Huawei officially announced that the Honor 8x will be receiving Android 9.0 upgrade coupled with the latest Huawei EMUI 9.0 user interface.
The announcement was a great news to me when I heard considering the fact that I really want to see how great the Android 9.0 will feel on mid-range smartphones.
And the fact that this is coming to Honor 8x, its really amazing.
When I received the new update last night, I decided to do the update which was a really quick process.
The new EMUI 9.0 user interface skin weighs about 3.14 GB in space but the speed of the Internet would consider how soon you can download this.
Do note that the device comes in two variants namely the 4 GB RAM and 64 GB ROM version and then the 6GB RAM and the 128 GB ROM version.
Both version comes preloaded with the Android 8.0 OS running on the device coupled with the Huawei EMUI 8.0.
Everything feels new
The new upgrade to Android 9.0 has lots of improvements. One thing I noticed first was the notch and then the recent apps and then the notification area. Other insignificant things that took longer to realise had changed includes highlighting and moving between texts and so forth.
The new upgrade makes the device feel new and functions faster mad better than the previous version.
It now includes the Huawei Share which is a wireless file sharing system that places your contents right on your PC.
The software works when both your Huawei/Honor device that has the Huawei share software rus on the same WiFi network as your PC. This feature was first noticed when I tried to move a file to my phone via the USB cable.
But never forget that the Honor 8x doesn’t come with the USB Type-C which isn’t very cool but the Honor Play has USB Type-C.
The upgrade is available on all Honor devices that were released last year also on some Huawei smartphones that came with the Android 8.0 and EMUI 8.0.
A screenshot showing some new user interface of the new EMUI 9.0 of the Huawei Honor 8x ©Ret Silo/Brumpost
The Honor 8X experience over the last 4 months since we last reviewed the smartphone had been great. The user interface is great and the speed of the device is very great.
Playing powerful games on it like PUBG, Gangstar Vegas, Asphat or Need for Speed and Mortal Kombat X all worked fine without any lag on the device.
One thing of concern was how the software closes some apps on the background when you leave them for too long. For example, whenever you switch between app let’s say you were browsing on the Microsoft Edge and then move to Gallery to check a picture before coming back, the app is likely to be starting out from then beginning closing all your tab unless you set Edge to recover tabs whenever app shuts unrequested.
The New EMUI 9.0 on the Honor 8x upgrade has a scrollshot feature which takes the screenshot of an entire page completely ©Ret SILO/Brumpost
New features added
Other faults which had been verified on the new EMUI 9.0 is the notch. The notch is very obvious whenever you open the notification center even if you’ve deactivated the notch.
For example, I personally do not like the notch as it makes my device to look like other android phones and iPhone X. The uniqueness is gone and lost forever.
But whenever I check out the notification center by swiping down from the top of the screen, the notch is obviously there.
But if you’re like me, you’re probably going to be very happy as the new EMUI 9.0 takes that away. The notification center no longer show the notch.
Also noticed is the previous apps switching. Unlike the previous EMUI 8.0 and Android 8.0 which stacks recently used application on each other, the new Android 9.0 and EMUI 9.0 for the Honor 8x and Huawei smartphones gives the recent apps interface a new look of swiping side by side.
You can now select previously used apps by swiping left or right to see the list of apps you’ve recently opened.
The new upgrade now also have Google Custom Service on which you can manage things such as Google ads, phone number and other things basically tailored to personalise Google services for you through your Huawei device.
Scrollshot and Screenshots
This is a feature which enables you to take an entire screen as a screenshot. This can be done in 3 swipe directions.
Normally holding down the “Volume Down” button and the “Power button” basically takes screenshot of an interface.
The new EMUI 9.0 slows you to do more when you do this. After taking screenshots, you can immediately swipe up (the screenshot take forms up in an animated screen on the left bottom side of the screen.) to share the screenshot with your friends via Huawei share UI which includes Bluetooth, and others.
Swiping left just keeps the screenshot and swiping down activates the “Scrollshot” which automatically starts a scrolling interface whereby the current screen is being captured continuously and saved as a single picture. It’s great right especially when you have a really long page screen you’d like to screenshot. Instead of taking screenshots one after the other, the Scrollshot takes the entire screen for you.
New Gallery app
The gallery app had never been good looking especially on the older EMUI 8 that was shipped with the Honor 8x.
The new gallery app isn’t better though but slightly different than the previous version.
The new one now utilises grid user interface unlike the list view in the previous version.
Notch and Notification center
The notification center now has good separators which is very obvious. Each app notifications can be clearly distinguished between one another.
Also, the curves on the edge of the design of the notification area is now way reduced.
Also noticed is the notch which shows when you swipe down to access the notification center despite turning off the notch.
The new upgrade had changed that and now, the notch is gone for good.
New camera features
Good Food, Documents and HiVision the new things I noticed in the camera application apart from the app trying to lecture me about every feature I was already accustomed to for example, there is always this photo comparison that details what each feature does.
Since a camera is an hardware that is boosted by the software to function well, there shouldn’t be too much expectations with the Honor 8x 20 MP and 2 MP dual rear cameras or thr 16 MP front facing camera.
The new features of course did some values to the quality of pictures taken but not really going to make it work as though it was a Huawei P30 Po camera.
How do you get the upgrade
Go to settings by swiping down to access the notification area, then click on the settings button represented by an Icon Cog at the top right of the screen.
Head to System which is located down below on the settings screen page.
Then click on About Phone or Software Update.
Click on check for updates. When there is an update there is a Download update Button which when clicked asks you to download the update using Wi-Fi.
The size of the update is about 3.41 GB and it saves on the device memory not external memory like the Micro SD card.
When you’re done, the system asks you to install the update which restarts your device and makes the necessary changes.
Huawei had released couple of devices this year so far. The Honor View 20 which has a pinhole camera point on the screen, the Huawei Y7 2019, the Huawei Mate X and the Huawei P30 all which are now upgrades to the last year’s Huawei devices.
But then you can stick with your Honor 8x as it offers great and quality features especially with the new upgrade which makes the device better and fine.
I’ll report on my experience with the new EMUI in a future post.
One day experience with the Huawei EMUI 9.0 skin on Honor 8x
Isnt great or smooth as I’ve thought earlier on. There have been some glitches here and there and it’s affecting the perfection of the new operating system.
I feel Huawei shouldn’t have rolled this out yet as a final product but should’ve labelled it a Beta version. It has some glitches and few bugs which I’ll talk about below.
Recent app screen
This was the first part where I noticed couple of issues. For example, transitioning from an app to the other through the interface isn’t smooth at all. It doesn’t feel native to the smartphone.
Also when you minimise and app and you try to go back immediately, the previous screen will become the background screensaver of the recent applications interface.
I use swipes for navigating the device so I basically can’t swipe from the bottom middle screen when I’m navigating through recent app interface to go back to the home page.
I would have to swipe from the left or right edges (which is for back) to go home. Unlike the previous version, if you are trying to minimise an app but then realise you don’t want to while the app is still running, pressing the back button or the right/left edge swipe takes you back to the app but not anymore because now it takes you to the homepage.
Turning on or off the notch takes its presence away from notification area. Initially I thought this was a fixed issue that works when you turn off the notch.
The default EMUI 8 that came with the device allows you to switch on/off the notch but when you turn it off, it still show when you swipe down the notification area. But this time around, it turns black even if you turn on/off the notch. So the proposed improvement isn’t working at all.
Reaching the home take longer
This time it takes longer to reach the homepage. Basically I use a third party launcher application on my smartphone but then it now seem as if Huawei doesn’t want it to lad as fast as it would before.
All apps closes everytime you minimise
This is the most annoying part because I have to basically restart every applications whenever I minimise them to do something else on another application.
This would be very great. If the company can do more by updating the operating system soonest so that we can have a better user experience on the Honor 8x in the future update then that’ll be great.
Currently, there have been lots of people already complaining about power drainage and device heating up while running certain applications.
The update isn’t really bad just that it still feels very new and not very well integrated into the Honor 8x yet. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and see how soon Huawei fixes this up.