On a sunny September morning in 2018, Honor invited a few of us up to London to go look at their new midrange flagship, the Honor 8X. Of course we said yes. Here’s our first impressions.
UPDATE: Pricing is in, and we’re looking at £229 from a number of sources, including Amazon UK (above). Go check it out!
The Honor 8X is the new upper midrange unit from Huawei owned brand, Honor. They’ve told us that they’ve grown explosively in certain markets, with the UK and Spain seeing 200% and 500% YoY improvements respectively, so whilst their flagship phone, the Honor 10 isn’t unattainable, for a lot of people, the £400 price tag is just a little too far.
Last December, Honor launched the 7X, and that was a relative smash hit from the company. You got a stunning screen, 6-inch at the trendy new (at that time) 18:9 aspect ratio, with great colours, viewing angles and more. You got the Kirin 659 chipset, which, whilst not the beast that the Kirin 970 is, was still respectable. You also got a monstrous 3340mAh battery, so how could Huawei improve? Well, read on.
Starting off with the display, and the Honor 8X gets the notch treatment, which you may or may not be a fan of. I personally do not mind it, but there are people who really do. If you can look past the notch, you’ll see the stunning 6.5″ IPS LCD display, and whilst the resolution of 2340×1080 might seem a little low, honestly, the screen looks great for an LCD. One of the things that make the screen look better is that Honor really tried to slim the bezels down, and I mean really tried. They used a novel technique called CoF, short for Chip on Film, to mount the display drivers on a flexible ribbon PCB in order to wrap them beneath and around the display. Usually, this type of display packaging is seen on more expensive, OLED based phones, such as the iPhone X. Honor say the bottom bezel on the 8X is a scant 4.25mm, which is smaller than pretty much all other flagships.
Talking about the power inside of the Honor 8X, we get to look once again at the exciting new Kirin 710 chipset. whilst I am still not a fan of the use of A53 and A73 over A76 and A55, I can live with it if we get to move away from octa-core Cortex A53 configurations that we were saddled with for years. The Kirin 710 for a refresher is 4X Cortex A73 ar 2.2Ghz, 4X Cortex A53 and 1.8Ghz, and a new Mali G51-MP4. The Kirin 710 is also fabricated on TSMC’s 12nm FinFET process, making it more efficient than the 16nm FinFET from the 659. Whilst the Honor 8X doesn’t support SuperCharge due to its use of a MicroUSB port, the 9v2a quick charging is still present to top up the huge 3750mAh battery as well as normal slower charging, sadly, no Qi here.
Lastly a quick look at the Cameras. Huawei is once again leveraging it’s “AI” smarts to improve the cameras, but hardware wise, we have a 20MP RGB sensor with a 2MP depth data sensor on the rear, as well as a 16mp RGB sensor up front. the rear camera has an F1.8 aperture, and the front is an F2.0 aperture, though don’t let to F2.0 get you down, the front camera does some pixel binning to take a 4MP shot, but at 2 microns! whilst that sounds eerily similar to the UltraPixels of the Original HTC One, I have no doubt in my mind that Huawei has done some magic processing here, so that megapixel count doesn’t ruin things.
We don’t know a price, but we do know the Honor 8X will be available in October, so look forward to our review coming shortly thereafter. Let us know in the comments if the upper mid-range market is something you’re looking at closer than ever due to the increasing price of the flagship tier?