You probably must have guessed it from the title by now, Honor has done it again. Producing some of the most beautiful smartphones has become an embodiment of the Chinese manufacturer and the all-new Honor 8X is a glittering example of that.
Honor 8X has recently launched in Pakistan and is available for Rs. 35,999 in the market. It comes with all the necessities of a premium phone and will definitely leave you satisfied once you use it. Here is a detailed review of Honor 8X based on our observations upon using the phone as a daily driver.
Design: Glass Mania!
As far as the design of the handset is concerned, it is safe to say that the phone belongs to the flagship design segment. With a shimmering all glass body, it is beautiful enough to make you turn your neck. A 2.5D glass is used on both the front and back which results in a better grip despite the big size.
On the back, Honor 8X borrows a lot from the flagship P20 Pro and uses the same vertically aligned camera design in the top left corner. We particularly liked the strip, running along the cameras and Honor branding.
The fingerprint sensor is located right on the spot where it should be. It’s easy to use and accessible too even for people with smaller hands. On the usual right-hand side of the phone, we have a power key and the volume rocker while on the left a dual SIM card tray resides.
On the bottom of the phone, we have a single firing speaker, a mic and it’s specifically sad to see a micro USB port instead of a Type-C in a 2018 phone.
However, for what it’s worth, Honor has still not tagged in the line of companies that are eliminating headphone jack. Honor 8X thankfully sports a 3.5mm jack.
The edges are curved to nest the phone better in your hands. However, we have to admit that the phone is quite a fingerprint magnet and you might want to cover it up with a case if you get agitated by that.
The Honor 8X has a 6.5-inch LCD screen with 2340 x 1080 pixels. The screen is aptly vivid and displays vibrant colors. Though it has a notch, its a relief to see that even the most recent flagships like Huawei Mate 20 Pro couldn’t escape the notch fad.
However, Honor 8X is one of the phones, like all the other from the brand, that gives you an option to hide the notch and we think that’s quite handy for the users who don’t like notch but can’t resist the beauty of the phone.
What’s the best part of the display? The sheer size! Though we have already told you the screen size but believe when we say that it’s a different experience in person. One can’t help but get overwhelmed by the screen while playing media content.
The Viewing angles on the screen are pretty good, but in direct sunlight, it struggles a little to be viewed clearly. Noticeably, the chin on the front is much thinner than most of its counterparts which helps in an immersive view.
The Honor 8X ships with EMUI 8.2 based on Android 8.1. While there is no word on Android Pie yet, we think Oreo on the Honor phones works like a charm. In early days, EMUI used to be a buggy skin heavily influenced by the iPhone-esque style of the launcher, but now it is one of the most refined skins currently present in the market.
Although EMUI is getting better by the day, we still saw a fair amount of bloatware on the device. Apps like Booking.com, Facebook, Netflix and eBay are pre-installed. There is also a folder for a selection of Gameloft games. Most are of poor quality and will likely be instantly deleted by most users.
Not all is doom and gloom. A Party Mode app in the phone lets you create a hotspot to share music with other Honor phone users, syncing the music that comes out of all the linked phones’ speakers simultaneously.
Other than that, EMUI provides you with plenty of tweaks and options to deliver a smooth experience, both in daily use and gaming as well. Speaking of gaming, the phone also comes equipped with a GPU Turbo tech that reduces the battery consumption by 30% and increases performance by a huge 60%.
Though a list of Honor and Huawei phones receiving Android Pie has already been making rounds, Honor 8X still waits in line to receive the most sophisticated EMUI version from the company.
Performance: Punching above the Price Tag
As for the hardware, the Honor 8X comes with the mid-range HiSilicon Kirin 710, successor to the company’s famous Kirin 659 in the Huawei P20 Lite. The phone presents a whopping 128GB storage which is amazing to see in this price tag. Backed by a 4GB RAM, the handset stays true to its mark of providing a smooth performance in the mid-range price.
Though many people don’t count benchmarks as a parameter to judge the smartphone performance in daily life, the phone hit pretty good scores on both the GeekBench and AnTuTu benchmark apps.
It obviously would be an exaggeration to say that this phone performs at par with Honor Play, the gaming beast but that doesn’t count as its con. It gives a pretty good ride for the money and delivers a great performance.
While running Asphalt 9 Legends on the phone, we noticed some frame drops which were only negligible. Multitasking and switching between the apps were smooth and snappy. However, just for the sake of testing, we pushed it to the limits and opened three of the very demanding games on the phone, Deer Hunter 2018, Asphalt 9 Legends and Real Racing 3. That’s when the phone started to experience hiccups.
Other than that, the device worked smoothly and was very quick and responsive. It was hard to notice any lag during the whole time we spent with the device. Though it might not purely be a gaming device, it is surely well optimized to handle your gaming sessions and day to day operations.
The fingerprint sensor on the phone is amazingly accurate and quick and can even read your fingerprints with damp hands. However the same cannot be said for the face-unlock, which required a second try most of the times that we tried to unlock.
The Honor 8X packs a huge 3750mAh battery and as mentioned earlier, it comes with a micro-USB port so don’t get your hopes high for fast charging. The phone takes a good 2 Hours 24 Minutes to charge from flat 0% the to full 100% so you might want to charge the phone overnight.
While playing video on the loudspeaker with full volume and the brightness cranked to the maximum, the phone lasted for 4 Hours and 39 Minutes in the battery drain test. Check out the video below for the comparison of Honor 8X battery with Oppo F9 and Huawei Nova 3i.
Still, taking into account the enormous display, Honor 8X performs excellently in battery consumption and can last more than one day easily for the moderate users while heavy users can expect a full day of battery life at ease.
In our moderate usage test, the phone ate up 13% battery in one hour on just browsing the internet, using social media and snapping a picture or two. During the test, the brightness was toned to full and all the browsing was performed on a 4G LTE network which resultantly means that it will consume much less on a WiFi connection.
Our heavy usage tests consumed 18% of the battery in one hour of online heavy gaming and heavy multitasking. The GPU Turbo certainly showed its potential in gaming and controlled the battery consumption drastically.
AI Assisted Cameras
One of the most important parts of today’s smartphone is the camera. For some of the enthusiasts, a bad camera performance is enough to change their decision about buying the phone.
Honor 8x comes with a dual rear camera setup and a single selfie camera. On the back, you get a 20MP f/1.8 main camera, assisted by a 2MP depth sensor. On the front is a big 16 MP f/2.0 camera.
The camera game on Honor 8X is strong. The AI is always there to help, producing daylight photos that are sharp, detailed and have a great dynamic range for a phone at this price. A variety of modes in the camera app give you a chance to get creative.
The pictures in daylight come crisp and balanced. Though it would be straight up unjust to compare its camera result with flagships, the phone does an amazing job given its price tag. Here are some camera samples in good lighting conditions.
The AI in the cameras certainly shows off its might in daylight and brings out the best in the picture by popping up colors.
While using the device as a daily driver, we took pictures that involved different color schemes and play of light. Resultantly, the phone delivered more than expected results. Be it urban landscape or lavish grass, the handset performed equally well in every case.
In limited light i.e indoors, the camera did not seem to struggle too much. Though we did notice a loss of detail in pictures as compared to the outdoor ones, we cannot rate it a poor performing camera considering such a low price tag.
The portrait mode and wide aperture mode also help in giving your pictures a DSLR resembling look by spreading a blur on the background of the subject.
Taking pictures at night was also a cheering experience. We got the opportunity to attend the launch of Honor 8X in Dubai where we snapped some night shots and also did our first impression of the phone both of which turned out to be great.
However, not everything is rosy. We found the camera annoyingly inconsistent in night photography. Sometimes it produced impeccable results and other times, even with a well-lit subject, pictures came out with quite a loss of detail and the camera clearly seemed to struggle to control the direct light.
The camera also packs a food mode which enhances the colors of the food to make it look more appealing. To all the foodies out there who Instagram their every meal, this might be a useful feature.
The 16MP selfie snapper grabs great shots and is also ornamented with bokeh effect i.e. blurring out the background. Thanks to AI, you can now enjoy augmented reality pictures with your selfie camera too.
Honor 8X can record 1080P videos up to 60fps. The audio capturing is also quite decent in the video. Here is a sample to give you a better idea.
Honor 8X is a phone that is dressed to impress. With a flagship-grade design, the phone is nothing short of impressive and beautiful.
Providing great value for your hard-earned money, the Honor 8X delivers a great performance and a decent battery life despite its big screen size. It provides plenty of camera modes to play with but lacks a good low-light camera result. Similarly, the screen is big enough and bright enough to enjoy your favorite media but also leaves room for improvement.
All of this fades away against the amazing price that this phone is available on. While its counterparts carry a bit heftier price tag, Honor 8X gives you a premium experience without burning a hole in your pocket.