Honor 8A Review: Should you Buy it?

Honor 8A, also known as Honor Play 8A, is an entry-level budget smartphone introduced alongside Honor 20 lite in Nepal at around a retail price of around Rs. 15,500 for the highest variant.

Let us see if it is worthy of being the successor to the Honor 7A and competing with the growing smartphone market in Nepal.

Key Specifications:

Honor 8A Review, Should you buy it ?
  • Display: 6.09-inch HD+ IPS LCD screen; 19.5:9 aspect ratio (waterdrop notch)
  • Resolution: 1560 x 720 pixels (~282 PPI pixel density)
  • Processor: Helio P35 (12nm) Octa-core (4 x 2.3GHz Cortex-A53 and 4 x 1.8GHz Cortex-A53)
  • OS:  Android 9.0 Pie; EMUI 9
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 32GB storage; expandable via microSD card up to 512GB
  • Rear Camera: 13MP (f/1.8), PDAF, LED flash; AI features
  • Front Camera: 8MP front camera, f/2.0
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 3,020mAh battery


Build and Design:

Following the 2019’s trend, Honor has a 6.09-inch HD+ IPS LCD Panel with dewdrop notch design, which helps reach an 87% screen-to-body ratio with very narrow bezels on the three edges. However, the bezel on the bottom is a little larger with an ‘Honor’ Logo on it. Having passed a genuine eye-comfort certification, the screen is believed to reduce blue light emission that is harmful to our eyes. The phone also has finger-gesture commands for single-handed user preference. The notch has a well-integrated front camera, light sensor and proximity sensor in it. 

Honor 8A Review

On the back, it has a single camera setup with a circular fingerprint sensor on the default position. On the right, it has the power and volume buttons and, on the left, it has Dual non-hybrid SIM slot along with a Micro SD card slot. On the bottom side, it has a Micro USB port with openings for speakers on either side of it. And don’t you worry people, it has a 3.55mm headphone jack on the top. Talking about the build, despite being a plastic body, it feels sturdy and premium on the hand giving a little glossy look on the back.

The smartphone has an exquisite dual texture body with multi-layer smooth surfaces and comes with 4 color options: BLACK RED GOLD and BLUE to meet your choices of aesthetics.

Hardware and Performance:

The phone boasts a MediaTek Helio P35 processor Octa-core processor built on 12mm ARM architecture (4×2.3 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53) and PowerVR GE8320 GPU providing better power-saving without compromising the performance. The processor can be closely compared with the Snapdragon 660. We tested various games and came to the conclusion that this is not a phone for PUBG or Asphalt 9. It is able to run these games without crashing or frame stops but in overall it is not playable at all. It is able to handle 2D games easily so you will have to settle for that.

Honor 8A is advertised as ‘Bigger View, Better Sound’ so we can’t ignore its smart PDA speakers that acclaim high volumes without losing the quality. Although it has a headphone jack, you won’t be needing it to play your FM radio as it has an in-built wireless FM radio for you to listen to it anywhere without any extra hassle or fear of data consumption.

The fingerprint sensor is fast, reliable and it works effectively and the face unlock works good enough, even in low light due to its AI features.

Camera:

The phone has a single 13 MP rear camera with a wide f/1.8 aperture and an 8 MP front camera which is decent enough for selfies and the AI beautification mode helps a little, I guess. You can take portraits or low-light pictures and the max video resolution is 1080p at 30 fps. There are no WOW factors in the camera samples and the pictures are just about decent for a phone at this price range.

Battery Life:

The phone has non-removable 3020mAh Li-ion battery with no fast charging but being built on a 12nm architecture and with the help of its EMUI’s power-saving tricks, the charge lasts for about a full day on normal usage. With extensive gaming sessions? Not much.

Honor 8A Price in Nepal: Rs. 15,790 (2 GB RAM/32GB)

Should You Buy?

Personally, I do not prefer the Honor logo on the bottom bezel which is just some useless space. The camera could be a little better. I personally suggest you add some money and buy a mid-range phone if possible. But if you are on a tight budget, you really can’t go wrong with this device. It has everything to call itself a proper entry-level smartphone for 2019. It will cost little less to buy the 32GB variant and add an external SD card according to your requirement.