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Honor 7C review (hands on): A dual-lens smartphone with an 18:9 display at a rock-bottom price

Price when reviewed : £170
inc VAT

Another great-value phone from Honor, sporting looks and features you’d expect from a far pricier handset

Huawei’s Honor brand is becoming synonymous with value for money. Recently it’s impressed us with the Honor 7X, an 18:9 dual-lens smartphone with a powerful Kirin 655 processor, which can currently be had for a very reasonable £240. The Honor 9 Lite has made a big impression too, again offering an 18:9 screen and twin cameras, this time for just £170.

Now the company has unveiled a second handset at that same temptingly low price: the Honor 7C once more comes with an 18:9 display and a dual-lens camera, plus an eight-core processor, for just £170. Is it Honor’s best bargain yet, or a redundant addition to the roster?

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Honor 7C UK release date and price

The Honor 7C will be available exclusively from the HiHonor store in early May 2018 for £170 – the same price as the Honor 9 Lite, and £70 less than the 7X.

It comes in two colours – black and blue – and unlike the all-new budget Honor 7A, it will only be sold SIM-free, so you won’t see any contract deals.

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    Honor 7C review: Build quality and design

    The 7C has a lot in common with the much-loved Honor 8 Pro. It boasts a similarly beautiful all-aluminium unibody design, though here it’s stretched out to an 18:9 aspect ratio, which is great for browsing the web or scrolling through your Facebook feed. It’s slightly chunkier, measuring 7.8mm thick versus the ultra-thin 6.97mm of the Honor 8 Pro, but it still feels agreeably slim in the hand.

    Indeed, the same design and build quality philosophy are evident all around the phone. Curved edges on all sides make the 7C easy to grip, and at the back there’s a fingerprint sensor and a dual-lens camera with dual-tone LED flash.

    At the right-hand side sit the volume rocker and power button, while at the left there’s a three-in-one card slot – an unusual convenience, allowing you to simultaneously use two SIM cards and a microSD card.

    As with the Honor 9 Lite, there’s a microUSB port at the bottom, alongside a downward-firing speaker and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Inside, a 3,000mAh battery provides the juice.

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    Honor 7C camera, performance and Face Unlock

    Just like the Honor 9 Lite, the 7C features a rear-facing dual-lens 13+2-megapixel camera (f/1-f/7 aperture) with Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), and it’s backed up with a dual-tone LED flash, as previously seen on the Honor 8 Pro. All the usual shooting modes and functions are here, including panorama and bokeh, so image quality should be a match for any other budget handset, though, it doesn’t feature Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS).

    What’s new is what’s on the other side: the Honor 7C’s single 8-megapixel front-facing camera now has its own “Soft Light” illuminator. This can help you get much better selfies in low light, with the illumination level adjustable through the camera app. It’s worth noting, though, that the Honor 9 Lite’s dual 13+2-megapixel front-facing camera is still likely to capture sharper, more detailed selfies.

    Inside the Honor 7C, there’s an eight-core Snapdragon 450 processor, with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by up to 256GB through the microSD card slot. That’s enough power to keep Android 8 feeling perfectly snappy – although if performance is important to you then the Honor 9 Lite again wins out with its faster Kirin 659 processor.

    One area where the Honor 7C excels is security. In addition to your regular Android unlock methods, it offers both fingerprint unlocking and facial recognition. For a sub-£200 phone, that’s impressive, and if Honor is using the same technology as found in its flagship Honor View 10 then it should be a supremely quick and accurate way to unlock the phone. The Face Unlock feature won’t be available at launch, but it’s slated for an update a few weeks later.

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    Honor 7C early verdict

    On paper, the Honor 7C might look like an inferior sibling to the identically priced Honor 9 Lite, with a slower processor and less capable front camera. It has a bigger screen in its favour, though, measuring 5.99in across the diagonal versus the 5.65in of the 9 Lite; throw in Honor’s Face Unlock technology and the stage is set for an interesting showdown. Stay tuned for a full review in the coming weeks.

    Processor1.8GHz Octa-core Snapdragon 450
    Screen size5.99in
    Screen resolution720 x 1,440
    Screen typeIPS
    Front camera8-megapixel
    Rear camera13+2-megapixel
    Storage (free)32GB
    Memory card slot (supplied)Yes (256GB)
    Wi-Fi2.4GHz 802.11n
    Wireless dataDual 4G LTE
    Dimensions158.3 x 76.7 x 7.8mm
    Operating systemAndroid 8.0 Oreo
    Battery size3,000mAh
    Buying information
    Warranty1yr RTB
    Price SIM-free (inc VAT)£170

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