The Honor 7 is an upper midrange dual sim phone from the Chinese manufacturer Huawei. This model was first released in July of 2015. Huawei uses the Honor name more like a standalone brand.
The phone has an elegant design, featuring a 20 MP primary camera, plus other interesting features like a well responsive multipurpose fingerprint scanner, extensively customizable hardware key, smart gesture support and a very powerful processor – all in a fairly decent price.
Honor 7 uses Android Lollipop as its operating system, but it cuts off the Google material design and uses Huawei’s own EMUI interface.
The Honor 7 does not use a dual glass chassis like the previous model of the series, Honor 6. Rather, the new model uses a metallic body. The metallic body makes the phone heavier, but actually it feels quite good at hand. The phone weighs about 157 g and has a dimension of 143.2 X 71.9 X 8.5 mm. It is thicker than the Huawei’s P8 model, but that is just to accommodate a better configuration. The brushed metal Honor 7 shows its premium built quality and proves itself to be extremely comfortable to grip or even operate on a single hand. In front, Honor 7 have the 5.2-inch display with IPS. The front camera is eight megapixel with LED flash. On the back side, It has the default 20-megapixel camera with dual LED flash plus the fingerprint sensor.
The sensor is placed right below the camera. On the top, there are the standard 3.5 mm audio port, microphone with noise cancelation and the infrared blaster. At the bottom, there are the USB ports in the middle, accompanied by speaker and microphone. The volume and power buttons are on the right side. The left side has a memory card and sim card slot. All of these are fairly standard. There is also a customizable hardware button on the left. The overall design of Honor 7 is sleek and elegant. No doubt, the phone makers have done their best in this department. Now let’s take a look at what’s in store beneath this beautiful package.
The display of Huawei Honor 7 is improved from its previous model. The display is a 5.2 inch diagonal 1080p IPS LCD with a pixel density of about 424 ppi. The contrast is good, but the brightness is not so much. Actually you should keep your brightness to 100% to have a good output. Even at full brightness, the display looks slightly dim compared to other similar phones. The auto brightness mode works quite well, though. The display is slightly reflective in sunlight. But not that much. The IPS display gives an impressive viewing angle, as expected; with enough detailed color. Images are quite sharp.
The Huawei Honor 7 uses Android Lollipop skinned by its own custom UI. The UI in this model is named EMUI 3.1, which is the latest one from Huawei. As mentioned before, the material design promoted by Google is not used here. Rather the Honor 7 sticks to its own style. However, that is not essentially a bad thing, as EMUI comes with tons of useful extra features to improve the user experience.
The lock screen of Honor 7 is can be changed through “covers”. The covers are downloadable form their dedicated store. They can be set to auto change, resulting new aesthetics every time you unlock your phone screen. Traditional themes are also available. It is even possible to set the wallpaper to change automatically after a certain time interval.
It is possible to lunch the camera and do a few other things without unlocking the lock screen. Once unlocked, the home screen is quite similar to other Android devices. Multiple home screen panels are available with support for widgets. There is a search option in the home screen that can search the entire content of the phone. Apps can be organized into folders. The notification area has a dual menu. First one shows the recent notifications, the second one is for quick shortcuts.
The inbuilt task manager lets you see the apps running in the background. You can close all apps and clear up the RAM with a single tap from here. In general, the EMUI 3.1 is extremely customizable. The best-preinstalled utility is the Phone Manager. The Phone Manager allows you to lock certain apps, optimize power usage and filter calls or SMS. The phone also has Do Not Disturb mode, single hand optimization for preinstalled apps, app specific data control, etc. The power management feature of Honor 7 is worth another special mention. You have complete control over which apps run in the background and which do not. Honor 7 is really far above from the crowd in this regard.
Hardware & Performance
Honor 7 allows several motion control gestures. For example: when you lift the phone to your ear, any incoming call is automatically received. The fingerprint recognizer on the back can also detect different gestures. The customizable button on the side is very useful and can be set to perform any task in just one press. The Honor 7 comes with 16GB internal storage and 3GB of RAM.
The Honor 7 has quite powerful processing power. It contains 8 core Cortex A-53 processors. The clock speeds vary – 2.2 GHz and 1.5 GHz. The only weak point is its graphics. The HiSilicon Kirin 935 chipset uses a Mali-T628 GPU, which is not ideal for heavy games. However, 3GB RAM is good enough for multitasking. Honor 7 has an expandable memory slot and support microSD card up to 128GB.The audio is output is very clean though a bit low.
The 20-megapixel camera with Sony sensors has dual LED flash and autofocus. The custom camera interface is somewhat non-standard but simple enough for easy use. There are different filters available, with panorama, HDR and some special modes like light trail mode. The color details are good with perfect exposure. However, in very bright light the camera sometimes underexposes. Other standard features like face detection, night scene capture, geo tagging, etc. are available. 1080p video recording is not really that good though it supports HDR. The fixed focus 8 MP camera is good. The dedicated LED flash and owner face detection capability makes is stand out from others.
Honor 7 has a non-removable 3100 mAh Li-Po battery. The performance regarding battery life is quite above average. The phone has fast charging facility, but, unfortunately, the right accessory for this feature is not included in the package. It has up to 350 hours of standby time under 3G network. The most important point is that the phone has excellent power management options that can prolong the battery life way too long than expected. Though Honor 7 does not have the largest battery we have seen, it deserves a full mark for its capability of getting the best out of the battery.
The Honor 7 has all the standard connectivity features like Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, FM radio and USB 2.0. It is also NFC enabled. The IR blaster is something very useful for controlling TVs, music players, etc using the phone. The Honor 7 also support 4G connectivity.
Huawei Honor 7 is a neat smartphone with excellent hardware specifications. Unless you are a heavy gamer, the slightly lagging GPU won’t be much of an issue. The most important point is that Honor 7 is quite affordable even after being a flagship-grade product. Its main competitors are Maizu MX5, Oppo R7 and OnePlus 2. However, these are not significantly better than Honor 7. In fact, judging its all round look and performance, Honor 7 is definitely one of the best choice in its class.
"The Honor 7 comes with 16GB internal storage and 3GB of RAM. The 20-megapixel camera with Sony sensors has dual LED flash and autofocus. The display is a 5.2 inch diagonal 1080p IPS LCD with a pixel density of about 424 ppi."
- Good design
- Good cameras
- Decent performance
- Average battery life
- Not good for gamers
Battery life 70%