I’ve had the Honor X8a for a couple of weeks now. And I’ll be discussing my experience with this smartphone in my review. In Nepal, the single 8/128GB model costs Rs. 30,490. And I believe it is a little pricey. Let’s find out why in this review.
Honor X8a Specifications:
- Body: 162.9 x 74.5 x 7.48mm; 179 grams
- Display: 6.7-inches LTPS LCD, 90Hz refresh rate
- Resolution: FHD+ (2388 x 1080 pixels), 20:9
- Chipset: MediaTek Helio G88 (12nm Mobile platform)
- CPU: Octa-core
– 2x Cortex-A75 (2.0 GHz)
– 6x Cortex-A55 (1.8 GHz)
- GPU: Mali-G52 MC2
- Memory: 6/8GB RAM, 128GB storage (non-expandable)
- Software & UI: Android 12 with Honor’s MagicUI 6.1 on top
- Rear Camera: Triple;
– 100MP primary
– 5MP ultrawide
– 2MP macro
- Front Camera: 16MP (punch-hole)
- Audio: Single speaker
- Security: Fingerprint scanner (side-mounted)
- Connectivity: Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 5 a/b/g/n/ac (Dual-band), Bluetooth 5.1, GPS / Glonass / Galileo / BDS, USB-C port, 4G LTE (VoLTE)
- Battery: 4500mAh, 22.5W wired charging
- Colors: Titanium Silver, Cyan Lake, Midnight Black
- Price in Nepal: Rs. 30,490 (8/128GB)
Honor X8a Review:
- 162.9 x 74.5 x 7.48mm; 179 grams
- Glass front, Plastic back/frames
Let’s get started with the design. This phone’s design is stunning. Honor does an excellent job with the design of its smartphones. However, we do not receive glass back here, which is OK because most brands give plastic back in this price range.
I have the Titanium Silver color version, which has a sparkly appearance on the back and showers a rainbow-like effect when light hits it. While it is also available in Cyan Lake and Midnight Black. In terms of in-hand comfort, the smartphone is compact and lightweight.
Honor provided flat borders here, similar to the latest iPhones. The flat edges help to get a comfortable grip. Because of its thin and lightweight design, I had no trouble carrying this phone for a long period of time.
- 6.7-inches LTPS LCD
- 90Hz refresh rate
Honor opted for an LTPS LCD panel with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, just like its predecessor, the X7a. However, Honor upgraded the resolution from the previous generation to FHD+, which I believe is an important upgrade. Given the price point, Honor could have easily picked an AMOLED display.
The bezels on this phone’s display are its most striking feature. Honor claims that the screen-to-body ratio of this smartphone is 93.6%. I haven’t seen a phone in this pricing range with such thin bezels. Even the chin is even slimmer than its competitors. If Honor had chosen an AMOLED panel, this phone would have the best display in this price range.
Despite being an FHD+ panel, it only has WideVine L3 certification. As a result, you cannot watch 1080p material on an OTT platform like Netflix or Prime Video. Moving on, the screen’s 90Hz refresh rate makes everything feel fluid and smooth. I didn’t face any issues with screen fluidity as I did with the X7a.
Meanwhile, this screen’s color calibration is generally decent, as the colors do not appear dull or muted. It also has adequate brightness. You will also have no problems in direct sunlight.
- Octa-core MediaTek Helio G88 SoC (12nm)
- 6/8GB RAM, 128GB storage (non-expandable)
- Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12
- Antutu score: 214,749
This smartphone is powered by a MediaTek Helio G88 chipset, which is adequate for normal usage but not the best in the category. While gaming and multitasking, I noticed some stutters and lags. However, the 8 GB of RAM here allows nearly every app to run in the background, which is impressive.
Moreover, while this chip is not intended for gaming, you may still be able to do casual gaming. In relatively demanding games like PUBG and Apex Legends, you’ll get 30 frames per second with slight frame drops, lags, and stutters. Surprisingly, after 20-30 minutes of gameplay, the smartphone becomes warm. This could be due to the burning weather outside.
On the software front, this smartphone ships with Android 12-based MagicUI 6.1, which is a bit disappointing since Android 14 is on the way. On the other hand, I am not personally a fan of MagicUI. Honor’s MagicUI, in my opinion, needs to be redesigned to look more modern.
- 4500mAh battery
- 22.5W wired charging
Honor has juiced up this device with a 4500 mAh battery. And I found the battery backup to be decent. In my use case scenario, I was getting around a day and a half of backup in a normal use case. You get a 22.5W charger in the box, which will charge this phone to 50% capacity in 30 minutes. While juicing it up to 100% takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Triple camera setup at the back
- (100MP main, 5MP ultrawide, 2MP macro)
- 8MP selfie (punch-hole)
Let’s talk about cameras now. There is a 100MP primary, a 5MP ultrawide, and a 2MP macro camera on the back. And for selfies, you get an 8MP camera.
I took a lot of photos with this phone, and one thing is that there are much better options in this price range. Although it comes with a 100MP sensor, it can’t capture such appealing photos. Honor claimed that this phone can capture DSLR-like photos, but I don’t think it is even close to it.
In daytime scenarios, it captures pretty decent photos. Color reproduction is also good enough, but in some cases, it messes up. The details are also good enough, but the overall photo is not as good as it should be in this price bracket.
In terms of portraits, it struggles with edge detection and highlights control like its predecessor. But in terms of human skin, it produces better results than the normal mode.
Selfies are pretty average. Skin tones and color reproduction are good but not social-media-ready, as we witness on most of the phones in this price category.
Ultrawide is below average. There are no details, and color reproduction is also poor. This might be due to the inferior chipset used here or the 5MP sensor.
Honor has included a separate night mode this time. When the night mode is turned off, it takes darker and noisier shots and faces difficulties with flare control, whereas putting it on solves these issues. However, low-light performance falls short of what one would expect from a phone in this price bracket.
As for the videos, the phone only allows you to shoot 1080p/30fps videos from both the front and rear cameras, and they aren’t particularly impressive. There are no EIS or OIS, and thus, videos come out to be shaky. Besides this, you’ll also notice faded colors and a loss of detail.
Audio and Haptics
- Single speaker
- No 3.5mm jack
Finally, talking about the audio, Honor has provided a single bottom-firing speaker that is below average. I am not impressed with its haptics either. Honor has not used a dedicated haptics motor here, and thus you won’t get precise haptic feedback.
Honor X8a Review: Conclusion
That’s it for my review of the Honor X8a. This phone has a pretty impressive display as well as an average camera and an eye-catching design. But, all things considered, I don’t think this phone is worth buying in this price range. It could have been a better offering if it had been launched in the 20-22k price range. You can find much better options like the Realme 10, Redmi Note 12 (4G), and Poco X5.
Honor X8a Review: Pros and Cons
- Attractive design
- Slim and lightweight design
- Good display
- Below average speaker
- No expandable storage option
- Does not come with the latest Android version
- No 3.5mm jack