Honor 8X is the new offering from the Chinese smartphone brand Honor. The handset comes with two variants 4GB & 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory for both the variants. It also comes in two colors, Midnight Black and Navy Blue. The 4GB RAM variant is priced at Rs.14,999 & the 6GB RAM variant is priced at Rs.16,999.
Design & Build
The brand new 8X does not look like usual Honor phones. It’s a premium looking smartphone which has a metal frame and a glass back which looks and feels premium. There is a dual camera setup with flash to the back of the phone. The glass construction makes it sort of a fingerprint magnet. The front of the device is almost covered by the display, which houses a small notch that we can hide. Even though there is a chin at the bottom, it’s one of the smallest in this budget.
To the left we have the sim tray in which we can insert 2 nano sims and a memory card, to the right we have the power and volume rockers, to the top we got a secondary mic, rest is clean and to the bottom we got the headphone jack, main microphone, micro-USB port and the speaker grill.
The device feels very premium in hand, but slight slippery due to the glass construction. So it’s better to use a case for the protection.
The device sports a 6.55 inches LTPS LCD panel with 2340×1080 resolution, it has a pixel density of 397 dpi. The Full HD+ resolution has plenty of sharpness. The color accuracy and brightness of the panel are on point considering the budget. The screen to body ratio is mentioned to be at 91%, which is on par with many flagships today. The screen is immersive enough and fortunately the notch is not a distraction.
Performance & Software
The Honor 8X is powered by HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor which is built on TSMC’s 12nm process. The processor is said to compete with the likes of Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 which is also a good chipset for the budget or mid-range series. In our daily usage the smartphone offers fluid performance and a major part of credit goes to the processor with 4 x 2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 and 4 x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 cores. The weakest part of the device seems to be the Mali-G51 MP4 GPU. To be fair, the device can still offer a quite enjoyable gaming experience, as long as you keep things casual but not close to the experience which the Snapdragon 660 gives.
Honor 8X runs on android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with EMUI 8.2 on top of it. It has a custom launcher which is pretty smooth and lag free. The new EMUI comes with face unlock and some additional features in settings. Also there is a party mode app pre-insalled in it, which we can connect one or more honor devices and can enjoy music with a stereo effect. Out of the box there is no app drawer on EMUI, just like Xiaomi’s MIUI. Theming is supported by default and there is a wide range to choose from. Multitasking is pretty standard as well. Tap-holding the recents key will let you activate split screen.
Talking about the cameras, we got a 20 MP + 2 MP AI-powered dual rear cameras with the single LED flash and a 16 MP single front camera. The main camera has f/1.8 aperture with an equivalent focal length of 27mm. The AI-camera detects 22 categories of scenes and adjust image parameters accordingly. The images taken in AI-mode come out with a resolution of 12MP. There is also night mode available in the device which will take usable pictures, it creates a brighter image by taking multiple frames of the same scene, gathering light along the way. The video recording maxes out at 1080p resolution at 30 fps. Unfortunately, there is no EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) in any of these modes.
The dynamic range is quite good enough for the price it is offered at. Images are a bit over-saturated by default, which can be solved to some extent by turning off the AI mode.
Talking about close-ups the device offers less details, sharpness levels are good and the colors are vibrant.
In artificial light situations the device takes good pictures but the noise level is a bit high. In extreme low light situations, the noise level shoots up and the images look soft in an attempt to denoise, but the overall details are fair.
Coming to portraits compared to the previous generation devices, 8x has improved a lot. The images still look artificial in some cases.
The video quality is average, but the lack of EIS is evident. The video recording on secondary camera goes upto 1080p at 60 fps without support for EIS.
Also, there is no support for 4K recording. The Honor 8X has a 16MP shooter with a fixed focus lens for its selfie camera. There is also software based portrait mode.The device capture good selfies, skin tones are fine, dynamic range is also good. Low-light performance is acceptable. Edge detection in portrait shots is good but in shots with complex backgrounds, the edge detection seems weird. You can also shoot upto 1080p videos using the front camera.
Battery & Storage
The device comes packed with a 3,750mAh battery. We still have the aged Micro-USB charging port here. The battery holds up pretty well for a phone with a 6.5 inches screen. With everyday usage, including several hours of audio streaming, a couple of hours of browsing and 30 minutes of YouTube streaming, the 8X still made it to the end of the day. I got a screen on time of 5 hours and 30 minutes which was not bad for a 6.5 inch IPS LCD screen device!
As far as storage is concerned, the device comes with 64 GB of internal storage. This is expandable through a dedicated micro SD slot. The device also has support for USB-OTG.
The device has a single speaker at the bottom. The sound quality is good but the loudness level is bit low compared to other devices in this segment. The output via headphone jack is also good if we tweak through Huwaei Histen Sound Effects.