First impressions of the sub-£300 Android mid-ranger

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THE HONOR 7X has been announced officially, ahead of its launch in London on December 5th.

The “X” moniker is reserved for mid-range handsets, but that doesn’t mean that Honor has made too many compromises for a phone that costs…

…well, we’re not allowed to tell you that yet. Let’s just say it’s well under £300.

The Honor 7X continues the trend for 18:9 bezel-less 1080×2160 (quad HD – not to be confused with 4K or UHD) screens but its 6in screen is actually incredibly comfortable to hold, in spite of its dimensions and metal unibody. The screen is Gorilla Glass 4, so the whole thing is pretty sturdy.

To give you an idea of scale, here it is beside this year’s Honor flagship, the Honor 9, which has a standard screen and bezels (and a fingerprint sensor at the front)

It is being offered in 32GB or 64GB versions (the 128GB is currently only slated for release in China) and offers a middling 4GB of RAM, powered by a mid-range Kirin 659 processor in BIGlittle formation with four cores at 2.36GHz and four at 1.7GHz.

The camera is pleasing – bringing a dual lens to Honor’s X range for the first time with a 16MP+2MP rear and an 8MP 1080p selfie lens, with lots of software jiggery-pokery for improved low light

Battery stamina is pretty good, and you can just about pound the streets for a day on the Honor 7X’s 3,340mAh battery.

There is a fingerprint sensor and it’s round the back this time which you’ll either love or hate. As ever with Honor pho, es it’s a dual SIM device but the second SIM slot will also take a microSD card of up to 256GB – because that’s the biggest anyone is making right now.

Slight downers are that (probably unsurprisingly) it will be running Android 7.0 Nougat, but we are told that Oreo will be here early next year. The Honor/Huawei standard EMUI skin is over the top which, again, you love or you hate.

But the most surprising and annoying omission is that there’s no NFC. OK, so perhaps not that surprising. With WeChat being the go-to digital wallet in China, its not seen as a high priority feature on cheaper phones, but for some of you who rely on Android Pay, it could be a deal breaker and could be seen as a little naive for a company desperate to break the US as well as Europe as a brand for Digital Natives.

At this point, we’d normally say “it’s a mid-range phone that punches about its weight for the price” and then tell you how much. But that information is classified ahead of the official launch on December 5th. But let’s just say that once again, Honor is smashing it out of the park in the sub-£300 category.

We can also confirm that the price ends in “and 99 pence”, if that helps.

It’s a phone built for snappers, with its full-screen display and twin-lens camera, and even has a graffiti/sticker option built into the editing suite, so it achieves its ambition there in spades, but you might find the 4GB RAM a little limiting (it’s nearly 2018, after all) and the lack of NFC frustrating.

European variants which will be sold through the Honor website are Black and the signature blue. There is also a gold version but that’s not current slated for UK release.

The good news is that if this isn’t your bag, a new incremental flagship, the Honor V10 has launched in China, and with a big event planned for the Honor 7X on December 5th (when the pricing will be revealed) then we have a hunch that London could see a double whammy for Christmas.

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