Huawei doesn’t really position the Honor 7 as a Samsung S6 alternative for a lot less money but that’s what the latest smartphone offering from the Chinese giant, really is. It’s obvious as soon as you look at it. A beautiful metal frame manages to disguise the somewhat chunky size and the 8.5mm thick profile of the 7 but at least it makes Honor 7 cases an option rather than a necessity.

The Honor 7 actually looks a lot like Huawei’s current flagship smartphone model, the Huawei Mate. It is fatter and heavier, but it looks every bit as premium as the Mate and you would be hard pressed to tell at a glance, which of the two was the flagship phone and which one the cut-price killer midrange offering.

Huawei is the biggest and most well known of the new Chinese smartphone makers and is at the cusp of breaking into the US market. While the Mate is a great phone for the price, it is the Honor 7 that may actually be the phone that takes the fight to Android smartphone stalwarts like Samsung, Sony and HTC. It boasts a number of top of the line specs that rival flagship phones from leading brands but it has a distinctly midrange price. Now that Huawei is increasingly popular, buyers of the Honor 7 ought to have no problem finding Honor 7 cases and compatible accessories either.

The impressive spec list on the Honor 7 starts with the must have feature on smartphones in 2015, a fingerprint scanner. The good news continues with a brilliant, Full HD display, a micro SD card slot and even an IR blaster, an increasingly rare but vaunted addition to a smartphone. Everything isn’t exactly rosy though. The IR blaster seems to be disabled in software as none of the apps seem to work with it and the fingerprint scanner doesn’t support Google’s APIs just yet. Also, despite the great overall build quality and very nice fit and finish of the Honor 7, there are a few cheap and tacky feeling bits in the unibody metal frame, such as the tray for the Sim card and the Micro SD card.

There is one major selling point to the Honor 7 though. Google’s latest flavour of Android: 6.0, better known as Marshmallow, is coming to the 7 and soon. Huawei has just made public that the they are working on or are already testing a beta version of Marshmallow on the Honor 7 and it should be available to the public before the end of the year if not earlier. This beats many established players to the market or at least it will if Huawei’s sticks to their word. This also makes the Honor 7 one of the lowest priced and most compelling phones to be among the first to market with Marshmallow, which should be a huge point of attraction to Android users eager to try out the latest favour of Google’s smartphone OS.

By diana

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