Honor 8X: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Honor had introduced the Honor 8X in China last month, but earlier today, the device’s global availability was announced as well. The Honor 8X will be available in both Europe and the US, which is not all that surprising considering that its predecessor, the Honor 7X, was selling really well for the company in both Europe and the US. It is worth noting, though, that Honor announced only European availability earlier today, the US will get the phone later on its seems. In any case, the Honor 8X sports a considerably different design compared to its predecessor, and it, of course, comes with an updated spec sheet. The device will quite affordable, though, and that is one of the main reasons why it will probably be quite successful in specific markets, just like its predecessor. The device's price tags are still unknown, but chances are it will retain its predecessor's price tags. or sport price tags close to it. If we had to guess, we'd say that the base model of the phone (3GB RAM one) will cost €199 in most of Europe, £199 in the UK, and $199 in the US. Having said that, the Honor 7X's 3GB RAM variant was available only in the US, while Honor opted to sell 4GB RAM model of the device in Europe, so it's possible that it will do the same this year as well, in which case we'll be looking at somewhat higher price tags, but still under €300 / £300. Anyway, as it’s the case with every phone out there, there are positives and negatives to consider here, so let’s just right to it, shall we.

The Good

Depending on your preferences, you’ll either like or hate the design of the Honor 8X, but it’s generally considered to be a better-looking smartphone than its predecessor, mainly due to the glass back and considerably thinner bezels. The Honor 7X was a metal unibody smartphone which had noticeable bezels above and below the display, not to mention that it also sported Honor’s logo on the bottom bezel. Well, the Honor 8X does away with the bottom bezel almost entirely, there’s still a small ‘chin’ down there, but it’s hardly noticeable. The top bezel is also gone for the most part, but a notch is here to replace it… so, it’s basically all about preferences, depending on what you prefer. It’s hard to deny that the phone’s back looks really nice, though, Honor placed a number of glass panels one on top of the other in order to achieve such look, as the company did with some of its previous models. Thought, unlike on previous models, the left side of the phone's back actually sports a different pattern, it's still glass, though.

The Honor 8X comes with Honor’s Kirin 710 64-bit octa-core processor, which is the company’s mid-range SoC, but a really capable one, and noticeably faster than the Kirin 659 that was included in the Honor 7X. The Honor 8X also comes with an updated camera setup on the back, this time around we’re getting a 20-megapixel camera with an f/1.8 aperture lens, and PDAF support, which is not bad at this price tag, not at all. Honor is one of those companies that allows you to choose between a number of color variants when it comes to most of its phones, and the Honor 8X is not an exception. We’re sure that the color choices will be market-dependent, but the device generally comes in Black, Blue, Red, and Pink color variants, so chances are that everyone will find a color that suits them.

The Honor 8X’s price tag is hard not to mention in this category, as it is one of the phone’s main selling points. The Honor 8X will probably cost €199 in Europe if the 3GB RAM variant becomes available (€269 or €299 for the 4GB RAM one), which puts face-to-face with a number of phones that are, arguably, inferior to it (other possible price tags are mentioned in the first paragraph). It remains to be seen how well will the device sell, but its price tag is definitely a plus for the Honor 8X. On top of all that, it’s worth noting that Honor included a 3.5mm headphone jack in the Honor 8X, which is a feature that some of you will probably appreciate quite a bit.

The Bad

So, the Honor 8X has considerably thinner bezels than its predecessor, so the phone has a smaller footprint as well, right? Wrong, the Honor 8X is larger than its predecessor, though it also comes with a noticeably larger display. This is also a matter of personal preference, more or less, but quite a few consumers will consider a 6.5-inch display which Honor included to be an overkill, especially considering that the company could have kept a 6-inch display on the device and make it easier to handle. The Honor 8X is 160.4mm tall, 76.6mm wide, and 7.8mm thick. Thickness is not an issue in any way, but the phone is quite tall and wide, though some people probably would not agree, of course. It’s up to you, really, if you really love those big displays, and pocketability and size are not an issue for you, then this phone will fit the bill. The Honor 8X is not that huge, there are a number of phones out there are larger than it, like the Mi Max 3, for example, and a number of others, but it’s above average in that regard, that’s for sure.

Android 9 Pie was released a while back, and we basically knew that the Honor 8X will arrive with Android 8.1 Oreo, and not Android 9 Pie, but it’s still a bit disappointing. The upcoming Huawei Mate 20 flagships will probably ship with Android 9 Pie, so this belongs in the ‘nitpicking’ category on our part, but it would have been nice to see Android 9 Pie pre-installed on the Honor 8X, along with EMUI 9 skin. In any case, the Honor 8X will get the Android 9 Pie update in the near future, it’s only a matter of time.

The Ugly

We cannot really hold much against the Honor 8X considering its price tag, but the micro USB port included on the device is a real eyesore. Type-C USB is a standard these days, and the fact that Honor 8X opted for a micro USB port (USB 2.0) here doesn’t really make much sense. It’s just an issue with a port and the cable and it’s hard to imagine that a Type-C connection would raise the price of the device all that much, if at all. Micro USB is still being used on some devices, for some reason, and it really needs to be removed altogether, not that it’s a huge issue, but it just feels dated and unnecessary at this point.

Wrap Up

The Honor 8X is not a perfect smartphone, not even close to it, but not a single phone out there is. This handset, however, is extremely affordable, and at that price point, it really does have a lot to offer, same as the Honor 7X. The Honor 8X comes with an updated design, much thinner bezels, much larger display, and a more powerful set of internals. The device runs Huawei’s skin, whether you like it or not, but that skin did become a lot better over the last couple of years, and it’s up there with the competition. All in all, the Honor 8X is a nicely packaged budget handset which sits comfortably in the mid-range category of smartphones, and if you’re on a budget, or are not looking to spend a lot of money on a smartphone, the Honor 8X is probably a really good choice.

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About the Author
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Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at Kristijan. [email protected]
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