Here at Android Central we use dozens of mid-range phones over the course of a year. With no shortage of great options available at the $300 price point, we’re here to help you make an informed decision when picking up a new phone.
$295 at Honor UK
- Gorgeous two-tone design
- Powerful internals
- Decent cameras
- All-day battery life
- Charges over Micro-USB
- Doesn’t work in the U.S.
Right now, the Honor 8X is one of the best phones under $300. It combines a gorgeous two-tone design at the back with powerful hardware in the form of the Kirin 710, and the 3750mAh battery easily delivers over a day’s worth of use. The rear camera is pretty great when you consider what the phone costs, and overall Honor has managed to craft a phone that ticks all the right boxes.
Huawei P20 Lite
Showing its age
$280 at Amazon UK
- Compact form factor
- USB-C connectivity
- Fast charging
- Not available in the U.S.
- Kirin 659 isn’t as powerful
The P20 Lite is a decent enough device in its own right, but it doesn’t quite hold up next to the Honor 8X. The phone has a 5.84-inch display that’s ideal for one-handed use, but you also get a 3000mAh battery that delivers all-day battery life. That said, if you’re looking to maximize value, the Honor 8X is a better bet.
Should you buy the Honor 8X or the Huawei P20 Lite?
Both the Honor 8X and Huawei P20 Lite cost about the same, with just $15 separating both handsets. But there’s a huge gulf when you look at the features on offer. The Honor 8X pulls ahead when it comes to the design thanks to a two-tone finish at the back that looks stunning. Honor has consistently rolled out gorgeous devices over the course of the last two years, and the Honor 8X is its best showing yet.
The Honor 8X looks gorgeous and performs better than the P20 Lite — while costing the same amount of money.
The Honor 8X is powered by the Kirin 710 chipset, which has four Cortex A73 cores clocked up to 2.2GHz along with four energy-efficient A53 cores. The “big” A73 cores do the heavy lifting, giving the 8X a noticeable performance difference over the P20 Lite, which has eight A53 cores. The 8X also performs better at gaming thanks to the Mali-G51, which has four cores versus the dual-core Mali-T830 on the P20 Lite.
You also get a dedicated MicroSD slot on the Honor 8X, which can hold SD cards up to 400GB. The P20 Lite, meanwhile, has a hybrid slot with the secondary SIM doubling up as an SD card slot.
|Operating system||Android 8.1 OreoEMUI 8.2||Android 8.1 OreoEMUI 8|
|Display||6.5-inch IPS LCD, 2340×1080 (19.5:9)Gorilla Glass 3||5.84-inch IPS LCD, 2280×1080 (19:9)|
|Chipset||Kirin 7104 x 2.2GHz Cortex A73 + 4 x 1.7GHz Cortex A53Mali-G51 MP4||Kirin 6594 x 2.36GHz Cortex A53 + 4 x 1.7GHz Cortex A53Mali-T830 MP2|
|MicroSD slot||Yes (up to 400GB)Dedicated slot||Yes (up to 400GB) Hybrid slot|
|Rear camera 1||20MP f/1.8 PDAF||16MP f/2.2 PDAF|
|Rear camera 2||2MP||2MP|
|Front camera||16MP f/2.0||16MP f/2.0|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE|
|Audio||3.5mm jackSingle speaker||3.5mm jackSingle speaker|
|Water resistance||No rating||No rating|
|Security||Fingerprint sensor||Fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions||160.4 x 76.6 x 7.8mm175 g||148.6 x 71.2 x 7.4mm145g|
|Colors||Blue, Black, Red, Pink||Blue, Black, Pink|
As stated above, the Kirin 710 gives the Honor 8X an advantage when it comes to the day-to-day performance, and the phone is also running a newer version of EMUI. Both devices are still on Oreo, but EMUI 8.2 on the Honor 8X comes with a host of bug fixes, and Honor is currently testing the Pie beta build for the device. While the P20 Lite is also slated to receive the Pie update, there’s no timeline for it just yet.
The Honor 8X also takes the lead in terms of battery life, and it’ll get the Pie update faster.
Continuing to the battery side of things, the Honor 8X features a 3750mAh battery that easily delivers over a day’s worth of usage consistently. EMUI’s aggressive memory management allows you to eke the most out of the battery, but the one downside in this area is that the phone charges over Micro-USB.
Overall, it’s easy to see that the Honor 8X offers more value for your money. For under $300, it’s one of the best phones in the market today, and as we’ve said over and over again, it’s a shame neither device is available for sale officially in the U.S.
$295 at Honor UK
Gorgeous design, excellent value
The Honor 8X is one of the best-looking phones in the market at any price point. The fact that it’s available for under $300 makes it an absolute steal. With robust internals backed by decent cameras and all-day battery life, the Honor 8X is a standout winner.
Huawei P20 Lite
Showing its age
$285 at Amazon UK
Muted by comparison
The P20 Lite costs nearly the same as the Honor 8X, and while it also has a glass back, the overall effect isn’t quite as evocative. It’s also powered by the older Kirin 659 chipset, and as it’s technically a compact phone, you get a 3000mAh battery. Simply put, you’re better off with the Honor 8X.