Honor has gained great success with its budget and mid-range smartphones in the last one year. Following-up to last year’s great value from Honor 6, Honor this year has introduced the Honor 7 its new flagship featuring premium build with a fingerprint sensor. Fortunately, we spent some time with the phone at the launch event. Do give it a read on our first impressions of the device below.
The Honor 7 smartphone features a premium, metal unibody design with rounded edges. The device feels good in hand and can be used pretty well single handedly. The back cover is metallic and is non-removable with textured strips of metal on the top and bottom edges whereas the sides of the phone are nicely bevelled giving the phone a good mix of matte and glossy finish. On the left hand side, you have a Smart Key which can be programmed to perform certain tasks on single, double clicks or a long press. On the right hand side you have volume rocker buttons followed by the power button. The buttons were very responsive and offered a decent tactile feedback.
The IR port and 3.5mm jack are placed at the top and the micro-USB port at the base sandwiched between two grilles one of which acts as the speaker.
The Honor 7 sports a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS LCD display and is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 935 processor with octa-core (2.2GHz Cortex-A53 x 4 + 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 x 4) CPU coupled with 3GB of RAM. The device comes in 16GB and 64GB storage variants with expandable storage using a microSD card.
Talking about the camera, the smartphone employs a 20MP camera with phase detection autofocus, the camera features a Sony IMX230 sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 6-lens module, dual-LED flash, and sapphire glass protection on top with a dual-tone LED flash and a 26-mm wide-angle fixed focus 8MP camera with a f/2.4 aperture on the front with a front-flash. While internationally the device comes in dual SIM variants but the manufacturer has introduced only the 16GB (along with expandable memory) single SIM variant in India. The Honor 7 houses a non-removable 3,100mAh Li-polymer battery that supports fast charging technology.
Honor 7 comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop Out of the Box with Honor’s latest EMUI 3.1 Skin featuring a unified app launcher and homescreen. The user interface is smooth and lags seldom. The company has also added a knuckle tap feature which lets you just knock the screen twice with a knuckle to capture a screenshot. The device also comes with voice capabilities, such as the ability to be woken up with a designated command.
The camera application has also improved and there are two new additional modes right upfront – the Good food mode for enhancing food photographs and the Light Painting mode, which lets you do light graffiti. Overall the software is neat and is very responsive, also the manufactures promises an early beta release of Android Marshmallow by mid of January.
The Fingerprint Sensor
Addition of a fingerprint sensor to Honor 7 appears to be a great move by Honor as it is unusual to see a fingerprint sensor in mid-range handset. The fingerprint scanner is located on the back of the device just below the rear camera. Its square recess is the perfect height for your forefinger. The manufactures claims that it takes just half a second to unlock the device. To take complete advantage of fingerprint sensor there are some tweaks integrated in to OS to perform additional functions from the fingerprint sensor like swiping from top to bottom on the sensor will drop down notification panel, taping the sensor will take photos or start video recording, answers calls, snooze/disable alarms etc.
So ideally Snapdragon processors are considered to be the best in class processors, But contrary Honor decided to go with its in house Kirin 935 chipset and I must say it puts up a pretty decent fight against the top-end Qualcomm chips you’ll find in other Android smartphones. During the short time spent with this phone the overall performance was snappy, switching between apps went smoothly and we did not face any signs of lag or stutter.
FUN-FACT : The Honor 7 comes with a reverse charging feature that lets users charge other devices using the smartphone.
Pricing and availability
The Honor 7 is priced at INR 22,999 and will be available exclusively through Flipkart starting October 15. Flipkart is also providing app gifts worth up to Rs. 14,000 from partners like Freecharge, Hungama, and Yatra on purchase of this device.
OUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The Honor 7 features some of the top-end specifications and a price less than half of a traditional flagship means it stands above other similarly priced phones with not the same specifications. Priced at just under 25k appears to be an attractive deal, but how well does it justify the price tag is yet to be known as there are other devices like OnePlus 2, Asus ZenPhone 2 Deluxe and many more. With 3GB of RAM, expandable storage and a fingerprint sensor – are features that do tend to tick off all the right boxes. We will have to wait and see how the device performs amidst the heavy competition in this price segment.