Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has made a name for itself in the Indian market with its mid-range offerings. Even after Google cut ties with Huawei, the company already had backup plans laid. The ‘X’ series is one of the most popular mid-range devices offered by Honor. And as they always do, Honor has launched the new Honor 9X recently with basic features. How well does it hold up in the competition? Well, read out the Honor 9X review below to find out.
Design and Display
The Honor 9X has a huge 6.6-inch display upfront with smooth rounded corners. You get a good hold of the device and it has that premium feel to it when holding. On the front, above the display is the earpiece on the edge along with the sensors, pop-up selfie camera and a thick chin at the bottom for the comfy holding of the device. On the back, it has the triple-lens camera set up in a vertical position along with the LED flashlight and at the bottom-middle is the Honor branding.
The right panel has the power button along with the volume rockers and on the top panel, we have the SIM card tray. On the top panel, we have the secondary noise cancellation mic and on the bottom is the USB Type-C port along with the speaker grill, microphone, and 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Honor 9X sports a 6.59-inch 19.5:9 IPS LCD FHD+ display with 2340 × 1080. The display is bright, good in colors despite an LCD panel. In place for protection, Honor used a Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The build quality is also good enough and the device feels sturdy enough. Overall, the display is a good get for a device of this price.
Software and Performance
The Honor 9X runs on Android 9.0 with EMUI 9.1 on top of it, out of the box. With the Android security patch for July 2019, Honor does try to keep up in the updates race but we still can’t be sure about the Android 10 update for either of their devices. Surprising thing is that this device still shows the EMUI branding although Honor uses a rebranded version, Magic UI Apart from the Google Apps, the device has some pre-installed apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Gaana, UC Browser, Amazon, Dailyhunt, PhonePe, and Paytm which can be uninstalled if not necessary.
Out in the performance section, the Honor 9X is powered by Huawei’s home-brewed Kirin 710F SoC. This combined with 6GB of RAM builds up the performance unit of this device. On a day to day life, you will be satisfied with the performance as we did tests with multiple apps running in the background and still multi-tasking, and the device did not disappoint much.
On the gaming side too, we did carry out the ritual of playing PUBG Mobile and have to say that the device gave a good outcome. But yes, with multiple apps running and still playing intensive games, the performance did backlash a bit with certain frame drops. Also, Call of Duty Mobile has choppy details which do not look good for a mobile at this price. Overall, it would have been better if Honor opted for a more powerful SoC here.
Cameras: Honor 9X Review
The Honor 9X has a 48MP primary rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, 8MP 120-degree wide-angle camera with f/2.4 aperture along with a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, it has a 32MP selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture.
Out from the rear camera, the images come out decently great through the primary sensor. The daylight shots are great and it has the auto HDR which will turn on HDR mode based on the scene you are taking a photo in. Macro shots are good up to an extent with a decent amount of blur in the background. The 8MP wide-angle lens on the other side does not give out the good quality of photos. The photos taken with the wide-angle lens give a good view but lack in colors and details.
Coming to the stock camera app, Honor has put it up just like any of their devices. It has a simple UI with toggles for flash, HDR, Portrait mode, and live photos on the top bar. In the settings, you have various settings you can modify and on the usual screen, you can find the option to switch between camera modes that include DOC to scan documents, Pro mode with manual settings to adjust exposure, ISO, shutter speed, panorama, night mode, AR stickers, and more.
When in lowlight conditions, the images come out low in detail and more noise. However, with the night mode coming to the rescue, the images are better than that of what we have seen in the normal mode. The portrait mode though, with the 2MP depth sensor, could have done better with the edge detection, at least, that’s what we think.
The 16MP pop-up selfie camera does produce good quality selfies with sharp details. For the portraits, it uses software to blur the background which is decent enough. Apart from that, the front camera also has HDR and AI beautifications through which people can up their selfie game. Check out the camera samples below in Honor 9X Review.
Battery and Miscellaneous
The Honor 9X has a 4000mAh battery which will last a day or so for an average user. In our tests, the device did last us a day with most of the usage coming from browsing, social media, gaming, YouTube & other streaming, and calls. Along with the power saving mode, there is also a Super Power saving mode which just enables contacts, phone, messages, and clock.
Inside the box, you get a 10W Charge adapter which takes up to 2 hours to fully charge from 0 to 100%. Considering how Honor has managed to migrate from Micro USB to USB Type-C, it is definitely a great transmission. But, with the charging speeds not being any better, this is kind of disappointing to see for a device priced in this range. Coming to the connectivity and multimedia, the speakers are loud enough to be heard in a medium-sized room and the audio through the earphones is also defined well. Apart from that, the connectivity levels are great with VoLTE dual SIM and Bluetooth 5.0.
Verdict: Honor 9X Review
Priced at Rs. 13999 for the base 4GB + 128GB variant, the Honor 9X is just another device in this price segment. With an IPS LCD, pop-up selfie camera, 48MP primary sensor, good gaming performance, and a 4000 mAh battery, the Honor 9X is a good looking device for the people looking for an entry-level mid-range smartphone with decent performance. The UI is also an upside if you are not certainly used to the stock Android experience or if you are bored with it.
- Gorgeous design
- Large battery
- No notch or hole-punch
- 128GB of storage
- Decent main camera
- No NFC
- Weak wide-angle camera
- EMUI is loaded with bloatware