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Honor 8X Review: big screen, small price

With the Honor 8X, Honor takes a new step, offering a mobile with the appearance of a flagship 2018, at least on the surface.

honor-8x

Honor smartphones are not exactly a mid-range that passes for the flagship but have built a solid reputation as medium-performance devices for everyday use. With the 8X, Honor takes a new step, offering a mobile with the appearance of a flagship 2018, at least on the surface.

Honor 8X
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
4.2

Summary

The Honor 8X is a very good option for users who want a large screen for an economical price. If you take this phone out of your pocket nobody will believe that you have paid only € 300. But you will have to sacrifice some performance and camera, nothing new in this price category. Only the Pocophone F1 shows a higher performance, but it is more expensive and made of plastic. The 8X is great, beautiful and perfect for basic tasks, which would have to keep more than satisfied to many users.

Small price, big screen

The Honor 8X is available for a price of 249 euros. There are four colors to choose from, all with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

For that price, we can expect the 8X to be highly competitive. It does not look or feel like a cheap smartphone, and users who are looking for a big screen and a good daily performance for little money could find a lot of worse devices than this, believe me.

A lot of glass and an excellent finish

The Honor 8X has a fairly large 6.5-inch screen, with a notch to keep the edges thin (as if to give you an idea, the first Android tablets were 7 inches). Anyway, thanks to the edges of the  LCD screen, the Honor 8X is still easy to manipulate.

honor-8x

At first glance, the mobile seems much more expensive than it is. The Honor 8X has the characteristics associated with a flagship 2018: a large screen, thin edges, absence of buttons on the front and, of course, a notch to house the front cameras and components for facial recognition.

The front and back parts are made of glass and are joined by a metal frame. The brand is prominent, and Honor wants customers to know that there is an AI camera on top when they see the mobile in stores. The fingerprint reader is in the center of the device.

The surface of this mobile is one of the most sensitive to the traces I have ever seen. When we took photos for this article, our photographer Laure had to clean the device every few minutes to make it look good. Still, the glass looks good, especially in the blue version. The black version is a bit more elegant, others would say boring. In the future, there will also be a red version, which in the advances already looks very good.

At the bottom, there is a 3.5 mm minijack entrance for the joy of those who do not want to miss this type of entrance. There is also a micro USB port. A USB port type C would have been fine, but in this price category, we do not expect much.

The Honor 8X fingerprint reader is on the back, logical since there is no space left in the front. It is easy to reach and works very fast. Once again, on-screen sensors are not an option for this price. The device supports the use of two nano SIM cards, so it supports the use of dual SIM and memory expansion.

A large screen, following the trend

The most outstanding feature of the Honor 8X, which I think will sell more, is its 6.5-inch screen that occupies almost the entire front. It is an LCD panel of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels and aspect of 19.5: 9, and it seems much more expensive than it is. That is, the 8X offers little more than Full HD with a density of 397 PPI. The notch is quite wide, but it can be hidden with software. In summary, the screen/body ratio of this mobile is over 90%.

honor-8x

The device has many customization options. The “vivid” mode by default is quite impressive, and you can choose three color temperatures. With its size, the Honor 8X will be popular among consumers of audiovisual content watching Netflix or YouTube on the mobile, or players who need space for on-screen buttons. But for gamers, I have a warning and it’s about performance: this smartphone has not been produced for video games, like Honor Play.

You can see the results of our screen tests below. We have measured the most important values, such as brightness, contrast, color coverage and color distribution with Datacolor Spyder 5 Elite. According to the tests, Honor 8X covers the required space satisfactorily.

Android 8.1 with adapted EMUI

The Honor 8X comes with Android 8.1 and version 8.2 of the Huawei EMUI. So it will be familiar to all those who have used Honor or Huawei mobiles in the past. The EMUI has its opponents, but personally, I love the level of customization and utilities built into this interface.

honor-8x

 

The user has the possibility to choose between a more iOS-style format or a more typical Android app drawer. You can also change the settings of the home screen with larger or smaller icons, which in turn modifies the number of apps on the home screen.

The device comes with a good amount of filler apps, including Huawei’s proprietary software such as HiCare, AppGallery, and Health. Our trial phone even came with the pre-installed apps from Booking.com, Facebook, eBay, and Netflix. There is also a folder with a selection of Gameloft games, but not in full version but in the demo. Most of these games are of low quality and most will erase them quickly.

honor_8x_screen

There are also some more outlandish features as we can expect from Huawei and Honor. An app called Party Mode creates an access point to share music with other Honor mobile users, synchronizing what sounds on all connected mobiles. There is also a karaoke feature to sing your favorite songs through headphones. I’m not sure these options are really useful.

Good performance in daily use, but no video games

The Honor 8X has an 8-core Kirin 710 processor with up to 2.2 GHz. My test device had 4GB of RAM, which is fine for everyday use. The apps start fast and I have not had any problems to have 2 or 3 things working at the same time.

However, this is not a high-performance device. If you take it to its limits, you will begin to see why the mobile costs so little money. I have tried the Asphalt Nitro, for example, and I have to tell you that it was quite slow. If we compare it with the Kirin 970 of the Honor Play, this processor has nothing to do. In summary, if you are demanding users you will have to look for another device.

One of the most common problems of this smartphone is unlocking by facial recognition. The configuration is fast and simple, but in daily use the function is unpredictable. Very often I have taken the phone, it has not recognized me and I had to use the fingerprint reader. After a week I decided to deactivate the facial option to use the reader directly. This problem could be solved with a software update.

Below you can see the benchmark results. Unfortunately, we were unable to perform the Geekbench tests on the device.

Honor 8X compared to similar devices

REALME 2 PRO HUAWEI MATE 20 LITE HONOR 8X
3D Mark
Sling Shot ES 3.1
1228 953 952
3D Mark
Sling Shot ES 3.0
970 1021 1122
3D Mark
Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0
24057 1442 1446
3D Mark
3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0
24067 20309 21350

As for the sound, there is not much to say. The sound quality is neither too good nor too bad. It’s fine to watch videos at a low volume, but I would not listen to music with this mobile. The loudspeaker is on the right side, so it is easy to avoid covering it with your hand when using the mobile phone horizontally.

A good camera with AI, but without overdoing it

The camera is usually the aspect in which the economic value of a smartphone is most noticeable, but in the Chamber of Honor 8X, the price is not as evident as in the rest of the mid-range. The double camera with 20 and 2 mega-pixel sensors has a lot of software magic that we have seen in the P20 Pro.

The ultra-low light mode returns as a synthetic function of large aperture diaphragm for the photos with bokeh so appreciated these days. In the 8X, we have the same IA technology as in Huawei’s flagships. The camera can identify 50 objects of 22 categories and adjust the settings automatically when a photo is taken.

The recognition is great, by using the camera you will see a text to confirm if the artificial intelligence is seeing the same as you. But at the moment of truth, the results are disparate. In my opinion, the AI is too noticeable, it is as if I want changes to be noticed. You will often find yourself with oversaturated images. Likewise, this function can be deactivated with a touch. Videos are filmed up to a maximum resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 at 60 fps.

Charging by micro USB, but good autonomy

The Honor 8X has a 3.740 mAh battery, which considering the size of the screen worried me when I started using the phone. But Huawei and Honor are known for their energy-saving software and if EMUI is allowed to do its thing, the battery life can stretch quite a bit.

What has surprised me about this smartphone is that, unlike my Huawei P10, the Honor 8X is not constantly warning me about the energy I spend when I use Pocket Casts or Spotify. In this price category, I really can not complain about a duration approx. a day and a half, although I admit that I am a less intense user than other editors of this writing.

The downside in this price category is the micro USB port at the bottom. In 2018 it seems strange not to include a USB port type C, but somewhere you have to cut to lower the price to this level. At least, the fast loading option is available.

Unfortunately, for this review of the Honor 8X I have not been able to do the PC Mark battery tests that we usually do.

Honor 8X – Technical specifications

DIMENSIONS: 160.4 x 76.6 x 7.8 mm
WEIGHT: 175 gr
BATTERY SIZE: 3750 mAh
SCREEN SIZE: 6.5 inches
SCREEN TECHNOLOGY: LCD
SCREEN: 2340 x 1080 pixels (396 ppi)
FRONTAL CAMERA: 16 megapixels
REAR CAMERA: 20 megapixels
FLASH: LED
ANDROID VERSION: 8.1 – Oreo
USER INTERFACE: Emotion UI
RAM: 4GB
INTERNAL MEMORY: 64 GB
128 GB
REMOVABLE MEMORY: micro SD
CHIPSET: HiSilicon Kirin 710
NUMBER OF NUCLEI: 8
MAXIMUM SPEED: 2.2 GHz
CONNECTIVITY: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM, Bluetooth 4.2

A modern device at a very seductive price

The Honor 8X is a very good option for users who want a large screen for an economical price. If you take this phone out of your pocket nobody will believe that you have paid only € 300. But you will have to sacrifice some performance and camera, nothing new in this price category. Only the Pocophone F1 shows a higher performance, but it is more expensive and made of plastic. The 8X is great, beautiful and perfect for basic tasks, which would have to keep more than satisfied to many users.

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