The HONOR X7a becomes official at the heels of success of the popular X9a smartphone. In its recent launch, the new handset is being pegged to be a travel-friendly device with its remarkable 6000 mAh battery. HONOR even calls it a “powerbank phone” due to its longevity when it comes to battery management, coupled by its capability to charge another device.
HONOR X7a Review
The handset with its long battery life is priced at a highly competitive sub Php 8K segment. Does it have anything more to offer on the table? Let’s find out in this review.
- Curved glossy back.
- 8.27mm thick, weighing in at 196g
The HONOR X7a comes in three striking colors: the Titanium Silver, Ocean Blue, and Midnight Black. We have the latter for our review unit. The black colorway has its own distinct personality – it’s giving a luxury, piano black look with curved-edge design.
The rear panel is made of quality plastic with glossy finish. It’s an instant fingerprint magnet; and if you’re bothered with the smudges, you will need to wipe it often when you’re not using a case. It feels slippery at first (in contrast to phones with matte finish) but you’ll get the hang of it quickly. However, the backing’s glossy finish allows more vibrancy to come out from the panel when you’re covering it with a transparent case.
You’ll find a well-put camera module which houses four camera sensors and an LED flash. Two sensors are housed in one circular enclosure (below the main camera) to enable a more compact module. I find these circular enclosures appealing as they give me flagship-level aesthetics.
The side railing is curved and comes with a different texture (matte) compared to the glossy rear; this texture also enhances the grip on the sides. Here, the ports and buttons are in their no-nonsense placements:
- volume rocker and power button (right);
- SIM tray, secondary mic (top);
- 3.5mm jack, primary mic, USB-C port, speaker grille (bottom).
Side buttons are easy and convenient to access. The fingerprint scanner is zippy in authentications and unlocking the phone; it’s embedded with the power button, by the way. The SIM tray houses three slots for 2 nano SIM cards and a microSD card.
Flipping the phone, you’ll have a glass front, slim bezels, and a dewdrop notch that houses the front camera sensor. The phone measures 167.48 x 76.85 x 8.27 mm and weighing in at 196 grams which is on the “big side” for a smartphone. Taking into consideration the dimensions and weight, I think it’s not that heavy for a phone with a massive 6000 mAh battery. Thanks to its design and construction, and of course, it’s lightweight plastic material.
The overall design of the HONOR X7a is effective. The piano black finish gives it a striking look; and the curved edges reinforced the needed grip to the handset. I may not like the fingerprint-loving finish, but the design is still functional and comes with an aesthetic value.
- Large Fullview Display
- Up to 90Hz refresh rate.
In terms of the display, the X7a has a wider screen at 6.74 inches. It’s a FullView display with 20:9 aspect ratio, slim side bezels, and 90.07% screen-to-body ratio for a better viewing experience. HONOR implements a dewdrop notch to house the front camera sensor. It would have looked better with a hole-punch design as the latter offers a little bit more screen space; it’s also less conspicuous and distracting.
The display is treated with a TFT LCD panel which gives a more natural color appearance. I can tell that it’s made of quality LCD. Unfortunately, you’ll only get an HD+ resolution (720 x 1600 pixels) with this phone, though it supports up to 90Hz refresh rate for smooth animations. In my opinion, it’s a good trade-off given its budget price; and I would prefer this combination compared to an FHD resolution but with standard 60Hz refresh rate.
The large screen real estate is great when watching my favorite shows, vlogs, or movies. I’m also fond of reading e-books on my spare time, thus knowing that the display is TÜV Rheinland-certified for eye protection is a thumbs up for me. In addition, it comes with e-book mode, eye comfort, and dark mode to further help reduce eye fatigue.
- Quad Rear Cameras
- 8MP Front Camera
At its affordable price point, consumers will be in for a treat as the X7a sports a quad camera setup. Leading the pack is the 50MP f/1.8 main camera, followed by a 5MP f/2.2 camera for wide-angle shots, and a couple of 2MP, f/2.4 sensors for macro and portrait shots.
For selfies, you’ll get an 8MP f/2.0 sensor with support for up to 10 levels of beautifications, as well as a bokeh feature when you’re rocking a particular mood for your social media feed.
In terms of video recording, the phone is only capable of shooting up to 1080p videos (both rear and front) which is a staple feature in this segment. You can also apply beautification to enhance your videos. Moreover, you can personalize how you use your camera and capture the shots with additional camera modes like Pro, Panorama, HDR, Time-lapse, Stickers, Super macro, and High-res.
Photos from the main camera are quite good especially when compared to other phones in this segment. Stills have good contrast and color accuracy. I’m expecting a lack in dynamic range for a phone in this price range but it’s actually good. Details and sharpness are also okay. On the other hand, the selfie camera is quite capable for social media use.
|HONOR X7a Sample Photo: 1x vs Ultrawide|
The quality drops when shooting in lowlight with colors being muted and noise becoming prevalent. Portrait shots are not that impressive, but the 2MP sensor is still a welcome feature; same goes with the macro shots. Overall, the phone’s camera is okay; there’s nothing special about the sensors but they can do their job as expected.
|HONOR X7a Sample Photo: Night Mode|
|HONOR X7a Sample Photo: Low-light|
|HONOR X7a Sample Photo: Macro|
|HONOR X7a Sample Photo: Selfie|
- Mediatek Helio G37 (12 nm) SoC
- 6GB RAM w/ HONOR RAM Turbo
- Supports up to 1TB storage expansion
Under the hood, the HONOR X7a is powered by MediaTek Helio G37 (12 nm) chipset. It runs on an octa-core CPU clocked up to 2.3GHz (4xA53 2.3GHz + 4xA53 1.7GHz). It’s supported by 6GB RAM and 128GB of native storage. On top of that, the phone can harness additional 2GB of virtual RAM made possible by the HONOR RAM Turbo feature (a total of 8GB of RAM for multitasking), as well as a storage expansion of up to 1TB via microSD. It ships with Magic UI v6.1 based on Android 12 OS.
Based on my actual experience, it’s obvious that performance is not the phone’s strongest suit. I experienced some app crashes and sluggish interface. However, it could still perform basic functions well. We also run performance tests, which include a commendable score in terms of battery life.
|Benchmarks: Geekbench 6, PCMark Battery Life Test, and AnTuTu|
- Geekbench 6: 191 single-core score and 812 multi-core score
- AnTuTu: 129165
Users who have experienced snappier processor performance would be left wanting for more with this handset. The MediaTek Helio G37 may not be a good choice for this phone; I hope HONOR could incorporate newer chipsets in their next releases on this segment. But then again, there are trade-offs that needs to be done; and this phone is capitalizing the prowess of other essential features which we will discuss in the battery segment. Casual gaming is fine but it’s not the same story when we talk of high graphics games. Popular titles like Mobile Legends are still playable.
- Long battery life
- 22.5W fast charging
The marquee feature of the HONOR X7a is undoubtedly its long battery life. HONOR equips this handset with a hefty 6000mAh battery which is uncommon in this price point. In our PCMark battery life test, it scored 18 hours which outperforms many competitors in this segment. In our actual use, it can easily extend up to the next day.
I’m always on travel and having a phone with this battery capability can sustain my activities all throughout the day without having to carry cumbersome powerbank, a charging cable, or make a stop in a charging station.
However, recharging this phone might take a while considering its big battery capacity. The phone has support for 22.5W fast charging; based on our charging test, a complete recharge will take almost 2 hours (1 hour and 55 minutes to be exact). It also comes with smart charge features designed to preserve the battery’s health and extend its lifespan. On top of that, the phone supports 5-watt reverse charging; this means you can also charge your other devices with this handset.
More than the battery life, the HONOR X7a is a well-designed smartphone. It’s something that does not feel and look like it’s priced at Php 7,990. I must say that this is a good deal considering that you really need a phone with long-lasting battery that won’t die on you for a day or two. With this feature, the X7a is definitely fit for the “travel-friendly” phone moniker.
If you’re in the market for a good-looking budget phone that could last for more than a day, the HONOR X7a could be the phone for you.
HONOR X7a Specs
- 6.74-inch HD+ TFT LCD display, 720x1600p, 20:9 ratio, 260 ppi density
- Mediatek MT6765H Helio G37 (12 nm) SoC
- 4x 2.3GHz Cortex-A53 + 4x 1.7GHz Cortex-A53 CPU
- PowerVR GE8320 GPU
- 6GB RAM
- 128GB Storage, expandable via microSD
- Quad Rear Cameras: 50MP, f/1.8, main with PDAF + 5MP, f/2.2 ultrawide + 2MP, f/2.4 macro + 2MP, f/2.4 depth
- 8MP, f/2.0 Front Camera
- Dual SIM (Nano)
- 4G LTE
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth 5.1
- GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
- USB Type C 2.0, OTG
- Fingerprint Sensor (side-mounted)
- 167.48 x 76.85 x 8.27 mm at 196 grams
- 6000mAh battery w/ 22.5W wired charging, 5W reverse charging
- Titanium Silver, Ocean Blue, and Midnight Black
- Php 7,990 SRP
Inside the Box Items:
- HONOR X7a unit
- 22.5W power supply unit
- USB-C cable
- Screen protector (pre-installed)
- Transparent case
- SIM eject tool
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