Sponsored by Honor
Motorola has been the king of the budget space ever since the original Moto G, but how do things look heading into 2018? Over the last few years a number of companies have attempted to steal the crown, including Honor. With the arrival of the Honor 7X, the budget market may finally have a new king.
Probably the most direct competitor to the Honor 7X would be the Moto G5 Plus, as both phones hover right around the $200 mark. So how do they compare? Let’s find out.
Before diving into specs and software, the most noticeable thing about the two handsets is just how different they look.
The Honor 7X features a metal build with rounded corners and sides. On the rear it has a clean, minimalist design that looks great and has a premium feel.Few would guess this is a sub-$200 phone just by looking at it.
The Moto G5 Plus’ design is certainly a bit busier, thanks largely to the camera setup. The G5 Plus pairs a rear metallic back with a faux chrome trim that’s made of plastic. This curvy design of the G5 Plus is certainly very comfortable to hold, but it doesn’t look or feel quite as elegant as the 7X.
Where the phones really stand apart is on the front. The Honor 7X and G5 Plus have very similar footprints, but the 7X has a significantly larger display. Honor managed to pack more display into the front of their handset, following the 2017 trend of nearly edge-to-edge screens. The 7X has a massive 6-inch 18:9 screen with a 1080p display.
Previously these ‘tall’ displays were reserved for phones costing north of $1000, so it’s pretty exciting to see this tech in the budget market. Sure, the 1080p resolution isn’t going to be quite as sharp as the QHD displays found on phones triple its price, but it’s still a gorgeous display miles ahead of similarly priced competitors.
The Moto G5 Plus offers a modest 5.2 inch screen, with the same 1080p resolution as the 7X. It’s a decent looking screen with nice colors and contrast, but it tends to get more washed out during off-axis viewing. The Moto G5 Plus’ screen isn’t quite as attention grabbing as the 7X, due to its thicker bezels. You just get significantly less screen , despite having a phone with a very similar body size.
They both have fairly similar hardware. The 7X and G5 Plus come with headphone jacks, which is really nice considering the feature is becoming less common. Unfortunately neither phone has USB Type-C ports, favoring the older micro-USB standard. This isn’t a major issue, especially when you consider all the other great features the handsets pack.
Both devices come in 32- or 64-Gb configurations (depending on the market) with the option to expand via microSD. They also both have fingerprint sensors. Since the Honor 7X doesn’t have much space on the front, the fingerprint sensor is on the backside, while the G5 Plus’ is located on the front, in the bottom chin. Personally I prefer rear facing fingerprint sensors, but both work incredibly well, unlocking the phone with speed and accuracy.
At the end of the day, the Moto G5 Plus looks good, but we have to admit the Honor 7X looks exceptional. It offers a design which looks much more premium than you’d expect for its price tag.
Power and performance
|Honor 7X||Moto G5 Plus|
|Display||5.93-inch IPS LCD|
18:9 aspect ratio
2160 x 1080, 407 ppi
|5.2-inch 16:9 LCD|
1080 x 1920, 424ppi
|Processor||Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659||Snapdragon 625|
|RAM||3/4 GB||2/3 GB|
|Storage||32 GB||32 GB|
|MicroSD||Yes, up to 256 GB||Yes, up to 256 GB|
|Cameras||Rear: Dual 16 and 2 MP sensors with phase detection autofocus, LED flash, 1.2 µm pixel size, wide aperture range from f/0.95 - f/16|
Front: 8 MP
|12 MP (f/1.7)|
Front: 5 MP
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, 2.4 GHz|
GPS/AGPS/Glonass/BeiDou Navigation Satellite System
|Wi-Fi 802.11n dual-band|
3.5mm headphone jack
NFC (not in the US)
|Sensors||Hall effect sensor|
Ambient light sensor
Phone status indicator
|3,000 mAh non-removable|
|Software||Android 7.1.1 Nougat|
Emotion UI 5.1
|Android 7.0 Nougat|
|Dimensions and weight||156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm|
|150.2 x 74.0 x 7.7 to 9.7 mm, 155 g|
Where these two devices start to differ is on the inside. The Honor 7X is powered by Honor’s in-house chipset, the Kirin 659 octa-core processor, with 32GB storage and up to 4GB of RAM, depending on the model. Meanwhile the Moto G5 Plus features a Snapdragon 625 with up to 3GB RAM and the same 32GB of storage.
Neither chip is quite as impressive as what you’ll find with a high-end flagship, but both perform admirably in real world usage. The Kirin 659 has a slight edge on paper, but neither handset had any trouble launching apps, moving through the interface, or doing more intense tasks like gaming.
Where both of these devices really shine is in battery life. The 7X has a 3340 mAh battery and the G5 Plus has a 3,000 mAh battery. Regardless of which phone you choose, both will impress in the battery department, but the Honor 7X has admittedly has an edge thanks to its larger size.
The Moto G5 Plus will easily make it through a full day’s use, but the Honor 7X is capable of lasting about a day and a half according to both our own testing and official lab based results as well.
Keep in mind that only the Moto G5 Plus offers fast charging technology via Motorola’s TurboCharge technology, but this isn’t a deal breaker by any means. For one thing, while the Honor 7X doesn’t have official fast charging tech it’s large battery lasts longer and is still actually charges pretty fast even if it doesn’t officially employ fast charging tech under the hood.
This is another area where we see Honor following flagship trends. The 7x features a dual camera setup with a 16 MP primary shooter and a secondary 2 MP sensor meant for capturing depth information. This means that the camera is capable of taking portrait mode photos. It also has a wide aperture mode for capturing photos with as much or as little background blur as you’d like.
The Moto G5 Plus takes a more traditional approach with a single 12 megapixel camera. It doesn’t offer much in terms of shooting modes, either. You won’t find a portrait mode or background blurring effects on this camera, so photos won’t look quite as dramatic as they do on the 7X.
When looking at the photos produced from these two cameras side by side, the Honor 7X typically produces better results with brighter, more vibrant, and better balanced photos. Photos taken with the G5 Plus tend to be very underexposed and way too dark. Neither camera is great in low light but the Honor 7X is definitely better at grabbing focus and handles highlights in extremely dark situations much better.
Bottom-line, in most situations the Honor 7X offers a noticeably better camera experience.
While the Honor 7X and Moto G5 Plus are both running Android Nougat at the moment, the experiences are drastically different, thanks to Honor’s EMUI 5.1 Android skin.
EMUI 5.1 offers a design that draws a lot of parallels to iOS in its aesthetics and functionality, versus the more “stock-like” Android experience of the Moto G5 Plus.
Which is better? Honestly, a lot of this comes down to preference. EMUI 5.1 offers a ton of features under the hood, including customizable soft keys and the ability to run multiple instances of the same app. The latter feature is super handy for apps that don’t support multiple accounts like Facebook or Snapchat.
If you want something that stands out, EMUI 5.1 will be a perfect fit. On the flipside, if you like cleaner, stock-like interfaces you’ll prefer the G5 Plus.
The Moto G5 Plus and Honor 7X both pack an incredible number of features considering the handsets cost just $199, but it’s hard to deny the Moto G5 Plus feels dated in comparison. In past years we were willing to accept compromises like big bezels, a single camera setup, and a plastic faux-chrome trim. In 2017 the game has changed.
The Honor 7X gives us a more forward-looking design, a bezel-less screen, and dual cameras. Simply put, it’s hard to argue how much value you’re getting with the Honor 7X. Of course if you are willing to spend a bit more, Lenovo now offers a Moto G5s Plus that evens the playing field a little bit more, but even that has a dated design. It’s $50 more than the Honor 7X too.
Motorola has long dominated the budget smartphone space. Typically it’s been ahead of the curve. With the arrival of the Honor 7X, Moto finally has some catching up to do. One thing is certain, the bar has been permanently raised for budget phones.