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Honor 7X Camera Review: Awesome budget snapper?

Despite its low asking price, the Honor 7X sports a dual lens camera packed with popular features, such as a Portrait Mode and improved low light shooting. As a way to capture everyday memories, it certainly holds up well against rivals, but is it your next smartphone snapper?

Honor is a big fan of dual lens cameras, just like its big bro Huawei, so it’s no surprise to see two shooters slapped on the back of the 7X. You get a primary 16-megapixel lens, which is backed by a 2-megapixel secondary lens for depth of field. No funky wide-angle or telephoto action here.

Honor 7X Camera Review: App and features

Although the Honor 7X is more affordable than the company’s flagship Honor 9, you still get a premium set of features to play with. Right there on the main camera interface you’ll find the wide aperture mode, for instance. This allows you to capture quite striking photos with a shallow depth of field – in other words, you get a bokeh-style blurred background, which helps your subject to stand out.

A similar style of shot can be captured with the Portrait Mode, which is designed to make your friends and family look super-glam. In the case of Recombu Towers, definitely an essential feature. You once again have a bokeh effect to play with, as well as a beauty mode that can artificially cover up sags, bags and wrinkles. After a heavy night on the sauce, it’s surprisingly effective at making you look quite normal again.

Meanwhile the Moving Picture mode is similar to Apple’s Live Photos. This grabs a snippet of video when you take a shot, which helps to bring your more exciting images to life as you browse the gallery.

Swipe your finger right across the Honor 7X’s camera interface and you’ll drag out the camera modes menu, which is – as usual – stuffed to the gills. You get full manual controls for both photo and video capture, as well as the likes of slow motion and time lapse video modes, plus various filters and effects. And yeah, that includes the ability to turn yourself into a cat, dog, bride-to-be or rabbit. Because of reasons.

You’ll also find an HDR mode buried away in there, as there’s no HDR tied to the standard auto mode. However, this doesn’t really seem to do too much anyway, so stuff it.

Honor 7X Camera Review: Photo quality

Photos usually take with little delay when you hit the Honor 7X’s shutter button, as long as the light is quite strong. However, darker conditions mean a pause before the shot is grabbed, which can often result in useless photos if your subject is on the move.

Daylight shots on the whole impressed, thanks to the strong detail levels. Scenes were accurately captured, with realistic colour reproduction – more vibrant hues really shine in those photos.

The wide aperture and portrait modes are impressively effective too, as they are on the more premium Honor and Huawei smartphones. Your subject still appears sharp even with the bokeh effect turned on, and the overall effect really highlights them for attractive results.

In low light situations, the Honor 7X does struggle a bit like most mid-range rivals, often producing quite grainy snaps. You’ll want to make use of the LED flash whenever possible. High contrast shots are generally fine, with few of our test photos suffering from over-exposure, although darker areas were often lacking in detail.

Check out our photo samples in the gallery below.

Honor 7X Camera Review: Video quality

You can shoot up to Full HD resolution video on the new Honor, with pretty solid results overall. The focus works perfectly, snapping into action when your subject is in motion, while detail levels are fine. Audio is also cleanly picked up, even from a distance and from all directions.

Image stabilisation is basic at best, however. This EIS cuts out some of the judder when moving and recording at the same time, although you’ll still get quite jerky results. Definitely a good idea to be as still as possible, or move slowly, when shooting.

Check out our Full HD video sample, shot on the Honor 7X, below.

Honor 7X Camera Review: Selfie camera

Swap to the 8-megapixel front-facing camera and you can capture detailed selfies, complete with a solid range of features again.

For one, there’s a nifty palm gesture tool which allows you to take a shot just by waving. No fumbling for the shutter button, which can be awkward and result in blurry snaps. Not to mention there’s less chance of dropping the thing – although that’s not much of an issue considering how rugged the Honor 7X is.

Although there’s only a single lens this time, you still get a portrait mode complete with depth of field slider. The Honor 7X seems pretty good at judging depth with just that solo lens too, just like Google’s new Pixel 2 handsets. And yes, you can of course turn yourself into a demented cartoon animal too, if so desired.

Snaps can look a little grainy when shot indoors, or in dimmer conditions. However, there is a screen flash mode to light up your mug, which does a pretty good job. Hold the phone away from your face and you’ll capture reasonably realistic skin tones and a respectable amount of detail.

Check out our selfie samples below.

 

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