Huawei Honor 7X Review: Camera

By 06:43 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


Camera and image quality

Unlike its Mate 10 Lite sibling, the Honor 7X doesn't have any lofty imaging-related titles, like the 'World's first phone with four cameras' to its name. Still, that is entirely due to the lack of a second selfie sensor. Other than that, both devices share identical main capturing camera setups.


It consists of a 16MP, 1/2.9", 1.25 µm, f/2.2 one, with phase-detection autofocus, accompanied by a 2MP sensor for depth information, and a single Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash. It is a solid combo, but you shouldn't let the pure number of lenses on the back fool you into comparing it with the likes of the Huawei P10 pair, or those on the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, or even the Honor 9.

On the Honor 7X, the 2MP sensor is only there for additional depth information in portrait mode, as well as a small boost in resolved detail when shooting in the dark. And you can't utilize it to capture images directly. And even in those two scenarios it does very small to benefit the photo quality if at all.

Before we acquire to the actual stills and videos, though, a few words regarding the capturing camera app interface is familiar as we have already seen it on the P10 and Mate 10 phones. The options are hidden in menus you can bring up by swiping left or correct from the classy screen (assuming you hrecent the capturing camera in portrait mode).

The main menu houses all the available shooting modes - Photo, HDR, Panorama, Pro, Light Painting, among others. There is also an advanced settings menu, summoned by a swipe from the top.







Camera interface

The Honor 7X isn't particularly shy about showcasing its dual-camera features. The main interface has a quick shortslit for manual aperture mode, as well as portrait mode. The latter actually has its bokeh effect as a toggle, along with a customizable strength beautification filter. You can choose to utilize any combination of the two on your subject. Faces work best, naturally, but we did have some success with objects too, though with a small extra patience.




Manual aperture mode • Portrait mode

The Huawei capturing camera app offers a Manual (Pro) mode, which manual focus, shutter speed (up to 8s), ISO, and a few other options. The Pro capturing camera interface is very easy to use.

Image quality

The shots we took with the Honor 7X in daylight are satisfactory, but not really spectacular.

Much like the Mate 10 Lite, the Honor can only offer moderate levels of detail and its photos are on the softer side.

Noise is also somewhat of an issue, with plenty of suppression artifacts left in the sky and other uniform surfaces.









Honor 7X capturing camera samples

Dynamic range is not particularly wide, but on a more positive note, colors see very natural. That being said, however, if you prefer a punchier, contrast-heavy look, they might not be to your liking.

As showcased in the screenshots, there is a manual HDR mode included on the Honor 7X. It is unfortunately tucked away behind a swipe and a click, which can be a bit cumbersome to pull off quickly. Then again, the phone does well enough in its automatic mode, as far as details in the shadows and highlights go.









HDR Off • HDR On • HDR Off • HDR On • HDR Off • HDR On

HDR doesn't really assist all that much. We only found ourselves reaching for it when we really krecent a certain scene could benefit from the technique.









HDR Off • HDR On • HDR Off • HDR On • HDR Off • HDR On

You can check out the Honor 7X in our photo compare tool for more pixel-peeping action.





Honor 7X vs Huawei Mate 10 Lite vs HTC U11 Life in our Photo compare tool

The secondary sensor seems to assist low-light performance on the Honor 7X by a very small degree. Even so, the results can only be described as serviceable and fine enough for the price. Nothing too spectacular to speak of here.





Honor 7X low light samples

The panorama mode is one of the better implementations, switching automatically between portrait and landscape. When shooting in portrait, panoramic images turn out just over 3,000 pixels tall and the sample below is about 20MP. Stitching is good, exposure is even, and the captured detail is above average and the dynamic range is very good.



Honor 7X panorama sample

Variable aperture

Wide aperture, as Honor and Huawei call it, utilizes the depth information from the second 2MP camera. It lets you simulate the background defocusing wide apertures would give you and you can adjust the effect to simulate between f/0.95 and f/16.





Different levels of wide aperture

As with most such implementations, the effect is far from perfect and the shots don't exactly hrecent up to pixel scrutiny. The Mate 10 Pro definitely does a better job of isolating the subject form the background. With the Honor 7X, the effect is mostly applied on a circular basis, with an increasingly smaller sharp area in the center. Still, it does offer nice granular control over the blue and with a small patience, you can grab and impressive shot.

Portrait mode

Overall, portrait mode combines variable aperture with beautification filters. As previously mentioned, you can go for any combination of the blur effect and varying levels of make-up. The latter is actually on the conservative side.



Portrait mode sample

As for the bokeh effect, it is a bit smarter than the one used in the wide aperture mode. There is some face detection involved here and the effects are notably better. Not perfect, but still, a solid effort, with usable results.




Portrait mode selfies

Even though the Honor 7X lacks the secondary front capturing camera of the Mate 10 Lite, is still offers software-only portrait selfies. These are perfectly serviceable in our book.







Software-only selfie portraits work well enough

Selfies

The 8MP selfie shooter on the Honor 7X does a pretty decent job without any fancy portrait modes. Details are plenty and colors are nice and natural, just like on the back.





Honor 7X selfie samples

Playing around with beautification modes rarely produces unpleasant and over-the-top results - you won't hear us praising any beautification mode.

Video camera

The Honor 7X can only record video at up to 1080p at 30fps. There's no 1080p @ 60fps or 4K recording. This is probably one of the bigger annoyances with the device. However, taking its price tag and competitors into consideration (well, except the Xiaomi Mi A1, that is), we can't exactly expect UHD recording by all means.

Plus, this is not some exclusive handicap imposed on the Honor 7X artificially, but rather a chipset limitation. One shared with the Mate 10 Lite. So again, no misalignment in functionality to speak of.

The Honor 7X records clips in AVC, inside an MP4 file, with a bitrate of 17Mbps. Audio is captured at a fine 192Kbps (48kHz) rate, in stereo of course.

The video quality doesn't quite live up to our expectations. The image isn't as sharp as some competing phones in this class, the dynamic range is not on par with the still images.

The noise is kept low though, and the colors and contrast are very good.

As per usual, you can download a short, untouched clip as well - 1080@30fps (10s, 22MB).

Last, but not least, here's how the Honor 7X stacks up against competitors in our video compare tool.





Honor 7X vs Huawei Mate 10 Lite vs Xiaomi Mi A1 in our Video compare tool


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