Honor 7X cuts bezels in budget Android

Huawei's budget brand Honor wants in on the "bezel-less" action, and it's the Honor 7X that's going to do it. Follow-up to the Honor 6X, the new Android smartphone keeps the dual cameras and surprisingly premium design and materials – given the price – but then throws in a significantly larger display.

Where the Honor 6X had a 5.5-inch display, the Honor 7X expands that to 5.93-inches. The phone-maker is calling it "FullView" and it pushes close to the sides and leaves just a little room top and bottom for the earpiece, front facing camera, and Honor's logo. It's also higher resolution, with the 18:9 panel coming in at 2160 x 1080.

Honor's design language is still reminiscent of Apple's, circa iPhone 7 Plus, though that doesn't make it any less handsome. Three colors will be offered: black, blue, and gold. The company says that it has done serious work on reinforcing the corners, however, so that even though the screen extends close to them, a drop won't mean game-over.

The front camera is a normal 8-megapixel sensor, but on the back things get a little more interesting. There are two sensors there, a 16-megapixel one which is actually responsible for the shots themselves, and then a secondary camera for depth data. That's just 2-megapixels and only shoots in monochrome, but Honor says it's enough for things like Portrait mode, depth-of-field effects, and other features you'd commonly find on much more expensive devices.

Inside, there's a Kirin 659 processor – which has four performance cores running at 2.36 GHz each, and four more frugal cores at 1.7 GHz – paired with 4GB of RAM. There'll be two storage options, 32GB or 64GB, along with dual-SIM support, while the battery is 3,340 mAh. Honor is also talking up its battery overheating protection system, too, and you get a fingerprint sensor on the back.

Sadly not all of Honor's decisions are quite so appealing. The absence of a USB-C port – the Honor 7X gets microUSB instead – feels backward, and there's no waterproofing either. More frustrating is the fact that it'll launch, not with Oreo, but Android 7.0 Nougat. Huawei's EMUI interface will help mask that decision, but there's really no excuse for a brand new Android smartphone in late 2017 to launch with an old version of the OS.

Honor will presumably try to justify that when the 7X gets its official coming-out party on December 5. We'll take a guess that the price is expected to salve the pain, certainly. No word on what exactly that will be quite yet – in China, it works out to around $200 – but given the Honor 6X was a wallet-friendly $249 we're expecting something aggressive for this new phone, too.