Honor 8X and 8X Max Are Massive Budget Phone Beasts

It can be tempting to overlook phone releases in China, even the ones pushing new and groundbreaking features. But the unveiling of the Honor 8X in China today (Sept. 5) should interest budget phone shoppers in the U.S., as this new phone seems like it's heading for these shores later this year.

Honor 8X (Credit: Honor)

(Image credit: Honor 8X (Credit: Honor))

Honor's X lineup, which packs a few premium features into a device that carries a bargain-bin price tag, tends to land in the U.S. eventually. After all, the Honor 7X debuted late last year in the U.S., bringing an extended display with minimal bezels to a $199 phone.

The new Honor 8X looks to continue that emphasis on the screen. Honor says the new phone will offer a 6.5-inch screen surrounded by thin bezels. The bezel at the bottom of the display is just 4.25mm, giving the 8X a screen-to-body ratio of 91 percent.

In addition to 8X, Honor also introduced the Honor 8X Max in China. It has a 7.12-inch display with a waterdrop notch similar to what you see on the Essential Phone. It's unclear if that phone will make it to the U.S. however.

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There's a trade-off for that extra screen space, though, and it comes in the form of a notch. While smaller than the one that graces the front of the iPhone X, that's still a design decision that some Android users have balked at, as more phone makers have turned to notched displays to squeeze in more display real estate.

The display will do more than dominate the front of the 8X. Honor says it features a blue-light reducing Eye Comfort mode aimed at tackling eye fatigue. The display will also incorporate technologies for use in both sunlight and night: the latter will make the 8X screen easier to see outside during the day while the latter will help you read the screen at night more comfortably.

The Honor 8X will feature a metal middle frame surrounding a 2.5D double texture aurora glass body. The phone's gradation design is built to show off different reflections when you view the 8X from different angles.

While Honor is mostly focusing on the design and display aspects of its new phone, reports out of China fill in a few more details about the Honor 8X. The phone will feature dual rear cameras and a Kirin 710 processor. (That's a few steps below the state-of-the art Kirin 980 CPU parent company Huawei unveiled last week.)

An entry-level version of the Honor 8X with 4GB of memory and 64GB storage will cost 1,399 yuan in China. While currency conversions are never exact, that would put the 8X in line with the $200 or so price of the Honor 7X.

Honor says the 8X is available in China for now, adding that it will be "gradually available" in overseas markets starting in October. Expect that to include the U.S., though it's unclear if this country will be among the first outside of China to get the Honor 8X.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.