Is the Honor 8X the best phone you can buy for less than 13K?

There’s been quite a bit of buzz surrounding Honor’s latest mid-range offering. And rightly so—the Honor 8X is a value-packed phone, and despite its affordable Php 12,990 price tag, it offers quite a few premium features that are missing from its more expensive competitors. While it’s not perfect (that micro USB port doe) it is definitely one of the more compelling phones you can pick up for the price today in the country.

What is it?

The Honor 8X is the latest offering from Huawei sub-brand Honor. While it sits at the lower end of the mid-range price bracket it doesn’t look like a budget phone. On the contrary, it looks more like a premium device and can easily pass off as a flagship phone.

It sure looks pretty.

It sure does. While its contemporaries are busy passing off clear acrylic as glass, the Honor 8X uses actually uses real glass for its back panel, along with an aluminum frame for that premium feel.

While our review device doesn’t really show it since it’s boring black, the Honor 8X uses a nice finish to make it stand out. The sub-brand also took a page from Huawei’s playbook and placed the logos and the two rear cameras in a landscape position to make it look like a point and shoot when you’re shooting in landscape mode.

That pretty glass rear needs to be encased in a soft silicone case or a similar to keep it pristine. You can always go au naturale and not cover up the pretty back, but you’re risking scratches that way, plus tons and tons of smudges with regular use.

How’s the rest of the phone?

Pretty good as well, though if there’s one thing we don’t like about the Honor 8X it’s the fact that it uses a micro USB connector at a time where more and more phones come with USB Type-C from the box. It’s a slight annoyance to be sure, but it’s something we’re willing to overlook given the rest of the phone.

Speaking of the rest of the phone: the SIM tray can accommodate two SIM cards and microSD expansion up to 256GB so you’re not forced to choose between an extra SIM or more storage.

There’s also a 3.5mm jack present on the phone which is fast becoming more of an extra feature rather than standard offering nowadays.

The fingerprint scanner is on the rear, though you can also opt to unlock your phone using facial recognition. It’s not as secure as traditional biometric options, but it’s far faster and more convenient.

That display looks bigger than usual.

It is. The 6.5-inch 19.5:9, 1080 x 2340 LCD panel has a notch on the top, but like other Honor (and Huawei) made smartphones you put black bars on either side essentially turning it “off”.

As for the actual display? It’s big, it’s bright, it’s nice to look at and it produces excellent colors. The overall display size is bigger than other smartphones in the Honor 8X’s price range which makes it a great contender for people who are looking for a smartphone for media consumption.

Is it powerful enough for regular use?

It sure is. The Honor 8X runs Huawei’s home-grown Kirin 710 chipset which is in the company’s mid-range Nova 3i that we reviewed a few weeks ago. Long story short, it’s capable of keeping the phone quick, fluid and lag-free. Gaming on the Honor 8X also isn’t too bad, as long as you’re willing to turn down graphical settings to get the best results.

Take note that the Honor 8X has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage at the base Php 12,990 price point, which gives you more room to put your stuff in compared to similarly-priced phones without having to invest in a microSD card.

How’s the rest of the phone?

Pretty good. The Honor 8X runs EMUI, on top of Android 8.1, and while we like stock Android on our phones, Huawei’s UI overlay has matured enough to the point that it really doesn’t get in the way most of the time.

Audio from the speakers frankly suck, though the good news is that the phone has a 3.5mm jack where you can plug your trusty cans into, which means you don’t have to mess around with USB Type-C headphones or 3.5mm dongles.

Do those AI-powered cameras deliver?

They do, but they have their limitations. The Honor 8X has a 20-megapixel f/1.8 main camera, assisted by a 2-megapixel depth sensor, while the front camera is a 16-megapixel unit with a f/2.0 aperture.

Just like phones of its ilk, the Honor 8X is AI-powered, which means the phone analyzes what you’re shooting at and adjusts the settings of the camera accordingly.

The results are vibrant images though honestly some of them look too oversaturated for our taste, which is pretty much par for the course for Honor smartphones with this kind of tech.

How long does that battery last?

Quite a long time. The Honor 8X comes with a 3,750mAh battery, and with moderate use we were easily able to squeeze around a day’s worth of battery life with enough left over for half a day more. The only thing we didn’t like was the fact that the phone only had a microUSB connector, which limits both charging and data transfer despite the fact that the phone is capable of fast charging.

Should you buy it?

Despite its faults, the Honor 8X is definitely a phone you should be taking a look at if you want to pick up an excellent mid-range device that won’t break the bank. There’s tons of value packed into the Honor 8X’s pretty frame, and it’s now available to buy in physical shops and online stores if you’re inclined to pick one up today.

Honor 8X specs

  • Kirin 710 octa-core processor
  • Mali G51 MP4 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 6.5-inch Full HD+ IPS display
  • 64GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 20-megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture lens, PDAF, LED flash, 2-megapixel depth sensor
  • 16-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture lens
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint scanner
  • 3750mAh battery
  • Android 8.1, EMUI 8.2

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