The Honor 7X and Honor V10 are now in the UK and Europe – Know Your Mobile took them both for a brief spin at the London launch.
Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor, has already launched its two latest smartphones in China some weeks back; the Honor View 10, aka the Honor V10, and the Honor 7X. However, the firm held an event in London on December 5 which marked the official launch of the devices in the UK and European markets.
KYM was in attendance for the launch and can now bring you a hands-on report of the new devices.
First up was the Honor 7X, which is priced as an affordable handset from what’s generally a more affordable brand anyway. In other words, it’s quite competitively priced at £269 or €299 depending which region you’re in.
The big deal about the Honor 7X is that it’s the first budget smartphone to market with an 18:9 aspect ratio “FullView” display. The 5.93in screen sports a 2160x 1080p Full HD+ resolution and for a sub-£300 phone is pretty spectacular to say the least.
The screen quality is very high for this category; it’s very bright and has excellent colours too. On the software side, the display is supported by a couple of notable features, including automatic adjustment for day and night to be kinder to your eyes, and it also allows split-screen applications.
Design wise the Honor 7X features a pretty stunning metal bodyshell, as you can see, it’s quite iPhone-like, but is very cool nonetheless. A 3340mAh battery is crammed in there and the handset features an interesting four-corner safety airbag design.
No this doesn’t mean the phone explodes into a pillow when you drop it, but as demonstrated on-stage by Honor president George Zhao (to gasps from the audience), you can drop it or even throw it over your shoulder and it’ll survive the impact due to the internal cushioning. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t have waterproofing though.
Internal specs are pretty robust for this price point, the phone is powered by Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core CPU with 4GB of RAM. The storage really impresses at a massive 64GB (for less than £300 that is nuts), and it supports microSD up to 256GB.
Lastly, there’s the imaging. The Honor 7X has a dual-16MP primary camera on the back, and an 8MP selfie snapper with support for gesture-operated capture control; wave at the phone and it’ll take a selfie a few moments later.
The Honor 7X will be available in gold, black, and blue. On to the Honor View 10, or the Honor V10, as it’s also known. This is, essentially, a cheaper version of the Huawei Mate 10, with a few tweaks made to facilitate that price drop.
It packs a 5.99in Full HD+ display into a handset which Honor says will feel like a smaller device thanks to its 18:9 aspect ratio. The bodywork certainly feels comfortable in the hand; it’s made of metal and is a mere 6.9mm thick despite the massive 3,750mAh battery squeezed inside.
One neat trick is that although the Honor V10 features an 18:9 display, unlike most competitors who’ve moved the Home key fingerprint scanner to the rear, Honor has managed to cram it into the thin bottom bezel of the front fascia by using under-glass scanner technology; it’s not beneath the display panel, of course, just the glass of the front bodywork. A pretty clever workaround which is functional and looks very tidy.
The Honor V10 is powered by the same processor as the Huawei Mate 10; the firm’s own HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor, which features a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for faster and more efficient AI functionality. The AI capabilities of the phone were a key focal point for Honor’s presentation, with many facets and functions.
The Honor V10 features intelligent power saving and image enhancement, and can be unlocked via facial recognition, but recognises when your eyes are closed so that someone cannot unlock your phone when you’re asleep. It also recognises the orientation of your face, so that when you’re lying down (for example, on your side) it will rotate what you’re looking at intelligently.
A bunch of the AI features relate to the camera, but before I go into them, let’s look at the camera specs. It’s another dual-sensor setup using 20MP and 16MP sensors in tandem, both with f/1.8 wide angle apertures, with a 2-in-1 phase detection autofocus, and a dual-image-signal-processor. Honor’s demonstration images were incredibly impressive, but of course some in-field testing will be needed to see if the reality stacks up. The front-facing secondary is a 13MP snapper.
The AI features allow the camera to recognise and auto-adjust for a variety of different scenes, including landscapes, portraits, and pets (it distinguishes between cats and dogs) to name just a small handful of the total scope. Essentially Honor wanted to eliminate the need for users to faff with Pro modes to get the most from the camera by making it produce the best quality images for a situation via the automatic mode. The AI also automatically adjusts for motion detection and tracking so that you get a better quality image and less blur, and also compensates for zoom with AI assistance. In fact, this even applies outside of the camera itself – Honor’s AI algorithms will enhance images other people send to you, via social media, for example. Another feature is a built-in language translation – snap a picture of a menu, for example, and it’ll show up translated in an overlay image.
Other hardware includes 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, plus dual-4G LTE and dual-VOLTE capabilities. The Honor V10 will be available in navy blue or black at £449 or €499.