18:9 or better known as Full View displays are becoming a rage right now. With more smartphone makers adopting this tall display approach, honor is trying to make this feature more accessible to the masses with its latest honor 7X.
With last year’s honor 6X, the smartphone maker had aimed to bring dual-camera experience at a lower price point. For this year, their mid-range focus is all about having a bigger screen experience with smaller bezels. The end result is a larger 5.93″ screen in a body of a typical 5.5″ smartphone.
As you would have noticed, the honor 7X is very similar to the Huawei Nova 2i that was launched in Malaysia a few months ago. The front is exactly the same except for the honor branding at the bottom and the arrangement of sensors and notification light at the top. The biggest physical difference is the placement of the camera lens at the rear. Instead of a vertically aligned dual-camera setup, you get two camera bumps aligned horizontally at the top left corner like the Nova 2 Plus.
In terms of build, it feels just like its more expensive honor 8 Pro. It has solid metal unibody and a smooth 2.5D glass on top. The screen is the same 5.93″ display from the Nova 2i that pushes a FullHD+ resolution of 2160×1080. Under the hood, it runs on a mid-range Kirin 659 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which is expandable via microSD. You also get a fingerprint sensor at the rear which unlocks instantly at a touch.
When it comes to imaging, the honor 7X gets a 16MP + 2MP camera combo at the rear, which is a step up from the honor 6X’s 12MP + 2MP setup. For selfies, it gets an 8MP camera that’s still capable of shooting bokeh despite having just one camera. As a comparison, the Nova 2i gets a 13MP + 2MP camera setup for the front.
Like any honor product, they try to cram as much “flagship” features possible. Apart from portrait mode, you also get wide aperture effects, moving picture, light painting and even Pro manual mode for both photos and videos. Unfortunately, you can only shoot videos in Full HD.
The display on the honor 7X is pretty decent for a phone in this price range. You can watch YouTube videos on full screen but you would need to install the latest version which supports Pinch to Zoom. Of course, there will be some cropping at the top and bottom of the screen in order to stretch your videos to full screen. Only a handful of apps support this 18:9 aspect ratio but there’s an option to allow non-supported apps to run at full screen under settings.
Out of the box, the software experience is similar to the Nova 2i with EMUI 5.1 that’s based on Android 7.0 Nougat. Even the battery capacity is the same at 3,340mAh and it still uses a micro USB port. If we can sum it up, it’s basically an alternative version of the Nova 2i but you get just 3 cameras instead of 4. Since it also does bokeh shots from the front, you’re practically getting the same experience but at a lower price tag.
The honor 7X will be launched in Malaysia on 12 December. No details yet on the confirmed pricing but we are guessing that it could be somewhere within RM900-RM1,100. This puts it in the same price range as other mid-range contenders like the Xiaomi Mi A1 and the Moto G5s Plus. If you’re looking for another budget 18:9 screen alternative, there’s the OPPO F5 Youth and ASUS’ upcoming 18:9 smartphone.