HONOR X8a Review – A Solid Smartphone Camera For Its Price Point

HONOR is not stopping the rollout of their smartphone lineup with the introduction of the HONOR X8a which will occupy the space between its toughest smartphone, the HONOR X9a 5G, towards their long-lasting battery smartphone, the HONOR X7a. The new HONOR X8a is marketed of having a camera quality of a DSLR level, and this is what we will find out as we have the full review of its aspects and other features.

We also made a YouTube video where you can also watch our review about the HONOR X8a.

HONOR X8a Specifications

OS:Magic UI 6.1 – Android 12
Processor:MediaTek Helio G88
Display: 6.7-inch 90Hz LTPS LCD
Wireless Connections:Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi, GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
Memory:8GB + 128GB
Connectors:USB Type-C, OTG
Cameras:Rear Camera
Main – 100MP, f/1.9
Ultrawide – 5MP, f/2.2
Macro – 2MP, f/2.4

Front Camera
16MP, f/2.5
SIM Card Slots:Dual SIM (Nano-Sim)
Battery:4500 mAh, 22.5W Wired Charging

The Unboxing

HONOR X8a  Unboxing

Like other HONOR X series smartphones, it comes in a typical box that has a back picture of the smartphone having above it is the model name. Inside the box, you will find the device, clear silicone case, SIM tray ejector, 22.5W Charging Brick, USB Type-A to Type-C cable, USB Type-C to headset jack adapter, and a quick starter guide. We did not expect that they included an audio adapter which is a nice addition to it.

The Design

HONOR X8a  Design

We received the Cyan Lake variant of the HONOR X8a, which has a grainy light blue to dark blue finish depending on the angle of light hitting the phone. The matte finish doesn’t leave fingerprints, and the phone is made of plastic, which is common in this price range. The HONOR X8a is also available in two other color variants: Titanium Silver and Midnight Black.

Despite having a 6.7-inch display, the HONOR X8a weighs only 179g, which is quite light for its size. It has a boxy shape with a style that provides a nice grip in the hands. At the rear, it has a triple camera setup, and on the front is a punch-hole camera.

The power button doubles its function as a fingerprint scanner. Above it is the volume rocker, both located on the right side of the phone. On the bottom, you will find the speaker grill, USB Type-C port, and microphone hole. On the left side is where the SIM tray is located which can accommodate two nano SIM cards.

The Display and Speaker

HONOR X8a Display

The HONOR X8a features a 6.7-inch 90Hz LTPS LCD display with a resolution of 1080x2388p. The side bezels and bottom chin are slim and is TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light certified which emits less blue light and alleviates eye strain and fatigue. The colors are vibrant for an LCD display, and the viewing angle is decent. Viewing it under the sun is also acceptable.

The down-firing speaker has less bass, but it is loud and clear, making it sufficient for media consumption and gaming for most people. Unfortunately, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack, but, HONOR provided a dongle for it although it is a bit uncomfortable to have and carry it around.

The Performance

HONOR X8a Performance

We are disappointed to see that their newest smartphone – the HONOR X8a – is using a three-year old MediaTek Helio G88 chipset. Moreover, the price range of the HONOR X8a is way slightly above other smartphones that uses the same chipset.

The MediaTek Helio G88 has a 2 x 2.0GHz A75, and 6 x 1.8GHz A55 with a Mali-G52 MC2 GPU. It is paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Here are some benchmarks we ran with the HONOR X8a:

It comes with Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12 OS. If you are using an older version of the HONOR smartphone, you will easily be familiar with it as it is almost the same. The bloatware situation of the HONOR X8a is manageable and you can easily uninstall it if you will not be using it except for some HONOR apps. Navigating it is smooth and snappy and we didn’t encounter any issues or bugs in 2 weeks of using this smartphone.

Even if it is a three-year-old chipset, it still does fine playing low-demanding games like Mobile Legends. However, playing highly demanding games like Genshin Impact is troublesome; just opening the game consumes several minutes and when being loaded, we can only play it on its lowest graphic settings at 30fps with occasional stutters. So, if you are just into playing casual games, this smartphone is suitable for you.

The fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button performs adequately and fulfills its purpose. However, if you want a faster unlocking method, the Face Unlock is a better option. Keep in mind, though, that it cannot be used in dark environments.

The Camera

HONOR X8a  Camera

The main selling point of the HONOR X8a is its DSLR-like camera quality which they have mentioned and claimed. It has a triple camera setup at the rear, consisting of a 100-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The front camera is a 16-megapixel camera.

When taking pictures with the rear camera, the pixels are binned to 25.16 megapixels, which is much higher compared to other smartphones that typically bin their cameras to 16 to 12 megapixels. This is a great advantage as the quality is much higher even when zoomed in, but the file size is slightly larger. Moreover, you can capture pictures at the full 100-megapixel camera resolution by switching to the high-res mode.

The picture quality of the rear main camera in well-lit environments is impressive. It produces vibrant colors, decent dynamic range, and sharp details even when zoomed in. Thanks to its high pixel binning count that made this possible. However, steady hands are required when taking pictures as it lacks optical or electronic image stabilization. Occasionally, we noticed that the color of the image is not quite right, but you can acquire your desired image by taking two or three additional shots.

In low-light environments, capturing images without adjusting the exposure is pretty decent. The exposure is acceptable, the colors are fine, and the details are good. However, some noise can be seen in our images. Additionally, similar to well-lit pictures, there are occasional instances when the colors appear more greenish. 

The other rear cameras tell a different story. The ultrawide camera has a low megapixel count, and the details can appear quite soft in some scenarios with prominent noise in the images. As for the macro camera, the quality is as expected with its 2-megapixel camera.

On the other hand, the 16-megapixel front camera performs well. It produces natural skin tones, decent dynamic range, and great details. Even when taking a selfie with a filter enabled, the image quality remains pleasant.

When recording videos, both the rear main camera and the front camera can record up to 1080p at 30 fps. However, the video quality is not that good as the colors can appear washed out, and the details are not very sharp. Additionally, when the camera is in motion, the footage can be very shaky as it lacks stabilization.

The Battery

The HONOR X8a is powered by a 4,500 mAh battery and can be charged with the included 22.5W charger. When used for general purposes like browsing the internet, scrolling through social media, taking pictures, and listening to music, it only lasted for 7 hours. In our PCMark battery stress test, it lasted for only 10 hours and 38 minutes which is below average compared to other smartphones in the price range. Upon charging it with the included charger, it is able to fully charge from 0% to 100% over 1 hour.

HONOR X8a Verdict

HONOR X8a Verdict

The HONOR X8a has a solid camera performance and delivers great images at any time of the day. The design is also great in terms of its looks and feel. However, for heavy users they may find it slow and lacking since the chipset is quite old and the battery life is below average. Overall, if you’re looking for a solid cameraphone under 15k pesos, this is a good option for its price point.

The HONOR X8a is priced at Php 10,990 for a 8GB+128GB model.

8.8 Total Score

The HONOR X8a has a solid camera performance, delivering great images regardless of whether it's day or night. The design is also great, both visually and in terms of grip. However, for heavy users they find it slow and lacking, the chipset shows its age and the battery life is below average. Overall, if you're looking for a solid camera under 15k pesos, this is a good option for its price point.

Battery Life
  • Beautiful design
  • Great display
  • Solid camera performance
  • Battery life is short
Add your review  |  Read reviews and comments
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Your total score

Digital Reg | Since 2004