• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Huawei Honor 7 Review

Until very recently only the very brave would take on a phone from a little-known or unknown brand. They were definitely the realm of techie types who really knew their stuff – not for your average phone user, the sort who wanted a decent phone but still needed to rely on recommendations from the chap in the phone shop.

But the tide is turning now, and more and more people are feeling confident enough to shop online and let their fingers do the walking with internet shopping. A few clicks of the mouse or touchpad and you can find out all you need to know about a phone – even if it does look too good to be true at the price.

But there’s no need to feel brave with the latest range of devices from Honor – we fell in love with both the 6+ and the 7, which we’re reviewing here. This online brand gives the most amazing specs for a low price – the Honor 7 has a good-looking metal chassis all for a little under £250. The latest similar phone from one of the big brands comes in at more than £700. Just so you know…

First impressions

Huawei Honor 7 Review

Though we loved the 6+ it did feel like a mid-range device and was a tad too large at 5.5ins – fine if you do a lot of work or streaming on your phone but the phablet size is not for everyone.

The Honor 7 boasts a 5.2in screen and a pure metal chassis. The snapper sensor on the back has two flashes, plus there’s a fingerprint sensor there too.

Around the display the bezels are barely there. Three keys sit underneath, offering a lot more screen real estate than if they were below the touchscreen.

The Smart Key sits to the left and there’s a power button on the right, along with the volume toggle. SIM card and microSD card slot are on the left, while the 3.5mm jack sits on the top left. The device is charged using microUSB.

Buyers can choose from fantasy silver or mystery grey colour ways. The body is formed from an aluminium alloy. Its ‘golden ratio’ design prevents it from overheating.

Battery life

The phone holds a 3100mAH battery, which is one of the largest we’ve tested recently (to compare, the Samsung Edge 6+ has a 3,000 mAH and it costs around £749). During average use we found a full charge lasted for a smidgen over two days. There are some useful power-saving options too. We had 8% left on the battery, and the phone suggested we switch to power saving mode when our 44 minutes of life would extend to 1 hour 8 mins – that’s a pretty significant improvement.

It is also possible to fast-charge the phone. We manage 0-100% in around 40 minutes. There is also a nifty reverse-charging feature that enables you to charge a Sat-Nav or smartwatch.

Taking pictures

Huawei Honor 7 Review

The camera is a 20-megapixel model boasting a Sony sensor. Its resulting images are full of life and it offers a number of accessories and filters – we liked the ‘good food’ one – great if you like to Instagram pics of meals out. The lens is rather large but sapphire glass helps to stop it getting scratched. Other features include light-painting, time-lapse and panorama modes.

The Honor 7 also has a front-facing, 8-megapixel snapper, which is perfect for selfies – settings can be adjusted to make you look as good as possible! However, apart from helping you look your best, the 26mm lens and soft white light also offer a clarity and depth of field not usually seen on your average selfie.

Software

The Honor 7 comes complete with Android 5.1, and so far there’s no mention of an upgrade to Android M. Honor has its own skin – Emotion UI 3.1 – which is pretty basic. There are some themes included but otherwise you won’t be bothered by a load of preloaded apps that you don’t want and which just take up valuable storage space.

You will find a folder with some Gameloft choices in but if you don’t want it it’s easily deleted. There’s also a smart controller if you want it, so your phone can become a remote control for your TV and so on.

Apps can be hidden in a folder, which is then password-protected. You can also use the phone one-handed – just pinch the corner of the display and pull it down.

Memory, processor and performance

There is 16GB of onboard memory – which can be expanded using the SIM tray 2 to 128GB. There’s an exceedingly speedy processor included – the HiSilicon Kirin 935 64bit Octa-core 2.2 Ghz Cortex-A53 – which gave us no stuttering or lag. Streaming was smooth, with swift changes to Whatsapp, the browser, emails and so on.

Screen

Huawei Honor 7 Review

 

The display boasts a 72.4 % screen to body ratio and its 1920 X 1080 pixels resolution offers a ppi of 424. The screen is amazingly clear and though a little over-saturated, it didn’t bother us at all.

Cool features

Huawei Honor 7 Review

The Honor 7 offers a range of very cool features. For instance on the left side of the phone the Smart Key allows you to configure it for three settings including Ultra snapshot, torch, Voice recording, and screenshot. Press and hold and it will call up your favourite app – ours is Instagram. The Ultra snapshot mode was a bit jittery – however the screenshot mode worked beautifully.

Have trouble getting up in the mornings? You can set this phone to wake you up using voice commands. It will also start ringing when it hears your voice.

Fingerprint recognition

Under the snapper lens sits a square indentation, which is the phone’s fingerprint sensor. Get this set up and you can use the sensor if you want to unlock the device, rather than tapping in a passcode. It’s really handy, especially if you’re on the move. Set the sensor to work with both your index fingers and it will work seamlessly.

Motion Control

You’ll discover some hidden treasures here – we particularly liked the Draw feature If your screen is off, draw a letter and the app fires up – you will still need to unlock the device. You can draw a W for weather, an E for the browser, a C for the camera and so on. Very clever and a neat party trick!

Knock for screenshot

Want to take a quick screenshot? Knock on the phone and it will do it for you. We’re not sure why you would need to take a screenshot but anyway…

Our conclusion

Huawei Honor 7 Review

While we love the Honor 6, it did have a few issues – the large size, the plastic body and the old incarnation of Android. The Honor 7 has sorted all this out – and we can see why in China there are 9 million pre-orders. This is a fantastic phone.

Its performance is exemplary – it managed every job we threw at it smoothly and with amazing speed. At just under £250, surely this phone is unbeatable.

It is obvious that Huawei wants to take a big slice of the phone market in the west and it must really want that business to offer this amazing 4G phone at this price. Of course selling it online will have helped with the cost, but other manufactures will need to take notice of what can be produced at this kind of price point.

What more can we say? We just love this phone.

Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions (mm): 143.20 x 71.90 x 8.50

Weight (g): 157.00

Battery capacity (mAh): 3100

Colours: Silver, Gold, Gray

Screen size (inches): 5.2

Resolution: 1080x1920 pixels

Pixels per inch (PPI): 423

Processor: 1.5GHz  octa-core

Processor make: Hisilicon Kirin 935

RAM: 3GB

Internal storage: 16GB

Expandable storage up to (GB): 128GB

Camera: 20-megapixel and 8-megapixel

Operating System: Android 5.0

Skin: Emotion UI 3.1

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