HONOR keeps on releasing new smartphones as it pushes to become on top. Over the past few months, we’ve seen a couple of interesting midrange phones from them, from fancy flagships to entry-level devices like we have here, the HONOR X7a.
The company is bragging about the device’s large battery, sharp camera, and enormous screen. We’ll see how those perform, as well as its other features, so we can see if it’s worth getting. Here’s our HONOR X7a review.
HONOR X7a Review
- Android 12, Magic UI 6.1
- Dual SIM, Dual standby
- 6.74-inch HD+ IPS display, 1600 x 720 pixel resolution, ~260ppi
- 90Hz refresh rate
- 2.3GHz MediaTek Helio G37 octa-core processor
- 4GB/6GB RAM RAM
- IMG PowerVR GE8320 GPU
- 128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 1TB
- 8-megapixel front camera
- 50-megapixel (f/1.8) + 5-megapixel (ultra-wide) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras, LED flash
- Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
- Headphone jack, Single loudspeaker
- HSPA+, 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.1
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 167.48 x 76.85 x 8.27mm
- Weight: 196g
- Colors: Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, Titanium Silver
- 6,000mAh non-removable battery, 22.5W HONOR SuperCharge
Design and Build Quality
The HONOR X7a is a large and heavy smartphone, no surprises there, considering that it boasts an enormous 6.74-inch display and 6,000mAh battery. Holding the device, especially with one hand, can be really tiring after some time.
On the upside, the design looks clean and elegant. Although, it’s pretty basic and doesn’t stand out from the crowd. The shiny, glass-like back panel, despite the frosted treatment, is prone to fingerprint marks.
If you can bare an additional bulk, you can use the clear case included in the box.
HONOR put the SIM tray on the top, which can accommodate two nano SIM cards or one SIM and one microSD card (hybrid). The bottom has a 3.5mm headphone jack, primary microphone, USB Type-C port, and a single loudspeaker.
The left side is clean, while the right has tactile volume controls and the flimsy lock/power switch that also works as the fingerprint scanner.
On the back, there’s a glass-like camera island that holds the triple cameras and the LED flash. We also have the HONOR logo back here.
The front has a decent bezel size, even the chin. Since it’s a budget phone, it makes use of a waterdrop notch for the selfie camera instead of the cleaner-looking punch-hole.
While it does look clean and elegant, the design is not the best characteristic of the X7a. Build quality is not that good either.
Display and Sound Quality
As said earlier, the display is one of the biggest strengths of the HONOR X7a. What we’re dealing with here is a large 6.74-inch IPS panel, with only an HD+ pixel resolution, but with a 90Hz high refresh rate.
Despite the lack of sharpness, we certainly appreciate the huge size of the screen. It makes watching Netflix, YouTube, and other videos more enjoyable as your peripheral vision is almost entirely occupied.
We also like the 90Hz refresh rate, but due to the underwhelming processor, it’s barely noticeable on apps. Still, it managed to make the interface occasionally smoother.
We’d love to see a stereo speaker on a screen this big. But then again, since they’re working on a tight budget, the HONOR only managed to put a single loudspeaker on this device.
The solo speaker offers decent volume and clarity for the price. If you want a better experience, you can get yourself a pair of earphones or an external speaker. No free earphones in the box as well.
Hardware and Performance
The HONOR X7a is powered by a 2.3GHz MediaTek Helio G37 octa-core processor, and IMG PowerVR GE8320 GPU, with the unit we have here sporting 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage.
HONOR X7a benchmark scores
Performance is really disappointing. Scrubbing through the interface is laggy and opening apps is slow. But once basic apps like the web browser or social media platforms are already up, they do run fine.
Taking pictures or video calls are also fine, but then again, just after the app is already running.
Gaming performance, as expected, is also not good. But with the price, you should already set your expectations. We tried Call of Duty Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang under low graphics quality. The game was playable, despite the consistent lag. It’s certainly playable, but it’s not smooth all the way through.
Software and User Interface
The HONOR X7a still ships with Android 12-based Magic UI 6.1 interface. Hopefully, the Android 13-based Magic UI 7 will be available soon.
Still, the interface is pretty clean. Although, more optimizations could definitely help its underpowered hardware. You can check some of the key software features below.
- HONOR products price list
- Realme smartphones prices
- Infinix products price list in the Philippines
- TECNO Mobile prices in PH
Another key feature of the HONOR X7a is its 50-megapixel main camera. It also managed to have an ultra-wide lens, although only with a 5-megapixel sensor. We also have a 2-megapixel depth sensor and an 8-megapixel selfie camera on the front.
The image quality from the main camera is fine, but nothing like the 50-megapixel sensors from more expensive devices. Everything about the picture quality is passable. Details are sharp but not too sharp, the colors look decent, and the dynamic range is surprisingly well.
The slow chipset means it doesn’t take images fast enough, so make sure you stay still until it finishes capturing or you’d end up with a blurry image. Low-light images are unsurprisingly uninspiring with poor detail and washed-out colors.
We appreciate HONOR for including an ultra-wide lens, which is beneficial if you like taking “0.5” images or large subjects that are hard to fit in a single frame.
But with its low-resolution 5-megapixel sensor, the details are bad, and it looks blurry more often than not. On the upside, it sometimes provides vibrant and eye-popping colors.
The 8-megapixel selfie camera, like the other sensors on this phone, is passable. It has poor details and skin tones look pale. Still, for online classes and virtual meetings, it should work fine.
If the HONOR X7a has a redeeming quality, that’s the battery. This one has a whopping 6,000mAh battery, which could easily last you for two to three days of light to moderate use.
In fact, it got the most impressive battery life score of all the phones we’ve reviewed. In the PCMark battery test, it achieved a screen-on time of 19 hours and 50 minutes. That’s after a loop of workload until the battery dropped to 20%, with WiFi and Bluetooth off and the brightness and volume at 50%.
To give you an idea, the highest score we got from that test was only around 16 hours.
The box comes with a 22.5W HONOR SuperCharge adapter. We plugged the device from 19%, and by 30 minutes, it reached 50%. A full charge took about an hour and a half.
It lacks 5G connectivity, which is no surprise. On the upside, 4G LTE worked fine during our tests. No issues with the dual-band WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.1 either.
The X7a also has HONOR Share for easy nearby file sharing, Link to Windows, Wireless Projection and Printing, and Android Auto. It would have been better if it had Android’s Nearby Share to work better with other devices, though.
The HONOR X7a is definitely not the best smartphone you can get for the price. It failed in one key area that’s important to everyone: performance. The device is really slow and laggy, which is a big deal-breaker for a lot of people.
Still, the X7a managed to impress us with its large display and long battery life. If you’re looking for a smartphone specifically for those features, then there’s still a reason to check out the new device, especially when you hear about its price.
HONOR X7a price and availability in the Philippines
The HONOR X7a has a price of Php7,990 in the Philippines and comes with free HONOR Earbuds worth Php1,590 from February 22 to 28, 2023.
- Large display
- Long battery life
- Decent cameras
- Laggy performance
- So-so design and build quality