Honor 8X, Huawei’s latest mid-range offering, is a glass-encased smartphone that features a phablet-size 6.5-inch full HD+ display and dual camera set up at the back. While Honor 8 came with a thick bezel front-fascia, the new Honor 8X has adopted the trending notch design and comes with a screen-to-body-ratio of 91 per cent.
The phone runs Huawei’s latest HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor paired with Mali-G51 MP4 GPU. The new Honor 8X sports a 20MP+2MP rear camera set up and offers AI features. Up front, the phone has a 16MP camera sensor that supports Portrait mode. The Honor 8X has a solid build and feels premium for its price. But while the mid-range Honor 8X comes with a host of features, is it a good value for money proposition? We find out in our review.
Honor 8X specifications: 6.5-inch full HD+ display | Android 8.1 Oreo | Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor | 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage | 20MP+2MP rear camera | 16MP front camera | 3,750mAh battery
Honor 8X flaunts a combination of metal and glass design offering an aesthetic appeal and premium look to the phone. The aurora glass has a dual-tone gradient that adds a stately touch. At the back, you will find protruded camera lenses aligned vertically on the top left corner and a fingerprint sensor placed at the center. Even though the phone is quite big, the index finger comfortably reaches the fingerprint reader. Honor 8X offers dedicated microSD slot which is located at the left side of the phone. The 3.5mm audio jack, micro USB port, and mono speaker grill sits at the base.
Coming to the display, Honor 8X features a 6.5-inch full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display has a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. Honor 8X offer an all-screen display with a thin chin at the bottom and a small notch on top that houses a secondary microphone, front camera, and other sensors. The display on the new Honor phone is quite sharp and colours pop out, vivid and vibrant. The adaptive brightness is consistent and you get a host of customisation for the display like colour temperature adjustment, resizing the font and change the text style.
Honor 8X even gives you the option to hide the notch and play content in ‘Full screen’. There is the standard night filter or Night mode that filters out blue light to reduce eye strain. You can set a time for the Night mode and tweak the colour temperature to cooler or warmer tone. Further, you can customise the screen resolution as well by choosing Smart resolution option under Display settings. The mode automatically toggles the screen resolution from FHD+ to HD+ in order to save power.
In terms of hardware, Honor 8X runs the latest in-house HiSilicon Kirin 710 chipset which is paired with Mali-G51 MP4 for rendering graphics. We reviewed the 4GB RAM/64GB storage model, but the phone is also available in two other variants: one with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage and the other with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. Talking about performance, we didn’t face any stutter while multitasking, running usual apps like Instagram, WhatsApp or while streaming content on Netflix.
As far as synthetic benchmark tests are concerned, Honor 8X scored 1,40,168 points on AnTuTu. The phone managed to score 1600 on single-core Geekbench test and 5629 on multi-core score test. In terms of gaming, Honor 8X could render smooth performance while playing Asphalt 9, Rayman’s Adventure or Alto’s Odyssey and we didn’t face any frame drops while running the games for more than 30 minutes.
Honor 8X runs EMUI 8.2 based Android 8.1 Oreo OS right out-of-the-box. The smartphone comes with a bunch of in-house tools like Game Suite, Mirror, Compass, Weather etc. It comes pre-loaded with apps like Netflix, Facebook, Messenger as well. EMUI still lacks an app drawer and the interface quite similar to that of Apple’s iOS. However, the phone has the option to customise the grid of apps to different sizes.
In addition, Honor 8X provides a few gestures as well, like, a quick swipe down on the home screen to access recommended apps, a one-handed mode that can be activated under Settings>Smart Assistance>One-handed UI. The phone comes with face recognition feature which is quick enough to unlock the device. Besides this, Honor 8X includes File Safe and App lock feature that can be quickly accessed with the rear-mounted fingerprint reader. Other apps on the phone include Ride mode that disables Bluetooth and headset and automatically answer calls with a voice or text message. It also comes with a Party mode that allows synchronising to more than five phones and play the favourite soundtrack.
Honor 8X features dual rear camera with a 20MP primary sensor and a 2MP secondary sensor for depth effect. The primary lens comes with f/1.8 aperture and support phase detection autofocus (PDAF). The dual cameras have AI support as well and can recognise more than 500 different scenarios and nearly 22 categories in real time.
The stock camera app offers a host of features including Pro mode, AR Lens, Night mode, Aperture, Portrait mode etc. The cameras on the Honor 8X manage to render plenty of details and vibrant colour under good lighting condition. The AI-enabled dual lenses can recognise certain scenes quite fast and nicely plays with the shadows. Honor 8X has a 16MP front camera sensor that comes with f/2.0 aperture. Both front and rear cameras are capable of adding bokeh effect to the images. The front camera captures photo with decent details and colour in well-lit condition.
In terms of battery capacity, Honor 8X packs a 3,750mAh battery and bundles 5V/2A charger. In the PCMark test, the new Honor phone lasted for more than 11 hours. As for real-world usage, the phone can give a day’s worth of juice with heavy duty tasks that include browsing over the Internet, running graphically-demanding games for a few hours, streaming HD+ content, clicking pictures and simultaneously using social media apps.
Moderate users can expect the phone to comfortably last more than a day. Honor 8X gives you the option to optimise battery usage as well. It includes two power saving mode- the standard Power Saving mode limits background activity, reduces visual effects, and turns off email syncing to save on power. While the Ultra Power Saving mode limits the device to a selection of certain apps to preserve the backup for nearly six days.
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Although Honor 8X features a glass design that looks premium, the phone is a fingerprint magnet. The ultra-slim all screen front panel do catch eyes, but it becomes difficult to read content under bright sunlight. Besides the big footprint and bulky size makes it quite hard to use the phone with just one hand. The HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC underneath the hood is capable of rendering smooth performance, however, the mid-range Mali-G51 GPU somewhat fail to render sharp details and the colours rather appear oversaturated.
The custom EMUI skin has improved over the past few years, however, the new Honor 8X like any other Honor device include a few bloatware and duplicate apps for instance Email, Camera360 etc. Another area where we were a bit disappointed was Honor 8X’s camera AI processing that oversaturates colours at times. In low light, we could observe noise creep in and make the images appear smudgy. Although the Night mode comes in rescue to an extent by algorithmically combining multiple shots to produce a brighter image it rather softens it and misses out on detail. Moreover, Honor 8X comes with the dated micro-USB port for charging.
Honor 8X offers a unique and premium design for its price. The 6.5-inch sharp display is sure to attract users who like watching content on a big screen. The phone provides a good experience with day-to-day activities. However, it is not meant for gaming aficionados as a few graphically demanding games require adjusting with medium or lower quality settings to play it. The camera performance on the phone is decent; however, photography enthusiasts must avoid using the AI feature to get better results. Bottom line, if you are looking for a handset that comes with elegant design, sharp and vivid display, good battery backup and decent audio quality, Honor 8X can be an ideal pick. Considering the price, the new Honor smartphone will compete against the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and Nokia 6.1 Plus.