The HONOR 8X brings a lot to the table - with its FullView display, massive battery and dual camera setup - for a pretty inexpensive price, making it the best value smartphone of 2018.
Smartphones really started to jump higher in price in 2018, which led the way for more competition in the lower-priced tier. Making this an increasingly important category for smartphones, since not everyone can afford, nor wants to, pay nearly a $1,000 for a smartphone these days. Something that can offer the same specs, features and design for around half of the price is going to get some attention and here we have two phones that go well beyond expectations. Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly, depending on your take), both the winner and runner up are smartphones that are technically not made for the US, but are very popular in Asia and Europe. Two regions where value smartphones are really starting to flourish.
Winner: HONOR 8X
The HONOR 8X is the best value smartphone of 2018, and it doesn't take long to see why. It sports a huge 6.5-inch display, with barely any bezels and only a notch at the top that is small enough for the camera and earpiece. HONOR's X line has always been one of the best value smartphone lines available, and in 2018, the Honor 8X took that up another notch.
Typically, value smartphones focus on specs and features, but that is not something HONOR has really ever done, and it's not doing that with the HONOR 8X. It has a beautiful design, with a two-toned glass finish on the back which not only looks unique, but also looks like a high-end smartphone. If you showed the HONOR 8X to one of your friends, they may think that you paid over $500 for this smartphone, but the reality is that it is only €229 (converted to around $260 USD). The HONOR 8X comes in black, red and blue, and has a strip down the side (near the camera side of the phone) that is slightly different from the rest, which looks absolutely stunning in person. This isn't a surprise though, HONOR has been at the top of their design game lately and offer some really stunning designs on smartphones (and other products). And that has not stopped with the high-end smartphones, but has also trickled down to the mid-range and low-end options further adding to their value.
There's a few other factors that really set the HONOR 8X apart from the competition, and one of those is GPU Turbo. This turbo-boosts the GPU inside the HONOR 8X to give you even better performance for gaming on this smartphone. This feature is available across all of HONOR's smartphones, even its high-end models, but the performance you are getting on the HONOR 8X is pretty insane for its price range. The other feature that sets the HONOR 8X apart is the storage as it comes with up to 128GB of storage, which is something that is unheard of at this price point. And if 128GB of storage is not quite enough, there is also a microSD card slot for expanding the storage when needed. When you consider the fact that this is only €299 in Europe, this is a pretty insane phone and it's not hard to see why the HONOR 8X is definitely the "Best Value Smartphone" of the year. You can purchase the HONOR 8X here.
Runner-Up: Xiaomi Pocophone F1
Xiaomi's Pocophone F1 is also a pretty impressive smartphone, as it is much more of a flagship smartphone offered at a budget price. The Pocophone F1 converts to around $350 USD, and has the same specs as the Samsung Galaxy Note9 which is about three times the price, and that right there is why the Pocophone F1 turned a lot of heads when it was announced in August. Sporting the Snapdragon 845, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage at that price is pretty insane and unheard of. However, it did lose out to the HONOR 8X because of its design. Xiaomi was focused on giving its users the best specs and battery life possible, and therefore put the Pocophone F1 in a plastic casing, instead of a great-looking glass casing like the HONOR 8X has.