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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Honor 7X first impressions: Wider display and improved dual-rear cameras

Honor 7X first impressions: Huawei's Honor 7X offers an 18:9 display, a dual rear camera and metal unibody design. Here's what we think of the device so far

Written by Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi | Updated: November 22, 2017 4:12:44 pm
Honor 7X first impressions Honor 7X first impressions: The smartphone has a 5.93-inches display with 18:9 aspect ratio.

Honor 7X is an upcoming smartphone, which is expected to launch in December in India. Honor is Huawei’s sub-brand geared towards the online market, and the company is currently accepting registrations for the new 7X smartphone on Amazon India. The new Honor 7X is a successor to the Honor 6X, which was unveiled at the CES 2017 and launched in India in January.

Honor 6X was mid-range smartphone with dual-rear cameras launched at a price of Rs 15,999 for the 64GB version, while the 32GB version was priced at Rs 13,999, though later the company slashed prices. Honor 7X continues with the tradition of the dual-rear cameras, though of course, it follows the 2017 trend of adding an 18:9 bezel-less display.

While globally Honor’s parent company Huawei is among the top five smartphone manufacturers of the world, in India it is yet to make a mark in terms of numbers. Also Honor and its parent company Huawei have been experimenting with the dual rear camera for some time now. This feature has become a standard on some of its phones. But how does the Honor 7X fare? We’ve been using the device for the last two days and here’s our first impression.

Honor 7X: Design and Display

As we’ve noted, Honor 7X has a very 2017 design thanks to the taller display with thinner bezels on the side and reduced ones on the top and bottom. The Honor logo is just about squeezed in towards the bottom of the device. Honor 7X relies on a micro-USB port for charging, so there’s no Type-C USB on this series just yet. There’s a single speaker next to it, along with the headphone jack on one side.

Honor 7X in matte black Honor 7X has a design language similar to the Honor 8 Pro.

From the back, Honor 7X does remind one of the Honor 8 Pro with the prominent antenna bands on the top and bottom of the device. In fact if you place the two mobiles next to each other they are identical from the back. The dual-rear camera is tucked away on one corner at the back with the fingerprint scanner placed at the top half of the rear cover.

The Matte Black colour very looks very stylish no doubt, but we noticed the device is prone to picking up fingerprint smudges on the front and back. Still, the overall build quality is quite good and despite the 5.93-inches display this is not a bulky phone.

Coming to the display, this has the same 18:9 aspect ratio we’ve seen on many phones this year. Honor 7X has a bright, vivid display and seems ideal for consuming video content. This is full HD+ resolution display (1080 x 2160 pixels). One thing though, YouTube’s pinch to zoom feature for smartphones with 18:9 displays did not appear to work on this. I tried it on several videos, but they would not expand to fit the frame.

Honor 7X display Honor 7X has a bright, vivid display and seems ideal for consuming video content.

Honor 7X: Performance, OS, Battery

Like other Honor smartphones in the market, Honor 7X is powered by the company’s own Kirin series of processors. This one has the Kirin 659 octa-core processor and we have the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version. Given Honor 6X was launched in two variants in India, we can expect the 32GB version to also come to the Indian market. For now the device is functioning smoothly and setting this up has not been a problem. We will have more details once we’ve used the phone extensively for gaming, etc.

What is a problem though is that Honor 7X does come with a lot of bloatware and even on the 64GB variant a user gets around a little over 48 GB storage out of the box. Some folders like Games, etc should not have been a part of this already.

The other point is that Honor 7X is still on Android Nougat 7.0 with EMUI 5.1. Hopefully Honor will roll out the Android Nougat 7.1.2 update soon. Of course, Honor is not the only brand guilty of launching phones with Nougat in 2017. We’re even seen flagship phones still running on Android Nougat, even though some of these launched post September.

Battery on the Honor 7X is 3340 mAh and again we will have to run the full suite of tests to see how long it lasts for an average day. Honor is also relying on the older micro-USB port for charging, as we’ve pointed out earlier.

Honor 7X Android Nougat OS Honor 7X is still on Android Nougat 7.0 with EMUI 5.1

 Honor 7X: Camera

Coming to the camera, I would say this is the other strong suite of the device right now. The rear camera is 16MP+ 2MP and Honor has added a portrait mode here, a wide-aperture mode along with an option for a ‘Motion picture.’ The last one is similar to ‘Live Photos’ from Apple. The camera on the front is 8MP. We are yet to fully test out the camera, but the first few results look promising.

The wide aperture mode in particular delivers good results, even in indoor lighting and if this is priced under Rs 15,000 it could make this phone stand out from the competition. The portrait mode is better tested on actual humans, rather than smaller objects as I’ve seen in the first couple of shots.

Honor 7X Sample shots in portrait mode Honor 7X Sample shots in portrait mode. (Image resized for web)

Honor 7X: Quick conclusion

With Honor 7X, it will all depend on the final pricing, though the company has promised an ‘aggressive pricing’ for this. For now, this looks like a solid phone offering all the jazzy features that are trending in the market these days: dual rear camera, 18:9 display, ‘Bokeh’ mode, etc. But, there is a lot of competition in the Rs 15,000 segment and more phones are expected to launch in 2018 with an 18:9 display.

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