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Honor 7X review

It's time to welcome 18:9 to the mid-range

Interface and reliability

The Honor 7X uses the company's own Emotion UI 5.1 software, which provides a skin over the top of Android 7 Nougat.

We've yet to learn when the phone will get upgraded to Android 8 Oreo, but we've asked Honor and hopefully we’ll hear more soon.

Read more: Nokia 3.1 Plus review

Right now Android 7 software is okay, but it’s last year’s release, and it’ll quickly start to feel dated if the phone isn’t upgraded soon.

We found the Emotion UI 5 software worked well, but it’s a shame we don’t get the same software that’s supplied on other recent phones from Honor’s parent company Huawei, such as the Mate 10 or the Mate 10 Pro.

We found it easy to navigate around the phone, and you’re still getting some of the latest features with Android 7, such as multi-window support and the ability to directly reply to texts and emails within the notification bar.

Movies, music and gaming

The larger screen ratio on the Honor 7X makes it great for watching movies, but with some video apps you’ll need to press the full screen display button mentioned earlier to get the whole picture on the screen.

Once you’ve done that, you’re treated to a big screen for watching video without having to grapple with a relatively large and unwieldy phone. Despite the screen only being Full HD, the picture quality and vivid images make this a great phone to watch video on, especially for a mid-range device.

The speaker can be easy to cover with your hand if you’re watching video while holding the phone, and the audio quality isn’t anything to get excited about. It’s suitable for listening to podcasts or music, but you won’t be thrilled with the sound.

Check out the video below to hear our thoughts on the interface and media capabilities of the Honor 7X

A highlight of the 7X is the 3.5mm headphone jack, which has been dropped from a lot of higher-end phones, and a few mid-range ones, in favor of Bluetooth technology.

You can also listen with wireless headsets, and we found the connection quality to be good, but it’s always useful to have the 3.5mm jack option too, especially if you own a decent set of wired headphones already.

Gaming on the Honor 7X is a comfortable experience, with the wide screen looking sumptuous when you’re playing titles, but this phone won’t run more graphically-demanding games as smoothly as a lot of the top-end phones, and we did sometimes find it would stutter slightly.

If you’re looking to play top-end games on this phone it may be worth spending a bit extra on something a bit more stable with more powerful internals, such as the Honor 9 or the OnePlus 5T.

That said, you’ll be able to play a lot of popular less-intensive games on the Honor 7X without experiencing any problems.

Performance and specs

Inside the Honor 7X there's a Kirin 659 chipset and 4GB of RAM, which is enough to run most games and apps smoothly. The 7X runs a little slower and not at such high quality as most flagship phones, but we found it was able to cope with everything we wanted to do on a daily basis.

We ran the phone through Geekbench 4, and it scored an average of 3579, which is an improvement on the score of 3,105 that the Honor 6X achieved.

That’s a poor score, however, when compared to the Moto G5S Plus, which is a similar phone in terms of specs. The G5S Plus is a touch more expensive, but it came out with a score of 4,312, which would make that phone a better choice if you’re planning to do lots of intensive tasks and gaming every day.

That said, the Honor 7X can still do everything you’d expect a phone like this to do it’s just a touch slower, and you may have to wait a while longer for apps to load longer than if you’d spent a lot more money.

The built-in storage you'll get will depend on where you live in the world. We know that in the UK you’ll get 64GB of storage while those in the US will only get 32GB. There’s microSD support on both versions up to 256GB though.

We’ve been using the 64GB version of the phone, and we found that a reasonable amount of space – the software only takes up 12.5GB, which leaves a decent amount of space to play with and fill with apps, games and media. 

It’s worth noting that if you want to use a second SIM card in the Honor 7X you won’t be able to use a microSD card at the same time, as it uses the same slot.

One of the big disappointments in the specs of the Honor 7X is the lack of an NFC sensor. It means you won’t be able to use Android Pay to make contactless payments.