Honor 7X Design and Build
India can easily be termed as a smartphone superpower. The rate at which the segment has grown over the past few years is nothing short of phenomenal, and it just continues to soar. The sheer number of sales that certain brands and models generate has made the world stand up and take notice of the huge business opportunity that exists on these shores. Understandably, a lot of global brands these days have been unveiling their new handsets in India early or simultaneously with the western markets. Honor 7X is one very recent example of that.
The phone ticks most of the right boxes about current smartphone trends. Minimal bezel display – check, 18:9 Full HD+ screen – check, Dual cameras – check, Slim metal body – check, Respectable amount of RAM and internal storage – check. What’s even better is that it packs all that in a mid-range device. While I don’t have the liberty of providing a full disclosure (a.k.a. detailed review) at this moment, thanks to an embargo, there is still enough that I can and would like to tell you about Huawei’s latest offering in the Indian market – the Honor 7X.
Design and Build
The first thing one notices when you get the phone out of the box is the long 5.9” minimal bezel display that takes up much of the real estate at the front. There’s a curved 2.5D glass on top that blends nicely into the edges of the device. I got the White + Gold version for review, and it looks very elegant. I am always a tad sceptical about golden variants of phones as they tend to make it a bit too blingy for my taste. But the champagne gold metal back on the Honor 7X is just the right shade to tip the scales comfortably in favour of classy instead of gaudy.
The phone feels sturdy in hand and isn’t too slippery either courtesy of its matte finish. Given the screen size, single-handed operation is not an option unless you have abnormally huge palms. The smartphone does look a bit elongated due to its 18:9 Full HD+ screen as compared to standard 5.5” screen phones but it turned out to be an optical illusion. I had a Xiaomi Mi A1 handy to compare it to and both phones are almost the same size in length and width, give and take a millimetre. Check images below.
The power and volume buttons are along the right edge, SIM/MicroSD slot on the left and a 3.5mm headphone jack, micro USB port (not type-C) and speaker grille can be found on the bottom edge. Like with most minimal bezel phones, the fingerprint scanner is located at the back of the device below the protruding dual-camera module.
Honor 7X Photo Gallery
Honor 7X Display, Performance Overview
As I mentioned earlier, this smartphone has a nearly 6-inch display with minimal bezels around it. It is packed with 2160 x 1080 pixels in 18:9 aspect ratio. The display quality is sharp with excellent colour reproduction and contrast. There is a protective glass layer on top, but I cannot confirm at this stage if it’s a Corning Gorilla Glass. I will let you know in the review. All and all, there is nothing to complain about the display. And given that Honor 7X is a mid-range device, it’s all the more credible that its screen is so bright and vivid.
The Honor 7X is powered by an octa-core Kirin 659 SoC with Mali 830 MP2 for graphics. While this is no Snapdragon 821/835, it provides enough muscle to power a mid-range device with a high-res display. Coupled with 4GB RAM that the device ships with, the performance was lag free. Honor 7X will have 32GB and 64GB onboard storage options which can be expanded further using a microSD card at the cost of a 2nd SIM. The phone runs Android 7.0 Nougat with Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 layer on top. More on the UI, benchmark scores, gaming performance and battery life details in the final review.
Numbers aside, I had very little to complain about the phone’s day to day performance. There’s one minor issue though. The phone tends to get noticeably warm after just 5 minutes of browsing or watching a video. It hasn’t caused the phone to freeze or restart yet, but it’s something that’s hard to miss. The call quality is very good. I didn’t notice any random signal drops during the initial tests. The sound from the earpiece is loud enough but not jarring. An interesting point to note is, unlike after 5 minutes of browsing, the phone does not heat up even after being on call for an hour. So all well here in this department.
The fingerprint scanner is very responsive, but one needs a bit of patience to set it up the first time. It captures your fingerprint impression from multiple angles as if it’s registering you for a super-charged version of Aadhaar Card. Once it’s done, it unlocks the phone in milliseconds after you tap it.
Honor 7X Camera Samples
Camera initial impressions
The Honor 7X sports a dual-camera setup at the back with a 16-megapixel primary sensor to handle the bulk of a workload and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor primarily for capturing the depth of field information. There is an 8-megapixel camera at the front for selfies and video calls. Both cameras are capable of recording Full HD videos. There is a solitary LED flash at the back. Nothing wrong in hoping for a dual-tone flash in today’s day and age, right? That is one of the very few corners Huawei has opted to cut on this device. Did I mention, the dual-camera module at the back reminds me of Minions? But I digress.
The rear cameras can capture images in different aspect ratios – 4:3, 1:1 and 18:9 at 16MP, 12MP, and 11MP respectively. Strangely, there is no 16:9 option. Though in-depth camera testing remains to be done, I did capture a handful of images indoor and outdoor in different lighting conditions to get the hang of the camera performance. In bright natural light, the images come out sharp with plenty of detail. Even in not-so-bright conditions or when shooting indoors, the camera does a good job. The photos look brilliant on the phone screen, but when you open the full-sized images on a PC, the details tend to spread thin. Having said that, the compressed/resized images are sharp enough to post on social media, if that’s what you plan to use the camera for predominantly.
Low light photography was a bit of hit and miss during the initial tests. The camera does capture a fair amount of detail in dimly lit conditions for phones in this bracket, but there is a considerable amount of noise in the photos. Check the camera samples below. There is still a lot more testing to be done before I pronounce my verdict. I will also have our in-house selfie experts take the front camera for a spin. All that and a lot more in our in-depth review of the Honor 7X coming up soon. Stay tuned.
Honor 7X Camera Samples