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Honor 7 – heir apparent to the mid-range Android crown

Huawei's nicely honed handset with nowt left out

Huawei operandi

The phone runs Huawei’s EmotionUI skin, tweaked a little since I last saw it a few weeks ago, in the Huawei branded P8. I covered this in depth in that review, so I won’t repeat the details. This skin dispenses with the App Drawer, so all apps are visible on the home panels.

Honor 7 Android smartphone

20Mp camera, anyone?

Like Sony, it plunks the Notifications and Quick Settings into a split screen pull down pane. The skin has a built-in device search, clearly pinched from the iPhone’s Spotlight, you even invoke them with the same gesture. It has a flagship’s range of motion gestures and convenience novelties.

So, for example, to get around the perennial #firstworldproblem of having to reach the top of large displays with one hand, you can swipe the soft button area and manipulate a smaller miniaturised display instead, something I described in my P8 review.

Although in practice, I never needed to – I got my notifications shade (and task switching) from using my finger on the rear sensor. There are motion gestures that wake up or mute the phone (standard stuff) and a nice one where you can pick up a phone and draw a letter on the sleeping screen to start an app.


The camera app has a UI clearly ripped from the current iPhone. There are presets for food and a beauty mode, but no slow motion setting: perhaps the phone's Kirin 935 chipset isn't up to it.

Honor 7 Android smartphone

Click for a full-resolution image

The Honor 7 actually turned in some fine photos, and the software opts for more natural (duller but more realistic) colours rather than over saturating the capture. (The food setting is really "over saturation on request").

Honor 7 Android smartphone

Standard snap (left) and with food filter (right) – just think of it as colour saturation mode. Click for a larger image

At this price there should be few complaints, but I just expected more from a 20MP sensor, and this is becoming a familiar refrain in phone reviews. In common with most smartphone video, it struggled with light balance, and didn't perform as well in low light as last year's HTC One M8 with its 4MP ultra pixel sensor (but then few things perform as well as this in low light).

Honor 7 Android smartphone

Click for a full-resolution image

Next page: So, what's missing?

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