phones in one solid place, so expect those posts soon. The other things you need to know from the event are:

Honor 60 Lite / SE: Neither of these showed up.

Honor tablet: Nope, no-show

Honor foldable: Oh yeah, we forgot to mention… just kidding, this didn’t come along.

Honor smartwatch: Nah

Honor fitness tracker: A new version of the Honor Band 6 was shown off with a few tweaks and NFC, but it probably won’t launch globally.

Honor TVs: There are a few of these, but the planets will align before these get a global launch.

First, let’s take a look at the Honor 60 Pro, the top-end of the two smartphones shown off today.

Screen: 6.78-inches diagonally, 120Hz refresh rate. Curves at all four edges.

Front camera: 50MP

Rear cameras: 108MP main, 50MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro

Chipset: Snapdragon 778 Plus paired with 8GB or 12GB RAM and 256GB storage

Battery size: 4,800mAh

Charging speed: 66W

Price: Starts at CNY3,699 (roughly $580, £440, AU$810).

On sale: December 10 in China, unknown elsewhere.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

Finally, let’s example the Honor 60, the lower-end of the two smartphones we saw at the launch event.

Screen: 6.67-inches diagonally, 120Hz refresh rate. Curves at two edges.

Front camera: 32MP

Rear cameras: 108MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro

Chipset: Snapdragon 778 paired with 8GB or 12GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage

Battery size: 4,800mAh

Charging speed: 66W

Price: Starts at CNY2,699 (roughly $420, £320, AU$590).

On sale: December 10 in China, unknown elsewhere.

Thanks for watching along to this live blog, if you have been – if you’re catching this after the fact, welcome, and make sure to check TechRadar again when phone launches happen as we often host live blogs like this.

Below you’ll be able to see everything you need to know about the Honor 60 and Honor 60 Pro, the two phones we saw at the event. There’s only one thing we haven’t said yet: our first-glance verdicts at the phones.

Honesty? They seem too similar to their predecessors to be very interesting – which isn’t much of a surprise since the Honor 50 first debuted in June. Many phones are launched on yearly schedules, and the Honor 60 is proof of why that’s a good thing.

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