• Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Honor 8X Review - Design matters

Introduction

Honor 8X is a phone many of you wanted to see reviewed. This is, in fact, a distant Huawei’s mid-range cousin, so let’s see how it performed in our test!

We really like Honor phones, especially because they bring exceptionally good chipsets and performances to the middle class as was the case with the Honor 10 and because they look and feel like much more expensive phones due to design and build quality. We’re sure that the Honor 8X has the second – great design. The front and the back of the phone are both made of glass while the edges are made of aluminum. Along the left portion of the back panel there is a neat design stripe which is in the lighter shade than the chassis color which can be Red, Blue, Pink or Black, which we have in for a review. At the very beginning, there’s something quite disappointing – the microUSB connector that you can’t help to notice, and in 2019 it simply makes the phone look obsolete and far from a premium handset. Double camera setup on the back protrudes a little bit, and when we put the phone on the table it wobbles a little bit, but this can be solved by putting the phone in a case that comes inside the factory box and that smoothens the surface. Next to the case, in the factory box you can find a charging adapter, a microUSB data and charging cable, user manuals and a SIM tray tool.

Video review


Display

Honor 8X is a pretty big phone, which the 6.5” display only proves. This is a bigger display than even the Samsung’s flagship Note 9 has. Taking into account that this is a 19.5:9 aspect ratio display and that it reproduces 1080p resolution, all details are very sharp and there’s no pixelization visible whatsoever – pixel density is 396PPI. On the top portion of the display there is a notch that can be turned off in the settings, more precisely, you can turn of the display in line with the notch so that it becomes invisible if you don’t like it and don’t want to look at it.

The panel is built in IPS LCD technology and due to it a bluish hue is visible, which you can also adjust in the display settings. We expected this display to have excellent brightness and visibility on direct sunlight, however it didn’t really perform that well. Results are fine, contents are still visible and legible, but only when the brightness is set to the maximum.

As you can see yourself, this is a phone that you’ll need both hands to operate which doesn’t really suit people who like compact phones.

Hardware and OS

The 8X sadly didn’t receive the top notch Kirin 970 flagship chipset, but there is the brand new Kirin 710 chipset that we could see in the Mate 20 Lite, and that’s primarily aimed towards the mid-rangers which the 8X really is. Paired with the chipset we have 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, but there is also a version with 6GB of RAM and either 64 of 128GB of internal memory. GPU placed in this phone is the ARM Mali G51 MP4.

Just as the Mate 20 Lite, the Honor 8X is more than capable to maintain a stable framerate when gaming, and even though it’s considered a mid-ranger, if you set your games to medium settings you’ll get really nice results. High settings do tend to reduce the framerate below the standard 30 fps. On the AnTuTu benchmark test this phone scored 141.870 points, a score that’s not spectacularly high, it could be higher but it’s decent for a mid-ranger. This is a solid performance phone, however had it had the Kirin 970 implemented, that would have hit the bull’s eye – sadly, that’s not the case.

When it comes to the software, the Honor 8X, just as every other Honor device, is powered by the EMUI user interface. On this phone, EMUI is based on Android 8.1 Oreo. Not much has changed with the EMUI lately, so this is the same old UI with a lot of preinstalled applications. On the other hand there’s a lot of customization options, so you can adjust everything from icons to themes, backgrounds, notifications etc.

Next to the fingerprint scanner that does its job well, there is also an option to unlock the phone by scanning the face.

This phone only has mono sound, and it’s placed on the bottom portion of the phone. Reproduced sound it pretty clear and it’s only mediocre in terms of volume, however, we did see better results on other mid-range devices.

Camera

Those two cameras that make the phone wobble on the table have resolutions of 20 and 2 megapixels. Secondary 2MP camera serves only to gather depth of field information. Photos taken by this phone are all enhanced by an AI algorithm, which you can see at the same time you first pick up the phone since AI CAMERA is written along the back of the phone. This camera also supports PDAF.

All photos captured in day time are of very good quality. Colors are not oversaturated as before, and details are decently well captured. Sadly we can’t say the same for photos taken in low light environments. There is a lot of noise, and a significant loss of details is also visible, but this is where the Night Mode jumps in to help out. It captures photos with a 5 second exposition, and it captures much, much better photos than the regular photo mode. The portrait mode also does a good job in separating the subject from the background thanks to the secondary sensor. The Honor 8X really has great cameras for a mid-range device, which is also the case with the 16 megapixel front facing camera that also captures nice colors and plenty of details, but it sadly doesn’t have autofocus. The portrait mode is available on this camera as well.

In its regular video mode the phone captures maximum 1080p resolution at 30fps, and there’s no stabilization available at all. Sound is captured in the stereo mode, and inside camera settings there is also H.265 video codec available.

Connectivity

As we’ve said at the beginning of the review, we’re quite disappointed that Honor has decided to place a microUSB port in this phone. This is a downside, but it won’t make the phone any less attractive, many users won’t even notice that it’s the microUSB port down there.

If you feel that the regular 64GB of internal storage is too little, this phone has a dedicated microSD card slot that you can use together with two nanoSIM cards! The NFC sensor is also implemented in this phone, and there is also a 3.5mm audio headphone port, although there are no headphones in the factory box with the phone.

Battery

What gives life to this phone is its battery, and it this case it has the capacity of 3750 mAh. Due to the phones packing more and more technology, manufacturers need to implement ever bigger batteries in their smartphones. This phone will be at you disposal for as long as two days of standard use. Average ScreenOn time is around 8 hours.

Factory charger has the power of 10 watts. It can charge the phone 0-100% in around 1 hour and 50 minutes, while a 30 minutes charge gets you up to around 27%.

Final words

Honor 8X is a phone that sticks out in the middle class and the one we’d recommend to everyone. It is a big phone, and if you like big devices this is a great device for you. It also provides good performances, nice photo quality for a mid-ranger and a long lasting battery, and for its official price or 270 euros it’s more than a good investment. It still has some competition though – Xiaomi Mi A2 or even Honor Play that sports a Kirin 970 chipset which we hope we’ll review some other time.

Honor 8X Full Specifications

Do you like the Honor 8X? We’d like to hear your opinion in the comment section below. If you have any suggestions or you would like to see some new devices being reviewed, let us know either here or on our Facebook page. If you liked this review, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, sit back and relax as we’re working hard on new material for you.

Advantages and disadvantages

Reasons for and against it

Huge display with great color settings
Solid performances capable of supporting new games
Quality of photos is excellent for the middle class
DualSIM with a dedicated microSD card slot
MicroUSB port in 2019
No stabilization in video mode