The Honor 7 has the latest version of Huawei’s Emotion UI 3.1 skin running atop Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. The EMUI 3.1 skin does not have an app drawer and all the apps are lined up on the home screen itself. This means that you will have to resort to creating folders so that the home screens are not flooded with individual apps. EMUI 3.1 is visually attractive no doubt, but there are no signs of Android’s material design anywhere. The built-in themes are a little too childish, in our opinion.
EMUI has a ton of embellishments, but let’s start with how the Smart Key works. The Smart Key can be pressed, double pressed or long pressed for specific functions. Each of these commands can be assigned a predefined shortcut like ultra snapshot, voice recording, torch, and screenshot. While the rest are self-explanatory, Ultra snapshot can be used to capture an image in an instant when the phone is in sleep mode. In fact, this feature also displays the time it takes to capture the image. These three levels of the Smart Key can also be configured to open apps directly. Towards the end, we got so used to using the Smart Key, that we feel it should be implemented by more manufacturers.
You can configure the fingerprint scanner to recognize up to five fingerprints. This fingerprint scanner is one of the best we’ve used till date. It is lightning fast and worked for us every single time without fail. What’s even better is that the fingerprint scanner responds to various gestures such as touch the sensor to back one step, touch and hold to return to the home screen, slide down to open notification panel and slide up to see recent apps.
These gestures work with any finger and you don’t necessarily need to use the same finger that you had used during the registration. Also take note of the fact that you can activate or deactivate as per convenience. While these gestures are useful, it is likely that you may accidentally hit the fingerprint scanner because it is at such a convenient position.
Huawei also offers a voice command feature. However, unlike Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, it responds to fewer commands. All of Google’s apps come pre-installed on the phone, with quite a few third-party ones as well. Third party apps include Clean Master, AppsGallery, InMobi Services, UC Browser, WhatsApp, and Facebook. Thankfully, all the third party apps can be uninstalled. Our favourite app on the phone is the Smart Controller which uses the Infrared Port to control devices such as televisions, air conditioners, DVD players, and set-top boxes. It worked flawlessly with all of our devices.