Big on display, small on price

The Honor 7X comes with a massive screen and charges little for it.

Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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Andrew Lanxon
3 min read

Huawei-owned Honor isn't trying to battle the iPhone X or Galaxy S8 with its latest phone. Instead, the Honor 7X is aimed squarely at those of you who don't want to splash the cash on elite handsets, but still want some of the pizzazz that comes with them.

With an expected price somewhere under the £300 mark, the 7X is more closely related to the similarly affordable Moto G5 Plus . While the G5 has a water resistant design (which the 7X does not), the Honor's great screen and slicker overall design makes it the more compelling choice. How the two truly stack up remains to be seen in our full review.

There's no official price as yet, but it's expected to be below £300 (the previous Honor 6X went on sale for £225). There's no word on when the phone will land in the US or Australia, but for reference, even an estimated £280 price converts to $369 and AU$485.

The screen is where the excitement lies. It's a massive 5.93-inch affair, with tiny bezels on all sides. With a fingerprint scanner on the back, rather than the front, the display has been able to take up all available room in the chassis. Sure, the Galaxy S8, Google Pixel 2 XL and Huawei Mate 10 Pro have all done that, but they'll both cost you hundreds more.


Honor 7X

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

And you get a lot of phone for that money.

First off, those slim bezels make it look like a much more premium device than the affordable price suggests. It's wrapped in a full metal shell,  which looks slick and feels great to hold. The deep blue colour stands out nicely against the slew of black and silver phones knocking about. The 2,160x1,080-pixel resolution makes text look pin sharp and it's easily bright enough to use under our harsh office lights.

It's loaded with a quad-core, Huawei-made Kirin 659 processor with 4GB of RAM. It's certainly no match for the S8 or Pixel 2 in benchmark scores, but in my tests I found it to be perfectly nippy enough for all your everyday emailing and Instagramming. It handles demanding games like Riptide GP: Renegade and N.O.V.A Legacy well enough for casual gamers too.

The rear 16-megapixel camera takes colourful shots with plenty of detail. Colours can be on the cold side, but there's a manual camera mode where you can adjust the white balance to get a nicer tone.

A second lens provides depth information, letting you capture photos with shallow depth of field, and indeed there's a 'Portrait Mode' just like you'll find on the iPhone 8 Plus and X. It does a decent job of isolating your subject by giving the background an attractive blur. The cut out of your subject isn't as neat as the iPhones manage, but it's more than good enough to add some cool effects to your portraits on Instagram.


Honor 7X

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The 8-megapixel front-facing camera takes sharp shots and has quite a wide angle of view so you won't need to squash your friends in too closely to get everyone in view.

What you won't find on the 7X is any kind of water resistance, something that is becoming a standard on higher-end phones. Keep it away from any potential splashes and be careful taking calls in the rain. It charges using the older micro USB, rather than USB-C, which isn't much of a problem as it means you can keep using the charging cables you had from your previous handset.

It also launches with the older Android Nougat software, rather than Oreo. It's a shame not to see the latest version on board, given that it's been available for some time, but I can just about forgive it, given the price of the phone. Honor is currently looking at early next year for an update to Oreo. 

The 3,340mAh battery (non-removable) is pretty sizeable, although that large screen will be an energy hog. I would expect to get a day of power with careful use, but we'll test that fully in the review.

Huawei Honor 7X specs comparison

Honor 7X Motorola Moto G5 PlusSamsung Galaxy J3 (2017)Samsung Galaxy S8
5.93-inch; 2,160x1,080 pixels 5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels5-inch; 1,280x720 pixels5.8-inch; 2,960x1,440 pixels
407ppi 424ppi293ppi570ppi
6.1x2.95x0.27 in 5.9x2.9x0.3 in5.6 x 2.8 x 0.34 in5.86 x 2.68 x 0.32 in
155x75x7mm 150.2x74x7.7 mm141x71.1x8.6148.9x68.1x8 mm
5.92 oz; 168g 5.5 oz, 155g5.2 oz; 147g5.5 oz; 155g
Android 7.1 Nougat Android 7.0 NougatAndroid 7.0 NougatAndroid 7.0 Nougat
16-megapixel (plus depth-sensing lens) 12-megapixel5-megapixel12-megapixel
8-megapixel 5-megapixel2-megapixel8-megapixel
4K 4K1080p4K
Kirin 659 quad-core 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 6251.4GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos 7Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz+1.9GHz) or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 (2.35GHz+1.7GHz)
64GB 32GB (UK & US), 64GB (US only)16GB64GB

2GB on 32 GB (US model), 3GB on 32GB (UK model) or 4GB on 64GB (US model)1.5GB4GB
Up to 256GB 128GBUp to 256GBUp to 2TB
3,340mAh 3,000mAh2,600mAh (removable)3,000mAh
Back of phone Below screenNoneBack
Micro USB Micro-USBMicro-USBUSB-C
Yes YesYesYes
Depth sensing lens allows for portrait mode photos Dual-SIM, splash-proofOutdoor modeWater-resistant (IP68), wireless charging, Gigabit LTE-ready
Converts to $395 $229 (32GB); $299 (64GB)$180AT&T: $750; Verizon: $720; T-Mobile: $750; Sprint: $750; U.S. Cellular: $675
Under £300 £249 (32GB)Converts to £138£689
Converts to AU$521 Converts to AU$300 (32GB) and AU$390 (64GB)Converts to AU$227AU$1,19