This has been a good year so far Honor. Huawei’s sister brand has been running up impressive sales figures with the Honor 9 Lite, making inroads into the budget smartphone segment. And now is looking to consolidate its position with the similar looking and sounding Honor 7A and 7C. It is a heck of a task but judging by what they are offering and their appearance, they could be making the likes of Xiaomi and Motorola just a little wary.
They do look and feel rather similar, though. Both have fronts dominated by 18:9 aspect ratio displays (notch-free) with HD+ resolution, metallic backs with dual cameras on the top left corner, volume rockers and power/display buttons on the right and SIM card trays on the left. Both share the same slightly routine design with rounded corners and shiny antenna bands on the back. Neither will stand out in the crowd, but neither is an eyesore by any measure, and both feel solid and well designed. Placed next to each other, they look like almost identical twin brothers from the same mother (which they actually are).
There are differences, that said. Most notably in size. The 7C sports a slightly larger display, 5.99-inches as compared to the 5.7-inch one on the 7A, and also has slightly more powerful internals – a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor as compared to the Snapdragon 430 chip on the 7A. The 7C also has a 4 GB/ 64 GB variant apart from the 3 GB / 32 GB variant (the only one for the 7A). And there is one tiny design quirk – the 7A has a 3.5 mm audio jack on the top, while the 7C has it on the base.
Remove those differences, however, and everything else seems to be pretty much the same – rear dual cameras with 13 megapixel and 2 megapixel counts, front-facing 8.0-megapixel cameras with flashes, dedicated microSD card slots supporting up to 256 GB storage, rear fingerprint sensors, face unlock support, 3000 mAh battery, micro USB ports, 4G connectivity (as well as the usual Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi) and EMUI 8.0 running on top of Android 8.0. Oh and both have a party mode that allows you to connect them to multiple Bluetooth devices at the same time.
Those are very decent, albeit not exceptional, specifications for the prices they charge. Not surprisingly, the 7C is a tad more expensive, starting at Rs 9,999 (Rs 11,999 for the 4 GB/ 64 GB variant), as compared to the 7A which is priced at Rs 8,999. Rather interestingly, the 7A is a Flipkart exclusive, while the 7C is an Amazon exclusive. However, it remains to be seen whether what they are offering will be enough to challenge not just Xiaomi’s Redmi Note and Redmi series of devices, but Honor’s own 9 Lite, which on paper has much better design and a better set of cameras. The Redmi Note 4 and 5, on the other hand, can lay claim to having bigger batteries, higher resolution displays and a better processor, even though the Honor 7A and 7C see Honor returning to Qualcomm Snapdragon land and after mainly staying with its own HilSilicon Kirin chips (mostly the 659 for mid-segment offerings).
The 7A and 7C are clearly an attempt by Honor to consolidate its position in the segment in the vicinity of Rs 10,000, especially that slightly below it. Judging by what we have seen of the devices so far, we reckon they will be looking to score heavily on those rear cameras, an area which apart from its own Honor 9 Lite, most devices have not really served too well. That said, in design terms, both phones are on the relatively modest side, which is a bit surprising given how visually amazing the Honor 9 Lite was. A lot will depend, therefore, on their performance, and how much mobile bang they offer for the bucks they charge.
Stay tuned for our detailed reviews in the coming days.