“With a 6.5-inch display, the 8X is one of the largest smartphones around”

While Huawei’s sub-brand Honor made its entry into the Indian market with the Honor 6, it was the Honor 4X – launched in March 2015 – which made us sit up and take notice of the company’s offerings. Since then, the company’s X series of smartphones have always managed to up the stakes in the mid-tier segment. The latest in the lineup is no different as the phone ships with a stunning design, a powerful SoC and a beefy battery. Dubbed the Honor 8X, the smartphone is set to land in the country on October 16th. However, before that, we’ve got our hands on the device. So without further ado, here’s a look at its retail packaging, followed by our initial impressions.

Similar to its siblings, the Honor 8X comes hidden in a minimalistic blue box. The package just bears the phone’s name up front and mentions key specs at the back. Once you open the box, you’re greeted by the device itself, below which you’ll find a transparent silicon cover, a SIM-ejection tool and some documentation. Underneath that, you’ll find a charging cable and a 2A wall adapter.

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Coming back to the Honor 8X, the smartphone catches your attention as soon as you lay your eyes on it. That’s because the display extends all to the edges (except for the notch up top), while the rear panel has an attractive two-tone finish. Our unit came in blue, but you can also purchase the handset in other colours like black or purple. Adding to the charm is the fact that the glass bounces off light in different directions. Sadly, it goes without saying that just like other phones with shiny glass bodies, the Honor 8X is prone to smudges and quite slippery too. The phone also seems to be quite heavy, but on the plus side, that lends it a solid in-hand feel.

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In terms of the buttons and ports, the 8X follows the conventional placement. And while I commend Honor for staying loyal to the 3.5mm socket, it’s odd to see the brand continuing with a micro-USB port for charging and data transfers.

With a 6.5-inch display on the fascia, the Honor 8X is among the biggest smartphones available in the market. While its screen size seems to be bordering on tablet territory, the device offers an excellent screen-to-body ratio and can be held with a single hand. That said, you’ll need to resort to using two hands for performing most tasks on the phone properly. With full HD+ resolution, the screen appears sharp and offers vibrant colours too.

Inside the glass sandwich body ticks the Kirin 710 chipset, which is a 12nm SoC with two quad-core Cortex-A73 and Cortex-A53 clusters running at 2.2GHz and 1.7GHz respectively, depending upon the task at hand. The processor is paired with 4 gigs of RAM, which should ensure smooth performance. Taking care of your storage requirements is 64GB of memory, which can be topped up by another 400GB with the use of a microSD card.

Honor was among the first brands to bring the dual-camera goodness in this segment, so it’s no surprise to see the 8X continuing the legacy. While the depth-sensing camera at the back remains 2MP, the resolution of the primary camera has been bumped up to 20-megapixels. The latter comes with an aperture of f/1.8. As with recent offerings from the phonemaker, the camera app on the phone features AI capabilities, and you can also get various modes like AR Lens, Light painting, etc. The handset flaunts a 16MP f/2.0 shooter for selfies.

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The Honor 8X ships with the brand’s custom skin dubbed EMUI, which runs atop Android 8.1 Oreo. Powering the show is a 3,750mAh battery, which should last more than a day.

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The 4GB RAM version of the Honor 8X has been priced in China at RMB 1,399, and while the smartphone comes in a 6GB RAM option as well, it remains to be seen if the brand will be launching the higher variant in India. While we still need to wait for Honor to launch the 8X in India to know its pricing, the Chinese price suggests that the brand’s latest could pose a serious threat to current budget favourites – the Realme 2 Pro (review) and the Xiaomi Mi A2 (review). We can’t wait to spend more time with it to gauge its real-life performance.

Photos by Raj Rout