*Disclaimer* The Honor 7X came on loan from Huawei. We were not paid to review the device in any shape or form
The Huawei Honor 7X is from Huawei’s spin off company Honor. The 7X is considered to be a “midrange” device, but at the $200 price tag I treated it more like a budget device.
Hardware and software specs
The 7X is an all metal device running Android 8.0, with two rear cameras (16mp main and 2mp depth sensor), has a 1080p Full HD+ LCD display with a 2:1 (18:9) aspect ratio, Kirin 659 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, along with a single bottom firing speaker, a headphone jack, and 3340 mAh battery. For a budget device this is a very solid setup. Don’t expect an update to Android 9.0 with the 7X. Honor tends to update their budget/midrange devices through one full version of Android, and this device started on 7.0 and has been updated to 8.0 already. It would also be nice to have 64GB of storage, but at $200 and still having the ability to expand storage through micro SD is perfectly serviceable.
As mentioned the display is a Full HD+ LCD display. So compared to an OLED the colors are going to be a little washed out, but Huawei’s LCDs are always some of the most vibrant displays, and the same can be said for Honor 7X. Beside the elongated 2:1 aspect ratio, I really liked watching video on the 7X. Just be sure use headphones or an external speaker when watching video. Unless you don’t mind all sound firing from one side on the single, bottom internal speaker.
The sound is not fantastic from the internal speaker. It’s not terrible, but even for someone who isn’t an audiophile it was a little annoying listening to everything from a such a small, single speaker. Just use headphones or earbuds it’ll make the sound experience better.
The dual cameras are great. They overexpose a bit, even with HDR, but the manual mode on all Huawei devices is fantastic. I didn’t have time to take many good shots with manual mode, but I have found in the past with most phone cameras that allow manual options that if you just lower the ISO or shutter speed a little bit it can help mitigate overexposure issues.
The most interesting part of that I noticed when taking these shots was that having HDR on didn’t always mean a better dynamic range. The picture of the sign I think is the best example of SDR having a better dynamic ranger than HDR on the Honor 7X
Battery life and that GPU Turbo thing
Like most devices from Huawei, the Honor 7X’s battery life is fantastic! I always could easily get a days worth of use out of it doing my normal music streaming and playing over bluetooth audio for a couple hours a day, the hour or so of video I typically watch. As well as the extra gaming I did to test out Huawei’s, much talked about, GPU Turbo. I have no clue whether GPU Turbo has improved the battery life of the 7X or not. I got to use the 7X post update, but if battery life is the highest priority for you then the 7X is not bad purchase. Sadly, the screenshots of the battery usage did not save so I do not have screenshots of battery use.
Honestly, I don’t game much on mobile. I think mobile gaming is a mediocre experience at best. Personally, I would much rather play games on a PC or dedicated gaming console. But I wanted to see how the Honor 7X would perform with, the only mobile game that exists, Asphalt 8. I couldn’t get Asphalt 9 to install on the 7X so that is why I went with 8. The game ran pretty much perfectly fine. The frame rate would dip hear and there, but for a quick burst of gameplay the 7X is fine. Like I just about the battery life I have no clue whether the GPU Turbo software that the Honor 7X has is effecting gaming performance much.
The overall performance of the Honor 7X is honestly exactly what I expect of a $200 device. It can be a little slow and on the uptake when scrolling and typing, but nothing like the Moto G6 Play that I reviewed. I never had to frustratingly wait for it to register taps. It took longer to load apps than my daily driver (the Essential Phone) but that’s to be expected of lower end hardware. The 3GB RAM made multitasking comfortable. The apps that I used the most reloaded a few times, but personally I don’t use a ton of different apps at once so mileage can vary,
If you don’t have much more than $200 to spend on a new device, and don’t care much about getting software updates, the Honor 7X is a fine choice in 2018. Of course I will say save up another hundred or so dollars for something with better hardware, and probably something that will get software updates too.
We would like to thank Huawei for sending us the device for review