The Honor X7a is finally on sale in the Philippines, and it is the most affordable model in the brand’s current smartphone lineup. The price? Well, it only costs PHP 7,990, and the first few customers will even get a free pair of Honor Earbuds worth PHP 1,590. Seems like a great deal right? It’s even more affordable than its predecessor, the Honor X7 launched last year by almost PHP 2,000.
At the price of PHP 7,990, the Honor X7a is indeed a very affordable smartphone, especially if you want a new 2023 model with 6000mAh battery and a quad-camera rear camera. However, it does have some limitations in terms of specs and performance. Particularly, it only runs on a MediaTek Helio G37 chipset and has 128GB storage to name a few.
The question then is this – should you consider the new Honor X7a? Well, read on to find out in this full review.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
If you’ve ever tried the Honor X7 launched last year, you’ll notice that the new X7a looks more or less looks the same, both front and rear. Honestly, it’s hard to tell the two apart at first glance. But if you look at the back of the phone more closely, you can see the redesigned camera bezel featuring a new rectangular housing.
As a result, one of the camera lenses is now separate along with the flash. They’ve also added a lens decal as well to give the rear design some style. We like this new layout as compared to the one on the X7, but what do you guys think about it?
Aside from the new rear camera housing, the rest of the phone remains nearly identical. You can find the volume button and power button which doubles as a fingerprint scanner on the right side.
Up top, there’s the dual-sim card slot and microSD card slot. While at the bottom of the phone are the 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C port, and a loudspeaker.
The X7a itself feels nice to hold since the side of the phone is made of metal, and the buttons are easily accessible when you’re using it with one hand. With the phone’s shape, you won’t accidentally press any button on the screen. It’s quite slim too; it fits in my pocket along with my daily phone without making my pants feel too bulky.
However, the phone feels plasticky, particularly the backside, but you have to manage expectations given the price. As much as I don’t want to cover up the nice Ocean Blue color which isn’t too loud or subtle, I suggest using this phone with a case. That’s because the back side is just a fingerprint magnet.
Display and Multimedia
At the front, the Honor X7a sports a large 6.74-inch IPS screen with 1600×720 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. We also noticed that the screen isn’t entirely flat with some curves at the edges. However, there are noticeably thick bezels, particularly at the top and bottom of the screen.
The colors on the X7a’s screen are great with okay contrast although they are a bit too saturated for my liking. There’s also a really bright backlight, making the phone great to use even under direct sunlight.
There is just one issue, and I couldn’t help but notice the laggy screen even with the 90Hz refresh rate. While it is smooth, sometimes when scrolling through the menu, you can experience some lag, especially if you swipe or tap the screen a bit too fast. The same goes when you’re browsing social media or the internet. But, that could be related to what powers the Honor X7a, which we will discuss later.
Moving on to the cameras, the Honor X7a has a quad-rear camera system like its predecessors. The primary lens captures up to a maximum of 50MP along with 5MP wide, 2MP depth, and 2MP macro lenses. As a result, the rear camera is great for shooting no matter what the subject matter is.
The photos look great even when the lighting isn’t that perfect, with minimal editing needed. You even get some great contrast if you’re shooting using pro mode. When the lighting isn’t the best, the edges do tend to be a bit soft, but whatever you’re focusing on is very sharp and appears to be digitally enhanced by the phone. As a result, you can upload the photos as they are on social media without needing to touch them up on Lightroom.
Since you do have 50MP at your disposal, you get high-resolution photos. Perfect for when you’re traveling and if you need to crop the pictures together with 10X digital zoom.
Not surprisingly, the photos aren’t the best when shooting at night or in low-light conditions. There’s no night mode either so you’re likely to be left with photos that look heavily filtered. You can use pro mode to help improve it a bit though.
If you want to take selfies, you do get an 8MP shooter at the front. Honestly, it’s not the best and the photos do end up filtered. I think it’s best used with the filter effects if that’s what you’re into.
Meanwhile, video recording is capped at [email protected] and is not bad for those that just want to capture memories. It’s the same for the front camera. They’re average at best, but great given the phone’s price point. However, do note that there is no optical stabilization so you have to shoot with a steady hand to capture better video.
OS, Apps, and UI
The Honor X7a runs on Magic UI 6.1 which is based on Android 12, and it does look nice on the home screen. There are a bunch of pre-installed apps, but you can always delete them if you don’t need to or if you want to free up some space.
There’s not that much customization, you can do but you can still tweak it to your liking. Also do note that the rolling screenshot doesn’t seem to work on this phone.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Honor X7a is only a Mediatek Helio G37 processor. It only comes with either 4GB or 6GB RAM but does come with Honor Ram Turbo. Internal storage is limited to only 128GB, but you can expand this via a MicroSD card. Our review unit comes with 6GB RAM.
To be frank, you shouldn’t really expect that much from this phone. I’m quite certain that Honor didn’t mean for the X7a to be a gaming phone given the specs that it has and the price point. As a result, the benchmark scores aren’t the best either. But do remember to set expectations, this is a phone under PHP 8,000 after all.
That said, the Honor X7a was able to run Asphalt 9 albeit with the graphic settings on low. The gameplay wasn’t as smooth as it was on other more expensive phones as we expected, but still, you can play games with it. Not bad all things considered. Just don’t expect it to run a game with heavier graphics requirements.
Battery and Connectivity
While performance might not be the Honor X7a’s strong suit, it does make up for it in the battery department. This smartphone packs a pretty huge 6,000mAh lithium-ion battery, which is bigger than most smartphones in the segment. Heck, it’s even bigger than the batteries you would find in more expensive phones.
This means longer times before you need to recharge the phone. Honor claims the X7a’s battery can last up to 3 days before recharging. Based on my usage of the phone, it does seem to be accurate. To give you a better idea, PC Mark’s battery test scored the phone at 15 hours and 1 min.
When you do eventually need to recharge the phone, the Honor X7a comes with 22.5W fast charging too. I left the phone at 15 percent and after just a quick 30-min of Modern Warfare 2, it was close to 45 percent charged already.
As for connectivity, you do get the basics like 4G and Bluetooth 5.1.
All things considered, the Honor X7a isn’t a phone you would probably choose if you had the budget to buy something more powerful. But if you are looking for the first smartphone for your kid or something to use for business, then you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s very affordable at the price of PHP 7,990, and it has everything you might need in a phone.
Hardware-wise, you could say there are more powerful options out there, and that’s true. However, if you just need another phone to answer calls, text, and maybe do some very light gaming, then why not consider the Honor X7a. You do get a very large battery with it too along with a decent camera.
Honor X7a Specs:
6.74-inch HD+ (1600*720) IPS display
90Hz refresh rate
MediaTek MT6765H Helio G37 SoC
4GB, 6GB RAM
expandable up to 1TB
Quad rear cameras:
• 50MP f/1.8 main
• 5MP f/2.2 wide-angle
• 2MP f/2.4 macro
• 2MP f/2.4 depth
8MP f/2.0 selfie camera
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G + 5GHz
3.5mm headphone jack
Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Magic UI 6.1 (based on Android 12)
6000mAh, 22.5W charging rate
167.48 x 76.85 x 8.27mm
Titanium Silver, Ocean Blue, Midnight Black