Newly independent phone maker Honor has announced a partnership with Qualcomm, confirming it will release a smartphone with the new Snapdragon 778G mobile processor in the near future, and a flagship phone with a top-flight Qualcomm chip at a later date. It’s an important step forward for Honor — which was sold off by former owner Huawei in late 2020 — in its efforts to return to the global phone market.
Prior to gaining its independence, Honor smartphones used Huawei-developed Kirin processors, just like Huawei’s phone range. When the U.S. government restricted American companies from doing business with Huawei, Kirin chip production was affected, and in turn, so was Honor. Huawei sold Honor to a consortium known as Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology in November 2020.
The announcement Honor will work with Qualcomm shows the brand’s relaunch is underway, and it has used the news to confirm the name of the phone that will act as its solo, globally available debut — the Honor 50. Referred to as a series, at least one of the Honor 50 phones will use the Snapdragon 778G chip, which has been designed to bring some of the flagship tech featured in Qualcomm’s 8-Series chips to more affordable phones.
In addition to the Honor 50, Honor will bring out another in its Magic series of flagship phones, which it says will “leverage the most premium Qualcomm chipset to unleash the remarkable image processing capabilities.” It’s likely Honor is referring to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor, seen in phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. Honor’s Magic smartphones have always been interesting, with the 2018 Honor Magic 2 featuring a slide-down screen that revealed the camera array.
In recent months, Honor has focused on releasing wearables like the Honor Band 6, and laptops like the Honor MagicBook, but we haven’t seen a globally released smartphone since the Honor 9X Pro and Honor 20. The Honor 30 series and Honor View 40 phones were announced and released only in China. It won’t be the only manufacturer releasing phones with the Snapdragon 778G either, with Xiaomi, Motorola, Oppo, and Realme all signing up to use the new processor too.
Honor has not said when the Honor 50 will arrive, but states more information will come in June, at which time we may hear more about the next Honor Magic too. “Through close collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, the Snapdragon 778G Mobile Platform will power our brand-new HONOR 50 series, which will set a new design benchmark for Honor and deliver a transformative experience for our users,” said Fang Fei, president of product line dept., Honor Device Co., Ltd.