Huawei has just revealed its next Honor handset, the Honor 7, and it's got a few neat tricks up its sleeve.
We're fans of Huawei's Honor smartphone series. When we reviewed the Honor 6 Plus earlier this year, we gave it a big thumbs up for its screen, battery life, and quality finish, but weren't so keen on its custom OS and average CPU.
The most notable change the Honor 7 brings to the party is the gesture-sensitive fingerprint scanner on its rear face. As well as fullfilling standard unlock functions, the scanner can also read finger movement, allowing for quick control of the notification panel and camera.
A peek at the Honor 7 specifications shows significant tweaking elsewhere under the hood. The Honor 6 packed two quad-core processors, one set clocked at 1.7GHz, the others at 1.5GHz. The new model 7 comes with 4 Cortex A53 cores, one set clocked at 2.2GHz and the others at 1.5 GHz. To back up the CPU muscle comes a Mali T628 GPU and 3GB of RAM.
Whereas the 6 Plus has a huge 5.5in screen, the Honor 7's is a 'mere' 5.2 inches. That still puts it on the larger end of the smartphone spectrum, though outside of the screen the design is trim, with only a slight border and bold, non-rounded edges.
There are lots of other added extras: the 21MP camera can focus on a subject in just 0.1 seconds, Honor claims, the phone is NFC enabled, and the fingerprint scanner can be used to authorise a variety of online payments. Our one real concern is the phone's custom OS: the Honor 7 will run Huawei's quirky Emotion UI on top of Android Lollipop.
The Honor 7 is shipping in three versions, the most basic of which is a 16GB LTE-enabled handset which costs 1999 yuan (approx US$320). And yes, as you've probably guessed it's currently only been announced for sale in China, where it becomes available on July 7.
No word yet on whether the Honor 7 will make its way to other markets. Let's hope so.