The HONOR X7a is now official, though ahead of its Philippine launch, we got to test out the new HONOR phone to see if it’s a good buy.
Previously, HONOR opened the year with the launch of the X9a, a smartphone that impressed us with its stylish, flagship-like looks, all while having a price tag that’s way more affordable than typical flagships. Now, HONOR launched the X9a’s sister phone — the HONOR X7a.
Unlike the X9a, the X7a is a budget offering, though it still promises to deliver a good user experience, as well as great photography thanks to its 50MP main camera.
Of course, promises are one thing, but does the HONOR X7a deliver in actual use? Find out here in our review.
To start, let’s take a look at the phone’s design. In photos, the X7a seems to have a shiny and glossy back much like mid-range phones of previous years. But as is the trend nowadays, the X7a has a matte (or at least matte-like) finish that gives it a nice grippy feel.
Even without a case, the X7a feels great in hand as it is grippy enough that it won’t fall out of your hands even if they get sweaty after a particularly intense gaming session.
The matte-like finish is also nice as it means the phone is not a fingerprint magnet — great news for users who prefer to go caseless. But for extra protection, the phone comes with a free clear case which we recommend using.
Design-wise, the camera module is also rather distinctive, highlighting the phone’s multi-camera setup. There’s also a small HONOR logo at the bottom left corner.
Moving to the front, we have the phone’s 6.75-inch HD+ display, and it features a waterdrop notch at the top, with slim bezels at the side. While it’s not a holepunch notch as is arguably common nowadays, it still looks very much like a modern phone.
Speaking of display, the phone’s 6.75-inch display is an LCD panel with an HD+ display (720p). Because the phone’s display is LCD, its colors are not as vibrant as phones with AMOLED panels (which are becoming increasingly common). The 720p resolution also means it’s not the sharpest display out there. But for its entry-level price tag, the HONOR X7a is perfectly capable of being a binge-watching partner for movies and TV shows as it still gets plenty bright and has solid image quality for an LCD screen.
As for audio, the HONOR X7a has a decent onboard speaker, though for binge-watching, it’s still highly recommended to use external speakers or headphones. Thankfully, the X7a features a 3.5mm headphone jack which is always a plus as lots of smartphones nowadays are removing the headphone jack (especially in the mid-range and flagship segment).
The X7a is powered by a Mediatek Helio G37 processor with 6GB of RAM. At this point, the Helio G37 is a fairly old processor, though it should still have enough power to run today’s popular MOBA and FPS titles. In our test, the phone was able to play today’s popular games, though it’s underpowered for more hardware-intensive titles.
For instance, the X7a ran games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang at the Medium setting. Meanwhile, League of Legends: Wild Rift was only able to run at the Low setting and at 30FPS. As for shooters like Call of Duty Mobile, the phone can run them but also only at lower settings.
If you like playing more demanding games though, the HONOR X7a probably isn’t for you. For instance, Diablo Immortal could not be installed from the Play Store as it’s said there that the phone doesn’t meet the requirements. Though to be fair, it’s difficult to find a phone at this price range that can run games like Genshin Impact.
Geek Photoshoot Capabilities
Now we move on to its cameras. Despite being a budget phone, the X7a has a 50MP f/1.8 main + 5MP f/2.2 ultrawide + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor quad rear camera setup — impressive as other phones in this price range have less cameras or have lower-MP count main shooters. Meanwhile at the front is an 8MP f/2.0 wide selfie shooter.
First off, the 50MP main camera is able to take good photos in daytime and indoors, so long as there’s enough light. Photos taken in these scenarios have good colors and retain a satisfactory level of detail.
At night though, the 50MP main camera’s photos see a noticeable dip in quality. Low light shots are still usable, though at the time of our review (with the latest update), there is no Night Mode yet on the camera app. Hopefully it gets added in a future update as having it should make for better night shots. After all, many budget phones have Night Modes in their camera app.
Despite being only a 5MP shooter, the ultrawide camera takes surprisingly decent photos. In daytime and bright indoor areas, ultrawide shots are quite good for a budget phone. Though at night, the dip in quality is definitely noticeable, especially as again, there is no Night Mode.
For its other cameras, the 2MP macro camera is fine enough if there’s plenty of light. As for the depth sensor, it does help give portrait photos a fairly natural background blur effect.
Finally, selfies using the 8MP front camera are quite nice for an entry-level device as the quality should be good enough for your next post or story. Though you may want to play around with the AI beautification setting as it is a bit on the strong side.
The X7a runs on Magic UI 6.1 which is based on Android 12. In terms of usability, the UI shouldn’t be all that different from other Android phone. Though one thing to note with the X7a is that it’s not the fastest phone that you can get right now.
When we first got the phone, it ran quite slowly as it stuttered while in the menus. Updating it to the latest software version helped a lot though as the phone became way more responsive. Though scrolling through the menus and opening apps still isn’t as smooth as we would’ve liked.
Despite this, we had no issues with actually running social media or work-related apps. Though it likely won’t have enough power for heavy content creation apps.
What is great about the phone is its battery life. Thanks to its massive 6,000mAh battery, it’s actually a challenge to drain the phone’s battery from 100% in just one day. In fact, in our average use, the phone was able to last for nearly three days on a single charge.
Of course, your mileage may vary, but for many users, this is easily a two-day phone, meaning you can be confident and leave a power bank at home whenever you go out. Plus, it can even function as a power bank for your other devices as it has 5W reverse charging.
If you do need to charge, the phone has 22.5W fast charge support. This means you won’t have to wait too long for the phone to reach 100%.
Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict
So, how does the HONOR X7a in the budget segment? Well, it has a great design and a flexible set of cameras that make it worth considering, though its performance might not be the best. Though for those who prioritize battery life above all else, the X7a is well worth checking out at its PHP 7,990 price tag.
Aside from being worth considering as a main phone, the X7a’s reverse charging capability and its massive battery also makes it one of the best backup phones that you can get, especially in emergencies where battery life is the biggest priority.
HONOR X7a Specs:
- Mediatek Helio G37 Processor
- PowerVR GE8320 GPU
- 6GB RAM
- 6.75-inch TFT LCD display, HD+ resolution
- 128GB storage
- 50MP f/1.8 main + 5MP f/2.2 ultrawide + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor quad rear camera setup
- 8MP f/2.0 wide front camera
- 3G, LTE Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, fingerprint scanner (side), USB Type-C
- 6000mAh battery with 22.5W fast charge support, 5W reverse wired charging
- Android 12 with Magic UI 6.1
- Titanium Silver, Ocean Blue, Midnight Black
- Price: PHP 7,990