By: Anil Satapathy, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Friday, November 06, 2015 - 16:44
Here's why the Honor 7 should be in your list if you are planning to buy a smartphone under Rs 25,000.
Premium Metal body
Long battery life
Good front and rear cameras
Fast and lag free performance and user friendly UI
The metal body is a bit slippery, no back cover is offered
It supports only single SIM
Just 16 GB internal memory
Huawei's Honor brand currently offering several smartphones in the Indian market, starting from Honor Bee at Rs 4,499 to Honor 7 at Rs 22,999.
To refresh your memory, the Honor 7 was first unveiled in July this year and is among few devices that come with the fingerprint sensor. What makes it unique is the usages of its fingerprint sensor. Apart from standard unlocking and locking, the fingerprint sensor can be used to navigate the UI, take photos, launch camera etc.
But it is just one feature of Honor 7. Here we have analysed the performance of Honor 7 in depth.
The Honor 7 has a premium metal body, which despite being a bit slippery, looks aristocratic and sturdy. It has got design elements such as chamfered edges and pattern finish on the top and bottom parts of the back panel. The chrome ring on the outer edges of fingerprint sensor also adds bling to the device.
However, it comes in just two colours - Mystery Gray and Fantasy Silver. I bet many would have loved a black variant as well.
In Honor 7, the power and volume rocker are on the right hand side and due to its compact size they are easy to reach as well. You can easily operate this phone in one hand. There is an extra button on the left hand side which is actually a multi-purpose key that you can set to switch on flash light, launch the camera app or open the Google Search even when the phone is in locked state. However, if you feel it is interfering with your usage just turn off it functions.
The Honor 7 has a single tray that holds the SIM and micro SD card. Unfortunately, the SIM 2 is not operational as a result this is a single SIM smartphone.
Besides, there are two speaker ports at the bottom of Honor 7 on either side of a micro USB port. The 3.5 mm audio jack is at the top alongside an IR blaster that allows it to be used as a universal remote controller.
The device is a bit heavy at 157 grams but that was justified as it offers a metal body and a big 3100 mAh battery.
Overall, the Honor 7 has good design that makes it quite comfortable to use. Though Honor could offer more colour options (atleast back covers) to give more option to choose from depending on the colour taste of the user.
The Honor 7 has a 5.2 inch display - big enough for gaming and web browsing. The display has got full high definition resolution as well - the best that you can at this price till now - and thus offers 423 ppi pixel density.
The display got negligible scratches during our review but would suggest the use of a screen protector to keep the display new for long. Touch response and brightness levels of Honor 7's display are superb too.
The Honor 7 offers a 20 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash light, phase detection autofocus with fast focus, HDR, panorama and very useful filters like food mode, light painting, slow motion etc.
The rear camera works exactly like it promises on the paper. It was quick to open and is very fast to capture. I have clicked several images of fast moving vehicles and it always managed to capture the subjects without failing. It offers plenty of resolution in the pictures and depicts colours as they are. Especially in low light, it does a commendable job.
It's front 8 megapixel camera is also decent, especially when there is plenty of lighting and things are not moving as it is of fixed focus in nature. It is though quite quick and reproduces colours as they are.
You can check out its camera sampleshere and here.
Fingerprint Sensor and UI
The Honor 7 currently is based on Android Lollipop operating system but is set to get the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update in February next. With the new Android version, its performance is expected to improve further.
On the top of Android Lollipop, there is Huawei's EMUI 3.1 user interface. The user interface doesn't have an app drawer and everything is laid out in the home page itself. Apart from that you will find it quite similar to the vanilla Android interface.
However, the addition of the multipurpose key (as I described in the design section) and fingerprint sensor adds few innovative features to the UI.
Let's first talk about the Fingerprint sensor. As I discussed earlier, the fingerprint sensor does more than just locking/unlocking the phone. You can use it as a return key to go back to the home page or to your previous task, take photos and videos, answer calls, stop the alarm, as a menu key to see recently used apps, and to see notifications.
Note that by default all these features are switched off and you have to turn them on from the settings. Personally, I found it quite interfering, though. Since the fingerprint sensor lies just below the camera, I always ended up touching it while using the phone triggering unnecessary commands. Finally, I opted out from the features. So at the end it is all about your personal choice; you have to see which of these above functions you want the sensor to do.
The multipurpose key though was quite useful to quickly capture a picture or to open flashlight or to search the internet quickly.
Besides, it comes with gloves mode, gesture inputs, voice wake up, one hand input layout and few nifty features like knock the display to take a screenshot.
Overall I would give full marks to the Honor 7 for its UI and is quite eager to see what other features it would be endowed with the upcoming Android 6.0 update.
The Honor 7 comes equipped with the Hisilicon Kirin 935 chipset that has a 1.5 GHz octa-core processor and Mali-T628 MP4 graphics processor and 3GB RAM. The combination works well for the Honor 7, allowing the phone to handle tasks with ease. So be it gaming or multitasking rest assured, the Honor 7 can handle all those. It was quick to switch between apps too.
There's also plenty of storage space - 16 GB internal and an expandable storage slot that can hold a micro SD card of 128 GB capacity. It also comes with USB OTG functionality. Though I would have liked higher internal storage considering that almost all of its new age competitors offer 32 GB or 64 GB internal storage.
The Honor 7 is equally good when it comes to battery life. Its 3100 mAh battery comfortably offers a day's back up even with heavy usage.
As I said earlier, it has one tray that has one SIM card slot and a dual-purpose slot that can hold one SIM card or a micro SD card. But the second SIM has just the cosmetic value because the model that has been made available in India is a single SIM variant.
This is the chink in its armour and offers any excuse to register a complaint. The volume was quite loud and call reception was good. The Honor 7 also endowed with 4G connectivity, Bluetooth 4.1 A2DP LE, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS and micro USB 2.0 port.
The Honor 7 ticks most of the boxes in the specification sheet. The chinks I could see in its armour is its average 16 GB internal storage while its competitors offer more and inspite of having provision for a dual SIm the device supports only one SIM. Also, though it looks elegant but is a bit slippery. So if you are okay with these issues, then the Honor 7 should be in your shopping list this diwali.