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HONOR X8b Review

We finally got our hands on the newly launched HONOR X8b,  and whether you like it or hate it, it kinda looks like an iPhone. In a way, it still looks good or slightly better.

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Boasting a 6.7-inch AMOLED display that has a peak brightness of 2000nits, triple rear cameras, and a total of 16GB of workable RAM, can this device be a contender in the saturated market of mid-range devices? If you want to know more, continue reading.

Design and Construction

The HONOR X8b packs a 6.7-inch display, and for some reason, the dimensions of the device feel right in the hands even though it shares the same screen size as the iPhone 15 Pro Max!

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It does have a premium build to it despite the plastic frame, which feels solid on the hands.

Situated at the back is the triple rear camera sensor, which has a pretty interesting set of cameras, housed in traditional HONOR fashion, a square camera module.

It kind of looks like a quadruple camera setup but don’t be deceived, as that fourth module is just an LED flash.

Nonetheless, the camera placement as well as the LED flash looks clean, and there’s not much of clutter here aside from the HONOR badge at the bottom.

The unit we have is in the Glamorous Green color-way, which also comes with this leatherette finish that I think is a nice way to alleviate fingerprints as well as putting a case on it.

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For buttons and ports — starting on the right side, we have the power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner as well as the volume rocker. On the right side, we have the dual nano SIM tray.

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Up top, we have the secondary microphone; while down at the bottom, there’s the main call microphone, USB Type-C port, and the speaker grill.

Unfortunately, we only have a single downward speaker in this device. But it shouldn’t be such a deal breaker if you mostly zone in with wireless earphones.

Overall, we are digging the design of the HONOR X8b as it looks chic and surely won’t bend anytime soon. Nevertheless, when it comes to the build quality, I’m giving the HONOR X8b a solid score of 9 out of 10.

Display and Multimedia

Diving more into the display of the HONOR X8b. As I mentioned earlier, we have a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and has a resolution of 2412 x 1080 producing 394 ppi.
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The display looks great; it features deep blacks – of course because it’s an AMOLED, and text is very sharp.

Colors on the display, especially with the default wallpapers, look pleasing to the eye as they pop really make the phone’s screen pop.

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We also didn’t encounter any problems using this device under direct sunlight as the display can go as high as a whopping 2000 nits peak brightness.

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Now checking out HONOR’s version of Apple’s Dynamic Island which is dubbed as “Magic Capsule”. I mean, c’mon Apple, look how tiny this thing is. I know it doesn’t have those FaceID sensors underneath that Magic Capsule, but after using this device for quite some time, every time I jump back into my iPhone, this dynamic island feels HUGE to my eyes.

Watching content on the HONOR X8b is good. I feel like the saturation of the display was adjusted when watching content as the video output doesn’t look as saturated as when you are exploring the home screen, which I think is a plus.

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The display is immersive enough thanks to the very thin bezels all around, and that capsule-like cutout isn’t really that distracting as it is small, and also there is chin to get bothered about.

And on that note, I will give the display a score of 9 out of 10.

When it comes to the speakers, well, unfortunately, we only have a single down-firing speaker here so you really need to make sure that your fingers don’t block the speakers when in use, or else you won’t be hearing anything.

Speaker quality on the other hand is quite disappointing. It sounds tiny, and leans towards highs and mids – it is not that balanced, making this one of the weakest points of this device.

That being said, I might suggest, when you decide to get this device, you might want to pair it up with TWS or a USB Type C earphones for a much more immersive experience.

Performance and Benchmarks

When it comes to performance, the HONOR X8b packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset that features an Adreno 610 GPU.

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The unit we have on hand is configured with 8GB of RAM plus 512GB of onboard storage. You can virtually boost the RAM up to another 8GB, giving you a total of 16GB of workable memory through HONOR RAM Turbo.

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In our experience, doing basic day-to-day tasks were okay, although when you open an app for the first time, it takes a few seconds to fully load up, but once that’s done, switching from one app to another is a breeze.

We tried playing a few popular game titles on this device and so far we didn’t encounter any problems as we maintained the graphics settings to medium.

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Although when bumped up to the highest graphics available, the games are still playable for the most part, but from time to time, you will notice a few frame drops here and there during intense gameplay on Genshin Impact, but on Mobile Legends, we didn’t have any issues, aside from that annoying speaker which I talked about earlier.

We ran our usual benchmarking scores on the HONOR X8b and here are the results that we got:

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Overall, a Snapdragon 680 processor makes this device a great tool for both consumers who are looking for a productivity device that can also run games on the side.

Mind you, that during gameplay, we didn’t bump up the memory with the RAM Turbo feature and yet, the HONOR X8b performed well.

Cameras

Moving over to the camera system, the HONOR X8b packs a 108MP main sensor with f/1.8, a 5MP ultrawide with f/2.2, and a 2MP f/2.4 macro lens. (Side note: Can you please stop adding a 2MP macro lens on your smartphones? Thank you!)

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For selfies, we have a beefy 50MP front shooter with an aperture of f/2.1.

When it comes to the camera quality, well, you might need to slightly lower your expectations here. Sure, these sensors can capture good quality images, BUT under GOOD LIGHTING CONDITIONS.

Details are reserved, colors look okay, but there is a bit of noise that is pretty noticeable. Contrast is somewhat lacking, but that’s fine, and HDR works okay for the most part.

Since we don’t have a telephoto lens, unfortunately, you have to digitally crop in the image if you want to get closer to a subject which results in a bit of a noisier photo.

Even when not digitally zoomed in, I find that the photo is not that detailed, and tends to soften out some parts of the image.

Moving onto night shots, well… yeah. It’s not that great. Noise is much more prominent in this kind of lighting condition as well as the details — images often come out a little bit washed out. It isn’t to say that the photos aren’t usable, but close to.

Portrait shots on the other hand are okay, although there are times where the edges look a bit finicky. But it works okay for the most parts.

Selfies were okay in general, it’s a little soft for my liking, but will suffice for casual social media posting or for updating your someone – if you have any.

Video-wise, the HONOR X8b can take 1080p at 30fps maximum video output and just like the photo quality, details are not so present especially in poor lighting conditions.

Feature-wise, you have a dual-view mode which I think is pretty cool and usable for those TikTokers or content creators out there, and if you don’t mind that slightly low-quality video output.

Also keep in mind that there is no form of image stabilization here, so if you want a buttery smooth video output, you might want to put this on a tripod or something else to alleviate that shakiness.

Apps, OS, and UI

Running on the HONOR x8b Android 13 skinned MagicOS 7.2.

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If you are coming from a Huawei device, you will feel at home with HONOR’s MagicOS as they look almost identical with easy access to Google services.

The UI looks clean, although there is a little bloatware here and there, and in typical Android fashion, they can be disabled or uninstalled.

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There are also a plethora of customization options like changing the themes, icons, widgets and even the font to really make this device fit your personality, but keep in mind that in doing so, some apps or themes might take up so much of your battery life and phone’s performance, as there are some added unnecessary animations and heavy graphics and whatnot, so we prefer to keep things as is, apart from changing your wallpaper.

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Unfortunately, during our testing, that magic capsule up top, as of the moment, doesn’t support third-party applications aside from baked-in clock app, recorder, or when you have a call . Maybe in the future we can have some Dynamic Island like features from third-party applications to fully take advantage of that cutout.

Battery and Connectivity

Powering up the HONOR x8b is a 4,500mAh battery that supports 35W fast charging. In our experience, juicing up this device from 0-80% takes about 45 minutes which is okay.

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We are able to use this device for almost the whole day of average use under WiFi, but half a day when doing heavy tasks and gaming.

We ran it through our standard video loop test and PCMark’s Work 3.0 Battery test, and here are the results that we got:

PCMark Work 3.0 Battery: 12 hours, 47 minutes
Video Loop Test: 18 hours, 15 minutes

Overall, the battery life on this device is average, but in a pool where 5,000mAh is almost standard, this small reduction in milliAmp hours might be a deal breaker to some people.

When it comes to connectivity, it has WiFi 802.11, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS and 4G LTE. So, yeah, if you are looking for 5G band, unfortunately, the HONOR x8b doesn’t have it.

For security, we have the trusted fingerprint scanner, which works well, and a facial recognition one which only uses the front camera; no other sensors here.

Conclusion

Now to conclude this review, to be fair, the HONOR x8b is a decent contender on the mid-range segment of smartphones, given a consumer really knows what they want and need.

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If you are one of those people who are seeking a smartphone that can provide good performance– even though its a bit dated kind of chipset, average battery life, and a good display within a midrange budget, this can be a good choice.

But if you are looking for a smartphone with a great set of cameras, skip the HONOR x8b or you might get a little underwhelmed.

For pricing, the Honor X8b is priced at PHP 12,999 and if you sign up for pre-order, you will get a free HONOR Choice X5 earbuds worth PHP 1,590. Hurry because this pre-order promo is only until February 23, 2024.

At that price, are you willing to accept the HONOR x8b’s strengths AND weaknesses? Let us know in the comments section below!

What we liked about it:
* AMOLED screen
* Big storage
* Very thin profile

What we did not like:
* Old chipset
* No 5G
* Average battery life

HONOR X8b specs:
6.7-inch AMOLED display @ 2412 x 1080 pixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 SoC
Adreno 610 GPU
8GB RAM
128GB, 256GB, 512GB storage
Triple-rear cameras:
• 108MP F1.75 main
• 5MP F2.2 wide and depth
• 2MP F2.4 macro
50MP F2.1 front camera
Dual-SIM, 4G LTE
WiFi 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
Fingerprint scanner (side)
USB-C
MagicOS 7.2 (Based on Android 13)
4,500mAh battery w/ 33W SuperCharge
161.05 x 74.55 x 6.78mm (dimensions)
166 grams (weight)
Glamorous Green, Titanium Silver, Midnight Black (colors)

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1 Response

  1. Avatar for vulbul vulbul says:

    An old chipset on a newly released phone. Overpriced for an sd 680 phone. Check for other alternatives.

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