Chinese manufacturer Huawei launched the Honor 7 in China last week, the latest in a long line of the Honor family of devices. With the Honor 7, Huawei have combined high end features with a relatively compact chassis. The Honor 7 is a based around a 5.2-inch, 1080p resolution (that is, 1,920 by 1,080 pixels) IPS panel. Under the skin the device uses the Huawei Kirin 935 processor, which consists of eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 cores arranged in a big.LITTLE configuration (four are optimized for low power consumption and have a maximum clock speed of 1.5 GHz and the other four are better for higher load with a maximum clock speed of 2.2 GHz). The Kirin 935 is backed up by 3 GB of RAM with either 16 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, although Huawei have also included a MicroSD slot that supports cards of at least 128 GB. The Honor 7 also includes a fingerprint sensor and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop under Huawei’s Emotion user interface. There’s a 20MP main camera around the back with an 8MP front facing camera for video calling and selfies. Things are kept alive by a 3,100 mAh battery inside a metal chassis.
The Honor 7 is an upper mid-range device, or perhaps a lower high end model (depending on your perspective) with a price tag that is around $320. It is no surprise that Huawei have stuck with a 1080p high definition display as their distaste for the higher resolution QHD, quad high definition (1,440 by 2,560 pixel) panels is well known. In short, Huawei do not believe the advantages in resolution and sharpness are worth the extra overhead on the processor, graphics hardware, battery load and heat. Certainly, when viewed at a typical smartphone distance, there is little between the QHD and 1080p screen caused by resolution along, it is when our smartphones start to become engines for virtual reality systems that the higher resolution screen comes into its own.
The Honor 7 has proven to be a big success. Not only did the device sell out in two minutes, but Huawei have shared the number of pre-orders for the device – at over nine million in just a week. We know that Huawei are planning on releasing the Honor 7 in at least Europe later in the year and this is a very encouraging sign. The device has a price tag that is a little higher than $300, which compares very favorable with similar offerings from the big name, developed brands such as Sony, HTC and Samsung. Nevertheless, Huawei have manufactured a desirable device and it will be interesting to see how demand continues as the year progresses, if it is repeated across Europe and of course how many units are selling in a few months time in the domestic (Chinese) market.