The Honor 7S: An EU Smartphone That Won’t Bust Your Budget

The Honor 7S: An EU Smartphone That Won't Bust Your Budget

Want a smartphone, but don’t want to pay more than £99? If you are in one of the areas where it’s available, you can do just that with the Honor 7S. Available in Mexico, Columbia, Serbia, South Africa, Egypt, the Philippines, and parts of Europe, the Honor 7S strips away many flagship expectations to inexpensively deliver a smartphone experience.

There’s no fingerprint reader and the body is all plastic, but for the price, you’ll get a solidly built smartphone with a 5.45″ Honor FullView Display, a 3,020 mAh battery, and a dual SIM slot with a separate microSD slot. Available in blue, gold, and the black I was sent, at first glance the Honor 7S looks like so many other available smartphones. That’s actually a good thing because no one wants to stand out for having a “cheap” phone, right?

Included in the box are the 7S, a SIM tool, a microUSB to USB cable, and a Euro wall charger. Conspicuously absent is a Type-C USB charger (and quick charge capability), but for the price, perhaps it is to be expected.

The Honor 7S measures 5.8″ long by 2.8″ wide by 0.35″ thick, and it weighs 5.1 ounces. At first glance, there is nothing that would give away how inexpensive the phone is, but the absence of a metal body is evident on handling. Even so, the phone feels solid; it doesn’t creak when torqued. When turned on the bezels are surprisingly thin; the 5.45″ screen is an 18:9 widescreen HD display with a 1440 x 720 resolution (295 ppi). On the front, there is a 5-megapixel fixed focus camera with an LED selfie light; there is also a wide ear speaker which also functions as the phone’s speaker. There is no physical home button, so that makes it appear more modern and dare I say, expensive.

The Honor 7S: An EU Smartphone That Won't Bust Your Budget

On the left side, there is a SIM slot which holds a true dual SIM tray and SIM slot.

On the bottom, there is a microphone and a MicroUSB port.

The Honor 7S: An EU Smartphone That Won't Bust Your Budget

On the right side, there is a power button and a volume rocker.

The Honor 7S: An EU Smartphone That Won't Bust Your Budget

On the top, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Honor 7S: An EU Smartphone That Won't Bust Your Budget

On the back, there is a 13-megapixel camera and an LED flash.

The Honor 7S: An EU Smartphone That Won't Bust Your Budget

Under the hood, the Honor 7S sports 2GB RAM and 16GB user memory; you can expand that with up to a 256GB microSD card. The processor is a quad-core MT6739 (4 x Cortex A53 1.5 GHz); the phone’s operating system is Android 8.1 (Oreo), and it includes Huawei’s EMUI 8.0. Because the 7S isn’t tied to a carrier, it comes with no pre-installed junk — my review unit came with two installed apps — Google Play Services and the Google Play Store.

The generous 3,020 mAh battery means that you can get through a day and a half of solid use. The processor isn’t fast, but it is acceptable; if you are using your phone for web browsing, reading, and playing non-intensive games, you won’t be disappointed.

The 13-megapixel rear camera is surprisingly capable. As long as you are shooting photos in decent light, you’ll get decent photos, but if your subject is moving the photo will likely blur. Waiting for the autofocus to do its thing takes a moment, but the results are not bad at all for a budget smartphone.

Watching videos on the Honor 7S is a decent experience; video playback is smooth (albeit at a lower resolution that you might be used to) and the screen is bright, but if you are using the phone’s speaker, the sound is a bit tinny. Using headphones is a much better experience.

The Honor 7S: An EU Smartphone That Won't Bust Your Budget

Note the thinness of the bezels.

The Honor 7S is definitely a budget smartphone, but for the money, you’ll be pleased with its solid build, bright screen, and a decent camera. With flagship smartphone prices climbing above $1000, it’s heartening to see that you can get a serviceable and attractive phone for 1/10th the price.

The Honor 7S retails for £99, and it is available directly from Honor.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Inexpensive; Solidly built; Bright screen; True dual SIM slots with a memory card slot; 3.5mm headphone jack; Inexpensive; Long-lasting battery; Not loaded with a bunch of carrier bloatware; Camera is decent in good light

What Needs Improvement: MicroUSB vs Type-C; No fast charge; Screen is not high-def; Camera blurs when the subject moves; Not easily available in the US; No fingerprint sensor

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.