Huawei has introduced the sequel to the bang-for-buck smartphone it launched last year. Like the Honor 8, the Honor 9 merges laser-cut glass design for a striking appearance with premium specifications (plenty of them seen on the previous P10 and Mate 9 releases) at a very competitive price.

One upgrade that goes above and beyond what we’ve seen is the dual-camera system at back. Sheer resolution has been increased as the ISP now takes data from a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and a 12-megapixel color sensor at the rear to provide a hybrid image that should have better contrast definition than conventional imaging products. Users can also pull off some interesting high-res black-and-white stills, too. The company is also promoting a 2x hybrid zoom that should provide clearer close-ups. As a package, it’ll be interesting to pitch this device against the recently-released OPPO R11 — its dual-camera system features different focal lengths per sensor.

As Apple and Samsung have done with their latest flagships, Huawei has put in a display that supports a wide color gamut, this one specfically being DCI-P3. Right below it is the newly-placed fingerprint sensor, mated to the home button.

The Honor 9 is also said to be an audio champ with tuning from the best engineers and a new optimization process called Huawei histen for Hi-Fi listening experiences plugged into the 3.5mm headphone jack. Users can also take advantage of Bluetooth 4.2 or USB-C if they prefer.

Pre-order slots are currently quite tight for the three configurations out right now through June 16. The base model, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, costs ¥2,299 or $338. Upping the RAM to 6GB gets you to ¥2,699 ($397) and then raising the storage at that point to 128GB will top out at ¥2,999 ($441).

If history is any indicator, we should hope to see the Honor 9 make it stateside and elsewhere later this summer.

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