Honor 7 camera review: an all-rounder of a shooter

“With a 20MP camera, the Honor 7 manages to offer decent images in most situations”

Within just a year, Huawei has created ripples in the Indian smartphone market with its digital-only smartphone brand Honor. All the offerings by the brand have received rave reviews, and its latest flagship smartphone also seems to be on the same path. The Honor 7 (unboxing | first impressions) packs powerful hardware, yet is available at a fraction of the cost of other flagships, with its price tag of Rs 22,999.

Honor 7 review 40

While our review shall tell you the worth of the handset, we think camera capability has become one of the critical deciding factors for choosing a device. Hence, let’s take a comprehensive look at the imaging quality offered by the Honor 7.

Before we talk about the image quality, let’s check what you get with the Honor 7. It’s equipped with a 20-megapixel sensor at the back, which is supplemented by a dual-colour LED flash. Don’t worry, the phone takes care of selfie fanatics too with an 8MP camera at the front, accompanied by a soft-LED flash allowing you to shoot even in dimly-lit environments.

The camera app offered by the handset is quite loaded as well, as even with its minimal interface, you get a variety of options to choose from. You can quickly switch between photo, video and interesting modes such as ‘Good Food’ and ‘Light trail’. If you delve into the settings menu, then you get the staple choices like HDR, Super night mode, etc. You can also apply live filters on the images.

Honor 7 screenshot (9) Honor 7 screenshot (48) Honor 7 screenshot (10)

To check out the imaging prowess, we captured a variety of images at the highest resolution of 20MP (with the aspect ratio of 4:3).

Long shot

Honor 7 camera review - long shot

Landscape photography is one of the best ways to gauge the quality of the camera, since you can see the amount of details captured as well as the colours being reproduced. The 20MP resolution of the sensor mounted on the Honor 7 doesn’t disappoint in this respect, as the image is sharp, and colours also appear natural. You can easily discern various subjects in this instance, which was taken on the eve of Dussehra. However, some grain is visible when the picture is viewed in full resolution.

Close up

Honor 7 camera test - close up

Taken from close quarters, the image scores high on detail and colour reproduction, with the flower in focus looking lovely and the bokeh effect adding to the charm. Let’s see if it manages to impress us when it’s magnified.

Close up (zoomed in)

Honor 7 camera test - close up (zoomed in)

Zooming in on the same image doesn’t change our impression of the capabilities of the Honor 7’s camera, despite one of the edges of the flower looking blurry.

HDR off

Honor 7 camera samples - HDR off

Many a times, the camera fails to differentiate between different contrasts of the scene and that’s where the HDR mode comes in. It captures the same scene with multiple exposures, and then combine them to offer a better and more natural picture. The above image has been taken in normal mode, and as you can see it does look dull. Now, let’s see if it’s spruced up with the HDR mode.

HDR on

Honor 7 camera samples - HDR on

Sadly, Honor 7’s HDR mode doesn’t seem to be very effective as the image seems to be almost same as the one captured in auto.

Front shot

Honor 7 camera performance - front shot

With an 8MP seflie shooter on board, the Honor 7 should be able to handle all your selfie needs, as can be seen from the image embedded above, which displays good sharpness and vibrant colours.

Front shot with flash

Honor 7 camera performance - front shot with flash

Unlike smartphones which are rendered useless for selfies in case of dim lighting, the Honor 7 boasts an LED flash to provide adequate lighting. The LED acts as a torch instead of functioning as a flash, illuminating the environment and capturing the subject quite well.

Low-light shot

Honor 7 camera quality - low-light shot

Most phones struggle in poorly-lit conditions, and the Honor 7 seems to be no different. However, it still manages to capture the subject nicely, along with reproducing accurate colours, though the shot has too much noise.

Low-light shot with flash

Honor 7 camera quality - low-light shot with flash

The Honor 7’s dual-LED flash takes charge quite well, as it offers uniform illumination, and doesn’t burn out the subject either, as the penguin above is easily visible. 

Night shot

Honor 7 camera samples - night shot

Even in night, with only street lights as the light source, the Honor 7 manages to do a decent job, with the image showing good detail and minimal amount of noise. The good thing is that the shooter doesn’t show a halo effect around the lights either.

Light painting

Honor 7 camera performance - light trails 3

While we usually refrain from highlighting special modes in devices, the Light painting mode available on the Honor 7 is too good and fun to use, and hence we are making this exception. The mode allows you capture light trails from cars or shoot light graffiti by exposing the shutter for longer periods. However, your hands must be steady to use this mode, and hence using a tripod is advisable.

The Honor 7 shoots well across all kind of situations and leaves us impressed with its prowess. The high megapixel counts of its camera sensors help in capturing a great level of detail and the colour are vibrant as well. It also features a quick focussing mechanism thanks to the Phase Detection autofocus technology. That said, its HDR mode is below par and low-light performance might not appeal to everyone. We also didn’t find the camera as good as the best-in-class OnePlus 2 (review | camera samples), which even with its 13MP snapper, captures incredible images.

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