Smartphones are always a great gift to give, since everyone uses one and eventually they need to get replaced. However, smartphone prices have risen quite a bit in the past year or two, with many flagship smartphones hitting the coveted four-digit marker. This includes the iPhone XS, Samsung Galaxy Note9 and even the Pixel 3 XL (if you get the 128GB model). But what if you could get relatively the same performance and features from a smartphone that cost almost a third of that price? Well, you can, with the HONOR 8X.
The HONOR 8X can provide that performance because it has some relatively high-end specs. It has a 6.5-inch full HD+ resolution display at a 19.5:9 aspect ratio – and yes that means that there is a notch here. This is what HONOR calls its "FullView" display, because the bezels are pretty minimal and the screen-to-body ratio is around 91-percent. Under-the-hood, you will find the Kirin 710 chipset, along with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. There is also a microSD card slot available. HONOR has a 3,750 mAh capacity battery inside, which keeps the phone running all day long, and it even has fast charging available. The HONOR 8X also sports two cameras on the back, with a main sensor that is 20-megapixels with a f/1.8 aperture and phase-detection auto-focus. The secondary lens is a two-megapixel sensor that is used only for depth data. The front-facing camera is a 16-megapixel lens with a f/2.0 aperture. These specs put it on the same level as some of the other flagship smartphones out there today, but for much less money.
The large 6.5-inch FullView Display on the HONOR 8X is going to be great for consuming media, like watching YouTube videos or movies on Netflix. While it's true that most video is shot in 16:9 instead of the 19.5:9 aspect ratio that HONOR is using here, you can still pinch in and fill out the entire display with the content. You'll also be able to get more content on your screen from different apps like Twitter and Facebook, and see status updates without having to scroll as much. This large screen is great for split-screen mode, allowing you to check on your email, while browsing through Twitter at the same time. This display also gets very bright when outdoors, thanks to some improvements that HONOR made to this panel. In other words, even in direct sunlight you'll still be able to read the display on your HONOR 8X.
When it comes to the Holiday season, one smartphone feature that everyone is likely to be using even more than usual is the camera. Usually on smartphones in this price range, the camera suffers, because manufacturers need to cut corners somewhere. That is not the case on the HONOR 8X. It does have that 20-megapixel main sensor and 2-megapixel depth sensor on the back. But HONOR has done a lot of work with the camera software, allowing you to capture great pictures. This is also HONOR's AI Cam which infuses artificial intelligence to improve the overall camera experience. With AI included, the camera will be able to identify a ton of different objects, including flowers, buildings, food and much more – it can recognize over 22 different categories and 500 different scenes. When it does recognize something, it will adjust the settings so you can get the best picture possible. This means you can get a professional-looking photo without being a professional photographer. You can toggle the AI on and off after you've taken the photo, so that you can see what it looks like normally, and what it looks like when the AI takes over. It also has a pretty wide aperture of f/1.8 (the lower the number, the wider the lens), which is going to let in a lot of light, but also give you a blurred background.
The HONOR 8X is a really good option that won't break the bank. If you have someone on your list that wants a new smartphone for the Holidays, the HONOR 8X is going to be a great choice. It's priced at €229 (around $260 USD when converted), and you definitely won't find anything in this price range that comes close to the value that the HONOR 8X provides. You can purchase the HONOR 8X from HONOR's website.