HONOR impressed us with the launch of their mid-range smartphone, the HONOR X9a. Barely a month since its Philippine launch, they’re back at it again, this time with a new entry-level X-series smartphone, the HONOR X7a.
The HONOR X7a retains some of its predecessor’s image (HONOR X7) with the double camera bumps at the back and the teardrop notch selfie camera. It comes in three unique colors Midnight Black (our review unit), Titanium Silver, and Ocean Blue.
The phone is mostly plastic but feels durable, thanks to the heft of its massive battery. The midnight black colorway is glossy but not a fingerprint magnet. Additionally, the included jelly case should be able to address that concern.
The HONOR X7a has a 6.74-inch FullView Display that offers decent colors despite being just an IPS LCD panel. It has a 720 x 1600 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The display is also TUV Rheinland certified for low blue light emissions.
On top of the phone is the sim card tray. On the right are the volume buttons and the power button that doubles as the side-mounted fingerprint reader. At the bottom are the headphone jack (pretty nice), the USB-C charging port, and the single downward-firing speaker.
Powering the HONOR X7a is a MediaTek Helios G37 processor with a PowerVR GE8320 GPU. It’s not a powerful processor, and it showed during testing, scoring 133040 in Antutu V9.5.4 and 190 for single-core, and 785 for multicore in Geekbench 6.
Our review unit also had 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage that can be expanded via a MicroSD card.
If you’re used to a much more powerful smartphone, you’ll notice the processor chugging. Still, I found that it can run some light games like League of Legends Wild Rift and Pokemon Go (more on this later).
Moving on, the camera surprised me. While I expected the phone to struggle, given its price range, it honestly performed well. The 50-megapixel main shooter was able to deliver good shots in daylight. While lacking vividness, images turned out all right with a bit of photo editing. However, low-light shots were a bit inconsistent; some shots had too much noise, while others turned out social media-worthy.
Additionally, the Honor X7a also features a 2-megapixel ultrawide camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The selfie camera is an 8-megapixel shooter.
User Experience: 4/5
What makes the HONOR X7a unique is its supermassive 6000mAh battery which HONOR claims can last three whole days.
Taking that claim to heart, I took the phone for a weekend of Pokemon Go. Why Pokemon Go? Well, I really like the game, plus it takes a toll on the battery forcing the display open most of the time. Honor X7a was able to handle the challenge like a champ.
I started the weekend with 100% battery ending Saturday at around 87% after two hours of playing. Sunday was a different story when I decided to play the whole day for an in-game event. The phone kept on going after I had already exhausted myself walking around SM North EDSA for about 5 hours. I was able to finish the day with still around 51% battery life. This was amazing!
It took another two days before the phone finally needed to recharge, but those two days were just light usage (an hour or so of Netflix at night).
The battery is charged using the included 22.5W HONOR SuperCharge charger. Unfortunately, charging time is lackluster, especially considering the massive battery. On the plus side, the phone has a 5W reverse charge feature if you’re willing to share your juice with your friends.
Another thing I noticed was that the display was bright even under direct sunlight. The phone’s cooling system was also great and barely warmed even after hours of gameplay.
If the battery is its most impressive feature, the processor seems to be its major weakness. The Helios G37 was visibly struggling during my time with it. You’ll notice some stutters even when you’re just scrolling through the setting menu. Fortunately, setting the refresh rate to always high instead of dynamic alleviates the problem.
The HONOR X7a retails for PHP7,990 — in my opinion, a higher asking price than other similar smartphones. Still, it has one clear advantage over the rest, the 6000mAh battery that handily beats the rest of its competitors. Its processor choice may not be the fastest in its class, but I’ll take more screen time over trying to find an outlet or carrying a bulky power bank when I’m outside.
- Battery monster
- Processor holds the phone back
- A bit hefty
- Display: 6.74-inch HD+ (720 x 1600) FullView Display with 90Hz refresh rate
- Processor: Mediatek Helios G37
- OS: MagicUI 6.1 over Android 12
- RAM: 4GB/6GB
- Internal Storage: 128GB expandable via MicroSD
- Camera: Front: 8-megapixel; Rear: 50-megapixel (main), 2-megapixel (ultrawide), 2-megapixel (macro), 2-megapixel (depth)
- Battery: 6000mAh with 22.5W HONOR SuperCharge, 5W reverse charge
- Connectivity: 4G, Bluetooth 5.1. Dual-Band WiFi
- Dimensions: 167.48 x 76.85 x 8.27mm
- Weight: 196g
The battery king of 2023 so far.
Reviewed by Gabriel Pe
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE March 2023 Issue