The Honor 7X is the $199 successor to one of the best budget smartphones

Honor also announced its new flagship phone, the V10, will sport a 6-inch screen and land in the U.S. next year.

Credit: Michael Simon/IDG

The Honor 6X was one of 2017’s best budget handsets, and now the Huawei subsidiary is looking to build on that success with the Honor 7X. The U.S.-bound budget handset has a bigger screen, a better camera, and best of all, a lower price: just $199. Honor also took the wraps off a new flagship phone, the 6-inch Honor V10.

The U.S. version of the Honor 7X mimics the China release that launched a few short weeks ago, with a slim-bezel design and an impressive set of specs:

  • Display: 5.93-inch LCD, 18:9, 2160p x 1080p FHD+, 407ppi
  • Dimensions: 156.5mm x 75.3mm x 7.6mm
  • Weight: 165g
  • OS: Huawei EMUI 5.1 (Nougat 7.1)
  • Chip: Kirin 659, Octa-Core
  • Battery: 3,340mAh
  • RAM: 3GB/4GB
  • Storage: 32GB/64GB
  • Camera: 16MP + 2MP, wide aperture range, phase detection auto focus
honor 7x back Michael Simon/IDG

The Honor 7X has a dual camera setup just like last year.

Like the 6X, the Honor 7X doesn’t have a front-facing home button, and its skinnier bezels go a long way toward giving it a real premium look. The FullView screen is impressive for a budget phone, with a resolution that matches the OnePlus 5T but for a fraction of the price. It does, however, still use a micro USB port for charging.

honor 7x ports Michael Simon/IDG

Yes, that's a micro USB port. No, it's not 2015.

The Honor 7X is once again using one of parent company Huawei’s Kirin processors, the same chip that powers the Huawei Mate 10 Lite. The 3,340mAh battery is the same capacity as the 6X, but Honor says it’ll get you further, up to 12 hours of video or 91 hours of music.

The other end of the spectrum

Also bound for the U.S., but not for several months, is the Honor V10. Decidedly more high-end than the 7X, its specs closely resemble those in the Huawei Mate 10:

  • Display: 5.9-inch LCD, 18:9, 2160x1080 FHD+, 403 ppi
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 74.98mm x 6.97mm
  • Weight: 172g
  • OS: Huawei EMUI 8.0 (Android Oreo)
  • Chip: Kirin 970
  • Battery: 3,750mAh battery
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Camera: 16MP + 20MP, f/1.8, phase detection auto focus

The V10 looks a lot like the non-Pro Mate 10, with a front-facing home button and skinny bezels all around. Like Huawei's flagship, it will ship with EMUI 8.0, based on Android Oreo, and its Kirin 970 chip comes with the same AI-powered neural processing unit that learns from your behavior and keeps the phone running faster for longer. 

honor v10 full Michael Simon/IDG

The front-facing home button on the Honor V10 is reminiscent of the Mate 10.

The same NPU also powers the camera, offering up a suite of shooting modes that automatically switch when an object comes into view. There’s also a new facial unlock that includes an iPhone X-like feature that hides notifications until it scans your face.

Mobile gaming has also been enhanced in the V10, using the NPU to seamlessly switch to high performance mode when needed. There’s also a gaming mode that disables notifications while playing, and a set of shortcut tools that let gamers screenshot and record their play without needing to stop the action.

honor v10 back Michael Simon/IDG

The dual camera on the Honor V10 pairs a 16MP sensor with a 20MP one.

The Honor 7X is available for preorder beginning today for shipping December 15. The V10 will launch internationally later this month, with a U.S. release planned for next spring.

Why this matters: Huawei surpassed Apple earlier this year as No. 2 smartphone maker in the world, but it has yet to break into the U.S. market in a meaningful way. The Honor 7X could be the phone to do that. While the upper end of Android is dominated by the likes of Samsung and Google, which will make it tough for the V10 to make much headway once it lands in the states, the $199 Honor 7X will be hard to overlook for bargain hunters.

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Michael Simon

PC World (US online)
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