Huawei doesn’t really position the Honor 7 as a Samsung S6 alternative for much less money, but that’s what the Chinese giant’s latest smartphone offering really is. It’s obvious as soon as you look at it. A beautiful metal frame manages to disguise the 7’s somewhat chunky size and 8.5mm thick profile, but at least it makes the Honor 7 cases an option rather than a necessity.
The Honor 7 actually looks a lot like Huawei’s current flagship smartphone model, the Huawei Mate. It’s fatter and heavier, but it looks as premium as the Mate and it would be hard to tell at a glance which of the two was the flagship phone and which was the cut-price killer mid-range offering.
Huawei is the largest and best known of the new Chinese smartphone makers and is about to break into the US market. While the Mate is a great phone for the price, it’s the Honor 7 that may actually be the phone that takes the fight to Android smartphone fans like Samsung, Sony, and HTC. It has a number of top-of-the-line specs that rival flagship phones from major brands, but it comes at a distinctly average price. Now that Huawei is getting more and more popular, Honor 7 buyers shouldn’t have a problem finding compatible Honor 7 cases and accessories either.
The Honor 7’s impressive list of specs begins with the must-have feature for smartphones in 2015, a fingerprint scanner. The good news continues with a brilliant Full HD display, a micro SD card slot, and even an infrared blaster – an increasingly rare but vaunted addition to a smartphone. However, everything is not exactly rosy. The infrared blaster appears to be disabled in the software as none of the apps seem to work with it and the fingerprint scanner does not yet support Google APIs. Also, despite the excellent overall build quality and very good fit and finish of the Honor 7, there are some cheap and tacky parts in the unibody metal frame, such as the tray for the SIM card and the Micro SD card.
However, there is a major selling point for the Honor 7. Google’s latest version of Android: 6.0, better known as Marshmallow, is coming to 7 and soon. Huawei has just made public that they are working on or already testing a beta version of Marshmallow on the Honor 7 and it should be available to the public before the end of the year, if not sooner. This beats many established players in the market or at least it will if Huawei keeps its word. This also makes the Honor 7 one of the most attractive and lowest-priced phones to be among the first to market with Marshmallow, which should be a huge draw for Android users eager to try the system’s latest boon. Google’s smartphone operating.