The Honor series has been recently putting up impressive devices with unique designs that really grab your attention. A couple of days ago, Honor held an event in Dubai to launch their newest smartphone in the X series and also Honor’s first device with a HiSilicon Kirin 710 chip.
Meet the Honor 8X, the company’s shiniest new mid-range smartphone. The 8X boasts some superior numbers over other phones but it does come with some odd design choices. Coming in at a price of Rs. 36,000, does it offer enough to justify the price tag? We got our hands on the Honor 8X to find out just that.
Read on for a detailed review of the device.
Unboxing + Review [In Urdu]
Design and Display
Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of the Honor 8X that sets it apart from the rest of the competition is its design. On the back and front of the phone, you have glass and that combined with the metal sides makes the Honor 8X a little on the heavier side but all of this makes the phone feel premium in the hand. This is, without a doubt, the best-built phone in this price segment and puts many other phones to shame.
The glass on the back is not plain. No, no, this is Honor we’re talking about so obviously they’re going to have some crazy design theme going around, and they do. And it may sound like I’m complaining, but, I’m actually not. The design on the back is beautiful. There’s a dual tone theme going around where one part of the Honor 8X is all reflective whereas the other portion has a nice matte-ish finish to it. It complements the feel of the device and is definitely a nice touch.
Moving on to the display in the front, it is a massive 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel having a resolution of 1080×2340 pixels which, unfortunately, makes the pixel density fall below the 400 PPI mark. However, in real-world usage, you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Apart from that, the screen is gorgeous to look at. Not only is it large, but the minimum bezels on the sides make it much easier to handle. Even the chin on the bottom is not that pronounced but unfortunately, you will find a notch on top of the screen.
As far as the performance of the phone is concerned, let’s get the numbers out of the way first. The Honor 8X uses the HiSilicon Kirin 710 octa-core chipset along with 4GB of RAM. As mentioned earlier, the 8X is the first phone from Honor to feature a Kirin 710 chipset.
Navigating the UI was smooth and I didn’t notice any stuttering or lag. Applications also opened up fast enough and you weren’t left waiting for an app to open, which is often the case with most mid-range smartphones that skimp on performance.
The 4 GB RAM proved helpful in moving between apps and you can easily multitask without having each app refresh itself every time you open it. You do sometimes have to deal with the refreshing part only if you have around 8-10 apps open and you are trying to use a resource-hungry application. 4GB is more than enough for most scenarios but a 6GB option would have been nice to see.
128GB storage is also available on board the Honor 8X and if that’s not enough, a microSD card is also available to expand the storage.
On the back of the phone is a dual camera setup where one of them is a 20MP sensor with a f/1.8 aperture whereas the other is a 2MP depth sensing lens. On the front, you have a 16MP sensor with a f/2.0 aperture. The impressive numbers also translate well in real-world usage.
The pictures are really good for a lot of things. There’s a lot of detail, good contrast and the colors are not overly saturated. The camera held up well in good lighting conditions, with plenty of detail and sharpness. The dynamic range was great as well. Do note that like all mid-range phones, Honor 8X falls apart in low-light with loads of noise creeping in and colors being all over the place.
The portrait mode on the front camera was a hit or miss as well with the bokeh sometimes covering the whole face and edge detection wasn’t great as well. This is an issue which Honor can easily fix with a software upgrade.
The Honor 8X has a 3,750 mAh battery which is a relatively large battery size, especially when compared to other phones in this price range. The battery performed really well, lasting a full day on mobile data while taking pictures, playing games, taking calls, checking social media etc.
Even if the battery does fall below a critical percentage, you can turn on the ultra power saving feature to squeeze a few extra hours out of the battery.
Unfortunately, Honor 8X doesn’t come with any sort of fast charging, so you’re left with a phone that takes nearly 3 hours to fully charge from 0%.
The Honor 8X is an impressive device overall. It’s rare that a device from Honor surprises me and the Honor 8X certainly did. It has an excellent build quality which I don’t believe any other phone in this price range has.
The display is incredible, decent battery life, good performance. Even the software is much better than what we were used to a few months ago. You get faster updates and the UI is bearable, albeit I still prefer stock Android over anything else.
There are some downsides as well, such as the microUSB port when the whole world is moving towards USB Type C. Hopefully the next iteration of the X series or any other mid-range phones comes with a USB Type C port. Also, the lack of fast charging might be a problem if you aren’t used to slow-charging phones.
Apart from that, there’s not much to hate about the 8X and it nails the basics of a mid-range smartphone, going a few steps ahead to provide an excellent experience.