Huawei’s subsidiary brand, Honor, is known for its powerful mid- to high-end smartphones. The sales number of this manufacturer makes us immediately understand what kind of seller we are dealing with. Only last year, Honor had already reached 40% of sales made by Huawei in 2017 (source).
Honor 7X is the latest mid-range smartphone put on the market by this Chinese manufacturer. At the moment, it is sold at a price of around 270€. However, you can order the device from China for just over 200€. We’re talking about a smartphone with a large 5.93-inch display with an 18:9 ratio, a fast Octa-Core processor, incredible build quality, and a dual camera. We have tested Huawei Honor 7X in detail and written this review for you. In addition, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Honor 7X when compared to the top sellers of the mid-range such as the Xiaomi Mi A1 and the Redmi 5 Plus.
Design and build quality
Huawei Honor 7X demonstrates once again that a high-quality smartphone does not have to cost over 500€. Thanks to its rounded corners, the phone feels very comfortably to hold in your hand, despite its huge display. The build quality is excellent. The phone is resistant and looks very elegant both visually and tactile. The casing is made entirely of metal and its design is interrupted only by the two thin plastic antenna lines on the rear. Considering its thickness of 7.6mm, it is a very thin smartphone. In addition, the low weight of only 165g means that Honor 7X is very easy to carry in your trouser pocket.
Honor 7X is not a bezel-less smartphone, despite this, the manufacturer has tried to reduce the bezels to a minimum (about 2.6 mm left and right and 9 mm at the top and at the bottom). Measuring 155x75mm, the phone is a bit more compact than Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus, with a 5.9-inch display in 18: 9 ratio and also compared to the 5.5-inch of Xiaomi Mi A1. Nevertheless, Honor 7X is only half a centimeter longer. Unfortunately, there are no Soft-Touch buttons since they were replaced by On-Screen buttons. The position of the buttons can be adjusted in the options menu of the phone according to your preferences. Above the display, you can find the front camera and a notification LED. On the bottom, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Micro-USB port. It is a pity that Honor 7X does not have a USB Type-C port, which we would have expected from a device at this price.
Regarding its build quality, Honor 7X is absolutely convincing. The phone is very compact despite the gigantic display and is only slightly larger than most 5.5-inch smartphones. Furthermore, the mobile phone is incredibly handy thanks to its rounded shape and its lightness.
Honor 7X follows the current trend and features a 5.93-inch display with an 18:9 ratio. The screen has a resolution of 1080×2160 pixels. With a pixel density of 407ppi, it is no longer possible to distinguish single pixels, even at very close distances. In addition to its sharpness, the display also convinces thanks to its strong colors and good brightness. In direct comparison to Xiaomi Mi A1, Honor 7X is a bit less bright, but this is not very noticeable in everyday use. The IPS display also offers stable viewing angles and good contrast. There is not a mode to improve readability in the daylight and, in the case of very strong sunlight, the screen reflects slightly more than the Xiaomi model. Overall, we can say that the display is really good and bright enough to read outdoors.
The color representation of Honor 7X is a bit too cold for my taste. White appears almost bluish on the display. However, this defect can easily be corrected with the integrated color temperature setting tool. The screen is protected from scratches thanks to a Gorilla Glass, whose version is not specified by Honor. After 2 weeks of testing, we did not find any scratch on the display.
The software offers many additional good features. For example, we find a reading mode with reduced blue light for the evening hours. Obviously, for a large 6-inch display, the Split-Screen mode is necessary, although not all applications are compatible with this mode. In addition to these modes, Honor 7X also offers the opportunity to eliminate the black bars that are formed when watching videos on YouTube because of the 18:9 ratio. In fact, you can zoom in on the video, so as to enlarge the image and fill the whole screen. Obviously, in this way, we will not be able to see the whole image.
Also regarding the display, Honor 7X is impressive. Apart from some minor critics, such as a not perfect readability in sunlight and the cold color representation, with this smartphone, you get a perfect display.
In terms of performance, Honor smartphones are always interesting to test, because they are equipped with Huawei processors. Of course, the Chinese conglomerate has a powerful competitor with Qualcomm, but Huawei almost always exceeds those of the Americans with its HiSilicon processors. Honor 7X runs with a HiSilicon Kirin 659. The CPU was introduced in mid-2017 and is positioned in the upper middle class. The phone has 4 cortex A53 cores with 2.36 GHz in the power cluster and other 4 cores with 1.7 GHz in the energy-saving cluster. The chipset certainly cannot keep up with the performance of a Snapdragon 660 processor (which we find in Xiaomi Mi Note 3) but is quite similar to the performance of a Snapdragon 625 (which we find in Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus or Xiaomi Mi A1). In any case, in daily use, the Honor 7X will never let the user wait to load pages or apps. Apps open really quickly and thanks to the very large RAM, there are no restrictions on multitasking. Using more demanding Apps, Honor 7X is even a little faster than Xiaomi Mi A1, which still remains in a similar price range. In contrast, the Mali-T830 graphics processor offers slightly less power than its competitors. Although all current games can still be played correctly on Honor 7X, there are some framedrops and mini lags in the more demanding titles compared to Qualcomm Adreno GPU devices.
The 4GB RAM is very fast with 6GB/s. The internal storage of 64GB reaches only average values with 140MB/s of reading and 50MB/s of writing speed.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
In terms of performance, Huawei Honor 7X makes a good impression as well. The HiSilicon processor gives the phone a good speed when using apps and multimedia. In addition, current games can be played smoothly on the smartphone, even if the Snapdragon processors of Xiaomi Mi A1 and Redmi 5 Plus offer a bit more performance.
Huawei Honor 7X runs with EMUI 5.1 on an Android 7 base. An update to Android 8 is programmed for July 2018. Despite the Android version in use, the Huawei EMUI system is already so heavily modified that not much remains to be seen from its base. All in all, during the testing phase I had a lot of fun with the EMUI system of Honor 7X, as it offers several useful functions. In addition to having a good speed and a wide choice of different layouts, the extra functions are particularly useful, making EMUI also very interesting for experienced users. For example, you can set whether you want to use the launcher with an app overview button, or whether all apps should be stored on the home screen. The On-Screen buttons can also be set as desired. In the security and notification center, you can accurately configure which apps get which access rights, or which display modes can be used for news. It is also possible to clone apps, but so far you can only make copies of the Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp.
This sophisticated system is certainly to be praised, but we also must say that Honor has pre-installed a very large number of insignificant third-party apps on the phone. These can be easily uninstalled, but the situation remains a bit annoying.
Honor 7X has a dual camera on the rear, which has a 16-megapixel sensor with a f/2.2 aperture and another 2-megapixel camera. In the daylight, the photos of Honor 7X are very beautiful. You get very strong colors and a fairly good amount of detail. In direct comparison with Xiaomi Mi A1, we can say that the two models look pretty much alike. With Xiaomi we get just a few more details and in some situations, it provides a more realistic color rendering. Overall, however, the difference is marginal. The trigger time is barely perceptible and the PDAF autofocus does its work reliably. The shots in low light conditions, however, have a strong opacity and are a little gray due to the opening of the high lens. In addition, the photos of subjects moving in the dark are almost always blurred. If you are willing to spend some time adjusting the exposure in the camera’s Pro mode, you will get slightly better images. This means that in low light conditions, Honor 7X is clearly behind Xiaomi Mi A1, which takes still good photos using the standard settings.
The 8-megapixel selfie camera made a very positive impression. Its photos have many details, realistic colors, and above-average images. Videos can be recorded in Full HD @ 30FPS quality. Once again, the quality is very good, if you don’t move the phone too much during recordings. In case of movement, the images will be blurred due to the lack of an image stabilizer. Unfortunately, there is no Full-HD mode with 60FPS or 4K recordings.
The second camera on the rear has only 2 megapixels and therefore should not be considered as a full telephoto lens, as it is the case with Xiaomi Mi A1. Therefore, there is no double optical zoom. The function of the dual camera is to improve photos in low light conditions and to allow shots with a portrait mode (bokeh effect). However, we were not convinced of the performance improvement in low light conditions in our test. The shots in portrait mode are possible with Honor 7X, but the result is not really good even in this case. Even after dozens of attempts, we were not able to produce a single decent shot, because the distinction of the subject from the background does not work reliably. Xiaomi Mi A1 or Honor 9 got much better results.
Honor 7X is a Dual-SIM smartphone. Two SIMs (Nano) or a SIM card and a Micro-SD card can be used at the same time for storage expansion. The version for the European market supports all LTE frequencies, including band 20. You can find the European version in the Gearbest online store. Otherwise, there are plenty of online stores which also offer the Chinese version. This version supports all LTE frequencies, except for band 20. The smartphone we tested was from Lightinthebox and did not have the LTE band 20. For those who live near the city and do not frequently stay on the countryside we would recommend buying the Chinese version with 3G networks. But you will undoubtedly find a better network coverage in the European version.
The call quality is almost always satisfactory and leaves nothing to be desired. To further improve the quality, it is also possible to rely on the Voice over LTE (VoLTE) function.
Regarding the sound quality of Honor 7X, the built-in speaker is of an average quality. Although it is sufficient for watching a video on YouTube, the phone reproduces a rather tinny sound and is definitely placed behind Xiaomi Mi A1 or Redmi 5 Plus. The 3.5mm headphone jack provides a pretty good sound.
As for sensors, Honor 7X offers a compass, a gyroscope and, of course, proximity, acceleration, and brightness sensors. Viewing VR content works pretty well on the smartphone. We have to give up extra features like NFC or the infrared transmitter. Also with regard to the WIFI module, Honor has decided to save money, in fact, this does not support the latest standard .ac. However, the range and throughput are sufficient for surfing and streaming, so you should not consider this as a big negative point. Bluetooth 4.2 is also supported by the smartphone and works perfectly.
The integrated GPS receiver is very good for navigation by car and on foot. Honor 7X determines the position in a few seconds and navigates without interruptions or other problems.
We would like to underline the excellent fingerprint scanner on the rear. The sensor also reliably unlocks the smartphone from standby mode. The scanner works much faster than most other phones in this price range and ensures that the phone is always ready for use.
Honor 7X houses a 3340mAh battery. For a 5.93-inch smartphone, we’re not talking about very good values. Apparently, however, the reduced battery capacity is supported by a HiSilicon processor with high energy efficiency. During the test phase, it never happened to me that the battery died before the end of the day. A full-HD video on YouTube of one hour with average display brightness consumed 10% of the battery. About 15/20% of the battery is consumed every hour during games. With an average use of about 3 hours a day, Honor 7X will last more or less a day and a half. This is a good value, even if the phone is once again clearly overtaken by Xiaomi Mi A1 or Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
It is a pity, however, that Honor did not give its 7X a decent Quick Charge function. We would have expected that for a 200€ phone. It takes about 2 hours for the smartphone to fully charge with its 5V / 2A cable.