In an age when smartphones are pushing the $1,000 barrier, the $200 Honor 7X is a standout. It ticks off virtually all of the containers of a 2018 handset—18:9 Full HD display, skinny bezels, a modern, all-metal design, and a twin digicam. The one factor it is lacking? A USB-C port.
That is proper, the Honor 7X has the excellence of being one of many final telephones to function a micro USB port for charging as an alternative of USB-C. Blame the worth should you should, however even funds telephones such because the Alcatel Idol 5s and the Moto X4 function USB-C, a connection that is quicker and far much less fiddly (as a result of there is no right-side-up) than micro USB. The dearth of it on the Honor 7X is notable and unlucky.
But when it weren’t for that just about out of date legacy port, you may mistake the Honor 7X for a telephone costing rather more. Its $200 price ticket is 20 p.c lower than final 12 months’s 6X (which was also great), and it is cheaper than every other telephone with comparable specs. And it even has a couple of methods that its higher-priced rivals do not—together with a slick new restricted version pink shade that is available for purchase simply in time for Valentine’s Day
An $800 display in a $200 telephone
Specs are usually an afterthought with funds Android telephones, however within the case of the 7X, they’re price noting proper on the high:
- Dimensions: 156.5 x 75.three x 7.6 mm
- Show: 5.93-inch, 18:9 Full HD 1080×2160 LCD
- Proessor: Kirin 659
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 32GB
- Digicam: Twin 16MP, f/2.2 + 2MP
- Battery: three,340mAh
- OS: Android Nougat 7.1
Shows with a tall 18:9 ratio could also be frequent amongst premium telephones, but it surely’s uncommon to see one in a mid-range handset, not to mention a funds one. Low cost Android telephones usually look a number of generations behind, with big bezels, house buttons, and capacitive keys, however even with out an OLED show, the 7X can stand tall alongside telephones priced lots of of extra.
It is not simply the dimensions, which takes up almost the entire entrance of the gadget and can match properly in all however the smallest of arms. The display itself is vibrant and crisp, and feels as immersive because the Infinity Show on the Galaxy S8. It is surrounded by super-slim bezels throughout, with the one distinctive marking coming within the type of an Honor brand alongside the underside edge.
Across the again it appears one thing just like the OnePlus 5T. The clear aluminum aesthetic is adorned with a fingerprint sensor and skinny antenna traces that reduce by the marginally bumpy dual-camera. Visually, it is a huge enchancment over the Honor 6X’s vertically stacked digicam and plastic antenna strips. Put all of it collectively, the Honor 7X is a great-looking, solidly constructed telephone that ought to stand as much as abuse even with out a case.
Energy and efficiency on a budget
The Kirin 659 contained in the Honor 7X is not mum or dad firm’s Huawei’s quickest processor (that may be the Kirin 970 contained in the upcoming View 10), but it surely would not really feel like a funds chip both. In PC Mark assessments, the 7X constantly scored round 4900, not too far off what we have seen from the Snapdragon 630 present in costlier mid-range telephones just like the HTC U11 Life. Which means you get clean scrolling, snappy animations, and apps that launch and swap rapidly.
Honor is touting the telephone as “gaming-friendly” as a result of its display and processor, and Honor has labored with Tencent and Gameloft to optimize titles for the 7X. True cellular players will nonetheless need a telephone with rather more juice, however for informal players on a funds, the 7X definitely performs higher than its value would point out. I examined Modern Combat Versus, and gameplay was surprisingly clean even with a heavy load of graphics on the display. I am no gamer, however for a $200 telephone, I used to be impressed.
The 7X has the identical three,340mAh battery as its predecessor (and technically greater than ones within the Galaxy S8 and the OnePlus 5T). Nonetheless, what the 7X has that the 6X would not is a battery-guzzling bigger display. In benchmarks I bought a decent 6 hours and 26 minutes. In each day use, I used to be in a position to make it by the day, however I usually discovered my telephone within the pink simply earlier than I used to be able to put it down for the evening.
To its credit score, the 7X has an important power-saving mode that may allow you to squeeze each final drop out of the battery. But when you are going to use it as a gaming gadget, you may undoubtedly wish to carry a battery pack round—and a microUSB cable. The Honor 7X helps neither wi-fi charging nor quick charging, which is an actual bummer for a 2018 telephone, even one which prices so little.
A enjoyable digicam that takes OK pics
The 7X has a twin digicam just like the 6X, pairing a 16MP principal shooter with a 2MP secondary one. That is an entire lot of megapixels for a $200 digicam, however for essentially the most half the 7X performs as you’d anticipate for a funds telephone: adequate, however not nice.
However first let’s discuss one thing that’s nice: the digicam app. It is not fairly as sturdy because the one on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, however Honor has crammed the 7X’s digicam app filled with cool options and controls to boost the picture-taking expertise. There are spectacular handbook controls, portrait mode, shifting image mode (like Apple’s Reside Images), and light-weight portray, which helps you to use the flash to “draw” footage at nighttime.You’ll be able to even take portraits with the entrance digicam, as properly regulate your look with some “magnificence” sliders. A few of the options are gimmicky, however they’re all enjoyable, and it is nice to see a lot consideration being paid to a funds telephone’s digicam app.
Regardless of its 16MP sensor, nonetheless, the Honor 7X’s image high quality is simply satisfactory, and it struggles with low lighting and movement. The shutter snapped rapidly when my topic was nonetheless, however even then, focusing was hit-or-miss. The bokeh impact on portraits was principally tremendous, however edges had been gentle and sometimes required a little bit of fine-tuning after the actual fact. However these are $750 telephone quibbles, not $200 ones, and consumers on a funds might be very happy with what Honor brings to the desk.
Honor hasn’t but up to date the 7X to the newest model of its OS, EMUI eight, so which means it is caught on Nougat in the intervening time. However whilst you’re lacking out on some Oreo options similar to picture-in-picture and notification dots, the general expertise remains to be vastly superior to the Marshmallow iteration that shipped with the 6X. It additionally brings over the Mate 10 Professional’s lock display, which is one of the best I’ve ever seen, with a rotating library of attractive panorama photographs that look magnificent on the massive display. The one factor I actually miss from different telephones is an always-on show.
Ought to I purchase an Honor 7X?
In case you’re on a strict funds and do not thoughts microUSB, the Honor 7X ought to undoubtedly be in your shortlist of handsets. Take into account that it is a global unlocked telephone, so Verizon and Dash clients are out of luck (and don’t count on that changing anytime quickly). But when it really works in your community, you are not more likely to discover a higher worth in an Android telephone.
The digicam high quality and lack of wi-fi charging are to be anticipated for a funds telephone, however the show greater than makes up for them. Merely put, you will not discover a display this huge or on one other telephone on this value vary. Pixel for pixel, it even competes with the Mate 10 Professional, which is 4 instances the worth. The dearth of USB-C is the one main downside—which was pushed house each time I needed to plug it in.
So do not consider it as a funds telephone. Consider it as a extremely good telephone that is actually, actually low cost.