The Huawei / Honor march towards domination rolls on with the introduction of a raft of mid-range devices featuring the previously flagship 18:9 screen size. For the UK at least however, exactly which device you should buy isn't clear at all. With the Honor 7X, the Honor 9 Lite and the Huawei P Smart all close in price, which one is the one to have? Let us help you choose!
We're going to look at the features of each, finishing with pricing so you can decide which is for you.
Huawei P Smart: 2160x1080 5.65"
Honor 7X: 2160x1080 5.93"
Honor 9 Lite: 2160x1080 5.65"
The headline feature of all the devices is their 18:9 screens. All are 2160x1080 in resolution, but the Honor 7X goes for the larger size. For comparison, think of the 7X as Galaxy S8 Plus sized and the P Smart and 9 Lite as Galaxy S8 'regular' sized. Your thoughts here are going to be a big factor in your decision!
Huawei P Smart: Single SIM
Honor 7X / Honor 9 Lite: Dual SIM (or 1 SIM + microSD), 4G + 2G on second SIM
A big black mark against the P Smart with only single SIM support. Note that on the dual devices, unlike on higher end phones, the second SIM is limited to 2G.
Huawei P Smart: 3000mAh
Honor 7X: 3340mAh
Honor 9 Lite: 3000mAh
The larger size of the 7X pays dividends in battery size, gaining 340mAh (or over 10%) against the smaller phones.
Huawei P Smart: Android 8.0 + EMUI 8
Honor 7X: Android 7.0 + EMUI 5.1 (Oreo to follow)
Honor 9 Lite: Android 8.0 + EMUI 8
The 7X launched first, so perhaps it's not surprising it uses Nougat rather than Oreo. An update is expected in Q2 2018 however.
Huawei P Smart: Yes
Honor 7X: No
Honor 9 Lite: Yes
Probably the biggest negative of the 7X is that it has no NFC support.
Memory / Storage
Huawei P Smart: 3GB RAM, 32GB storage
Honor 7X: 4GB RAM, 64GB storage
Honor 9 Lite: 3GB RAM, 32GB storage
Huawei P Smart: Rear 13MP + 2MP, Front 8MP F2.0
Honor 7X: Rear 16MP + 2MP, Front 8MP
Honor 9 Lite: Rear 13MP + 2MP, Front 13MP + 2MP
Don't let the higher megapixel count fool you - in our testing, the Honor 9 Lite takes the best pics of these devices.
Dimensions / Weight
Huawei P Smart: 150.1 x 72.1 x 7.5 mm, 165g
Honor 7X: 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm, 165g
Honor 9 Lite: 151 x 71.9 x 7.6 mm, 149g
The Honor 9 Lite is noticeably lighter than the other devices.
Huawei P Smart: Black
Honor 7X: Blue
Honor 9 Lite: Blue or Grey
The Honor signature blue is surely the way to go!
All the devices use exactly the same CPU - the very capable Kirin 659 mid-range processor (16nm Octa core, 2.36 GHz x 4 + 1.7GHz x 4). Connectivity wise, here's where you'll see mid-range cost savings compared to more expensive devices. All the devices lack 5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and use microUSB rather than the newer USB-C (Huawei's proprietary fast charging is included). All of the devices have a rear mounted fingerprint sensor.
Huawei P Smart: £230 (from John Lewis currently OOS, also available from Vodafone)
Honor 7X: £240 (Laptops Direct)
Honor 9 Lite: £199 with free Honor AM61 Bluetooth sport earphones (Honor UK)
So which one should I buy?
Let's start with which one you shouldn't buy. I don't see a particularly good reason to buy the P Smart. It's more expensive than the Honor 9 Lite, is single SIM only and that aside they are effectively the same device. Which brings us to the 7X and the 9 Lite. Your choice will probably come down to whether you want a bigger device with more storage - if this is important to you, then the 7X is probably the way to go. But if you want the best phone at the best value... my pick is the Honor 9 Lite. It's extremely good value (particularly with the current free earphones offer), it's stunning to look at and the camera is surprisingly decent. 3GB RAM vs 4GB RAM is largely academic in real use and 32GB will be OK for most people (you can also expand via microSD).
If you do buy one of the above, let us know what you think!
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