Quick, think of a phone that looks stunning, and has the latest hardware inside as well. Done? Good, now imagine getting that for Rs 14,999! That is the part at which most people will draw the line. Yes, we know that smartphones are getting more affordable than ever. But in the budget segment (Sub Rs 15,000), you often have to end up sacrificing either style or specs – you might get an eye catching design, but the hardware underneath it might be modest, or you could get good hardware but with a very plain design.Unless you are considering the Honor 8X.We know that might sound a little extravagant for some people, so let us make it absolutely clear – there is no phone that delivers as much in terms of style and performance at a starting price of Rs 14,999 as the Honor 8X does. It looks so good that we would recommend buying it just for the price. It performs so well that we would say buy it just for the performance.Let us start with the appearance. Put the Honor 8X down on a table and you will see heads turn and that is because it is unabashedly premium in design. The back is made of specially textured glass which reflects different patterns when light falls on it. And that dazzle is offset by a sober panel that contains the dual camera set up on the rear and the flash, whose complexion remains constant. The form factor of the phone is compact for a device with such a large display (6.5 inches – the same as the Max phone from Apple this year). And even the display is cutting edge, sporting a notch and a tall 19:5.9 aspect ratio, with bezels trimmed to give you a 91 per cent screen to body ratio. The 8X definitely screams premium, no matter which angle you look at it from.advertisementBut if its appearance is beautiful, its hardware serves up a performance that blows just about everyone else out of the water. The Honor 8X is powered by the octa core Kirin 710 processor based on a 12 nm architecture – the first device in the Honor range to come with this chip. And the difference it brings in terms of speed is almost unreal – it is about 75 per cent faster than its previous version, the Kirin 659, which powers devices as high profile as the Huawei P20 Lite! The Kirin 659 was a very efficient processor and could handle most tasks with ease – just imagine it getting 75 per cent better. there is also GPU Turbo on board to ensure that you get a terrific gaming experience. Put all that processing muscle with 4 GB, 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM (all three variants are available) and you get a phone that is capable of doing just about everything that you want – be it as intense as shooting it out in PUBG or racing frantically in the Asphalt series or as basic as just crushing some more candy in the new Candy Crush saga game. And it will look just wonderful too, thanks to that 6.5 inch FullView full HD+ display that has a pixel density of 396 ppi, right up there with the best. The display, incidentally, will never strain your eyes – it comes with an Eye Comfort mode certified by TüV Rheinland that reduces blue light radiation.And all this without the phone breaking into a sweat – you will hardly detect any heating up. There is storage aplenty too – the phone has 64 GB (with 4 GB and 6 GB RAM) and 128 GB (with 6 GB RAM) variants and if that is not enough, there is a dedicated microSD card slot (no hybrid SIMs here) to add more. A big beefy 3750 mAh battery will see you through more than a day of work and even recharge rapidly enough. Beast has got battery to spare!This is a phone from Honor, so there is more serious camera action here as well. The rear has a 20 megapixel and 2 megapixel camera combination, while the front comes with a 16.0-megapixel selfie camera. Both have AI as well as machine learning built into them to ensure stunning photographs, from landscapes to close ups. The portrait mode snaps are particularly stunning with natural bokeh and true skin tone, and you can also shoot gorgeous, 16X slow motion videos. The selfie camera supports four in one fusion technology and multi frame image processing to deliver excellent selfies. And if that were not enough, one can also add AR effects and change backgrounds. The Kirin 710 processor ensures that all this happens in a snap, literally.advertisementAll of this is encased in Honor’s feature rich EMUI interface (version 8.2), running on top of Android 8.1. And as the brand is one of the few in the world to make its own phone software as well as processor, the software has been optimised to make the most of the hardware. The result? Incredibly good multi-tasking and very good power management. Want some icing on this cake? Just check the call quality. At a time when network blues are all too common, the Honor 8X delivers outstanding reception and call quality. It is not often that we come across a phone that ticks virtually every box. The Honor 8X is one of those rare ones. You want great design? It has got it! You want hardware to boast about? It’s there. You want great cameras? You got em. Most importantly, the 8X delivers a performance that we think sets a new benchmark at its price point – whether it is in display quality, gaming or power management. This is the phone against which every phone in the range of Rs 15,000 is going to be compared, and at the time of writing, nothing even comes close to it.The Honor 8X is a beauty AND a beast. And it comes with a killer price. The 8X (4+64 GB) variant is available at INR 14,999 and comes with a 10% cashback offer too!They do not make combos any more lethal than this!