A week with the Honor 8X. Day 3 – Strava and battery life!

I’ve performed a couple of tests today with the Honor 8X. The first is to check Strava. It’s an app I use a lot to track my exercise and, as you might know, I’ve had some issues with it working properly on Honor / Huawei kit.

From what I’ve seen previously, there’s some sort of hardware-level power management going on which cuts certain apps if they’re running for too long. I’m guessing that the Huawei-built CPU is doing it and no amount of twiddling in the settings has fixed it previously. However, I wanted to give the new Honor 8X a chance, so I installed the app and went into the settings to ensure that power and launch settings were under my control. You do this by heading into the central settings within Settings->Apps and choosing the app in question. From here you stop the “power saving measures”.

Yesterday I cycled to work – it’s about 13 miles so a 40-45 minute cycle depending on how crazy I’m cycling. I also cycled back and used the Honor 8X to record both journeys. The journey back was a lot longer but I recorded that too just to see how it would impact my battery. GPS kills batteries normally.

Here’s the video of the journey. I ran Strava on a Samsung handset as “backup” but was surprised at what happened..

Now this isn’t definitive, as it was just a couple of rides lasting less than an hour each, but it’s definitely looking better. In the past I’ve had a Honor / Huawei phone shut down Strava in no time at all, so I’m hoping that they’ve fixed the issue.

Also today I wanted to check the battery life on the Honor 8X. It has a lot of intelligence and back-end magic keeping things ticking over. Like I mentioned before, HiSilicon, the people who make the CPU, are part of the Huawei family. So Huawei is Honor is HiSilicon really. It means that they have much more control of power optimization.

There’s also a “Smart Resolution” setting which will automatically lower the screen resolution from 2340×1080 to 1560×720. All of this sits next to the power saving mode and ultra power saving mode, plus it’ll prompt you if it thinks it’s found a power-intensive app and you can choose what to do with it.

Since yesterday I’ve not charged the phone at all. The usage yesterday went like this..

07:00 – Off charge, 100%. The usual news reading, tweets and other social media activity.
07:20 – Streamed an internet radio station for 30 minutes whilst in the shower and getting into my lovely latex cycling gear (there’s a mental image for you… you love it).
08:05 – Started up Strava and recorded the journey to work.
08:50 – Arrived at work and stopped Strava.
09:50 – 11:00 – Streamed some tunes to my Bluetooth headphones.
12:30 – 13:30 – Random browsing and a YouTube video upload.
14:00 – 16:00 – Sporadic WhatsApp / Twitter activity.
17:00 – 18:00 – Recording the cycle hope via Strava.
20:40 – 21:00 – Spotify music playing.
21:00 – 22:20 – YouTube video / background music playing.

When I eventually hit the sack it was still reporting 37% battery life. That’s really very good for my heavy use. I’ve had to force myself not to charge it last night as I get in the habit of plugging in phones when I go to sleep. So, just to show you how far you can push it, I’m writing this at 10AM on the following day. I took it off charge at 7AM yesterday and I’ve used it pretty heavily – it’s still on 29% charge. A big tick on the battery life for me then. It does really well.

So, I can say that Strava seems fine and the battery life is epic. I can also say that there’s a lot of very clever Honor / Huawei wizardry going on under the hood to maintain your experience. Oh, and just while I’m here – that “Force full screen” option that is normally offered when an app doesn’t quite fill this capacious 6.5″ 19.5:9 screen is tucked away in the Settings->Apps, so if you want to force a full screen experience you’ll need to go in there.

Stay tuned for the next part of our Honor 8X adventure!

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