Honor introduced a new budget competitor in the Indian smartphone market with the recent launch of the Honor 7X. Unveiled at an event in London in December, the Honor 7X carries everything that makes it stand apart from the rest of the budget line-up prevalent in the Indian market. A bezel-less display, dual camera setup and Honor’s own processor coupled with its own user interface comes as quite a bold offering by the Chinese smartphone manufacturer at its price point of Rs 12,999.
Speaking of Chinese OEMs, another player in the market has been dominating the budget segment for quite a while now. While Xiaomi started out with its Redmi Note series, with the Redmi Note 4 being the most sold smartphone in the country this year, the company also experimented with its line-up by launching an Android One smartphone in 2017. Xiaomi Mi A1, another budget offering by Xiaomi, came as a refreshing change from its existing line-up which mostly ran on Xiaomi’s own MIUI. The Mi A1 boasts of a pure Android experience, along with a dual camera setup for the photography enthusiasts. Having the same price tag at Rs 12,999, a clash with the new Honor 7X is inevitable for the Mi A1. Hence, here is a comparison between the two smartphones revealing where they come out on top and where they lack.
Honor 7X has an unarguably premium feel to it with the metal casing and rounded edges. The front dons an 18:9 display with minimum bezels and looks neat. The upper bezel simply sports the in-call speaker and the selfie camera, while the bottom bezel elegantly displays the ‘Honor’ sign. The smartphone comes in an aluminium chassis and sports a fingerprint sensor at the back.
Xiaomi Mi A1, on the other hand, looks just like any other Android smartphone. It carries a minimalistic design with prominent bezels on both the top and the bottom. The Mi A1 comes in a full metal design and also sports a fingerprint sensor at the back.
The Honor 7X sports a 5.93-inch near bezel-less, Full HD+ display with a 2160 x 1080 pixel resolution and a Corning Gorilla Glass protection on top. The near bezel-less display comes with an 18:9 aspect ratio display. During our use, we found the display of the Honor 7X to be an absolute treat at its price point, with ample colours, optimum brightness and a crisp viewing experience.
In comparison, the Xiaomi Mi A1 carries a 5.5-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The Mi A1 display comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio, like the one on most of the budget smartphones in the market. We found the display to be decent in our use, with the ability to cater to users looking for a regular budget smartphone experience.
Watch: Honor 7X Review | The Upgrade to Your Honor 6X
Just like any other Honor smartphone, Honor 7X is powered by the company’s own HiSilicon Kirin processor. The one backing the 7X is an octa-core Kirin 659 SoC, which is further coupled with a 4GB RAM and a 32GB internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 256GB using an external microSD. The smartphone runs Honor’s in-house EMUI 5.1 on top of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Currently, there is no confirmation on the Android Oreo update for the Honor 7X.
Xiaomi’s Mi A1 is powered by Qualcomm’s tried and tested Snapdragon 625 SoC with eight cores. In addition to this, the smartphone carries a 4GB RAM and a 64GB internal storage, further expandable up to 128GB using an external microSD. As a change from Xiaomi’s regular smartphone line-up, the Mi A1 skips the MIUI interface and instead runs Android 7.1 Nougat, being Xiaomi’s first Android One device in collaboration with Google. Xiaomi is currently looking for Beta testers for the Android Oreo update for this smartphone. There is no official confirmation for the release of the update as of now.
Honor has been known for the camera capabilities of its smartphones, ranging from the Honor 8 Pro, right down to the Honor 6X, which set the trend for affordable dual camera smartphones. Honor 7X now builds on that reputation and carries a dual camera setup with a 16-megapixel primary lens along with a 2-megapixel secondary lens for adding depth effect to the images. Overall, the camera is able to deliver very good picture quality. At the front, the Honor 7X houses an 8-megapixel selfie shooter, able to work at 1080p resolution and also deliver Bokeh effect to the selfies.
Xiaomi Mi A1 also sports a dual camera setup, with a 12-megapixel primary and a 12-megapixel secondary lens which together offer depth effect in the images and boast of a 2x optical zoom. At the front, the Mi A1 sports a 5-megapixel selfie camera with similar 1080p resolution capability.
Watch: Xiaomi Mi A1 First Impressions Review | The Android One Delight
Honor 7X is backed by a 3340 mAh battery, edging just over the 3080 mAh battery sported by the Xiaomi Mi A1. As the figures indicate, the Honor smartphone is able to last for a couple of hours more than the Mi A1 in practical use as well, despite the Honor 7X display consuming more battery for its daily run.
There is no doubt that both the smartphones offer ample features at a budget price of Rs 12,999. While Xiaomi Mi A1 offers pure Android experience to its users, the Honor 7X delivers Honor’s own added features through the interactive EMUI. The cameras and the performance backup of both the smartphones are more or less similar, with their own minuscule pros and cons over each other. The Honor 7X, however, rises on top in terms of the display quality and the battery backup that the smartphone offers. Finally, the Honor device takes it away when it comes to the overall visual appeal of the smartphone, thanks to its near bezel-less display.