techprincess.it: the review of HONOR X8, slim and with an attractive price
The new HONOR smartphone has a nice design and great autonomy, but some uncertainty in performance
HONOR has just launched the new HONOR X8 smartphone on the market, which you can pre-order at hihonor.com, and which we tested for this review. A product with a decidedly competitive price but with an attractive, light and thin design. It also offers great autonomy, which, however, also comes at the expense of performance. It could be the right smartphone for many users, as long as you accept some compromise. In this review, we therefore try to help you understand if this HONOR X8 is right for you.
Our review of the HONOR X8
When we opened the box of HONOR X8 (we tested the Ocean Blue version, but there is also in Midnight Black) for this review, we immediately grasped the company's goal in the design department. This smartphone wants to be discreet and elegant, two adjectives difficult to use in this price range.
To achieve this, HONOR has decided to borrow some stylistic ideas from Apple. With more than decent results given the price. The square bump on the back, top right and flat bezels with rounded corners are well crafted. So much so that you can keep the smartphone standing on one of the four sides, with a balance that is felt even when holding the smartphone.
HONOR X8 weighs just 177 grams and has a 7.5mm thick. Which is great for a smartphone with a 6.7-inch screen, especially expressed vertically. It seems to be smaller than it is, although it has the same diagonal as the iPhone Pro Max, to give you an idea.
The difference, however, is in the materials, which also help to keep the weight down. The plastic back has a glossy finish that resembles glass, but the weight and feel in the hand leave no doubts. But according to HONOR, the aluminum alloy frame can withstand the most daring bend and drop tests.
On the frames you will find on the left the buttons for the volume and the one for unlock / power, which also acts as a fingerprint reader (rather accurate). Below, in addition to the USB-C input, you will also find the one for the 3.5 mm jack cable, an always appreciated choice.
A large and bright display
The new HONOR X8 also left a good impression on the display, at least in the price range. The screen in fact uses liquid crystal technology (LCD), which does not have the magnificent contrast of OLEDs or AMOLEDs.
But the FHD + resolution of 2388 × 1080 pixels and the 90Hz refresh rate are a good compromise, also because the smartphone has excellent brightness that makes it comfortable to use even on a sunny day. HONOR has also achieved TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light certification for this smartphone, making sure the blue light doesn't bother us. And on the smartphone you will also find the Dark Mode and even the black and white e-Book mode to let your eyes rest.
Don't expect a stunning screen. But a solid, big and bright display does.
HONOR X8 review: performance
HONOR has decided to mount a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor, with 6 nanometer process, accompanied by 6GB of RAM, which you can extend with the HONOR Turbo RAM technology by another 2GB of virtual RAM.
This technology works quite well, we have managed to keep multiple applications running at the same time. But the experience isn't exactly fluid. On more than one occasion during the tests for this review we had some slowdown and uncertainty with the HONOR X8. We also tried some benchmarks to get some objective data, which confirmed our impression.
If even the look of this smartphone makes it appear to be of a higher category than its own, the performance places it in the range of the cheapest smartphones. Using the Google Maps picture-in-picture slows down the smartphone a lot. Games take longer than expected to load and if they are graphically dense (for example the new FIFA Mobile or Genshin Impact) you need a little more patience.
Magic UI 4.2
The smartphone comes with Android 11 in the Magic UI 4.2 version, which takes a different approach than many other Android smartphones. For example, all the apps will be shown in the various homes, instead in a scrolling menu.
HONOR did a great job when it comes to customization and functionality. From well-implemented gestures to widgets to manage the home, it seems to us that they have taken care of the details. There are too many pre-installed apps for our liking, but you can get rid of them quickly if you don't want them.
Where the flaw is the fluidity of the system. For example, we appreciate the gestures to quickly share screenshots (indeed, we used them for the tests on the HONOR X8 you see in this review). But on five or six shared screens, we experienced a slowdown that forced us to repeat the gesture. It is nothing unbearable, but we hope that in the next updates (perhaps with Android 12) HONOR will solve these performance problems.
A truly excellent autonomy
The 4,000mAh battery may seem less than it should, especially in this market segment where some competitors nominally offer superior batteries. But we must admit that during this review HONOR X8 surprised us positively.
An intense day of testing, with several hours of screen access and the opening of expensive apps from an energy point of view, however, lowered the percentage of the battery to just under 40%. Even those who use smartphones a lot should get to the two working days of use without too many problems. Those who use it less can take a weekend away without carrying a charger (although we're too eager to try it!).
The 22.5W recharge brought autonomy from 0 to 93% in one hour, using the charger included in the package. Ten minutes of charging gives you enough energy to face the evening, in case you arrive home from work with the smartphone empty. We are not talking about record percentages, but in this price range they are really excellent.
HONOR has equipped its X8 with four cameras, although they are not all of the same quality. The 64MP main sensor collects a great deal of detail, especially in good light conditions. On the other hand, shooting in more uncomfortable conditions (from the shade to a subject in direct sunlight), it does not manage the balance well. However, we appreciated how consistent it is in photographing people's complexions and how it collects enough detail for good shots with digital zoom up to x2 or x3 (even if it goes up to x8, true to its name).
Night mode has good color rendition, which may seem dull but rather natural. The details are also high. However, a very steady hand is required, as it takes up to six seconds to collect enough light.
The 5MP ultra-wide-angle camera does its job well, although zooming in on the photograph or opening it on the PC you will notice the difference in the amount of detail. It serves to support the main when you want a more ample angle and it does it quite well, but the difference is visible.
The 2MP Macro and Depth sensors can come in handy with the Super Macro mode for the occasional shot, but already on the 6.7 inches of the screen you feel the lack of pixels. In perfect lighting conditions, they might be enough for social media, but don't print them.
The 16MP camera takes good quality selfies and video calls, while not shining. We also liked the software, which was intuitive and well optimized (better than other system apps).
The HONOR X8 review: is it worth buying?
HONOR has equipped its smartphone with excellent features, which will make many appreciate it. The slim design and the materials used make it light and easy to use, despite the 6.7 inches of a good quality screen. The battery and charging are great, Magic UI allows a lot of customization and has a good main camera.
However, the other three cameras are not on the same level. 5G is missing. And above all, the performance is less fluid than we would like.
If you are looking for a smartphone to play games or with a complete photographic department, you may have to look elsewhere. But if you want autonomy and a slim, attractive design, it's a great buy.