Huawei Honor 7 review: Rags to riches

GSMArena team, 31 July 2015.

Huawei Honor 7 360-degree view

The Huawei Honor 7 measures 143.2 x 71.9 x 8.5mm and weighs in at 157g. This is just 2mm thicker than the recently released P8 and 13g heavier. The Honor 7 is by no means inferior in terms of build and finish - the only thing that suggests a lower spot in the pecking order is the screen bezel - there's more of it here but by no means a deal-breaker.

Design and build quality

In the Honor 7, Huawei opted for a new take on the Honor series, ditching the dual-glass package in favor of an alloy unibody. This surely has put some extra weight on the new Honor, but it has provided for great grip and quite possibly, durability. And that's a fair deal we guess.

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Huawei Honor 7

Most of the Huawei Honor 7's front is occupied by the 5.2" 1080p IPS display. Upon a closer look though, the front LED flash is sure to get your attention. The Honor 7 is a selfie-centric device and both its camera hardware and software mean business.

Subtle but noticeable strips at the very top and bottom of the Honor 7's back mark the device's antennae and are therefore not made of metal. They are made of textured plastic instead, but are by no means an eyesore.

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Huawei Honor 7 at the back

The Honor 7's back looks a lot like the Mate7's - the familiar fingerprint sensor just below a prominent camera lens. Huawei found a way to use the sensor in a much better way than Apple and Samsung. It works even when the screen is off - a gentle touch is enough to instantly unlock it. The sensor is also used for various system-wide gestures, which don't involve fingerprint recognition. You can pull the notification center up an down, take pictures, answer calls, among other options.

The phone is notable for its great build and grip, which is a huge improvement over the Honor 6. While it maybe a little thicker and heavier, it is by no means bulky and the look and feel of steel is worth it. The phone can be easily controlled single-handedly, especially if you enable the one-hand operation gestures.

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Handling the Huawei Honor 7

Finally, smudges are a non-issue on a brushed metal smartphone like the Honor 7.

Controls

Above the 5.2" screen we find a couple of sensors, the 8MP selfie cam, the earpiece and an LED flash. The opposite panel has the 20MP main camera lens under a piece of sapphire glass, a dual-LED dual-tone flash and the fingerprint scanner.

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Huawei Honor 7 front and rear

The top of the Honor 7 has the 3.5mm audio jack, the noise-cancelling mic and the IR blaster. The microUSB port is at the bottom, flanked by the loudspeaker and primary mic grilles.

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The top and bottom of the Honor 7

The volume rocker and the power/lock key are on the right of the Honor 7. The left side of the device hosts the ejectable tray for a dual nanoSIM or a nanoSIM/microSD card setup. The hardware Smart Key is also on the left - you can configure its functionality in the phone's Settings.

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A peek at the right and left sides of the Honor 7