Huawei has been in the Indian market for some years now, and since the last one year we have seen its online-only brand Honor launching phones at regular intervals. You can check out our reviews of the Huawei Honor 6 Plus, Huawei Honor 4X and the Huawei Honor 4C. On the occassion of completing one year in the Indian market, Honor launched a new phone for the Indian audience. An upgrade to last generation Honor 6 Plus, the new phone announced is called Honor 7. The phone was launched today at an event in New Delhi at a price of Rs 22,999 onwards. We had got to spend some time with the phone at the technology media preview session held last week, and here are our first impressions of the phone.
Design and Build
The first thing that will strike you about the phone is the elegant design. Huawei has employed an all-metal unibody design for the Honor 7 which is major departure from the carbon fibre material which was seen on the Honor 6 Plus. The metallic rear cover is not removable and in addition to having textured strips of metal on the top and bottom edges, the sides of the phone are also nicely bevelled giving the phone a good mix of matte and glossy finish.
The phone weighs around 157 grams and measures 8.5mm thick. The rear side has the square-shaped fingerprint scanner on the top, just below the 20MP rear camera. The Honor branding is embossed on the rear side in the centre. Coming to the front of the phone, you get a 5.2-inch full HD display. The bezels at the top and bottom are thinner as compared to previous generation of Honor phones and they are thin on the sides as well.
On the left hand side, you have a Smart Key hardware button which can be programmed to perform certain tasks on single or double clicks. Above it is the single nano SIM card slot. Coming to the top, you have the IR blaster and the 3.5mm audio jack. On the right hand side there is the volume rocker button followed by the power/standby button. At the base there is the microUSB port surrounded by speaker grilles on either side.
The phone feels quite good in the hand and despite the metallic build didn’t really feel slippery while we were playing around with it. There are no sharp edges, although we feel the volume rocker button could have protruded slight bit more.
Huawei Honor 7 rocks a 5.2-inch full HD display which looked quite crisp. As seen in the video above, the sunlight legibility is also quite good. The phone comes with an IPS panel and that ensures good viewing angles. The colours appear vibrant and text is sharp. We are not sure if there is Corning Gorilla Glass protection atop it, so we will have to wait it out till we have the review units.
Chipset, RAM, Storage
Just like its predecessors, the Huawei Honor 7 also houses its proprietary Kirin chipset. Considering it is the latest Honor phone, it houses the flagship Kirin 935 SoC which has an octa-core processor with one quad-core Cortex A53 cluster clocked at 2.2GHz and the other quad-core Cortex A53 cluster clocked at 1.5GHz. It is supported by Mali T628 MP4 graphics solution. This is paired with 3GB of RAM and the phone comes in 16GB and 64GB storage variants. You also get the option to expand the storage by adding on a microSD card.
While our limited time with the phone, it performed smoothly and we did not notice any lag in the animations or while switching apps. But we will reserve our observations on performance till we test the phone in our labs.
Huawei Honor 7 comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop on top of which you have the Emotion UI 3.1 user interface. While it does not look much different from the Emotion UI 3.0, Huawei has added some refinements such as an SOS app, better power management features and so on. The camera app has some new additions and filters as well.
On the connectivity front, you have a single nano SIM card slot which supports 4G SIM cards as well, there is Wi-fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, Stereo FM radio as well and the standard set of sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass and so on.
Honor’s high end phones have had good cameras. The Honor 6 Plus in fact had two 8MP sensors on the rear side. The Honor 7 employs a single 20MP camera sensor on the rear side, along with a dual-tone LED flash unit. On the front it has an 8MP camera for the selfie lovers, and it has also added a front-flash unit to let you take selfies even in low light conditions. It supports phase-detect auto focus which helps with quick focussing as we noticed while taking some daylight shots.
The camera user interface has been carried forward from previous generation phones but there are two additional modes right upfront – the Good food mode for enhancing food photographs and the Light Painting mode, which lets you do light graffiti, light trails and so on. We managed to click some photographs with the Honor 7 and were satisfied with the output. But we will need to run the camera through its paces with photographs in different lighting conditions, to be able to give a proper verdict.
The Honor 7 houses a non-removable 3,100mAh Li-polymer battery which according to Honor will give you a days worth of battery life. We will need to test this claim while testing the phone. The rear cover is non-removable. Just like most phones we have seen off-late, the Honor 7 will also support the fast charging technology.
Huawei has managed to sell over 4 million Honor handsets since their launch last year in India, and the company expects a good performance this year as well. From the feature set on offer, the Honor 7 seems to have got the basics right. The price of the Honor 7 handsets starts from Rs 22,999 for the 16GB variant – again a relatively good pricing looking at the competition. The metallic build, 20MP rear camera, Kirin 935 SoC, 3GB RAM, expandable storage – are features that do tend to tick off all the right boxes. We will have to see how the phone performs amidst the heavy competition in this price segment. We will still reserve our final verdict till we actually test the phone.
Disclaimer: This correspondent was invited for the early Honor 7 preview by Huawei in Goa. Travel and accommodation expenses were borne by Huawei.
Publish date: October 8, 2015 8:21 am| Modified date: October 8, 2015 8:21 am