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The Honor X8 is a new budget smartphone that packs some good value specs into an affordable package. Our reviewers got hands-on to see if it's worth your cash.
The Honor X8 offers very good value for those seeking a budget-friendly device. With a Snapdragon 680 chip under the hood and a 1080p 90Hz display up-front, this smartphone offers a smooth and efficient user experience without breaking the bank.
The Honor X8 is the latest budget-friendly smartphone from former Huawei sub-brand, Honor.
Don't confuse this phone with the Honor 8X! Confusing, right? Honor already has a phone called the Honor 8X, but it's the X8 that is new for 2022.
Despite the odd naming patterns, Honor is increasingly carving its own niche as a phone brand and building its own reputation. Not too long ago we tested and enjoyed Honor's mid-range offering, the Honor 50, thanks to its appealing curved display and sleek design. For more on that check out our full Honor 50 review.
The brand also has a premium offering in the works, the Honor Magic 4, which is set to land in the UK soon.
But how does the budget option stand up against the similarly priced competition? Read on to find out.
Our first impression of the Honor X8 wasn't a great one. That tacky plastic back feels conspicuously cheap and picks up marks too.
After spending some time using the X8 though — and bearing in mind its £219.99 price tag — the phone grew on us. Yes, some corners have been cut on build quality, out of necessity, but overall the package you get for your money is more than usable.
Because of that lower price, this phone doesn't pack all the latest tech, but it has enough to offer a pretty smooth user experience. There's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset at the heart of it all and Qualcomm are generally the name when it comes to providing Android phones with processors. Also, the display offers a 90Hz max refresh rate, which falls short of the 120Hz industry standard. That's a standard set by much more expensive handsets though, so it's not a surprise.
Elsewhere there's a quad-camera array, which is fine performance-wise, for a phone in this price bracket. There are one or two frustrations though, which hold it back from being awarded that final star.
The Honor X8 is a new budget smartphone from Chinese brand, Honor. It attempts to offer some of the features of a more high-end phone but in an ultra-affordable package.
It's worth noting here that Honor was previously a sub-brand of Huawei, the much-discussed brand which can no longer include Google services on its devices. Huawei does make some fantastic tech though and Honor's devices — so far — have retained a lot of their similarity to Huawei equivalents.
Buy the Honor X8 for £219.99 at Amazon
The price of the X8 is one of its most notable selling points — it costs just £219.99. It's available right now and anyone who purchases before 8th May 2022 will also receive a free pair of Honor Earbuds 2 Lite.
That puts it firmly in the budget bracket and we believe the X8 offers good value at this price point too, especially for those quick enough to bag the launch offer. We've got hands-on with the earbuds and they're a very listenable, easy-to-use pair.
The Honor X8 isn't exactly the most feature-rich phone on the market, but for a £219.99 phone, it packs enough in.
That Snapdragon 680 processor is at the heart of everything, giving the phone power efficiency and the ability to run a huge variety of apps. Don't expect to be playing the most sophisticated and demanding mobile games on it, but otherwise, the phone delivers almost everything a general user could want — at least to some extent.
It lacks 5G, but has Bluetooth 5.0, a 90Hz refresh rate and comes with a 22.5W charging block, for slightly faster refills. It's also got a responsive fingerprint scanner.
In terms of the operating system, the phone runs Android 11 overlaid with Honor's Magic UI 4.2. It will feel completely familiar to most Android users, albeit with a couple of small Honor quirks.
One frustrating quirk we came across during testing was the phone's inability to access Netflix from the Google Play Store. This issue seems to be widely reported by Honor X8 users though there are seemingly one or two workarounds available for tech-savvy users. We found the handset ran other streaming platforms with no issues though, readily playing content from Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and other platforms.
The thin handset is complemented by the thin bezels around the edge of the X8's display. Thin, at least, for a budget-friendly phone. It's a nice touch as some more affordable phones seem to display their low cost in the form of large bezels, (the black area of the screen around the edge of the display).
The display offers a 90Hz max refresh rate and — as has already been discussed — this falls some way short of reaching that top industry standard of 120Hz. How important that is is up for debate though. Just as phone manufacturers a few years ago were competing to ram the most megapixels into their cameras, now it seems the refresh rate numbers are a key marketing battleground. In reality, 90Hz is more than serviceable.
Of course, the 6.7-inch display isn't exactly premium, but it offers 1080p resolution. We tested the display across social media, content streaming and web browsing. Streaming Clarkson's Farm on Amazon Prime Video, the phone delivered consistent streaming at a watchable resolution. The downside of the streaming experience was actually the mono speaker, which is a little on the quiet, tinny side.
Overall though, for a phone in this price bracket, the display delivers. We found it simple and responsive to use across a wide range of apps and services.
The X8 packs a 4000mAh battery. It's not the largest on the market as some competitors offer 5000mAh cells, but during testing, we found that the Honor X8's battery performed well.
Over two days, with spells of intensive use — including video and audio streaming, social media, web browsing and more — the battery comfortably lasted for over 30 hours all-in-all, or a day and a half's use. This was without utilising power-saving settings and a moderate user employing those settings could easily get two days of battery life out of the Honor X8.
The long battery life is largely down to that power-efficient Snapdragon 680 processor.
It also comes with a 22.5W charging block but we were unable to test this as the sample unit was provided with a European two-pin plug. This is not the case for the version that is on general sale in the UK. Honor has slightly ambitiously named this 'Honor Supercharge'.
The X8 packs an eye-catching quad-camera array on its reverse, housing a 64MP wide-angle main camera. This is supported by a 5MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro snapper and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, there's a 16MP selfie camera and you can shoot 1080p video at 30fps using either the front or rear cameras.
Altogether the camera set-up is solid enough, but we'd sooner have seen one or two good cameras that offered good point-and-shoot photography, rather than the slightly over-complicated quad-camera offering. When taking photos with the X8, it asks you to hold the phone steady for a moment after taking the shot, so that the phone's image processing can take place. This makes the whole process less simple, less quick and more frustrating.
Other than that, considering the budget nature of this device, the camera performs reasonably well.
The Honor X8's designers clearly had the styling of Apple's iPhone in mind. There seem to be plenty of borrowed design cues in the shape and style of the X8 and that may split opinion. Aesthetically though, we thought it was a nice looking device and its 93.6% screen-to-body ratio is great for a budget smartphone.
The issues arise when it comes to the build quality of the handset. It feels conspicuously cheap and plasticky to the touch. Flick the back of the phone with your fingernail and you'll be greeted by that signature 'click click' noise that comes with cheap plastic. So, if you're looking for a premium handset, this isn't the one for you. Is that an issue though? Firstly, it won't bother anyone that puts a case on it and secondly, we'd rather Honor saved some money on the back and offered good internals — like that Qualcomm chip — than the other way around.
It's slim and light too, notably so at just 7.45mm thick and 177g. It doesn't feel like a small phone though, the 6.7-inch display is fairly sizeable, but seems to be a market standard at the moment adopted by many Android phones. Examples include the OnePlus 10 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro.
The Honor X8 is available in black, blue, or silver.
The Honor X8 isn't reinventing the wheel but it packages a good smartphone experience into a very affordable package.
If you can abide by that tacky, plasticky back panel, then the X8 is a really solid budget option. Thanks to its Snapdragon 680 processor it packs good power efficiency and the ability to run a huge variety of apps seamlessly.
While the 1080p 90Hz display falls short of that 120Hz industry standard, it's more than enough to make for a smooth user experience and performs well for a phone in this price bracket.
During testing, we experienced no real performance issues and the phone was responsive and easy to use.
Overall, it's great value for those seeking a budget option, but the Honor X8 is conspicuously so. We enjoyed the handset during testing though and can recommend it for bargain hunters.
The Honor X8 is available from a range of UK retailers. Take a look at the latest deals and availability updates below.
For more options check out our best budget smartphones guide or take a look at our full review of the Xiaomi Note 11 Pro.
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