Huawei’s sister brand, Honor, has often surprised us with what it can pack into a smartphone and still keep it affordable. The X editions of their devices have been particularly notable for this – the Honor 5X gave us a metal body with a fingerprint sensor and the Honor 6X which was one of the first handsets to make dual cameras pocket friendly. The company has now added another member to its X family, the Honor 7X, which aims to carry forward the legacy of its predecessors. And while whether it is able to do so will be revealed in our review, here are seven points that have so far made an impression on us:
1. Tall, bright display with almost no bezels
When the world was going dual camera crazy, the Honor 6X came with impressive dual cameras at an affordable price. Now that the focus of the tech world has shifted from dual cameras to almost bezel-less displays, the Honor 7X comes with exactly that. The smartphone brings along a 5.93 inch full HD display (read almost 6 inches) with a screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels, but what makes it really cool is the 18:9 aspect ratio, which gives it a tall yet compact look. Honor has also kept the bezels thin, giving the phone the almost bezel-less look that is the craze these days. One of the first things that we noticed about the Honor 7X was how bright the display was. We could easily see everything on the screen even in the harshest of lights and honestly, we think the display itself can be used as a flashlight in case of an emergency – it is THAT bright. The display is covered with a 2.5D curved glass which makes it look all so premium and is topped with Corning’s Gorilla Glass to save it from slight bruises.
2. Haven’t we met before? Thank God we have!
In terms of design, the Honor 7X screams premium at the top of its lungs, with its blend of glass and metal, and curved sides and edges. The front of the device is majorly covered by the display. There are really thin bezels on the top and below the display. The one on top carries the proximity sensor, the earpiece, and the front-facing camera while the chin only carries the Honor logo in shiny silver color. There are on-screen buttons for navigation because of which the phone does not really have anything on the front except for that display (not complaining, though).
Turning the phone over, the company has placed two very subtle dark grey antenna bands on the back – one is near the top and the other near the base. The LED flash and the dual cameras are on the extreme top left, bang on top of the first antenna band. The fingerprint scanner is located a little down south of the first antenna band but is placed well above the middle ground. There is also very subtle Honor branding on the back as well. The left side of the smartphone carries the hybrid SIM card slot while the right side sports the volume rocker and the power/lock button.
The company has kept the top of the smartphone pretty clean while the works are put in at the base – the speaker grille, the micro USB port (sorry, no USB Type-C here) and the 3.5 mm audio jack are all placed at the base. The smartphone measures 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm and weighs 165 grams.
We received the dark blue variant of the device and it instantly reminded us of the Honor 8. While the Honor 8 did not have an 18:9 display and came with a shiny reflective back, we think the Honor 7X somehow speaks the same language as the Honor 8, with its curved edges and of course, its blue color. Which is not at all bad thing, considering how beautiful the Honor 8 was. Well, so is the Honor 7X. The smartphone is sleek, comfortable to hold and has a very nice hand feel. The metal body of the device also provides a good grip over the phone, and while it is smooth, it has so far not picked up any scratches or smudges thanks to a matte-like finish.
3. Them dual cameras
In the camera department, the Honor 7X comes with two cameras on the back and one on the front. The dual camera on the phone is a combination of a 16-megapixel sensor that comes with PDAF and a 2-megapixel sensor. The superhero here is the 16-megapixel sensor because the major work is done by it. The main sensor collects all the details of the photograph while the 2-megapixel sensor is more like a sidekick, provided for depth sensing and portrait mode photography. The camera duo is supported by a single tone LED flash, to help you in low light situations. Apart from that, the smartphone comes with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calls.The camera UI, as is usual in an Honor device, is laden with features and comes with various filters and modes.
4. Powered by some decent hardware
Unlike most of the other smartphone companies present in the market that source in third-party processors, Huawei is known to make its own. And the Honor 7X also comes with Huawei’s in-house processor. The device is powered by what is considered to be a mid-segment octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor paired with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage. You can also expand the storage on the phone up to 256 GB by using a microSD card slot (you will have to sacrifice a SIM SIM slot, though). The smartphone is also available in other variants with 32 GB/ 64 GB internal storage, but interestingly, the RAM will stay at 4 GB for all the variants.
5. 6X mAh numbers for a bigger display…
With that big and bright a display, you have got to have a battery that can help you and your phone see a day through. For this, the 7X is backed by a non-removable 3,340 mAh battery. We saw the same numbers of mAh in the 6X as well which had a smaller display than the 7X. The battery on the 6X performed well but whether it can cope with all the features that the 7X brings to the table is a question which will be shortly answered in our review.
6. Skin-ny Nougat
In terms of UI, the 7X comes with Android Nougat out of the box and the company says that it will be updated to Android O soon. But while many companies are taking a dip in the stock Android sea, it seems like Honor is content with a sunbath and a tanned skin. The 7X comes with EMUI 5.1 on top of Android, which we think might help the company stand out from the stock Android crowd. That said because the smartphone is loaded with software oriented features and comes pre-installed with a number of third-party apps, the skin is kind of heavy and takes about 22 GB of internal space.
7. An affordable yet premium smartphone?
The connectivity options on the device include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3G/4G, FM Radio, and USB 2.0. The price of the device is unknown at the time of writing but there are indications that it will be in the vicinity of Rs 12,500 or maybe even lower, which would make it a very good proposition keeping in mind the design and specs it offers. Of course, it would find itself up against some very tough competition, from not just the Redmi Note 4 (and perhaps even the Note 5) and the Lenovo K8 Plus and K8 Note, but also the Xiaomi Mi A1 and the Moto G5S Plus. There are also the other affordable 18:9 aspect display devices to contend with – the Micromax Canvas Infinity and the LG Q6. Will the 7X be able to stand out from its competitors? You can soon find out in our detailed review.