HONOR X8b reviewed

    Featured NewsHONOR X8b reviewed

    HONOR’s Xa-series smartphones impressed me last year. HONOR’s entry to mid-range lineup was reasonably priced and each model had its niche special feature. Among the standouts last year was HONOR X8a, an entry mid-ranger with a massive 100-megapixel camera that shot out the competition. This year, the HONOR X8b is a worthy successor to the X8a.

    Design: 4/5

    In the looks department, the HONOR X8b retains the X9a’s design aesthetic. It retains its iPhone inspiration with its (albeit now more subtle) boxy design. The inspiration is a bit more apparent in the selfie camera’s notch but more of this later. The phone comes in Glamorous Green, Cyan Lake, Titanium Silver, and Midnight Black. Our review unit came in the phone’s flagship Glamorous Green color, the only color scheme with a vegan leather back.

    Last year when I reviewed the HONOR X8a, I remarked that while I wasn’t a fan of the boxy design, the lightness made up for it. Well, the HONOR X8b has improved on this—it’s a bit smaller than the X8a, which now allows me to properly hold the phone with one hand. Plus, the leather back feels great when you’re just lazily scrolling through the web or social media.

    HONOR improved the X8b display, which now sports a 6.7-inch Bright AMOLED screen. It has an FHD+ (2412 x 1080) resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate and 2000nits peak brightness. Even though it’s bright, the display is also safer with 3240Hz PWM dimming that minimizes flickers for less eye strain.

    Found on the display is the unique camera notch. The notch doubles as the HONOR Magic Capsule that allows certain apps to display notifications. Think of it as something similar to Apple’s Dynamic Island feature.

    For a general overview of what’s on the phone: on the left is the SIM card tray, and on the right is the volume and power button. The power button doubles as the side-mounted fingerprint reader. Beneath are the USB-C charging port and the single downward-firing speaker.

    Hardware: 4/5

    The HONOR X8b is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor. The Snapdragon 680 is a two-year-old processor, but don’t let age fool you as it can still keep up with its younger peers. Paired with the processor is 8GB of RAM and a monster 512GB of internal storage.

    What made the HONOR X8a stand out was its massive 100-megapixel camera. This year, HONOR stepped up by equipping the HONOR X8b with a 108-megapixel main shooter. In addition to the main camera, there’s also a 5-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The massive camera update comes in the front camera: it now sports a 50-megapixel selfie camera.

    Photos come out great when taken in well-lit situations. Lowlight is a bit noisy for my taste but still usable for social media posts. The selfie camera is also great, softening the image a bit without the harsh beautification found on other devices. As for video, the HONOR X8b still tops out at 1080p 30fps. There is still no stabilization option, so expect a rather bumpy video if you’re planning to vlog with the device.

    Battery-wise the HONOR X8b is fitted with a 4500mAh battery. The battery can last you a whole day of medium use (data, a bit of gaming, and streaming). Charging is also a breeze with the 35W HONOR SuperCharge.

    User Experience: 4/5

    The HONOR X8b is a good option for those looking for an all-around smartphone on the cheap. It’s a great media device with an outstanding display, as AMOLED is still king when it comes to amazing colors. The audio is also pretty good despite the single downward-firing speaker.

    In terms of gaming performance, the HONOR X8b is a decent gamer. The Snapdragon 680 shows its age when it comes to heavier titles like Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail, but lighter games like League of Legends: Wild Rift do okay.

    The HONOR X8b stands out with its 512GB internal memory. The only smartphones I’ve seen with this much memory are flagship-level devices which cost hundreds of thousands of pesos. To be honest, I think the 512GB internal storage is a bit of an overkill for the average user. That said, there are certain scenarios where I can see this being a great feature to have. I, for one, appreciate this humungous storage as I download a lot of content and transfer a lot of files.

    If there is one disappointment I have, it’s with the HONOR Magic Capsule feature, for which I had great expectations, particularly app support. Unfortunately, it’s currently available only when you’re recording or using the timer. Hopefully, moving forward, we will see more apps, like messages and calls utilizing this feature.

    Value: 4/5

    The HONOR X8b retails for PHP12,999, a slight price increase over the HONOR X8a’s launch price. It has a lot of competition in its segment, with some sporting newer processors. Even so, the HONOR X8b has a lot of going for it. Its flagship level 512GB memory, 108-megapixel camera, AMOLED display, and leather back are features that make this phone a good deal for the price.


    The HONOR X8b is a great value device for all-around use.


    • Display: 6.7-inch Super AMOLED FHD+ (2412 x 1080), Eye Comfort Display, Risk-free 3240Hz PWM Dimming, 100% DCI-P3, 90Hz Refresh Rate, 2000nits Peak Brightness
    • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
    • OS: MagicOS 7.2, based on Android 13
    • Memory: 8GB + 128/256/512GB
    • Camera: Rear 108MP Main Camera, 5MP Wide&Depth Camera, 2MP Macro Camera; FRONT CAMERA 50MP Selfie Camera
    • Battery: 4500mAh Battery, 35W HONOR SuperCharge (Type-C Wired)
    • Connectivity Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G, support Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth: BT5.0 (Supporting BLE, SBC, AAC, aptX,aptX HD), USB Type-C (USB 2.0)
    • Dimensions: 161.05mm x 74.55mm x 6.78mm
    • Weight: 166g

    What’s Hot:

    • 512GB of Internal Storage
    • 108-megapixel rear camera, and 50-megapixel selfie camera
    • AMOLED display
    • Vegan leather back

    What’s Not:

    • The processor is a bit dated
    • Honor Magic Capsule feels more like a gimmick than a feature

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