Whilst Honor rounded out 2017 with its View 10 phablet and its top-tier mid-ranger, the 7X, it’s kicking off 2018 with two more affordable offerings; the Honor 7C and entry-level Honor 7A. We went hands-on with both.
The 7C (taking over from the likes of the 6X and 6C Pro) is the real head-turner as it’s on the only smartphone to feature a rear dual camera at under £170; giving you all of the wide aperture and depth-of-field tricks we’ve seen on more powerful devices. The main talking point is the dual 13/2-megapixel sensor array (the second sensor deals with depth data) but there are a host more premium features that we were surprised to find within the 7C too.
Face Unlock is an impressive inclusion found on both of these affordable devices. Honor was quick to point out just how much faster their system is compared to that of Face ID on the iPhone X (0.87 seconds on the 7C versus 1.58 seconds on an iPhone X), although the comparison hardly seems fair as each device uses distinctly different technology. Nonetheless, both 7A and 7C use some 1024 sets of feature points to identify a user’s face, with any relating data stored locally within each phone’s ‘local trust zone’.
If you’re simply planning to use that front 8-megapixel camera to snap selfies, both phones also feature a ‘smart selfie toning light’ which is essentially a front-facing LED flash that can automatically adjust its brightness to suit shooting conditions. Honor has also packed in a 3D beautify mode when using the 7C’s rear dual cameras that takes into account depth data during the real-time manipulation of your mug or your friend’s mugs to ensure an extra chic finish.
As with the more premium 7X, both phones also accommodate gesture-capable fingerprint sensors on their metal rears. Speaking of metal, both phone feature metal bodywork but there’s also a lot of plastic at play, particularly on the more conservative Honor 7A. Other budget traits across both devices include microUSB ports in place of USB-C connectivity and lower resolution HD displays versus the 7X.
Huawei and Honor’s FullView aspect ratio screens can already be found on every premium phone within their respective portfolios but the arrival of these two devices marks the trickle down to Honor’s entry-level and mid-range; with a 5.7-inch 18:9 aspect ratio display on the 7A and a larger 5.99-inch offering on the C. Naturally, the EMUI 8.0 software, running atop Android 8.0 Oreo might not be the latest and greatest build of the mobile OS or the company’s overlay but it still packs in plenty of useful features, including a native one-handed mode.
Whilst the 7C focuses on photography, the 7A places a greater emphasis on audio, with a dedicated ‘Smart Audio’ PA chip and a loudspeaker capable of pushing up to 88dB, notably outperforming other phones at its price point. Honor is also working on a forthcoming software feature, dubbed ‘Party Mode’ which will let you push the same tune out of multiple EMUI-enabled devices simultaneously; ideal for groups of Huawei and Honor fans who want to a multi-speaker setup on the fly (they exist, right?).
On the connectivity front, the 7C also allows for a simultaneous Bluetooth connection between it and two other devices, making the option of wireless earphones and a wearable a worry-free possibility. Both phones also pack in a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, so there’s no need to expect a flimsy USB-to-jack adapter in-box for the time being.
Honor 7A/7C specs
|Honor 7A||Honor 7C|
|Aspect ratio||18:9 ‘FullView’|
|Audio||Smart Audio PA chip w/ loudspeaker that supports up to 88dB||Unknown|
|Weight||150 grams||164 grams|
|OS||Android 8.0 Oreo w/ EMUI 8.0|
|Front cameras||8-megapixels w/ selfie toning light|
|Rear cameras||13-megapixels w/ PDAF||13-megapixels + 2-megapixels w/ PDAF|
|Processor||Up to 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430||Up to 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450|
|Memory||2GB RAM||3GB RAM|
|Storage||16GB. MicroSD up to 256GB||32GB. MicroSD up to 256GB|
|Colours||Gold (not available in the UK), black, blue|
|Extra||Karaoke Mode, Party Mode, 3-in-1 Dual SIM + microSD tray, Face Unlock, fingerprint sensor, 4G|
Honor 7A & 7C UK price and availability
Honor’s slated a late April release for both handsets, with the Honor 7A selling for a respectable £139.99. That said, if you can swing £30 more the Honor 7C grants you double the storage, an extra 1GB of RAM, a beefier Snapdragon processor, a larger display and a dual camera, which in our opinion seems like a far better value-for-money offering.
In the UK you’ll find the Honor 7A in more places, with Three serving as the handset’s main UK carrier at launch. It’ll also be available from Carphone Warehouse as well as Argos, AO.com, JohnLewis and Very.co.uk. Thet Honor 7C meanwhile will initially be made available as an exclusive of Honor’s own eStore HiHonor.com.