Earlier this week, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 778G chipset, and with it came a pretty big announcement for Honor: that's the chip that will be used inside the upcoming Honor 50 series. That's big news because Honor used to be sub-brand of Huawei, and thanks in part to the ban imposed by the United States, it couldn't buy components from American companies such as Qualcomm. However, Huawei sold the Honor brand to a Chinese consortium, once again giving it the freedom to work with suppliers from the U.S., and we've been waiting to see the effects of that.
Now, following the announcement of the Snapdragon 778G, Honor has talked a bit more about its partnership with Qualcomm at the Qualcomm China Tech Day 2021 summit. Not only is the Honor 50 series going to be powered by the new chipset, but Honor is also bringing back the Honor Magic brand, which will be using the "most premium Qualcomm chipset" to enable better image quality, which is said to be one of the focus points of the device.
Honor CEO George Zhao commented on the Qualcomm partnership:
“As a global technology brand, HONOR has developed a strong network of industry leading partners across our supply chain and our partnership with Qualcomm reinforces our commitment to working with global technology leaders. (...) Capabilities that were developed in-house by HONOR are now implemented in our use of the powerful Snapdragon platform. We believe this collaboration will help unleash the ultimate potential of the product in our bid to deliver superior products and services to our customers around the world.”
As you may know, the most premium product in Qualcomm's lineup right now is the Snapdragon 888, so it seems likely that this is what Honor is referring to. The last Honor Magic phone, the Honor Magic 2 from 2018, also packed a flagship processor at the time, but it was Huawei's own Kirin 980, so it makes sense for a flagship processor to be used again.
Of course, another big deal for Honor will likely be the return of Google Play services. As a result of the ban imposed on Huawei, the company had been unable to get an Android license since 2019, meaning it had to rely on its own app store. This made the phones unappealing to the vast majority of users in outside of China. Honor hasn't said anything about Google services yet, but it would make very little sense to launch a phone without them at this point.
The speed wasn't all that was interesting about the Honor Magic 2, either. It was also one of the few phones using a slider for the front-facing camera, something we don't see much of these days. Hopefully, the company will bring some unique concepts to the table with the new Magic phone. Honor says it will have more details to share about its products in June, so we'll need to wait a little longer to know for sure.