Huawei has confirmed that they plan to release the Honor 7X on 11th of next month, even before they launch their 2017 flagship in Mate 10 on Oct 16. While, Xiaomi is supposed to come out with the Redmi Note 5 pretty soon too, and the specs for both the handsets have already become part of the rumor mill.
Given the current state of smartphone industry and how things are in the budget smartphone arena, the Honor 7X vs Redmi Note 5 comparison looks only inevitable.
Xiaomi has won more hearts with Redmi Note 4 than any other phone in the same range, while Honor 6X was a strong contender that could top Redmi Note 4 by a small margin, but was priced a bit higher which meant most users opted for the Redmi Note 4 as their choice of smartphone.
Now, Huawei has made some cool changes to it Honor X line, which will now bring us Honor 7X, and Xiaomi has upped its game too with the Note 5. The pricing and major specs are out for both devices, so let’s toss them out against each other with all the info we have in hand.
Note: This comparison is based on specs and features rumored, which remain unconfirmed as both Redmi Note 5 and Honor 7X are still not official in any market.
The Honor 7X is powered Huawei’s own Kirin 670 chipset, while Xiaomi is using a Snapdragon 630 processor (could be Snapdragon 660 chipset, FYI) underneath the Redmi Note 5. There have been rumors about the use of Snapdragon 660 processor in the Redmi Note 5, but we think Xiaomi would like to save on cost here because they would really want to keep the price at the lowest they can. And, SD630 processor seems a nice upgrade on the SD625 chipset they use don Redmi Note 4.
The Kirin 670 chipset on Honor 7X is a 6-core processor, while the SD630 is an 8-core processor. Both processor are pretty new and can be deemed to match each other. We should know more about them once the Honor 7X and Note 5 are available to us. Both processors use capable chipset that can produce performance when the need be, while being easy on the device’s battery for the rest of the time. That’s something very important for the devices in this range, you know.
As both the handsets are able to perform pretty well, we would call it a draw here. But generally speaking, we have seen Huawei produce faster performing handsets, whether we’re talking about a device in low-end, mid-range or premium handset.
But that doesn’t mean Xiaomi’s devices are any slouch. Xiaomi has produced some excellent performing devices, and the very predecessor of the Redmi Note 5, the Redmi Note 4 is a fantastic example of a well-performing device Xiaomi has given us under this range. Likewise, there were no complain with Honor 6X performance either, so it all comes down to camera experience and looks of the devices, adjusted for the asking price, where both of these devices differ significantly given how much tight this range is, and the vast range of devices on offer here.
Even though looks and feel of a device is highly subjective area, one that is different for each user, there is some clear distinction between the Honor 7X and Redmi Note 5 design that would settle the equation faster and easier for most people. And that makes our job a tad easier too.
Both the Honor 7X and Redmi Note 5 are expected to feature a Full HD display that measures 5.5-inch diagonally. But there is lot of difference between them, actually.
Leaked images of the Redmi Note 5 reveal that it would sport traditional display, even though the bezels above the displays are trimmed down. However, Huawei Honor 7X seems like a real deal here: in the teaser they shared on Weibo to reveal the Honor 7X release date, they shared an image with a caption that we should be able to see more. And the image is of 2:1 ratio, which hints at the use of bezel-less full-screen display the year 2017 is all about. Yes, like the display design you see on Galaxy S8, LG G6, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, Gionee M7, Vivo X20 and Vivo V7+. Speaking of which, right now, only Vivo V7+ and Gionee M7 offer bezel-less display in non-premium range, but if Huawei can bring Honor 7X with full-screen display, they both could easily run out of customers given Honor 7X’s expected price.
As it stands right now, the Honor 7X could feature a 5.5-inch full-screen display that could boast a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels, while Redmi Note 5 could keep using traditional 5.5-inch display with a traditional Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
If that’s the case, then Honor 7X wins by great margin as far as display is concerned. The full-screen phones are future, and having used on, we can attest that you won’t want to use a traditional with-bezel device once you have used full-screen phone.
Result: Honor 7X wins!
What if Huawei gets us a regular 16:9 display in pace of 18:9 full-screen display? Well, in that case it would depend on what kind of display is on offer with these two devices. While both are expected to give us IPS LCD screens, if any one could give us an AMOLED option, that would be a win. Otherwise, a DRAW.
Well, there is a glass at the front which occupies almost all of the front, so the really design comparison lies at the back of the devices. Now, both 7X and Note 5 sport a metal body — which is fine, as there is no need of break-prone glass at the back really as both these handsets are not looking to entice their users with wireless charging, yet.
But there is a big difference in the design. You have a kind of metal back on Honor 7X that reminds you of the Samsung’s premium-ish C series handsets, given the placement of 3-lines antenna and its color. It’s pretty good, you know.
While on the Redmi Note 5, you have a traditional glass back that now looks a bit boring. It’s been used widely by any Android OEMs, and would still serve good, but it doesn’t look any premium, and gives that seen-that-done-that feel.
The placement of dual camera at the top left of the back on Honor 7X is also much cooler than Xiaomi’s vision of two big circles at the back, with a fingerprint sensor below that. While that’s not a bad looking setup of dual cameras, the Huawei’s approach of fitting the two sensors at top left is easily the better one – and Xiaomi attests for it, as that is what they do with their premium device, the Mi 6.
Given the metal back type both device feature, it’s easy to imagine that Honor 7X would give us better choice in colors, while Xiaomi’s colors would not look that fresh in this range.
Result: Honor 7X wins!
Both Redmi Note 5 and Honor 7X would come with Android 7.1.1 Nougat pre-installed. But they won’t look and work very similarly. Xiaomi would slap their own custom skin in MIUI 9 over the 7.1.1 build on Redmi Note 5, while Huawei would stick with its Nougat based EMUI 5.0 on the Honor 7X.
Truth be told, we are not particularly the fans of custom skins, be that be Xiaomi’s MIUI, Huawei’s EMUI, or Samsung’s Experience UI. But if we have to select between the two, we would go for Huawei Honor 7X. Not that MIUI looks bad – far from it. Looks-wise, the MIUI 9 is a winner for us, but we’re talking the whole of software here, not just how the software looks.
Much part of this decision is influenced by software upgrade, too.
It may be surprisingly but Xiaomi has a kind of weekly software update program for its devices for MIUI, but it’s one of the laziest OEMs when it comes to Android OS updates. Take a look at Nougat rollout by these OEMs. While Huawei has released the update for all of its 7.0 eligible devices by Q2 2017 with EMUI 5.0 OTA, Xiaomi only started updating the for real after Q2 2017 with MIUI OTA – a BIG 9 months delay from the time when Google actually outed the Nougat update.
So, even though Xiaomi’s MIUI may look better, it’s a tie when it comes to features offered, but Huawei wins it because of faster Android OS updates.
Result: Honor 7X
The rumors have it that we would find dual 12MP sensors at the back of Honor 7X, while details on the front camera remains shut. Of the two 12MP sensors, one will be our regular 12MP sensor, while other would be monochrome sensor, something that Huawei has brought to effective work with its Huawei P10 and P9 sets too, both of which garnered good amount of praise for their camera capabilities.
You can say Huawei knows how to get the best out of those two sensors very well, and that we won’t be disappointed by imaging capabilities of Honor 7X.
While, on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, where you would also find dual camera, there is a primary 16MP camera that is assisted by 5MP sensor as second camera. At the front, you have a decent 13MP camera.
Now, Xiaomi did some good work with the Mi A1 Android one smartphone, which also features a dual camera, and if they are able to bring that to Redmi Note 5, it would be pretty good. But as far as camera specs are concerned, the Mi A1 uses two 12MP sensors, while the config rumored for the Redmi Note 5 is a bit different in 16MP+5MP combo. So it remains to be seen how much better Redmi Note 5’s camera is, while we’re already sure Honor 7X would offer solid performance.
Result: Pending until release
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is rumored to be powered by a 3,790mAh battery pack, while the one on Honor 7X could use a 4,000mAh battery tank.
Xiaomi is known for fine-tuning its MIUI to reduce background activities to get you the best battery life, while Huawei has a similar setup in the work too. Both of these brands do not allow consumption by apps you don’t mean to allow in background, and save a great deal of battery juice easily. So, it seems both Honor 7X and Redmi Note 5 would offer great battery life.
The Redmi Note 5 is said to be sold in three variants, while we would see two variants of the Honor 7X. Here’s how it could span out.
- Redmi Note 5 price
- 2GB+16GB – 1200 yuan ($180, INR 11,800)
- 3GB+32GB – 1400 yuan ($210, INR 13,800)
- 4GB+64GB – 1500 yuan ($225, INR 14,800)
- Honor 7X price
- 3GB+64GB – 1700 yuan ($255, INR 16,800)
- 4GB+64GB – 2099 yuan ($315, INR 20,700)
Clearly, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 would be priced far lower than the Honor 7X, which also explain why everything from design, display, software and everything else in better in the Honor 7X than Redmi Note 5.
Result: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 wins!
Redmi Note 5 vs Honor 7X comparison: Conclusion
It’s easy to figure out that Honor 7X is a better device that Redmi Note 5 in almost all major points discussed above, expect one: pricing.
Like was case with Honor 6X as against Redmi Note 4, Huawei had priced even the cheaper variant of the 6X higher than the most most expensive variant of the Redmi Note 4, because of extra quality they were adding to 6X, same is the case with Honor 7X and Redmi Note 5 — from what we can pick up from rumors so far.
We can agree on the fact that both offer really good value for the money their manufacturer want from you, and that both are pretty capable and reliable devices. But if we are to pick one, here’s how it would go.
If you are tight on budget, then the Redmi Note 5 is the device for you. However, if you can increase your budget to some extent, there is a much improved device in Honor 7X available for you, that gets you full-screen and better overall specsheet for little jump in price that is totally worth it.
The thing is, Redmi Note 5 would perform, look and feel like Redmi Note 4 for the most part, except for the introduction of dual camera, but Honor 7X offers real upgrade in this range with its full-screen display, solid new processor and better 12MP dual camera.
Do let us know your thoughts on which device among the Honor 7X and Redmi Note 5 you consider the best.