Huawei Honor 3X review review: Meet Huawei's 'true' eight-core smartphone

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Indoor test shot. Aloysius Low/CNET

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The low-light test shot suffers from over-processing, resulting in a noisy image. Aloysius Low/CNET

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Indoor test shot with flash. Aloysius Low/CNET

Lastly, the front 5-megapixel is mainly used for selfies, and Huawei has added a built-in beauty mode toggle to improve self portraits.

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A 5-megapixel front-facing camera will come in handy for taking selfies. Aloysius Low/CNET

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Here's me testing the 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The left image was taken without the Beauty mode, while the right picture has Beauty mode cranked up to the max value. Note my beautiful flawless skin. Aloysius Low/CNET

Performance

Powered by the MediaTek MT6592 octa-core 1.7GHz processor, I found the Honor 3X to deliver performance equal to that of a mid-tier handset. While there are occasions when the phone felt sluggish while opening and closing apps, the overall experience was smooth. It helps that the phone has 2GB of RAM. You can also expand the internal storage (16GB) with a microSD card.

Based on the results we got from the 3DMark benchmark, this handset can run 3D games, but probably not as good compared with the higher-end Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets.

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Aloysius Low/CNET

Huawei's known for its telecom expertise, and call quality on the Honor 3X was crisp and clear. The rear audio speaker is loud, but if you're using the handset on speakerphone, you may find it hard to hear clearly unless you bounce the sound off a surface, like a table.

The phone packs a 3,000mAh battery and lasted two days of moderate use in my testing. The test settings include having one e-mail, Facebook and Twitter account on push, while also using messaging app WhatsApp constantly.

Conclusion

Huawei's Honor 3X delivers an impressive array of features in a budget handset, and is definitely worth considering if you want a good and cheap Android smartphone. Bear in mind, though, if you aren't going to wait for a localized version, be prepared to do a lot of work to get Google services loaded on your handset. The smartphone is slated for debut outside of China soon, do check with your local retailer for updates.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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