- Great design and metal unibody
- Camera can take some wonderful photos
- Storage is more than generous at this price point
- Sub-par battery life with media consumption
Honor is a branch of Huawei that are currently making quite a few waves in the mobile phone industry at the moment, especially in markets outside of the UK. I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch event in London, and was very impressed with what I saw on stage. But can the Honor 7X perform in every day life? Sure the specs are pretty impressive, but using it as a daily driver can be a whole kettle of fish. I traded in my Samsung S7 Edge, and went about using the Honor 7X as my go-to device.
The Honor 7X is an all metal uni body that to be honest with you, has been mistaken for an iPhone when I have got it out in front of friends. Thanks to the all screen front, it does look pretty premium looking, although still very much remains within that ‘budget premium category’. There are two aerials swiping from left to right at the top and bottom of the phone, and there is a fingerprint sensor on the rear which has been positioned pretty well for a first finger. It unlocks in well under a second as well.
The phone is a pretty nice size to hold, and I never felt my fingers were too stretched to fit across the screen when using with one hand. The rear of the phone, thanks to its smooth matte black finish is very slippery though, and this does cause a slight issue with stretches to the other side of the screen. It has slipped through my fingers a couple of times, so maybe some kind of thin rubber case would sort this kind of thing out. I haven’t tried that yet.
A piece of the phone which I think cheapens it somewhat in the way it looks is the fact is has a raised screen on the front which is surrounded by a plastic band. This adds a tiny amount of thickness to the phone, but you do have to look closely to it. The second one which definitely screams budget is the fact it’s still using a microUSB port for charging rather than the new USB-C ports that you find on the Samsung S8.
For anyone interested in Android Pay too, avoid this model, as they haven’t included any type of NFC technology here. It’s a shame, and they way payment options are going now with contactless bank cards and riding public transport, Android Pay is extremely useful.
So looking into more detail at the screen, it comes in at just under 6 inches, which is more than enough for a phone of this size. And with the minimalist bezel, looks a lot larger than it actually is. The resolution of the screen is 1080 x2160, which is actually known as FHD+. The + stands is representing the 18:9 aspect ratio. Most phones use a 16:9 aspect ratio. This in turn is a size that’s very similar to the new iPhone X.
The screen uses IPS technology, which means it has some great viewing angles, and it is pretty unbelievable when it comes to colour accuracy and brightness. Consuming various forms of media on the Honor 7X is a delight, and it even comes with a headphone jack so you don’t have to mess around with wireless headphones if you don’t want to.
Inside the new Honor 7X is a Kirin 659 Octa-core processor running at 2.4GHz on four cores and 1.7GHz on the remaining. It’s not bad, but its a far cry from some of the top dogs on the market. I mean even our Geekbench 4 benchmark score didn’t come out as well as we expected. I mean for a multicore processor, the score that came out was 3550. But, to my surprise, I didn’t find much in the way of stuttering or lag between opening apps or even multitasking. The 4GB of RAM definitely helps with this. Gaming apps work again, just as well.
There’s ample storage on offer here too for all of your images and music that you will undoubtedly use this phone for. There’s 64GB in total which means plenty of tunes to keep you entertained, and enough to keep a nice amount of 4K video too.
Speaking of images, the Honor 7X comes with a pretty snappy dual-camera setup too. But unlike other phones where the secondary lens is generally for a telephoto shot, the second lens aids the main one by adding some extra detail to your photos. There are also a couple of modes too such as the portrait mode that’ll blur and give a nice shallow depth of field for your subjects. The phone recommends you take an image at least 0.52 metres away from your subject. The other is the wide-aperture mode, which uses the extra detail information from the secondary 2-megapixel sensor.
If you dive deeper into the camera settings, then you’ll find the usual type modes such as HDR, panorama and slo-mo. The biggest problem with the camera though is its ability to shoot a picture in less than perfect lighting conditions. But all phones tend to suffer from this, so it’s easy to look straight past it. The photos I did manage to take though definitely came out really well. Honor, being a brand under the Huawei umbrella definitely know what they’re doing with their cameras.
Honor claim that you can get around 12 hours of battery life on a constant video playback, but I beg to differ. From moderate usage I was managing a 10-hour day at work. If I was then to watch a film on Netflix on my commute home, for another hour, then I would be needing some kind of portable charger before the end of the home journey. Moderate use though you should be fine. But if you’re a heavy media consumer, especially video, then you’re going to find yourself running out of battery more often than you’d like.
The Honor 7X has its flaws. Sure you’re not going to get the power and sleek class as a Samsung S8, or even the new blanket features found on the iPhone X, but what you are going to get is a solid, premium looking budget smartphone, that I feel is beating competition at a similar price point. You can find it online for around £225 at the moment, and our Amazon link is below where you can find it there too. For more information on this handset, you can visit the Honor website.