Recently ALLO company officially announced the return of HONOR smartphone brand to the Ukrainian market. On September 1, 2023 sales of five new aesthetic and powerful models started at once: flagship HONOR 90, magical HONOR Magic5 Lite (review of which, by the way, we already have on our site) and three phones from the budget series HONOR X, one of which will be discussed today. HONOR X8a, HONOR X8a, priced at about $220, is a budget line phone, which is equipped with a 100-megapixel camera and Full HD screen, but does not have 5G support, although the latter is nicely compensated by the price.
- Processor: MediaTek Helio G88, 8 cores, 2×2.0 GHz + 6×1.8 GHz, Mali-G52 MC2 GPU
- RAM 6GB, storage 128GB
- Display: 6.7″ LTPS, 2388×1080, 90Hz, 391 ppi
- Cameras: 100MP + 5MP + 2MP, f/1.9 + f/2.2 + f/2.4, Full HD (1920×1080), 16MP front camera, f/2.4Battery: 4500 mAh, 22.5W
- Operating System: Android 12
- Wireless technologies: GSM, 3G, 4G (LTE), IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1
- Geolocation: GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
- SIM card slot: 2 SIM, Nano-SIM
- Memory card support: no
- Sensors and sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, proximity sensor, compass, fingerprint scanner
- Dimensions: 162.90×74.50×7.48 mm
- Weight: 179 g
- Package: smartphone, USB cable, charger, SIM card removal tool, documentation.
The smartphone comes with a standard USB cable, charger, SIM card removal ejector, manual and warranty card, no silicone bumper. It should also be noted the protective film glued on the screen from the factory.
HONOR X8a got the features of X8 – 93.6% usable screen area, camera unit, 6.7″ screen size, but also got some nice innovations. The back panel is plastic and shimmers nicely in the sun. I wouldn’t say that prints don’t stay at all. In the black color, which fell into my hands for review, they are noticeable. However, the HONOR X8a looks stylish and on-trend with a matte back panel in black, silver or light blue and a large camera module.
The screen has a very thin frame, and the phone itself is light, as for its size – 179 g. Despite the large screen, HONOR X8a lies well in the hand. You can feel the legacy of the previous model: flat side edges, and on them – volume rocker, unlock button with built-in fingerprint scanner, SIM card slot, various sensors, speakers, microphone and Type-C connector. Nothing superfluous and everything you need.
The device is slim and lightweight, and allows you to perform everyday tasks seamlessly, even on the move. The device’s clean, flat design and smooth, shimmery finish on the back give the X8a a sleek look while providing a secure and comfortable hold, offering the perfect balance of form and function. In the hand, the X8a sits comfortably, although it has flat rectangular edges, and overall feels like a more expensive smartphone.
The smartphone allows you to display content on a large screen thanks to a 6.7-inch FullView display with an excellent screen-to-body ratio of 93.6%. With Display Colour Calibration technology, which adjusts the color temperature frame by frame, the X8a further enhances the viewing experience with realistic colors. Certified by Tüv Rheinland, this device is ideal for those who spend a lot of time in front of a smartphone screen. With a screen refresh rate of up to 90Hz, the device is able to display more frames per second for a smoother viewing experience.
The screen has an LTPS type matrix. This is an improved version of the IPS matrix, but it has lower power consumption and is twice as responsive. In general, such matrices are distinguished by accurate color reproduction. In the settings you can choose the temperature and saturation to your taste. It is also worth noting the thin frames of 1.1 mm. There is an automatic change in the refresh rate of the screen, which is responsible for the smoothness of the image. A total of three options are available to adjust the refresh rate – 90 Hz, 60 Hz or adaptive mode, which will also extend the battery life. The latter works as follows: when you have text open on the screen, the frequency is reduced, and when you are playing games, scrolling through lists and social media feeds, it is increased.
Unlike the HONOR X8, the new model received a MediaTek Helio G88 processor. In the AnTuTu artificial performance test HONOR X8a scores just over 262 thousand points. When launching the game and initial videos, you can see how the smartphone is a little like thinking, but then everything is fine. At higher settings, the smartphone takes a little longer to think when loading and heats up a bit. But still the performance is enough for most modern mobile games.
The HONOR X8a has a 4500 mAh battery. The manufacturer assures that on a single charge X8a provides up to 13 hours of music streaming, 13.5 hours of video playback, 11 hours of web browsing or 16 hours of social networking. Yes, the display here is energy efficient, so the battery will last all day and even more (depends on your activity, of course). If you go into the battery settings, you can see how long the smartphone’s charge will last, enable productive or energy-saving modes. Thus, at 63%, the system suggests that the charge will last for 19 hours.
The phone comes with MagicUI 6.1 shell, based on Android 12, which offers a lot of smart features including Share for fast file transfer between devices, which helps users improve their productivity. An update to Android 13 is expected, but there’s no word on when or if there will be new versions of the operating system for the cheap phone. According to the HONOR website, security updates for the phone will be released quarterly.
The fingerprint scanner is located in the standby button on the right side of the case. The HONOR X8a unlocks the screen reliably, but with a slight delay. Face recognition is also possible, and it also worked reliably on my device, but it is not as secure because it relies only on software recognition.
A configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of permanent storage is common in this price range, but the HONOR smartphone comes with eMMC flash storage. A 3.5mm port is also missing, as is the ability to expand memory via microSD. At least NFC for mobile payments is on board. The mono speaker at the bottom provides good volume, but the sound is pretty mediocre, with no deep midrange. External audio devices can be connected via USB-C port or Bluetooth 5.1.
It is worth talking about the camera unit, because it is an integral part of the design, adding zest to the mirror backing of the camera unit. It houses 3 cameras and a flash. The 100-megapixel camera, which is the highest number of megapixels ever achieved by x-series models, is definitely the main advantage of the HONOR X8a. Indeed, at first glance, the pictures look very detailed. However, when the image is enlarged, there are clear differences with higher quality lenses, especially in terms of dynamics.
I suggest you look at some sample photos.
It is worth saying at once that in the usual “Photo” mode the camera produces 25 MP. For full power of 100 MP you need to activate the Hi-Res mode in the selection menu. Of the additional functions there are filters, flash, intelligent mode (itself analyzes the subject and sets the settings), timer.
Overall, the HONOR X8a takes very good pictures considering its price. It also has a wide-angle lens that takes decent pictures. However, you don’t want to look closely or you will notice that there is almost no detail. The 2 megapixel macro camera has a very low resolution. You shouldn’t expect too much, it’s more of a nice addition.
The selfie camera takes decent pictures, but zooming in reveals a rather narrow dynamic range, especially in the shadows. But thanks to a remarkable artificial intelligence technology that optimizes the image, the X8a makes it easy to create sharp photos in different situations. The functionality is standard: beatification (smoothing) and bokeh. To me, if you turn on the Beautification mode, it “soaps” the skin too much.
Video can be recorded in 1080p at a maximum rate of 30 frames per second.
The HONOR brand is growing strongly: its shipments outside China quadrupled in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. Last year in China, HONOR took first place – and this is 18 months after the separation from Huawei. As a reminder, Huawei completely sold and exited the management of Honor. It is worth noting that after leaving Huawei, the Honor brand started producing smartphones with Qualcomm processors and Google services again. Smartphones of the brand were already presented on the Ukrainian market until the summer of 2020. HONOR phones were actively sold during 2018 and 2019: according to the results of 2019, they were among the top five most popular smartphone brands.
HONOR has released a great product in the budget segment. Here is good performance, updated and modern design, the best camera. For less than $220, you get a smartphone with a great battery and a bright display that you can play on and get good pictures even in the night city. Plus, it is convenient to use and has a good design.
- HONOR Magic5 Pro review: Like Huawei, but with Google services
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