Most smartphones nowadays are just slabs with full touchscreens, meaning that a lot of devices end up looking alike. That means that manufacturers have to come up with other ways to make their phones stand out, and Huawei has done just that with its new Honor 7i phone.
The Huawei Honor 7i looks like a regular slab of a phone at first, but looking at its backside will reveal its main draw: a camera that can flip over from the back to the rear. Yes, the Honor 7i’s Sony-made 13-megapixel rear camera can flip and switch from a rear-facing camera to a front camera, eliminating the need for a dedicated front camera. It’s not a totally new feature, but it’s definitely not something that we see often.
You can also stop the camera halfway through its flip from rear-facing to front-facing, enabling you to take photos with the subject straight ahead of you but leaving the phone’s screen — and your viewfinder — at an easy-to-see angle. Additionally, the camera’s flash is attached to the flipping camera, so you can always have some added illumination if you need it, including for your selfies.
Like many other phones that’ve been released lately, the Honor 7i also includes a fingerprint reader. What’s different about the Honor 7i’s fingerprint reader is that it’s located on the side of the phone, not on the front or rear like most other devices. Most folks hold their phone with their fingers on the sides of the unit, so the placement of the Honor 7i’s fingerprint reader means that it you probably won’t need to move your hands much to unlock the phone or use the fingerprint reader for other features.
As for the rest of its spec list, the Honor 7i features a 5.2-inch 1920x1080 display, octa-core Snapdragon 616 processor, 3100mAh battery, a microSD slot, and Android 5.1 running beneath Huawei’s custom EMUI 3.1 user interface. It’s also worth pointing out that the Honor 7i’s 13-megapixel shooter has an f/2.0 aperture, dual LED flash, and wide angle lens. Finally, there will be two options for storage and RAM. The base Honor 7i will offer 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, while a beefed up version will have 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
Pricing for the Honor 7i is set at 1599 Yuan ($250 USD) for the 2GB/16GB model and 1899 Yuan ($297 USD) for the 3GB/32GB model. Right now the Honor 7i is only available in China.
As I said before, the Honor 7i’s flipping camera is not something that we see every day, and the ability to have a 13-megapixel camera with flash for your front-facing shooter is something that’s probably pretty exciting for selfie fanatics. And since many spec junkies will likely turn away from the Honor 7i’s mid-range — but still respectable — feature set, the selfie crowd is probably the main target for this phone and its flipping camera.