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Hawke Frontier ED X 8×32 Binoculars: Our Review

Slim but sturdy binoculars with brilliant color and a delightful feel in the hand make these a Top Pick.

At A Glance

Green and black binoculars
Hawke Frontier ED X 8×32 binoculars. Photo by Hugh Powell.


  • Bright, detailed image
  • Brilliant, saturated color
  • Comfortable, slim design and great focus wheel


  • More expensive than most of the binoculars in this review


  • Price: $560 MSRP at press time. Prices often fluctuate, so check with retailers
  • Close focus: 8.2 feet (250 cm). In tests, we could focus these binoculars down to about 5.5 feet (168 cm)
  • Field of view: 7.7° (404 feet at 1,000 yards). More about field of view 
  • Weight: 19.6 oz (557 g)—that’s about 1.9 oz (55 g) heavier than the average for compact binoculars in our review. Compare binocular sizes and weights
  • Eye relief: 16 mm

Viewing Experience: The Hawke Frontier ED X sits near the top end of the price range for our review, and it’s clear that much of that price tag went into optical quality. We found these binoculars very bright and with noticeably richer color than similar binoculars like the Kowa BDII. A Red-bellied Woodpecker was caching sunflower seeds repeatedly in the fork of a maple, and in the dappled green light the crimson crown was so bright it almost bled into the space around it. The field of view is relatively good at just under 8°, and we found the close focus to be even closer than the manufacturers’ specification.

Feel and Build: The lenses are made with ED (extra-low dispersion) glass, which is heavier than lower quality glass. The weight is noticeable in the hand, but the slim design and balance of these binoculars meant they were still comfortable and easy to hold. The eyecups dial firmly into place and feature contoured edges for comfort against the eyes. The large, textured focus wheel has excellent touch, moving easily but surely and stopping precisely. The binoculars are a deep olive green with ridges to provide grip and contrasting black eyecups.

Comments From Testers:

  • Very sharp image with great color and contrast
  • Slim barrels but solid construction
  • Comfortable eyecups, colorful bright image

This article is one in a series of mini-reviews. To see how these binoculars compare to others we’ve tested, see our full review of affordable compact binoculars.

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