Introduction


“What phone is that?” - we’ve been asked this numerous times since we started using the honor 7 as a daily driver several weeks ago. Clearly, the bold brand name embossed on the back of our handset didn’t ring a bell to anyone but our most tech-savvy buddies. Surprising this was not, as honor is one of the newer players in the smartphone arena. In fact, it has been less than a year since honor became an entity of its own, ran separately from its parent company - Huawei.

The honor 7 is the young brand’s current flagship smartphone. Several months after launching in China, where it was met with overwhelming demand, the Android 5.0-based handset was released in Europe as well, priced at 350 euro (roughly $400). In exchange you get a 5.2-inch display, an octa-core Kirin 935 SoC, a 20MP camera, and a 3100mAh battery, among other goodies, all encased in a metal-made body. Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? Well, let’s find out if that’s the case.

In the box:

  • honor 7 smartphone
  • pre-applied, removable screen protector
  • SIM card ejector tool
  • wall charger (Output: 5V, 2A)
  • Micro USB cable
  • quick start guide


Design

A typical modern-day smartphone with a metal-made body and adequate size for a 5.2-incher. The Smart button and fingerprint scanner are welcome bonuses.

At a glance, the honor 7 looks like a typical modern-day smartphone. It is a rectangular, mostly flat device with slight curves at its four corners. The moment you pick the phone up, however, your fingers will detect the cold feel of its non-removable metal back plate and sides. Yes, the honor 7 has a mostly metallic build, which adds a welcome dose of premium feel to an upper mid-range handset. The metal surface is immune to fingerprints, and it is showing no signs of wear after several weeks of use (and maybe a few accidental bumps).

Handling the honor 7 isn’t much of a trouble given its size and weight, and we’ve never had troubles fitting it in the pockets of a regular pair of jeans. At 5.64 by 2.83 inches (143.2 by 71.9 mm), it is of typical proportions, if not slightly smaller, for a smartphone rocking a 5.2-inch screen. It is neither too thin, neither too thick, measuring 0.33 inches (8.5 mm) if we don’t count its protruding camera. The mostly flat back of the honor 7 is slightly sloped near the ends, which, together with the beveled edges, contributes to a comfy grip. And to facilitate single-handed usage, there’s a single-handed mode that scales down the UI, making even its furthest corners reachable, although we can’t remember a time when we really, really needed to use it.

While the honor 7 has a mostly metallic build, there are two plastic elements on the phone’s top and bottom - behind them reside its antennas. These elements spoil the looks of the handset a bit as they reflect light differently and are not perfectly aligned with the metal plate at the seams. The tray for the SIM and microSD cards does not seem to fit ideally either. Bear in mind that these slight imperfections could be limited to our review unit only.

Looking at the sides, a metal-made power key and volume rocker reside on the phone’s right side. They are raised well and respond with sufficient tactile feedback. On the opposite side is found the Smart key, which is a programmable button, and up to three functions can be assigned to it. We find it useful, as it lets us easily turn on the flashlight, initiate a Google search, or launch our favorite music app without even looking, for example. However, since the Smart key is placed oppositely of the power key, pressing the latter might result in accidentally pressing the former as well. It happened to us on several occasions, but eventually, our fingers got used to the buttons’ arrangement.

On the back of the honor 7, below the camera, is positioned a fingerprint scanner that reads your fingerprints when touched, not swiped. That's a good thing as scanners using the latter method aren't as reliable, as our experience goes to show. The honor 7's scanner isn't perfectly accurate either, but it does work at least 4 out of 5 times. To improve its reliability, you may enroll the same finger twice, touching different areas of its tip when registering it.


Honor 7

Honor 7

Dimensions

5.64 x 2.83 x 0.33 inches

143.2 x 71.9 x 8.5mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Google Nexus 5X

Google Nexus 5X

Dimensions

5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches

147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.80 oz (136 g)

Motorola Moto X Play

Motorola Moto X Play

Dimensions

5.8 x 2.95 x 0.43 inches

147.3 x 75 x 10.9 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

LG G4

LG G4

Dimensions

5.86 x 3 x 0.39 inches

148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Honor 7

Honor 7

Dimensions

5.64 x 2.83 x 0.33 inches

143.2 x 71.9 x 8.5mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Google Nexus 5X

Google Nexus 5X

Dimensions

5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches

147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.80 oz (136 g)

Motorola Moto X Play

Motorola Moto X Play

Dimensions

5.8 x 2.95 x 0.43 inches

147.3 x 75 x 10.9 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

LG G4

LG G4

Dimensions

5.86 x 3 x 0.39 inches

148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 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

Large, with high resolution for great details. Color accuracy, however, leaves something to be desired.

The honor 7 sports a 5.2-inch IPS LCD display, made by Japan Display, with a resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels. This translates to a pixel density of 424 ppi, producing clear, crisp, pixelation-free visuals. The resolution isn’t ground-breaking, of course, as we already have QHD-resolution displays of such diagonal size, but to tell you the truth, the pixel count of the honor 7’s screen is perfectly sufficient for any need.

On the downside, the screen of the honor 7 is noticeably cold-looking - we measured a color temperature of over 7600K, which explains the display’s blueish tint. We must mention that the second honor 7 unit that we tested had an even more inaccurate display, clocking in at around 9000K. Not all users will be bothered by this flaw, of course, but those who are may adjust the display’s color temperature from the Settings menu. Still, we do wish that colors were more accurate out of the box. On a related note, our color measurements indicate that the screen produces slightly overblown shades of red and green.

The honor 7 is mostly usable under sunlight. We measured a peak brightness value of 436 nits, which is an acceptable figure. It is far from ideal, however, as bright sunlight reflected at the user’s eyes renders the screen very difficult to use. The minimum brightness value of 9 nits is an average figure - using the honor 7 in the dark is rather comfortable, although it would have been better if the screen could get even dimmer.

Before we move on, we must mention that a screen protector is pre-applied on the honor 7. It does not spoil the viewing experience in any way, and leaving it on would be a good idea as it will protect the display against damage. However, finger traces stick to it more easily compared to the bare glass surface of the touchscreen.



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47 Comments

51. gauthamkailash

Posts: 9; Member since: Jan 23, 2016

The review is honestly fine. The rating is f**ked.

49. alvanyap

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

I used to put PA's review as reference when I look for new phone, but not on this Honor 7, your score is ridiculously low without strong support point, most of the cons you mentioned it's your problem on instead of the phone itself, for example finger print, most user and friend when c the live demo they will say it's a f**king reliable reader, if you say the cons it's because of the position still make some sense, Shame on you PA's reviewer

48. x88yunkw

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Phonearena: Fingerprint scanner could have been more reliable almost all reviews praised huawei fingerprints sensor is among the best in class. come on PA.

47. x88yunkw

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

beside the 16gb in built memory that not sufficient for nowadays usage, this is a perfect ideal phone for 1 handed user, stylish design, dual sim convenient, good voice call quality and above average battery life. 5.8? pls review again.

46. mokhabadi

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

your rating is not balanced and Justly and often seems aggressive! the 5.8/10 is very low for this excellent phone!

45. spixel

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 20, 2015

phone arena huawei p8 score - 8.5 phone arena huawei honor 7 score - 5.8 honor 7 is the same phone but cheaper, better battery, fingerprint sensor. only slghtly worse camera and thickness you guys are morons, zero consistancy in review scores amongst different reviewers.

43. spixel

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 20, 2015

Clearly the reviewer is not capable of reviewing a phone. Regaring the background task management. By default EMUI sets apps to close when the screen turns off. You can choose which apps to keep running in the Phone Manager. All it takes is a bit of brains to figure this out. It keeps apps in memory very well in my opinion. A reviewer that can't be bothered looking through the phone settings. The fingerprint scanner never failed once for me. I think people who have this issue must not setting up the fingerprint with the phone being held how they will use it, so the angles are off. Again a rookie mistake and false negative. Regarding the performance. Judging by your low Antutu score (mine scores 53,000) you are probably running the phone in power saving mode. Nice job. Display color accuracy... In the display settings you can adjust the screen temperature so why is this a negative? I don't see any problems with the camera ui? You can't even type the title right. It is the 'Honor 7' not 'honor 7' You woudn't do this with a nexus or iphone would you? Stupid review especially when it reads like a 7-8 and you give it a 5.8...

41. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

My only concern is the graphics department, ram management, overall ui performance and the camera app.. would've given it an 8

38. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Why do manufacturers mess with Android's memory management? First Samsung on the S6, now Huawei... they think they can do better than Google and this is the result.

34. Be_Mine unregistered

Damn...I was planning to get this phone. The low rating is giving me a second thought.

35. rbuljo

Posts: 27; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

Don't pay attention to this shameful review, read other (read serious) reviews and give it a whirl..

32. rbuljo

Posts: 27; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

5.8 on PA, while other sites praise this phone.. this is yet another article that gets me over to gsmarena more and more.. it is nowhere near perfect, but 5.8 is not objective at all. had a huawei p8 and is quite similar to this, the phone was fantastic, only drawbacks i could find was battery life was belov expecations coming from a note 4, and the EMUI takes getting used to becuase of no app drawer. makes me wonder what PA will give the Ascend Mate S when it comes out... Im no huawei fanboy btw, have a motorola phone as my daily driver..

29. FrankUnderwood2

Posts: 243; Member since: Oct 01, 2015

"Conclusion As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Yes, the honor 7 has an attractive price given the hardware specs and feature set you get in exchange, but as a whole, the phone is far from perfect. We have no major complaints about the way it looks, the way it is built, or the way it feels when handled. The display’s color inaccuracies are also something we can live with. And we’re very pleased by the phone’s battery life, the quality of its still photos, and the clarity of its phone calls" Still PA gave it 5.8. Way too low guys. Please, that's just ridiculously low. Did you keep in mind its price (especially for 64 GB version) while giving your final review score?

27. Calbagz

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 16, 2015

I've had an Honor 7 for about a month now and can say that giving it 5.8 is an insult and pretty inaccurate. Give the software a few days to get used to it, it becomes familiar very quickly. The camera takes fairly good pictures and has a wealth of filters and tweets built in to enhance your snaps. The build quality is excellent, the screen is clear and crisp and the ideal size. The fingerprint scanner is accurate and instantaneous and the hardware button is a great addition. The speakers are loud and of a good quality. I've also got a Z3 and at the minute the Honor is my daily driver..so it must be donning something right. I'd give it an 8 at least, it's a good all rounder.

24. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

lol my comment was cut weird.

22. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Why should "pseudo-flagships" like this get a free pass because it's cheap for the specs? The software often is crap, the hardware is absolutely UN-EXEMPLARY, and it tries to be a flagship, when used flagships - S5, G3, Moto X 2014, even a used Nexus 5 - are so much better than this device...!

23. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

Clearly you haven't tried it, everyone here is complaining about the score not whether it's a flagship killer and you know what for the price of

25. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

Clearly you haven't tried it, everyone here is complaining about the score not whether it's a flagship killer and you know what for the price of

20. x88yunkw

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

such a good smartphone, dare you give a little 5.8 PA? are you kidding with all your readers here?

26. Tronlol

Posts: 35; Member since: Feb 06, 2015

Then go buy it.. And enjoy your wonderful phone.

19. hafini_27

Posts: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

This deserve a 7 or 7.5. Though I agree the X style or Zenfone 2 might be a better deal, the Honor 7 is still quite capable and feels premium.

14. Andrewtst

Posts: 697; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

This site is real racist! All China phone scores low than expected. Close site if you can't proper and fair doing review!

15. der_damo

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

You mean "as expected"?

13. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

This score is a shame. I am using Huawei p8 which is very similar to this phone they both use the same OS version + emui 3.1 but the honor 7 has minor hardware upgrades but with more extra features like the finger scanner and IR blaster. I would rate my phone an easy 8.5 + if not more for looks and features and mind you i had an lg G2 before it and a couple of Samsung note series devices. The battery on the P8 lasts more than the G2 (a lovely device) ever did at least in terms of SOT although the P8 has 2680 mah while the G2 has a 3000mah the credit here goes to their task manger and software optimization tools. The reason i bought the P8 is becuase it's by far the best looking device i ever owned without a company logo and physical keys in front of the device if only it had double speakers(Nexus p6 here i come). Long story short the honor 7 deserves at least a 8.5+ score, sure the device has some drawbacks but they are minor compared to other brands offerings within that price bracket.

17. MINDoSOUL

Posts: 322; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

Correction Nexus 6p...lol

11. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

"software is something that can be improved with an update." And how often that happens? Usually never since new models are pushed in every quarter.

10. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Hmm. Maybe PA you can use a third party camera equivalent (I.e open camera) so perhaps a much more desirable result could come.

6. lukkiristi unregistered

Again, seems like the score is too damn low. An affordable phone with a decent display, good camera and a great battery should really score at least a 7.

8. Subie

Posts: 2467; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Agreed. They seemed to like just about everything but the software.

12. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Well why won't you buy it and have a "good time" with it?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

7
  • Display 5.2 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware HiSilicon Kirin, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow
    Huawei Emotion UI

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