Unlike its Mate 10 Lite sibling, the Honor 7X doesn't have any lofty imaging-related titles, like the 'World's first phone with four cameras' to its name. Still, that is entirely due to the lack of a second selfie sensor. Other than that, both devices share identical main camera setups.
It consists of a 16MP, 1/2.9", 1.25 µm, f/2.2 one, with phase-detection autofocus, accompanied by a 2MP sensor for depth information, and a single LED flash. It is a solid combo, but you shouldn't let the pure number of lenses on the back fool you into comparing it with the likes of the Huawei P10 pair, or those on the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, or even the Honor 9.
On the Honor 7X, the 2MP sensor is only there for additional depth information in portrait mode, as well as a little boost in resolved detail when shooting in the dark. And you can't use it to capture images directly. And even in those two scenarios it does very little to benefit the photo quality if at all.
Before we get to the actual stills and videos, though, a few words regarding the camera app interface is familiar as we have already seen it on the P10 and Mate 10 phones. The options are hidden in menus you can bring up by swiping left or right from the screen (assuming you hold the camera in portrait mode).
The main menu houses all the available shooting modes - Photo, HDR, Panorama, Pro, Light Painting, among others. There is also an advanced settings menu, summoned by a swipe from the top.
The Honor 7X isn't particularly shy about showcasing its dual-camera features. The main interface has a quick shortcut for manual aperture mode, as well as portrait mode. The latter actually has its bokeh effect as a toggle, along with a customizable strength beautification filter. You can choose to use any combination of the two on your subject. Faces work best, naturally, but we did have some success with objects too, though with a little extra patience.
The Huawei camera app offers a Manual (Pro) mode, which manual focus, shutter speed (up to 8s), ISO, and a few other options. The Pro camera interface is very easy to use.
The shots we took with the Honor 7X in daylight are satisfactory, but not really spectacular.
Much like the Mate 10 Lite, the Honor can only offer moderate levels of detail and its photos are on the softer side.
Noise is also somewhat of an issue, with plenty of suppression artifacts left in the sky and other uniform surfaces.
Dynamic range is not particularly wide, but on a more positive note, colors look very natural. That being said, however, if you prefer a punchier, contrast-heavy look, they might not be to your liking.
As showcased in the screenshots, there is a manual HDR mode included on the Honor 7X. It is unfortunately tucked away behind a swipe and a click, which can be a bit cumbersome to pull off quickly. Then again, the phone does well enough in its automatic mode, as far as details in the shadows and highlights go.
HDR doesn't really help all that much. We only found ourselves reaching for it when we really knew a certain scene could benefit from the technique.
You can check out the Honor 7X in our photo compare tool for more pixel-peeping action.
The secondary sensor seems to help low-light performance on the Honor 7X by a very small degree. Even so, the results can only be described as serviceable and good enough for the price. Nothing too spectacular to speak of here.
The panorama mode is one of the better implementations, switching automatically between portrait and landscape. When shooting in portrait, panoramic images turn out just over 3,000 pixels tall and the sample below is about 20MP. Stitching is good, exposure is even, and the captured detail is above average and the dynamic range is very good.
Wide aperture, as Honor and Huawei call it, utilizes the depth information from the second 2MP camera. It lets you simulate the background defocusing wide apertures would give you and you can adjust the effect to simulate between f/0.95 and f/16.
As with most such implementations, the effect is far from perfect and the shots don't exactly hold up to pixel scrutiny. The Mate 10 Pro definitely does a better job of isolating the subject form the background. With the Honor 7X, the effect is mostly applied on a circular basis, with an increasingly smaller sharp area in the center. Still, it does offer nice granular control over the blue and with a little patience, you can grab and impressive shot.
Overall, portrait mode combines variable aperture with beautification filters. As previously mentioned, you can go for any combination of the blur effect and varying levels of make-up. The latter is actually on the conservative side.
As for the bokeh effect, it is a bit smarter than the one used in the wide aperture mode. There is some face detection involved here and the effects are notably better. Not perfect, but still, a solid effort, with usable results.
Even though the Honor 7X lacks the secondary front camera of the Mate 10 Lite, is still offers software-only portrait selfies. These are perfectly serviceable in our book.
The 8MP selfie shooter on the Honor 7X does a pretty decent job without any fancy portrait modes. Details are plenty and colors are nice and natural, just like on the back.
Playing around with beautification modes rarely produces unpleasant and over-the-top results - you won't hear us praising any beautification mode.
The Honor 7X can only record video at up to 1080p at 30fps. There's no 1080p @ 60fps or 4K recording. This is probably one of the bigger annoyances with the device. However, taking its price tag and competitors into consideration (well, except the Xiaomi Mi A1, that is), we can't exactly expect UHD recording by all means.
Plus, this is not some exclusive handicap imposed on the Honor 7X artificially, but rather a chipset limitation. One shared with the Mate 10 Lite. So again, no misalignment in functionality to speak of.
The Honor 7X records clips in AVC, inside an MP4 file, with a bitrate of 17Mbps. Audio is captured at a good 192Kbps (48kHz) rate, in stereo of course.
The video quality doesn't quite live up to our expectations. The image isn't as sharp as some competing phones in this class, the dynamic range is not on par with the still images.
The noise is kept low though, and the colors and contrast are very good.
As per usual, you can download a short, untouched clip as well - 1080@30fps (10s, 22MB).
Last, but not least, here's how the Honor 7X stacks up against competitors in our video compare tool.