Honor X7 and X8 review: rebirth or deathblow?
As a sub-brand of Huawei, Honor has always appealed to the young, western target group with good hardware for little moneyprochen. Everything down to the brand name (Ehre in German) is designed for a Western alternative to Huawei. So when Honor was separated from Huawei in response to US trade sanctions against China, they had to start from scratch. Huawei no longer optimized their software, no longer their cameras, but they are now allowed to use Google again. As a competitor in the price range of Xiaomi and Realme, the Honor X7 and X8 should now regain market share. TechnikNews gives an overview of the devices.
Both the Honor X7 and X8 are made of plastic. However, while the Honor x7 is made of matte plastic, the X8 is made of glossy plastic. Nevertheless, it feels higher quality and slimmer. The Honor X7, on the other hand, is big, thick and just plain chubby. You always have the feeling that this is a cheap device, which some of the competitors do better. The Honor X8 has decent workmanship for its price and is also clearly ahead of the X7 in other respects. It's also kept relatively flat. The usual plastic transition from the display to the frame has been removed here and integrated directly into the design, which is a very good solution.
In general, the Honor X8 feels good in the hand, which is also due to the narrow design.
Where the Honor X7 still has a blurry 720p display, the X8 offers a sharp, thin-bezeled 1080p display, which looks noticeably more modern. The low resolution of the X7 is extremely noticeable, the entire display looks extremely blurry and pixelated. It just doesn't look good, especially on the 6,7-inch display. This is particularly noticeable in the camera, where the photo preview looks extremely poor in quality. The display offers 90 Hertz, but before you start with it, the manufacturer should urgently ensure that it is sufficiently sharp. The Honor X8 is much better positioned here, its display is quite solid for the price. It is beautifully fluid and has very thin borders and good display quality.
Both devices come with the relatively new, but only moderately powerful Snapdragon 680. In the test, however, the performance was not enormous Proproblem, since the poor optimization was noticed negatively here.
Since detaching from Huawei and regaining Google services, the optimization of Honor devices has deteriorated noticeably as the team size has shrunk significantly since independence. Animations don't look particularly smooth here and the fun of using them is reduced. Everything feels a lot simpler and less premium than a well-animated OPPO or Xiaomi smartphone.
Still, the Snapragon 680 isn't a performance monster either, and it could be in the future Protrigger problems. If Honor continues to neglect the optimization, stutters and hangs could be the order of the day for both devices in the future. Especially the X7 with a measly four gigabytes of RAM has here Proproblem, because apps are not kept open in the background for a particularly long time, which means that the relatively slow Snapdragon chip has to work harder and, in the worst case, will slow down usage. The X8 is better positioned with six gigabytes of RAM. By the way, both devices come with 128 gigabytes of internal memory.
As already mentioned, Honor has installed relatively unoptimized software here. In addition, there is an outdated Android version from the outset. Android 11 will soon be two years old and the Android security patch is more than four months old. Also, the current Google Play security version is from October 2021 and the option to update that is grayed out for me. I definitely would have hoped for more from Honor here. In addition, to be honest, I do not expect any updates for these devices. I don't want to talk about the camera here, because the software has optimized it so badly that I don't think it makes sense.
The Honor X8 in particular definitely has potential in terms of hardware. If well-optimized software would run on it, it could well be worth the current price of 229 euros. However, I have to say that the Honor software would hold me back from making a purchase. The camera and the general user experience suffer greatly from the weak optimization, which means that I unfortunately cannot recommend these two devices at the moment. My colleague Nils recently had this Honor Magic 4 Pro tested, which I was also allowed to hold in my hand for a short time. Those who are interested in Honor should look in this direction, but I don't think the current mid-range has been particularly successful so far, which could be remedied by a simple software update, at least for the X8.
But as long as this does not happen, interested customers should rather look in the direction of Realme. Because with the 9 Pro+ you have a much better device for a little more money. You can find the detailed test report here.
Buy Honor X7 and X8
We would like to thank Honor Germany for providing the two test devices.