Honor 200 Series Launches in Europe with Focus on Photography

Last week, I was lucky enough to be in Paris for the launch of Honor’s new mid-tier smartphone range, the Honor 200 series. These devices build on the success of the Honor 90, delivering a refresh to the part of Honor’s smartphone portfolio it refers to as the “number series”.

Honor is offering three tiers in the line-up. The Honor 200 Lite starts at €329 for the 256 GB variant, providing a solid entry-level option. The price jumps to €599 for the 256 GB version of the Honor 200 and a further €50 for the 512 GB model. The “flagship” in this range is the Honor 200 Pro, costing €799 for the 512 GB variant. This is the first time the Pro model will be available in Europe, having previously only been offered in China. This reflects Honor’s growing confidence as its reach and brand recognition grow in the European market.

The only notable difference between the Honor 200 and the Honor 200 Pro is that the Honor 200 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 platform, and the Pro is equipped with the newer Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 processor. This makes them both very capable devices given their prices. It also means that more-advanced features, particularly for photography, can be supported. For the Honor 200 Lite, the specs are dialled down, using the lower-cost MediaTek Dimensity 6080 chipset.

It’s no secret that a key feature in a consumer’s decision to buy a new smartphone is the camera: in CCS Insight’s latest survey of mobile phone buyers, 33% of respondents indicated that a better camera would encourage them to switch brands when they purchase a new smartphone.

To highlight its camera prowess, Honor has partnered with world-renowned portrait photography specialist Studio Harcourt Paris to enable Honor 200 Pro owners to take pictures that look like they’ve been taken in a photo studio. The effect has been developed using AI-powered algorithms to process the images. You can see the example of my portrait below.

In fairness, I had a bit of help with this picture as Honor set up a pop-up studio at the event with all the lighting required to perfect the shadow technique that Studio Harcourt is so famous for. But it’s a gimmick that will help differentiate the Honor 200 Pro from similarly priced rivals.

Another feature Honor is continuing to commit to is making its screens easier on the eyes. A growing number of phone-makers are acknowledging that excessive mobile phone use can cause eye fatigue. Honor is addressing this with its Eye Comfort Display, which reduces blue light emission. Honor certainly isn’t the first manufacturer to take this approach, but it’s another feature of its marketing for this release and I think it’ll resonate well with some consumers.

There’s no question that Honor is on a roll in the highly competitive European market, but the landscape remains as tough as ever. With Apple and Samsung accounting for over 80% of smartphone sales in Western Europe, only a small share is available for everyone else (see Market Analysis: Mobile Phones, 1Q24).

Xiaomi continues to take a big chunk of Android smartphone sales and Google’s Pixel devices are performing well in the top five markets. We estimate that Honor is currently the fifth biggest manufacturer, but with other players like HMD, Motorola, Oppo and realme also in the running, Honor will need to work hard to stay ahead. This makes the Honor 200 series a crucial release.