Just look at it! It does not look like a smartphone that costs a measly ₹15,000.
Okay, we’ll just go ahead and say it - we’ve never seen a better looking smartphone at this price. The Realme 2 comes close, but still doesn’t match up to that sexy back of the Honor 8X. However, the 8X isn’t only about looks.
Design: Oh! You Pretty Things
The glass back on the 8X has got some special love and features a dual tone effect and optical coating. That effect and the coating is something we wish every phone this end of the budget came with. It would be a crime to not flaunt that sexy blue backside, but not everything that shines is gold.
The back does suffer from smudges and if kept unchecked, it suffers the same fate most other smartphones with a glass back do. Honor throws in a translucent cover in the box and the phone also comes with an already applied screen guard so that you don’t have to make that trip to the local phone guy and spend extra cash. It’s quite thoughtful considering the target audience at that budget.
Build quality overall is pretty solid and the unit feels great to hold in the hand thanks to the aluminum touch on the side. People with smaller hands might find it a tad bulky to hold, and reaching the top to pull down notifications is great exercise for the fingers.
Display: Natty notch
The 8X comes with a very thin chin thanks to COF (chip on film) tech and as a result looks quite slick and clean, completely deceiving you of its puny price. And it’s a great display too with slightly vivid colours and there’s the option to play around the settings too, allowing you to customise away. There is also a mode that filters out blue light to keep eye fatigue in check.
You might just need it too because you will be glued to that big screen. It is pretty nice to have that extra real estate, which is backed up by 397ppi is a joy for those who like to Netflix and chill as well as cold-hearted PUBG players who get more space for the action buttons. It gets adequately bright as well and gets the job done under direct sunlight.
Software: Punching above its price tag
You get the same UI that features on the Huawei P20 Pro, which is now more streamlined and thought out than before. However, there’s a fair share of bloatware that comes on the 8X including a game called ‘Lord’s Mobile and a bunch of other apps. Other bits like Ride Mode and the Party option are quite nice features to have at this price.
You don’t get the app drawer by default, but you get the option to have it enabled from the settings. There are a few restrictions though as you can’t change the icon size of apps and it really is a waste of screen to have app icons that take up unnecessary screen space. Some themes are a little weird too, but that’s subjective.
Performance: Smooth operator
The Kirin 710 and its eight cores manage tasks with fluidity and also is quite efficient in doing so. But The 8X remains hiccup-free during regular day-to-day use. It can handle apps plenty well and isn’t afraid of too much going on at one time. It really is a seamless experience this side of the price range.
However, the Mali G-51 GPU leaves us wanting for something better considering Huawei’s own Honor Play feature better. Games like PUBG and other big titles have a hard time running smoothly and you need to tone down a few settings before you can get some decent performance. Other lighter games play really well and without any issues. It is a fun experience too thanks to that big screen and considering the price, pretty good value for money.
Camera: Best of Blur
The 20+2MP dual setup at the back come with AI smarts and while it recognises the objects, the end result is a bit of a confusion. All the AI does is bump up saturation and exposure at times, which results in a very in-your-face change. Best leave the AI alone till an update.
In regular daylight the shots the Honor 8X manages are quite decent for the price point. The ‘Night Mode’ from the P20 Pro has also trickled down to the 8X and produces fair results. It needs extremely steady hands and patience while the picture is put together. The results are decent, much better than if shot on the regular mode.
The camera manages portraits well too, but don’t expect the depth effect to be as good as the Huawei P20 Pro’s. For the money, it manages pretty decent snaps. There’s no 4K video support unfortunately and you are stuck with 1080p at 60fps. The videos are well stabilised at least.
Battery life: iPhone XS beating
It is a big screen so don’t expect a two day battery life. But it comes pretty close and lasts you an entire day of work with tons of WhatsApp, YouTube and a bit of camera use and there’s still left enough to last through late in the night. With brightness low and conservative usage, you might even be able to stretch it two days, but it’s a long shot.
There is fast charging, but the 8X features a micro-USB port instead of a Type C. It is high time now and I really wish they had swapped it for the Type C.
Honor 8X verdict
It has that display to flaunt and the back to go with it. The Honor 8X offers more in terms of value than its competition like the Motorola One Power and seems to be the perfect device for those who like a fairly large display for movies and videos while not wanting to shell out flagship money.
I really wish it came with a Type C, just for the convenience of it and if 4K video is your thing, you might want to look elsewhere. Apart from that, it is difficult to find any real downers for the Honor 8X.