HONOR is completing the X-series with a new smartphone, the HONOR X8a, the middle child of the lineup, after the entry-level X7a and the mid-range X9a. Typically, the HONOR X8a wants to shake up its market segment, this time with its 100-megapixel camera.
The HONOR X8a looks similar to its predecessor, the HONOR X8, and resembles an iPhone save for the camera layout. It has a boxy shape and, while I’m not too keen on boxy phones, the light weight of the HONOR X8a allows it to be comfortably held for a long time.
The HONOR X8a comes in three color schemes: Cyan Blue, Titanium Silver, and our review unit’s Midnight Black. The phone is made mainly from plastic but looks good due to the matte finish, which helps keep away fingerprint smudges.
The HONOR X8a features the HONOR Edgeless display, a 6.7-inch IPS LCD with a 2388 x 1080 resolution, and bezels that are only 1.1mm thin. Also on the display is the 16-megapixel selfie camera. On the left is the sim card tray, and on the right are the volume rockers and power button that doubles as a side-mounted fingerprint reader. At the bottom are the USB Type-C port and the single downward-firing speaker.
Powering the HONOR X8a is a Mediatek Helio G88 processor. It has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. This combination makes the phone a good budget midrange option.
It scored 223668 in Antutu V9.5, 433 single core, and 1292 multi-core in Geekbench 6. The graphic performance of the Mali-G52 MC2 is pegged at 748 for 3DMark Wild Life. PCMark 3.0 scored the device 7319 in performance. It isn’t the fastest processor out there, but still good enough for light to moderate gaming. Speaking of gaming, it was able to handle Genshin Impact at the lowest to low setting but expect frame drops. Esports titles like League of Legends: Wild Rift, on the other hand, run on super high setting with 60+fps.
The highlight of the HONOR X8a is its triple-camera setup, with the primary shooter having 100-megapixel. The other two are a 5-megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel macro. Regarding camera performance, the HONOR X8a does well for its class. It captures impressive daytime photos but struggles in dynamic range. That said, indoor shots taken with decent lighting are also good, but it is challenged in low-light situations. Night shots came out a bit too noisy for my liking. For video, it can shoot only up to 1080p and only 30fps. The front camera is a 16-megapixel shooter that takes acceptable selfies.
User Experience: 4/5
The HONOR X8a is a surprisingly unique smartphone. Its performance with the G88 processor is a jump from the G35 of the HONOR X7a but is still not nearly as fast as the Snapdragon 695 of the HONOR X9a. Having tried the two other X-series smartphones, the X8a rightfully feels in between the two.
When I tried to put the phone through its paces, I was pleasantly surprised with its internal cooling. Despite subjecting the phone to benchmarks and heavy gaming, the phone never felt hot, not even concerningly warm.
Battery life is also decent with PCMark 3.0 rating; the 4500mAh is able to go 12h and 20 mins from 80% down to 20%. Recharging is not the fastest with the 22.5W charger.
If I were to name flaws, I would point to two. First, the speaker is single and downward firing. It can get loud, but the sound quality is not the best. Second is a personal preference against side-mounted fingerprint readers. While there are fans for this configuration, I just find it difficult to work with. I prefer having it rear-mounted or just under-display. The lack of a microSD slot for a camera-centric smartphone is also a bit weird but does not really take away from the device’s performance.
Coming in at PHP 10,990, the HONOR X8a is a surprisingly great value phone. Its 100-megapixel camera and capable processor make it worth consideration. If you’re looking for a great camera-centric budget phone, the HONOR X8a might be the phone for you.
- Display: 6.7-inch LTPS LCD with 2388 x 1080 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate
- Processor: MediaTek Helio G88
- OS: MagicUI 6.1 (based on Android 12)
- RAM: 8GB RAM
- International Storage: 128GB
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, USB Type-C
- Camera: Rear: 100-megapixel main camera, 5-megapixel ultra wide and depth camera, 2-megapixel macro camera; Front: 16MP front camera
- Battery: 4500mAh Li-Ion battery w9th 10V/2.25A (22.5W) supercharge
- Dimensions: 162.9 x 74.5 x 7.48mm
- Weight: 179g
- 100-megapixel camera
- Helio G88 performs well enough
- Great looking finish
- 22.5W fast charging feels outdated
- No MicroSD slot
The HONOR X8a is a great camera-centric smartphone for its price.
Reviewed by Gabriel Pe
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE April 2023 Issue