Biting at the heels of the awesome Huawei Mate 10 Pro comes the new Honor 7X, with a near bezel-less display as its raison d’être.
As the follow up to the 6X launched at the start of 2017, the affordable mid-ranger introduces Honor’s ‘FullView’ display technology, consisting of a 5.93-inch full HD+ (2160×1080 pixel) LCD panel, with reduced bezels top and bottom and pretty much no bezel at all left or right.
There’s no AMOLED here, but let’s be realistic; the Honor 7X will sell for not far off a third of the price of a Mate 10 Pro (the exact price is yet to be announced but it’s under £300). Plus as an IPS display, it should still offer up great contrast and saturation.
18:9 ratio screens have become commonplace on flagships released this year, so it’s nice to see things filtering down the range.
With a taller display, split-screen usage now becomes more practical, and a one-key screen split solution makes it easy to take advantage of quickly, getting the most from the multi-tasking capabilities of Android.
Games can show more detail, while movie watching can become more immersive with a ratio that’s closer to that of the original theatre broadcast.
After the screen, further Mate 10 Pro comparisons end now (save them for the inevitable ‘Honor 9 Pro’ next year). However, as Huawei’s youthful brand, Honor has a tradition of offering excellent value and performance on every phone it puts its badge on.
As such, the Honor 7X should continue to give a solid, fluid-like, performance with the Kirin 659 chipset, most closely set to compete with Qualcomm’s excellent Snapdragon 6XX family of chips – balancing performance with efficiency.
4GB of RAM and memory expandability beyond 32, 64 or 128GB of internal storage (depending on market) also means that no corners have been cut here either.
A 3,340mAh battery might appear a little more disappointing, but it is claimed to be sufficient to keep everything chugging along for a full day, minimum.
Hopefully the more power-efficient nature of Kirin 659 will make that a reality, but this will be for a proper long-term review to establish accurately.
Pedal to the metal
The Honor 7X sports an all-metal design, with curved 2.5D glass at the front, and a rear design reminiscent to that of the premium Honor 8 Pro released earlier in the year.
Dimensions of the phone are 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6mm, and a weight of 165g.
Staying with the back of the phone, the phone has a different dual-camera configuration to that of flagship Honor devices, using a primary 16-megapixel sensor that is accompanied by a 2-megapixel sensor there primarily for depth detection.
The second sensor facilities the use of the popular bokeh/portrait modes people now demand from their phone, and continues on from what was first introduced on the Honor 6X.
Phase Shift Auto Focus (PDAF) enables focus times of just 0.18 seconds, which reduces the chance of missing that priceless moment.
Oreo coming soon
Android Nougat (Android 7) and EMUI 5.1 comes pre-installed out of the box, but an update to Oreo and EMUI 8 should follow very early in the new year.
This is a little disappointing given Oreo (Android 8) has been out for a while, but it’s not as bad as the fact the phone still has micro-USB port for charging/connectivity.
A software update can’t fix that, although it does mean you can still use old chargers and accessories that bit longer. And, on the plus side, there’s still a 3.5mm headphone socket. Props to Honor for that!
Colours and availability
The Honor 7X is available in black, blue or gold, but the colours you can buy when the phone goes on sale will depend on the market you’re in.
As with other Honor devices, the phone comes with dual-SIM support, or a single SIM and memory card. At the time of writing, it was not confirmed how fast the 4G support is, although on paper the Kirin 659 is capable of up to 300/150Mbps (LTE Cat 6).
The phone will go on sale from December 5th, and the official launch event on the same day will give the final pricing and details of availability. Update: the official price is £269.99.
More info: Honor UK Store