Kshitij Pujari Oct 16, 2018 14:22 PM IST
Honor has been steadily growing in the Indian market as a mid-range and budget smartphone maker which can give Xiaomi a real run for its money. To that end, Honor has unveiled a bevy of devices ranging from Rs 7,000 like the Honor 7S all the way to Rs 25,000 like the Honor 10.
However, its latest release called the Honor 8X is a smartphone which will be competing in the crowded Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 category where there are quite a few worthy options such as the Redmi Note 5 Pro, Mi A2, Realme 2 Pro, Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 and more. The Honor 8X has been announced for a price starting at Rs 14,999 and I spent some time with the device . Here are my first impressions.
Build, Design and Display
The first thing that is immediately noticeable about the phone is its huge display. Honor tells me that the 8X employs a kind of curved chip-embedding technique which allows the chin to be as minimal as possible. The phone's 6.5-inch IPS LCD display, with an FHD+ resolution (1,080 x 2,340 pixels), undoubtedly is the biggest screen I've seen on a mid-range smartphone. As is the case with quite a few phones in 2018, the Honor 8X also comes with a notch and it looks just about the size of the OnePlus 6's notch. I do prefer the recent water drop style notches, but the 8X's notch isn't bad either.
On the back, we see glossy glass finish complete with a two-tone colour shift when you look at it from different angles. Honor had earlier employed this technique in the Honor 10 and it is quite appealing to the eye. It is, however, a huge fingerprint and smudge magnet and is hard to wipe as well. The dual-cameras on the back are arranged vertically and give the impression of two eyes staring back at you. The phone has a metal frame which gives it a good grip and the fingerprint scanner is positioned in the top half of the phone, making it a little harder to reach.
Chipset, Storage and OS
The Honor 8X comes with the new Kirin 710 chipset from Huawei which is meant for mid-range smartphones. I haven't tested any smartphone with the Kirin 710 SoC before, but it is expected to face off against Qualcomm's Snapdragon 636, 660 and the likes. A full review of the Honor 8X will decide how good the chipset really is.
The phone is offered in multiple storage options such as 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage, 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage and 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage. We have been given the 4 GB RAM variant for review, as Honor wants to show that even the base variant is a capable smartphone. There is the option to expand the storage using a microSD card.
In terms of OS, we see that the Honor 8X runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo with Huawei's EMUI skin overlaying it. The software experience on the device is far from clean, with a lot of bloatware and multiple duplicate apps such as the gallery, browser, music, file manager and more. The phone does come with a feature called as Party Mode which enables you to connect several Honor devices to play the same song. We shall delve more into the software during our detailed review of the device.
Camera and Battery
The camera on the Honor 8X seems to be quite good during my initial inspection of the device. The dual camera on the back comprises of a 20 MP primary sensor with a f/1.8 aperture and a secondary 2 MP depth sensor. The phone delivered some good looking pictures, but it seemed to give a weird yellowish tinge as well. The AI mode on the phone made the images slightly more contrast-heavy than I would've wanted. There was also a Night Mode on the phone which delivered some impressive looking night time photos. We will be testing the device in various lighting conditions to get a full measure of the camera capabilities.
In the front of the phone, we see a 16 MP camera with a f/2.0 aperture. Selfies on the phone looked to be decent enough, but I did spot some exposure discrepancies in a few photos. We shall find out more about it in our review.
In terms of battery, the phone does have 3,750 mAh battery and it does not come with any quick charge capabilities.
The Honor 8X is certainly a looker with its huge screen on an average sized body and its shimmering two-tone glass back. The phone also has a headphone jack (something we have to sadly mention in 2018) and looks promising in the photography department as well. However, the competition from rivals such as Xiaomi and Realme looks to be escalating and performance could be the deciding factor. Stay tuned for our full review of the device.