A handful of Android OEMs are known for releasing latest software updates for their legacy phones as well as backporting new features to older devices. For example, OnePlus released 3 major Android version updates (including Android Pie) for 2016’s OnePlus 3/3T.

Samsung is backporting the Call and SMS Continuity (CMC) feature from Galaxy S10 to older phones

Huawei and their subbrand Honor are also maintaining a solid track record of releasing periodic software updates to their entire product portfolio. No wonder they recently released Android Pie based EMUI 9.1 OTA for a bunch of Kirin 960 (announced in 2016) based phones.

Honor 9 (released in Q1 of 2017) is now getting EMUI 9.1

Apparently there is no discrepancy or bias in the EMUI 9.1 rollout plan. Starting from the flagships to all the way down to low/mid-rangers are included in the roster of of getting the feature packed OTA.

In terms of software based goodies, one of the primary attractions of EMUI 9.1 is the GPU Turbo 3.0 – an enhanced on-demand GPU overclocking tech fused with the core operating system. Some phones also get EROFS, which is a performance-centric replacement of traditional EXT4 file system.

Performance comparison between EROFS and EXT4

However, there is a small catch. As a matter of fact, some regional variants of existing Huawei/Honor phones are being prohibited to install the latest firmware (*cough* Honor 9i *cough*). We are now seeing another incident of planned obsolescence with Honor 8C.

Honor 8C

Released back in October 2018, Honor 8C is entry level mid range phone with a number of innovative features. The Chinese OEM opted for Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC instead of their in-house Kirin chips, while the 6.26 inches screen comes with a ‘trendy’ notch with 8 MP selfie camera.

Sporting a 13+2 rear camera duo and a large 4,000 mAh battery, the phone runs Android Oreo based EMUI 8.2 skin. For some unknown reasons, the configurations is not adequate to run Pie based EMUI 9.0/9.1 – at least Honor India thinks so.


FYI, the Snapdragon 632 platform is an updated variant of the highly popular Snapdragon 625. There are a number of SD632 phones out there – such as Redmi 7 and Asus ZenFone Max M2 – running Android Pie without any hiccup.

Thank you for sharing your concern with us. We would like to inform you that our development team has evaluated the compatibility of device with EMUI 9.0 OS, and at the moment, it may not be available due to hardware limitations as it requires higher hardware specifications for optimal performance. However, our software development team continuously work towards customer experience and continue to add features as required by our consumers. We appreciate your understanding and patience.



In this context, Huawei’s intention of not allowing Pie update for a phone which is less than a year ago is really unfortunate! We hope the OEM will reconsider their decision, so that Honor 8C owners can get the sweet taste of Pie.

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EMUI Honor 8C

Kingshuk De
896 Posts

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.

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