Update: after Google suspended Huawei's future access to Android Play Store and security updates, there are serious question marks over the future of Huawei and Honor phones.
While Google and Huawei have promised to support phones currently on the market, it's not clear how long they'll receive Android updates or access to the Google Play Store, which would severely curtail their usefulness compared to the competition.
Honor has previously blown us away with what it can put in cheaper handsets, and the Honor 7X has made another leap forward by bringing an elongated 18:9 bezel-less display to the mid-range market for the first time.
This is especially surprising as the Honor 9 – which the company launched earlier this year – still has a ‘standard’ 16:9 display, unlike most other flagship devices this year.
Following on from the Honor 6X was going to be a hard task for the brand – that was a great phone, particularly if you want a cheaper handset with good spec inside. So does the Honor 7X innovate enough to make it another impressive affordable phone?
Honor 7X price and release date
The Honor 7X sits in the middle of mid-range devices and will cost AED 999. You can purchase it at the Honor website, with delivery within 3-4 days. It is also available in Saudi Arabia with similar delivery times and a price of SAR 1,049.
You also get three months of Anghami music streaming service as well as three months of Viu video streaming services in the UAE as well as Saudi Arabia.
Design and display
The Honor 7X features a fully metal design that's attractive, although the back of the phone is flat, so it doesn't sit in the hand as comfortably as the Honor 6X did. It does make it thinner than a lot of other popular phones, at 4.6mm, and if you're looking for a slimline device this is an appealing option.
The back panel is metal, but it doesn’t have the same close-to-high-end feel as, say, the Nokia 6. Despite the overall finish on the Honor 7X, the metal doesn't feel as satisfying as when you're holding the glass-backed Honor 9.
The fingerprint sensor is located on the rear or the handset, and we found it easy to reach when holding the phone.
On the bottom edge of the device is a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is welcome if you use wired headsets. You'll also find the micro USB port and speaker grille there and we're a bit disappointed to not see a Type-C connector which is becoming increasingly common on mid-ranged handsets.
Honor is toting the 7X's display as a major upgrade, and it's certainly impressive that the company has managed to squeeze an almost 6-inch display into a body that would traditionally accommodate a 5.5-inch screen.
The 5.93-inch screen extends closer to the sides of the device than some other phones; it's not as attractive as the way the iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S8 adopt the 18:9 aspect ratio, but that’s to be expected considering this phone is a third of the price.
We found the screen to be bold and vibrant with a high resolution. It isn't as impressive as the screens on a lot of flagship devices, with a Full HD+ 2160 x 1080 resolution equating to 408 pixels per inch, but it’s a very good display considering the mid-range price of this phone.
One irritation with the screen is that most apps will default to the 16:9 screen ratio, and you’ll sea blue notification at the bottom of the screen, prompting you to tap to switch to full-screen mode.
It feels like an unnecessary step when we wanted to use all apps with the 18:9 display. For example, when setting up a watch within the Android Wear app we tapped the option to switch to full-screen mode, and part-way through the setup process it rebooted the app and kicked us back to the start.
We didn’t find any apps that wouldn’t embrace the extended screen, but you’ll have to wait a few seconds for apps to reboot when you press that button, which isn’t very helpful when a lot of other devices do this by default.