Honor 7X Review


Huawei’s budget-friendly Honor sub-brand has released the follow-up to the 6X – its fiercely competitive mid-range offering – the Honor 7X. Now sporting a body constructed entirely of aluminum, the 7X steps up the class factor from its partially-plastic predecessor. Adding to this aura is the inclusion of an 18:9, 5.93-inch screen with minimal bezels to match. Throw in dual cameras and Honor’s typically quick performance, and you have a lean, mean $200 mid-range machine. But is it enough to knock off more recognizable and similarly equipped competitors?

In the box:
  • Honor 7X
  • Micro-USB charging cable and adapter
  • SIM tool

Design



Metal and glass have become the prevailing choice of materials for most smartphones, and the Honor 7X thankfully joins that trend. Opting for an all-aluminum body, the 7X is encased in either blue, black, or gold metal (gold isn’t available in the U.S.) which makes the back look clean, refined, and sturdy. In back, the aluminum body is interrupted only by antenna lines at the top and bottom, as well as by the center-mounted fingerprint sensor and the dual-camera setup in the top left corner. Not much of a camera bump exists, thankfully, though the lenses aren’t completely flush, raising about a millimeter from the frame. We’re glad the back looks so casual, yet classy, as flipping the device over reveals a similarly handsome face. The tall, 18:9 display housed within minimal bezels serves to further obfuscate this device’s entry-level price point.

Honor 7X

Honor 7X

Dimensions

6.16 x 2.96 x 0.3 inches

156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm

Weight

5.82 oz (165 g)

Honor 6x

Honor 6x

Dimensions

5.94 x 3 x 0.32 inches

150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm

Weight

5.71 oz (162 g)

Nokia 6

Nokia 6

Dimensions

6.06 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches

154 x 75.8 x 8.4 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches

150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Honor 7X

Honor 7X

Dimensions

6.16 x 2.96 x 0.3 inches

156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm

Weight

5.82 oz (165 g)

Honor 6x

Honor 6x

Dimensions

5.94 x 3 x 0.32 inches

150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm

Weight

5.71 oz (162 g)

Nokia 6

Nokia 6

Dimensions

6.06 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches

154 x 75.8 x 8.4 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches

150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display



With the Honor 7x, it’s easy to forget that you’re holding a mid-range device until you turn on the screen. By no means is it the worst screen we’ve ever seen – color accuracy is pretty good, in fact – but the tamer color saturation compared to the proliferating, vivid OLEDs will remind you what price range you’re in. The size of the screen is certainly pleasing, though. Indeed, it’s one of the very few phones at this price point to feature the coveted near-bezel-less design. At a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels (FHD+) the 7X meets a pixel density of 407 ppi – a respectable threshold, which produces sharp content, be it text or videos.

By default, a handful of apps don’t conform to this 18:9 aspect ratio, which is unlike other phones with similar aspect ratios – they simply fit apps automatically. Popular apps like Facebook, Twitter work just fine, but others, including Chrome and Amazon, don't full the whole screen, or at least not at first. Honor does makes it quite easy to fit an app to the screen, though. Instead of having to go into settings, which you can also do, you’ll see a bar at the bottom of the screen labeled “fit” which occupies the little bit of unused space. When tapped, this will expand your content to fill the entire screen, and remember to do so in every subsequent use of the particular app.

Interface and Performance



The Honor 7X runs Emotion UI 5.1, built on Android Nougat. It still has a rather iOS-y vibe (circa iOS 7) especially with its cartoonish iconography and default setting opting not to use an app drawer, but rather spread the icons across the homescreen. Of course, this setting can be changed, and so can many others. In fact, EMUI offers a lot of aesthetic and functional customizations. Themes and icon layout are almost compulsory for such tweaking, which EMUI no doubt offers, but more customizing can be done in the main settings. Here you can change how notifications are displayed, your nav key and status bar layout, and a few useful gestures involving the fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor itself is extremely quick and accurate when unlocking the phone, as well as when being used for gestures. Not only can it manipulate the notification panel and answer phone calls, but also flick through photos in your gallery and serve as a trigger to snap a pic, as well. These are a few options among many others in this deep, but well-organized settings menu; all of which serve to make interacting with Honor 7X a more personalized and functional experience.

Although the menus are generally well organized, any UI that offers such deep customization runs the risk of offering too much and becoming overwhelming. As such, a more intuitive settings search would be a great tool to improve the organization and presentation of these options. One implementation that comes to mind is Samsung’s Related Settings feature, and the ability to search not just the titles of settings, but descriptions as well.

In terms of applications, Honor opts to use proprietary apps for just about everything except for the browser, which is Google Chrome. Additional apps include a data backup up app, which can back up to your computer or an SD card, a device maintenance app to clear up binary gunk, and an app to receive technical support. We have no complaints here, as we found them all to be intuitively designed and aesthetically pleasing. We also enjoyed the ability to log into multiple social media accounts, via the App Twin feature.

The U.S. variant of the Honor 7X comes in only a 32GB/3GB RAM configuration, while other markets can grab a 7X with up to 64 GB storage and 4 GB RAM. Both run on the mid-range Kirin 659 SoC, and performance on our U.S. model was quite peppy; apps opened and switched promptly and smoothly. Transitions and animations didn’t appear to lose frames or stutter, but gaming, while doable, won’t come close to the buttery frame rates seen on higher-end devices, of course. Otherwise, users will be more than pleased with the 7X’s day-to-day performance.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Honor 7X 57970
Honor 6x 56493
Nokia 6 47129
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 63191
JetStream Higher is better
Honor 7X 30.948
Honor 6x 26.814
Nokia 6 17.35
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 29.879
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Honor 7X 2.8
Honor 6x 4.8
Nokia 6 4.5
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 6.9
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Honor 7X 731
Honor 6x 1299
Nokia 6 307
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 375
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Honor 7X 909
Honor 6x 788
Nokia 6 684
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 783
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Honor 7X 3381
Honor 6x 3313
Nokia 6 2824
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 3586

Camera



The dual-camera setup returns from the 6X, this time upping the megapixels from 12 to 16 on the main sensor, while the secondary camera remains at 2 MP and is solely used to capture depth information. Leveraging the latter ability, a software-driven wide aperture feature exists to create the coveted background blur, and while results weren’t the worst we’ve ever seen, they weren’t the best either. As with most mid-range implementations, issues with distinguishing the subject from the background can be observed, where the subject is outlined with either blur on its own edges or sharpness in the background where they meet. Rarely did these bleed too far into each other, thankfully, but instances did occur where our subject was completely disfigured by inaccurate blur application. You’ll want to stay within the recommended two-meter distance to avoid such drastic errors.

Well-lit indoor and outdoor close-ups look fantastic for such an affordable phone. Details are sharp and colors are very accurate. Unfortunately, issues with focus cropped up when taking photos with further focal points, such as images of buildings or landscapes. After testing the camera for some time, we arrived at the assumption that our demo unit might have a faulty camera, as objects more than a few feet away from us were never quite in focus. We've reached out to Honor for comment on the matter, and we'll update this section once we know more. We sure hope that ours is an isolated case.

In lower light scenarios, this sensor's inability to capture adequate lighting leads to the image requiring extra time to process. During those couple seconds, you’ll need to have a seriously steady and patient hand, or else face the consequence of ending up with a blurred mess – something we often faced until learning the sufficient amount of time to wait.

The 8 MP front-facing camera captures slightly grainier, and paler colors, but serves its purpose well all the same.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Honor 7X 2.8
3
401
362
Honor 6x 1.8
2
666
No data
Nokia 6 2.31
5.13
651
639
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 1.8
2.6
1118
669

Video captured on the Honor 7X maxes out at 1080p resolution for both the front and back cameras. Videos looked good, but image stabilization’s absence was certainly felt. Otherwise, the 7X exposed scenes well. Audio recorded during videos did sound rather compressed, though.



Call Quality


Calls sounded great on the Honor 7X’s earpiece, coming through intelligibly, albeit a little quieter than we’d like. The speakerphone was also quite clear, but like the earpiece could use just a bit more oomph for louder situations.

Battery Life



The Honor 7X seemed to have no trouble lasting through a day of regular or intensive use. Clocking in at about eight hours on our custom battery drain test, these results line up pretty well with our impressions. Lacking USB 3.0 or any quick charge standards here, the 7X takes a creeping 2.5 hours to recharge the 3340 mAh battery from 0 to 100%.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Honor 7X 8h 14 min (Excellent)
Honor 6x 10h 1 min (Excellent)
Nokia 6 8h 52 min (Excellent)
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 10h 26 min (Excellent)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Honor 7X 146
Honor 6x 191
Nokia 6 171
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 106

Conclusion



The Honor 7X is shaping up like an easy phone to recommend. $200 gets you a solid, good-looking phone, with a tall, 18:9 screen and peppy performance. EMUI 5.1 feels rather tired and a bit cartoonish, but the functionality and performance within give the user much customization and plenty of speed in day-to-day tasks. As for the camera, it does seem promising, but we'll have to test it further before we give it our final verdict.

The 7X’s biggest competitor may be the Moto G5 Plus or similar Moto variants, but users can also get an iPhone SE, or Nokia 6 for about the same price. This is a surprisingly competitive price range, but we’re pretty confident in saying that you can’t go wrong with any of these.



Pros

  • Great looks and build quality
  • 18:9 screen under $200
  • Fluid, prompt performance

Cons

  • No USB-C; no fast charging
  • Camera becomes very temperamental in low-light
  • EMUI 5.1 isn’t very good-looking

PhoneArena Rating:

8.0

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23 Comments

1. cogito

Posts: 72; Member since: Aug 18, 2015

I have used this phone. It is very nice indeed! Good form factor and excellent build quality. It’s two biggest downsides are lack of the following features: NFC and 5Ghz WiFi.

2. Whitedot

Posts: 866; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

Indeed NFC is a let down. I almost use it daily.

12. ishaqthkr

Posts: 159; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

And fast charging imo

13. yalokiy

Posts: 1101; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

I think it's overrated for just the 18:9 screen and dual cameras (which are nothing to write home about). No NFC, no 5Ghz wifi, no type-c, no new SoC (kirin 659 is overclocked two years old 650).

15. jjface

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 07, 2017

It is $200

16. yalokiy

Posts: 1101; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

There is moto g5 plus with NFC, 5Ghz wifi, 4k video and better SoC.

21. GeekOFW

Posts: 59; Member since: Dec 14, 2016

That's true, but good like with that ugly-a.ss phone. It looks so 2013.

20. GeekOFW

Posts: 59; Member since: Dec 14, 2016

What do you expect from a $200 phone for Trump's sake? If this phone is so overrated like what you said, tell me a phone who has the same features and qualities as this one with the same price? I'll wait.

3. Seanetta unregistered

I've got one of these phones and my camera is fine no focus issues and using Pro mode takes great night shots

4. KingSam

Posts: 1504; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

I've never used nfc or 5ghz wifi. But quick charge will be missed. This this is the goat.

8. Seanetta unregistered

Mine actually isn't all that slow to charge

5. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

I bet Display still looks better than Pixel 2 XL despite not AMOLED contrast is excellent, with ratio measure almost twice of that Sony's XZ premium Display.

9. Seanetta unregistered

Display is great, sunlight visibility is fine too. There's only a slight brightness shift at extreme angles

6. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

It's a nice looking device and I really like my Mate 9, but I still think that the G5 Plus remains the top dog at the price point.

10. Seanetta unregistered

G5S Plus camera is worse

11. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

And I place less value on the camera than I do on performance, battery life and charge time.

14. yalokiy

Posts: 1101; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Not sure about that.

7. R-vjn

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

Just ordered this mid-range beauty yesterday for my friend.

17. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

I won’t recommend many people to buy the 7X. Have used the P9 lite with both Marshmallow and Nougat, and the phone performs quite poor in certain situations, especially in the performance and camera department. The 7X might be slightly better, but don’t get fooled from early experiences. Woth tome, the phone is deemed to get slow and laggy, and battery life on my P9 lite was average, even with normal usage including some gaming. So I assume it would be similar on the 7X. As for the camera, I have my doubts with all Huawei mid-range phones, seeing as the P9-lite gave me a pior camera experience, with inaccurate colours and okay detail. A new phone always works very well. It’s the continuous usage that shows how well it performs. And Huawei mid-range phones are average in that case. Sd 625 phones seem better, and have a more powerful GPU.

18. GeekOFW

Posts: 59; Member since: Dec 14, 2016

Sad that it has no fast charging and USB-C.

19. pradipsingha unregistered

Does it support fast charging? bestsmartphonetech.co/

22. plsnoregforcomments

Posts: 29; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

Nowhere in your review nor in the specs do you mention that it has a headphone jack. It does, and I consider that a positive feature.

23. Dirkgently75

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 23, 2018

Wow, I've had this phone for just over a month and am amazed by it. What a good choice. Bought in Malaysia and am extremely happy with this purchase. Battery: easily lasts me the whole day, on heavy use, I get to about 20% by the end of the day. It has battery saving features which are also a charm. Updates: I was pleasantly surprised that this phone gave me face recognition unlock after the first update. The recent update a week ago also added many new features. Screen and display: excellent visibility in daylight, sharp and smooth graphics. I've noticed there being a bit of a lag on only 1 or 2 games but since I'm not a heavy gamer, it doesn't bother me. Build quality: is amazing, surpasses the apple phones I've had. It's sturdy and the metal unibody feels premium. It's taken a few drops without much wear showing. Processor and memory: it runs smooth and apps open and run smoothly. Fingerprint and face unlock is instantaneous with great detection. I'm very happy with the 64GB on board which is more than adequate as yet and the 4GB memory for running apps is also adequate. The OS has many memory management features and Huawei also provides apps and phone management options that work well and keep things smooth under the hood. Hopefully their security and privacy standards are high. I love the app lock feature. Overall I'm impressed with the whole package for the value and feel that flagships are just plain overpriced. If you're considering this phone, it's a definite buy. I bought the BND-L21 in June 2018
7X
  • Display 5.9" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin, Octa-core, 2360 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3340 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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