We’ve seen plenty of premium phones this year sporting a sexy edge-to-edge screen design, but now Honor is bringing that style to the mid-range with the Honor 7X. But it’s more than just a pretty face, boasting a dual lens camera and some seriously slick software features.
Honor 7X review: Design
Any Honor fans will probably notice straight off that the Honor 7X sports a metal chassis which looks very similar to the Honor 8 Pro’s full metal jacket. At least, around the back end. Flip the 7X over and you can’t help but marvel at the premium styling, with top and bottom bezels that are supremely skinny. Seriously, look at his thing. We’d say that it was pure sex on legs, except of course it doesn’t actually have any legs.
That edge-to-edge display also means that even though it’s almost a 6-inch device, this phone doesn’t feel too cumbersome to wield. Not quite as surprisingly slender as Samsung’s Galaxy S8, yet certainly more manageable than a lot of other 6-inch blowers out there, such as Sony’s Xperia XA1 Ultra.
Those narrow bezels have necessitated a shift for the fingerprint sensor, around to the back of the phone. This works well thankfully, as the scanner sits neatly beneath your digits when you pick up the Honor 7X. You can grab the handset and be unlocked in just a second or so, with impressive responsiveness.
Water resistance isn’t included (not a shock at the price point involved) although the Honor 7X is incredibly rugged as far as drops and bangs are concerned. We’ve witnessed this phone slamming across hard wooden floors, with nary a scratch or scuff to show for its troubles.
Black and blue are your colour choices here in the UK and across Europe. And yes, those are the actual names of the colours – no ‘damned soul staring into the eternal abyss black’ or ‘salty lung blue’ or anything random like that.
Honor 7X review: Screen and media
That 5.93-inch display really does stretch from edge-to-edge, as far as those top and bottom bezels are concerned. The result is a ‘stretched’ 18:9 aspect ratio, something that’s increasingly common with flagship handsets, yet still a rarity at the mid-range level. These panels are more cinematic in nature, with reduced letterboxing when watching movies. More and more apps are supporting 18:9 as well, while the Honor 7X can actually adapt other apps so they fill the space. It’s a system that works well in our experience, despite warnings about possible issues.
The 2160×1080 Full HD resolution keeps things crisp and visuals are reasonably punchy too, for an IPS display at least. We certainly have no complaints, whether kicking back with a movie or simply browsing the web.
Honor has also apparently added a ‘Daytime Screen’ feature, which automatically boosts the brightness and ‘optimises pixels’ to sharpen images when you’re in a bright environment. To be honest, we didn’t really notice any difference over other phones, Honor or otherwise, with their auto adaptive brightness feature. Likewise, the Nighttime screen simply lowers the brightness in darker environments. That’s complemented by the standard Eye Comfort mode, filtering blue light for an easy-on-the-eye experience.
You get a generous 64GB of storage on board the Honor 7X, which can be expanded up to a further 256GB via the hybrid second SIM slot. Plenty of space for a good-sized media collection, then.
Honor 7X review: Features and OS
The Honor 7X runs Android Nougat, with a healthy smear of Emotion UI 5.1 lathered on top. In both cases, it’s old software – although you’ll still get a satisfying user experience and you can expect updates in 2018 regardless.
Huawei’s EMUI features are often quite worthy on this super-sized handset, especially the nifty one-handed modes which help to make the phone more manageable. Check out our full Honor 7X tips and tricks guide for more on the software front.
Honor 7X review: Performance and battery life
Packed inside the Honor 7X you’ll find a Kirin 659 octa-core chipset, a mid-range platform that offers limited but respectable performance. Thankfully the Kirin is backed by 4GB of RAM, which helps to keep apps running smoothly.
Regardless, you’ll still see the occasional pause as you tap the screen and wait for the phone to catch up. Thankfully this lag doesn’t extend to games, at least not in our experience. Fast-paced racing and action titles play just fine, as the chipset prioritises resources.
As for the battery life, you get a meaty 3340mAh cell crammed into the Honor 7X. Not quite as big as the Honor 8, but you can still expect at least a day and a half of pretty heavy use from the phone between charges. That’s without even touching the app consumption and optimisation tools. And even if you find yourself running low on juice, you can choose from a couple of power saver modes to stretch out that final bit of battery life.
Sadly there’s no support for fast charging, while the Honor 7X uses the old microUSB standard instead of Type-C. Oh well, you can’t have everything.
Honor 7X review: Camera
It’s no surprise to see a dual lens snapper slapped onto the rear end of the Honor 7X, although sadly you don’t get a wide-angle or telephoto lens here. Rather, the secondary 2-megapixel lens is to add depth of field to your images, backing up the primary 16-megapixel shooter.
The Honor 7X’s camera can shoot up to Full HD video and once again is absolutely packed with special features. These include the wide aperture and portrait modes, which do a fine job of capturing your subject and making them look all glamorous, with some funky background bokeh effects. For your everyday shots, the camera certainly holds up well, especially with the manual controls for those who demand them, although low light photography is a struggle and image stabilisation while recording video could be improved.
Check out our full Honor 7X camera review for samples and all you need to know.
Honor 7X review: Verdict
At £269 this sleek and sexy handset offers very strong value for money. You get a feature-packed dual-lens camera, attractive full-sized screen and a solid overall user experience, for less cash than a lot of other mid-range mobiles.