Honor is Huawei’s online-only brand and while smartphones from the company have been around in the Indian market for the last few years, the vendor is yet break into the top five. Unlike India, Huawei is already in top three globally, competing with the likes of Samsung and Apple and claims to have a strong performance in European markets as well.
Honor 7X is the latest offering from the company with a mid-range pricing of Rs 12,999 going up to Rs 15,999 for the 64GB variant. Pricing is not the only play that Honor is relying on, it is also offering dual-rear cameras and a bigger 18:9 aspect ratio display in the mid-range/budget segment. Players like Xiaomi, Motorola are yet to offer 18:9 displays in the market in the under Rs 15,000 segment so far. However, both have a dual-rear camera option with Mi A1 priced at Rs 14,999 while there’s the Moto G5S Plus at Rs 15,999.
When it comes to dual rear cameras, Honor and Huawei have been experimenting and offering such features for quite some time. In fact, when I reviewed the Honor 8 Pro, I felt dual rear camera was definitely one of the best in the under Rs 30,000 category. So how does the Honor 7X fare? Here’s our review.
Honor 7X specifications: 5.93-inch FHD+ display (2160 x 1080 pixels) | Kirin 650 octa-core processor | 4GB RAM +64GB storage (expandable)| 16MP+2MP rear camera with PDAF and 8MP front camera | 3340 mAh battery | Android Nougat 7.0 with EMUI
Honor 7X price in India: Rs 12,999 for 4GB RAM +32GB /Rs 15,999 for 4GB RAM + 64GB storage
Honor 7X review
The big change in the Honor 7X compared to the previous Honor 6X is the display, which is hard to miss. The 5.93-inch full vision display comes with a 2160 x 1080 pixels resolution, and from a design perspective, the Honor 7X will remind users of the more premium Honor 8 Pro. In fact, as I had already noted in my first impressions, from the back the two phones are very similar with the prominent antenna bands on top and bottom.
Our review unit for the Honor 7X came in a black matte finish, which looks stylish for the price. The front of the phone is all about the display with reduced bezels on the side, top and bottom. And yes, like many full display smartphones there is no home button on the front, though Honor has kept the on-screen buttons at the bottom. The fingerprint scanner is at the back of the device, and this works accurately on most occasions.
The only major flaw of this all matte black design would be that it is prone to smudges and a user will need to keep wiping this phone to make sure it stays squeaky clean. The Honor 7X definitely needs a tempered glass on the front as well to protect the display and I’ve noticed some slight scratches on the front. However, the overall build quality is good and the phone feels solid and there are no major dents or paint chipping away, and I’ve had this phone for a little over three weeks.
Honor 7X: What’s good?
The major positive point about the Honor 7X has to be the display. This is definitely one of the best viewing experiences in the Rs 15,000 price point given that this is a 18:9 aspect display. The display is bright, vivid and the colour reproduction is accurate. If you enjoy watching YouTube videos, then the Honor 7X is the right phone. The zoom to fit feature means the videos takes up the entire screen and it looks quite good without appearing stretched. Honor 7X display has a 2160 x 1080 pixels resolution and one does not need to keep the brightness at maximum to have a good experience while watching videos.
When it comes to performance, Honor 7X is at par with other devices in the price range. It scores around 62,486 in the Antutu Benchmark test, while in GeekBench it scores 903 in single-core and 3518 in multi-core. The scores are in line with what devices like Redmi Note 4, Moto G5S Plus have got in these tests.
Coming to the overall performance, I did not face any app crashes as such and the phone had no problem multi-tasking. Keep over 25 tabs open on Google Chrome gave no cause for trouble and I could easily switch between them on the phone. The gaming performance is also good and it can handle Asphalt 8, Beach Buggy etc without any noticeable lags or serious heating issues. However, one thing I did notice was that the device has a noticeable lag when there is a flood of notifications and it takes an extra few seconds to handle all of that incoming alerts.
Moving onto the camera, this is definitely one of the better cameras in the price range. The wide aperture mode is one that I liked the best on this camera. The overall colour reproduction is not bad, though there is a tendency to make reds appear over-saturated in some cases. The portrait mode works best when you keep your hands steady, there is enough lighting and the object in question should also remain still. Based on my usage, I would say the portrait mode works better on actual humans and the results are quite appealing, considering the price.
On the battery front, Honor 7X scored around six hours plus on the PCMark battery test. The phone’s battery will easily last a day with moderate to heavy usage, though the power-saving mode is a good option. The only thing missing is that Honor has not introduced a Type-C USB port here, but stuck with the older micro-USB port.
Finally, the sound quality is also quite impressive on this phone, which is important considering the primary use case for many folks will be watching videos. The interface has some interesting features as well, which remind me of MIUI. For instance, all information related messages are going into one folder in the SMS app. There’s also a feature called App Twin to let users run two versions of Facebook, WhatsApp, etc which might have some appeal for India users.
Honor 7X: So what’s not so good?
I would say the portrait mode is still far from perfect and the low-light performance could definitely be better on the phone. The low-light performance though is similar to what one gets on most budget, mid-range smartphones. The details are lacking when one takes pictures at night and you will need to rely on the flash for some occasions.
The lack of a Type-C port is definitely a miss in 2017. There’s also too much bloatware in the form of games, pre-loaded app, etc some of which could have been avoided. Yes, the phone comes with 64GB storage, but manufacturers should typically give a miss to pre-loading apps that are not absolutely crucial.
The other major point of complaint with the Honor 7X is still on Android Nougat and Android Oreo. Honestly, it is surprising that smartphone manufacturers are still launching devices with the older version of Android, even though 2017 is almost ending. Hopefully Honor 7X will get an upgrade to Android Oreo, but this is one area where most OEMs are not being consistent.
Finally, we did notice a bit of a lag while playing Asphalt 8, though it did not impact game play. The device tends to get a tad warm on the top half when one has been gaming over half an hour, though it did not become unbearable to hold.
Honor 7X Verdict
Honor 7X’s advantage right now is the big display and the better dual-rear cameras at a price of Rs 12,999. As I have pointed out, players like Xiaomi, Moto do not have a similar offering in this price segment for now. For those who want a bigger display and dual-rear camera for under Rs 16,000, the Honor 7X is good option considering the overall performance. The display in particular is very impressive on this smartphone. The negatives though are the older OS, micro-USB port.