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Source: expertreviews , 13 Apr 2018
Honor 7X review: Still the mid-range smartphone king with an 18:9 display
At only £270, the Honor 7X is the cheapest 18:9 smartphone on the market. It has a gorgeous design and a competent dual-lens camera, too
NEWS: For a limited time the Honor 7X is available for just £240, a cool £30 saving off its £270 price tag – grab it while stocks last. Offer ends on 13 April.
The Honor 6X was the big early surprise of 2017. It had a dual 12-megapixel camera, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, a snappy Kirin 655 processor and a Full HD 5.5in display – and all that for the ludicrously cheap price of £225. With such a tough act to follow, the Honor 7X was always going to have its work cut out but it looks to be even better, squeezing in a flagship-style FHD+ 18:9 display at only £270. That’s £180 cheaper than the new OnePlus 5T.
While the Honor 6X was incredibly impressive, the Honor 7X pushes the boat out even further. It has a big 6in FHD+ 18:9 display, which makes it the cheapest phone with a stretched aspect-ratio display and in terms of looks, it’s just like an updated Honor 8 Pro.
It doesn’t match flagships at the top end of the market for pure performance, camera quality and battery life, but this is a solid mid-range smartphone with unique appeal at its price.
The Honor 7X costs £270, that’s more than £70 more than the Honor 6X – a phone that can now be bought for under £200. The 6X doesn’t have an 18:9 display, its camera is lower-resolution camera than the 7X, and it has an older generation processor.
At only £270, the Honor 7X sits in a unique position. At this price, there’s no 18:9 smartphone, the closest are the OnePlus 5T and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, which cost £450 and £410 respectively. These flagship phones have much faster processors than the Honor 7X. Then there’s the Honor 9, which at around £330, is an absolute steal. However, it has a standard 16:9 display.
The first thing I noticed when picking up the Honor 7X was its 5.93in (1,080 x 2,160) 18:9 display. The elongated display gives it that flagship look and on a phone costing under £300, it’s a huge bonus.
The phone is beautifully built, too. Its design inspiration comes from the most underrated phone I’ve reviewed – the Honor 8 Pro. Honor has made a couple of odd design decisions, though. It’s gone with a dated micro USB port for charging and data transfer, which means the 7X cannot be fast charged, nor does it have NFC for wireless charging or contactless payments.
On the plus side, you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a centrally positioned, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, which unlocks the phone in double-quick time.
The Honor 7X’s display doesn’t have the highest resolution at 1,080 x 2,160 but, unless you plan on using it in a VR headset, this doesn’t have a particularly negative impact and it’s about on par with rivals. In comparison, the Honor 6X and Honor 9 have an 16:9 (1,080 x 1,920) display.
Tested with our Xrite i1 DisplayPro calibrator, the 7X achieved a mediocre 85.3% sRGB gamut coverage, which is near-identical to the Moto G5S, and a touch lower than the 89.2% achieved by the Honor 6X. Colours on the 7X aren’t overly accurate, with an average Delta E of 2.46 (lower is better and anything below 2 is superb). Still, colours are rich and there’s nothing particularly wonky about the way the screen looks to the eye.
For an IPS display, the Honor 7X has an extraordinarily high contrast ratio of 2,109:1, which is part of why the display looks so vibrant. At its peak brightness of 499cd/m², the 7X is readable in most conditions, although you may need to shade the screen with your hand in really high ambient light.
Inside is a 2.36GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor and 4GB of RAM. This gives it a slightly snappier experience over the Honor 6X but the difference is negligible, both in terms of raw speed and GPU capabilities. In short, don’t expect to play the most intensive games on the 7X, or do lots of multitasking, but it’s fine for most other duties.
In GFXBench, the differences between the sub-£300 phones are minute, but in comparison to the more expensive Honor 9 and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, there’s a big difference.
As for software, Honor uses its own Android overlay here – EMUI 5.1 – which runs on a basis of Android 7.0 Nougat. I am a little surprised not to see Android 8.0 Oreo included, nevertheless, the 7X runs smoothly and has the same “RAM defragmentation, advanced memory compression and a faster kernel for memory recycling” found on the Honor 8 Pro and Honor 9, which is designed to prevent the phone from slowing down over its lifetime.
The Honor 7X has a dual rear-facing 16-megapixel camera, with a second 2-megapixel sensor used solely to add image depth for portrait images. Its camera uses Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) for a quick point-and-shoot and the front-facing 8-megapixel camera also has a Bokeh-effect portrait setting that most modern flagships have. It’s a notch better than last year’s Honor 6X with its dual 12-megapixel sensor.
In grey weather, the 7X is capable of capturing excellent images. It doesn’t quite compete with the Honor 9 or the OnePlus 5T, but for a sub-£300 smartphone, it’s among the best I’ve used.
In the image below, the Honor 7X reproduces an accurate image and captures plenty of detail, especially the red brickwork in the foreground. With HDR enabled, the image becomes a touch sharper, the sky is reproduced more subtly and the buildings’ brickwork stands out even more.
Low-light photography isn’t the Honor 7X’s forte, however, as the sensor picks up a lot of image noise and, with flash enabled, colours take on an unwanted yellow-tint.
The phone’s front-facing 8-megapixel camera captures plenty of detail, light and with a selection of colour filters and effects, such as Bokeh, portrait images look fantastic.
The Honor 7X is a phone at only £270 in a league of its own. With that FHD+ 18:9 display there’s a lot of screen for the money, its processor is fast enough for every-day usage and its sumptuous design makes it stand out from other sub-£300 smartphones.
For only a little more, you can buy the Honor 9 which at only £308 is a ridiculously good considering we reviewed it at £380. If an 18:9 display isn’t your must-have, then get the Honor 9 instead. But both are fantastic phones that offer unbelievable value for money and at this price deservedly worthy of an Expert Reviews Best Buy award.
Source: Alphr.com , 9 Feb 2018
Honor 7X review: Meet the new budget flagship king
Smartphone prices have gone crazy over the last couple of years. Not so long ago, flagship handsets topped out at £500 or £600 but now the likes of Samsung and Apple seem to believe that the bottom rung on the flagship pricing ladder should sit firmly at £600 – if you insist on being a cheapskate and going for the entry-level model.
Honor is different. The Chinese manufacturer – a subsidiary of Huawei – has its own idea about prices. It launched its flagship Honor 9 last year at £370 and we loved it. Its latest is nearly as good and even cheaper. It has a 6in 18:9 display, decent performance and good looks. Oh, and it comes in at £270.
In less than a year, the 18:9 aspect-ratio display has gone from quirky USP to top-end smartphone essential. Now the cycle to omnipresent is almost complete with its arrival on the Honor 7X – by far the cheapest smartphone to have it. Before this, you’d be looking at the OnePlus 5T for £180 more.
To be clear, that’s largely a good thing. The early days when not all apps worked terribly well with the brave new format are largely forgotten thanks to the early trailblazing might of Samsung.
And it’s not just the screen. The Honor 7X is a beautifully built phone that looks like it should sell for far more than it does. If you’re looking for a design mate, it’s not a million miles from the Honor 8 Pro but all you really need to know is that it’s very good looking indeed.
It does, however, have a handful of “interesting” design quirks that may or may not impact you. First of all, the fingerprint reader is on the back, because the 18:9 screen leaves precious little room on the front. Second, it has no built-in NFC – if you don’t know what that means, it likely won’t affect you too much, except that it means you can’t use Android Pay at contactless payment terminals. Third, the Honor 7X hangs heroically on to the microUSB format, which means slower data transfer rates. I secretly quite like that, as I have a million or so compatible cables, rather than my miserly ration of Type-C ones.
Oh, and it has a 3.5mm headphone jack. Hallelujah!
But, let’s get back to that 18:9 IPS screen. The Honor 7X looks beautiful when switched off, but how good is it when those pixels light up? Not bad at all. While the resolution isn’t the highest – a stretched 1080p display with a 1,080 x 2,160 resolution – that really isn’t a big deal. The only time you need more than 1080p on a screen this size is if you plan to delve into VR, and even then it’s not exactly a dealbreaker.
Colour presentation isn’t the strongest, but it’s not disastrous either. Our X Rite i1 DisplayPro calibrator gave it an overall sRGB gamut coverage of 85.3% – pretty much identical to the Moto G5S, and a touch shy of the 89.2% achieved by the Honor 7X’s predecessor, the 6X. Despite this, colours feel rich and vibrant and most people won’t notice anything is off with the naked eye.
More importantly, for most consumers, the contrast is ridiculously good for an IPS panel, with a ratio of 2,109:1. With a peak brightness measured at 499cd/m2, you’re unlikely to have any trouble reading it in most conditions.
So far, so good, but what’s powering the Honor 7X? As Honor veterans will know, you don’t get Qualcomm chips in the company’s smartphones with the manufacturer using its own HiSilicon Kirin processors. The results have been mixed in the past, but recently the firm’s chips have improved considerably and I’m pleased to report that the Honor 7X is no slouch.
To be clear, you’re not looking at Samsung Galaxy S8 or iPhone X performance here, but hey, what were you expecting for £270? In its field, the 2.36GHz octa-core Kirin 659 processor powering the Honor 7X performs admirably, albeit not much better than the older Honor 6X:
Historically, the Kirin processors’ Achilles Heel has been their 3D graphical performance and, unfortunately, despite the improved chipset in Huawei’s flagships, the same remains true here.
It’s worth mentioning that the Manhattan 3 test is quite demanding and a low score doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do any 3D gaming of any sort, just that you won’t necessarily be powering through Hearthstone on your daily commute.
You may not want to hit the gaming too hard, though, because the Honor 7X’s one below-par aspect is its battery life. In our standard battery test – a looped video played back in airplane mode with the handset locked to 170cd/m2 brightness – the handset went just 9hrs 47mins before running out of steam. The bigger screen on the Honor 7X means that, despite having the same 3,340mAh battery inside, last year’s Honor 6X has a good hour and a half on it’s newer, shinier sibling.
You’re not going to have Pixel 2 rivalling camera performance from a smartphone half the price, either, but the Honor 7X has a game old try at competing and it’s probably the best camera on a phone in this range. To my eyes, only the Moto G5 Plus beats it.
What you have here is a pair of rear cameras: the first is a 16-megapixel affair, and the second is a 2-megapixel. Don’t worry, the latter is only used for adding depth to portrait images. The camera has phase detect autofocus (PDAF) for quick point-and-shoot shots, and the results are pretty reasonable, especially in well-lit conditions. The image below demonstrates this nicely, with the Honor 7X picking up plenty of detail on the red brickwork in the foreground.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with smartphone cameras, low-light conditions do not make for good photographs. The sensor ends up picking up a lot of image noise, and the flash gives images a slightly off-putting yellow tint.
Source: Tech-Adviser , 05 Dec 2017
Honor 7X review: It has a six-inch 18:9 screen, a metal body and dual cameras
After the jaw-dropping Xiaomi Mi Mix back in 2016, phone manufacturers quickly started launching ‘bezel-less’ phones. And many decided to cram in a larger screen rather than make a physically smaller phone.
They did this by making it taller with an 18:9 aspect ratio instead of 16:9. 18:9 is super fashionable, but until now with the 7X, was out of reach for those on a budget. Even the OnePlus 5T costs £449, which is the very top of mid-range.
The Honor looks a lot like Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro, but saves on cost to bring the price right down.
The 7X replaces the 6X, which cost £224 when it launched. You can buy a 7X for £269.99, but that is still a bargain as the specs are better.
And as a bonus, you’ll get a free pair of Sport Bluetooth earphones from certain retailers when it goes on sale in the UK.
Let’s start with the screen, as it’s the most obvious feature. On paper the specs - 5.93in, 18:9 aspect, 2160x1080 resolution – could fool you into thinking it’s the same display as the Mate 10 Pro. But it isn’t.
OLED screens are more expensive, so Honor has gone for an IPS panel in the 7X. It makes sense, and it’s still a great screen. Viewing angles are wide, it’s nice and bright and colours are surprisingly vibrant.
Obviously it doesn’t have the option of an always-on clock with notifications, but it still looks impressive with tiny size bezels and much smaller top and bottom borders than other phones at this level.
There’s no room for a fingerprint reader so this is on the back in the middle. You’ll also find a pair of cameras at the top with an LED flash. Rather than spoiling the design, the antennae lines add a bit of interest to the otherwise featureless expanse of matt-finish aluminium.
Talking of finish, the 7X comes in black or blue – the gold version won’t be sold in the UK.
The bottom edge reveals a standard headphone jack, microphone and mono speaker and – slightly strange at the end of 2017 – a microUSB port. Maybe the 2018 Honor phones will move to USB-C. In any case, it makes it easy to charge as you’ll find microUSB cables just about everywhere you go.
Nothing but a pinhole for a microphone breaks up the top edge: the SIM tray sits at the top of the left-hand side and takes a pair of nano SIMs. Alternatively, if you want extra storage you can insert a microSD card instead of a second SIM.
It isn't unreasonable to expect some waterproofing from a cheaper phone, as the Moto G5 Plus demonstrates, but while the 7X doesn't have any Honor goes out of its way to talk about build quality. It says it has strengthened all four corners of the phone so it can better withstand drops. We’d still recommend using a case, but unlike with Huawei phones you don’t get one in the 7X’s box.
Internally the specs are mid-range: a Kirin 659 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The latter two are generous, but overall performance is in line with what you’d expect: this isn’t a flagship-rivalling device, and it isn’t meant to be.
Benchmark results show that isn’t far from super-fast, but in real-world use it’s perfectly quick. Apps may take a little longer to launch, but they run smoothly and you can run most games (such as Asphalt 8 and Pokémon GO) without issue: they won’t look quite as good as on much faster phones, but they also won’t run like the slideshows we saw in GFXBench, which is designed to highlight the differences between phones.
Honor is working with certain developers including Gameloft to optimise games for the 18:9 screen so you see more of a scene. With most games, forcing them to use the entire screen just crops them so you actually see less (as is the case with all 18:9 screens at the moment).
Battery life, in our testing, shows that the 3340mAh battery can make it through a whole day with normal use, but it drains quickly if you’re playing games. There’s no fast charging, so you’ll probably end up connecting the charger each night when you go to bed.
The main camera has a 16Mp sensor and uses PDAF for focusing in a claimed 0.18 seconds. The second camera has a 2Mp sensor and is simply used for depth sensing rather than capturing photos or video. It means you get the same portrait and wide-aperture modes that you’ll find on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and the stock camera app is essentially the same minus a couple of features, and the Leica branding.
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