Review: Honor 7X // 18:9 Display on a Budget!
It is safe to say 18:9 Resolution has been the trend of 2017. While the segment has been filled with top-tier devices to mid-range ones, there has been a vacuum in the lower end. Honor is the first brand to bridge this gap with the Honor 7X. The device is among the last to be launched this year and brings in a lot of advancements like dual camera setup and neural machine learning for a budget. Let’s take a deeper look at the new, Honor 7X!
The design of Honor 7X feels solid and the build quality is really good. The phone has a matte finish* and curved edges/corners all around. On the front, you’ll find an 18:9 display, on which we’ll come later. On the bottom, we get a 3.5 mm headphone jack accompanied by speaker grill (which is mediocre) and microphone. Sadly, there’s no USB-C port though. Instead, it has a standard micro-USB port. On the left side is the SIM and microSD card combination slot. On the right side are the volume-rockers and power/lock button. On the top, there’s a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. The fingerprint scanner is located on the rear side of the phone. The device is super light; weighed at 165 grams and is also thin with a width measured at 7.6 mm.
I accidentally dropped the phone for more than five times and I was surprised to see no major damages. The damages were almost impossible to recognize on the Black variant, but those might be able to make out on the Gold variant.
In short, the first impressions of Honor 7X were phenomenal.
The Honor 7X sports an 18:9 5.93-inch FHD+ (1080 x 2160) LTPS IPS LCD display with 407 ppi and ~77.0% screen-to-body ratio. The display is bright enough and has decent viewing angles. There’s a yellow filter “Eye comfort” which turns the screen yellowish and makes late night readings easier. We also get some color calibration, from the software part. The corners of the display aren’t curved. I personally feel that 18:9 displays should have curved corners. To protect that display, we get a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass on top.
At the heart, there lays an Octa-core (4×2.36 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53) processor with HiSilicon Kirin 659 chipset and Mali-T830 MP2 GPU paired with 4 GB of RAM. The Honor 7X comes in 32/64/128 GB variants and the storage can be further expanded by a microSD, up to 256 GB. The device takes hiccups, most of the time, while multitasking, despite having 2 GB of RAM free. The company claims that the fingerprint scanner unlocks the phone in 0.25 seconds, most of the time it works perfectly, but sometimes it either works really slow or it doesn’t work at all.
Heavy gaming on the Honor 7X sucks. I downloaded Asphalt 8 on this phone and the menu of the game itself was lagging. I had to play the game in low-graphic settings.
The Honor 7X is powered by Android 7.0 Nougat and painted with EMUI 5.1. There are a ton of features in EMUI. Some worth mentioning features provided by EMUI are listed as follows:
- Fingerprint scanner:
- Sliding down on the fingerprint scanner to bring down notification shade.
- Swiping left/right on the fingerprint scanner to browse photos (this only works on the stock Photos app).
- Things like answering a call, stopping an alarm, and taking a photo/video, can also be done using a fingerprint scanner.
- There are also features like “Safe” which lets you encrypt photos, audio, videos, and other files; and a built-in “App lock”.
- Home screen style: It two Home screen UIs which include Standard one and the one with App drawer.
- Huawei Histen: It tweaks audio output for headphones/earphones.
- SOS Emergency Services: It lets you send emergency call alerts, message alerts, etcetera.
- Smart Unlock: It lets you unlock your phone with a Bluetooth device, such as a Smart Wristband.
- Floating dock: This is a really handy feature which is just like AssistiveTouch. It has all three navigation options which are found on the navigation bar and it also has a lock button and a memory-cleaner button.
- Mini Screen View: This lets you convert the screen into the one-handed mode by just swiping either left or to the right on the navigation bar.
- Smart-headset control: It lets you control music while using a headset. (This feature works in Huawei Music only)
- MirrorShare: It lets you project your screen to a Miracast display.
- TwinApp: It lets you log in to an app through two different accounts simultaneously.
The 7X has a built-in Virus Scanner powered by Avast. It also lets you customize orientation of navigation keys, notification bar, and status bar.
The Honor 7X comes with a 16 MP (1/2.9″, 1.25 µm) + 2 MP Dual camera setup with a single LED flash. There are tons of modes in the camera app which some geeks may find useful but for a normal person, most of them are useless features. Some of the modes are listed as follows:
- Pro Photo: This is basically Pro mode which lets you manually take photos by playing with parameters like ISO, shutter speed, EV, focus, etcetera. It works well.
- Pro Video: I didn’t find this useful as much. It just allows you to manually adjust focus, EV, and White-Balance.
- Night shot: This mode sucks. Images captured in normal mode at low-light are way better than images captured in “Night shot”.
- Light painting: This mode only does one thing, i.e. it only overlaps multiple images and brightens it up. This is another useless feature. I would recommend using 8 seconds shutter speed in the Pro mode to do light painting.
- Slo-mo: Ahhh! The phone captures slow motion videos at VGA 120fps!!! Like, seriously! They could have provided 720p 120fps.
- Filters: You can ignore this mode.
- Effects: You can ignore this as well.
- Audio note: It lets you capture audio while capturing a photo.
- Document scan: It lets you scan documents. Honestly, the photo processing takes a lot of time. You can use CamScanner instead.
There’s a wide-aperture mode which is another gimmick of capturing images with a bokeh effect. The portrait mode, on the front as well as rear camera, is mediocre.
Talking about the front camera, it has an 8 MP sensor. The front camera has a mode “Perfect Selfie” which makes the user look more beautiful in the photo. It works fine in well-lit conditions but in low-light, it may look fake sometimes. Some features like Selfie panorama and time-lapse are also there.
Coming on to the video side, the rear camera can only record up to 1080p 30fps and the front camera can only record 720p videos. That’s sad.
Sometimes the camera takes a longer time to click a photo. Sometimes the camera works just fine. And, sometimes the camera blurs out my hair in portrait mode.
The battery life on the Honor 7X is quite impressive. It houses a 3340 mAh battery. On moderate usage, the device can last for a day (or more than that) at ease. While the battery lasts long, it is excruciatingly slow to charge. The device takes almost four hours to completely charge. The higher than average battery capacity can be blamed, but we’d be better off with better power input.
Considering the price tag of ₹12,999 for 32GB variant. I would definitely recommend this device to a casual user. For gamers and photography junkies, you can also have a look at Moto G5 Plus and Mi A1. On the other hand, the 64 GB variant costs ₹15,999, which I wouldn’t recommend getting one.