Honor 9X – Expert review

From scratch, we created the HONOR 9X with smooth back panel with a glimmering pearl X effect to dazzle the eyes from different angles– HONOR

  Up for Xtraordinary

Above all, Honor is getting into top gear now it has already launched the Honor 9X in India, alongside the Honor Magic Watch 2 smartwatch and the Honor Band 5i.

Honor 9X - Expert review
Honor 9X – Expert review

CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON

Xceptional Beauty!

TABLE OF CONTENT

  • VERDICTS
  • BUILD
  • DISPLAY
  • CAMERA
  • PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY
  • PROS AND CONS
  • PRICE AND RELEASE DATE

VERDICTS

Honor 9X does have so much upgrades to offer over the Honor 8X, which make it exceptionally good.

Features like notch-less full HD-display, the design, better handling, better processor and more graphics are very welcoming feature at its asking price.

Average photo quality except for low light photos, good battery life.

HONOR 9X

BUILD

However, its 3D geometric pattern on the Sapphire Blue review unit that we have looks like an X when light falls on its surface.

Its so unique design has turned into a key selling points of the Honor 9X. Each adjacent line appears to be of a different shade of blue, creating a depth effect.

  • 6.59-inch LCD display, Full HD+ resolution (1080 x 2340 pixels)
  • ‘Dynamic X’ design (reflective ‘x’ shapes in glass rear)
  • Finishes: Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue, Green, Charm Blue, Dream Purple
  • Size & weight: 164 x 77 x 8.8mm; 197g
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

While inspecting it closely we find out small diamond-shaped blocks across the whole rear panel that shimmer under the light. Available in 4 color – Magic Night Black, Green, Charm Blue, Sapphire Blue and Dream Purple.

There is a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor quite high on the back of the phone, which we found rather so convenient to reach.

Honor 9X - Expert review
Honor 9X – Expert review

The USB Type-C port, speaker and also a 3.5mm headphone jack is there at bottom, while the SIM tray is at the top.

It’s quite big, as previously stated, and feels a little heavy too at 197g.

It also has a Gorilla Glass front, and what feels like a Gorilla Glass back with plastic frame, however Honor hasn’t confirmed its body materials.

DISPLAY

Honor 9X features a 6.59″ LTPS IPS LCD screen with rounded corners.

It also has an screen extend 1080p resolution – 2,340 x 1080 pixels – making for a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 391ppi density.

The fact it’s LCD may put some people off. LCD screens are generally considered lower quality than more popular OLED-based displays, as they have relatively poor black reproduction and also flatter looking colors.

Even with best-quality LCD screens we’ve seen, with colors that seem to ‘pop’ more than competitors, Max brightness isn’t too high, though.

Honor 9X - Expert review
Honor 9X – Expert review

Resolutions is an issue for so many phones now at 1080 lines on the vertical, with the elongated 19.5:9 aspect ratio giving the “Full HD+” designation.

CAMERA

  • Triple rear camera: Main, wide, depth
  • Main: 48MP (1/2in size), 27mm equiv., f/1.8 aperture, (12MP ‘Light Fusion’ shots by default)
  • Wide: 8MP, 13mm equiv. (120-degree wide-angle), f/2.4 aperture
  • Depth: 2MP, f/2.4 aperture
  • Selfie: Motorised pop-up, 16MP, f/2.2 aperture

PHOTO

First of all pictures we took with it felt decidedly ‘fine’ in quality instead of being ‘great’ as we’d expect from the HONOR.

By the way the main rear camera is a 48MP snapper, which come along an 8MP sensor with an ultra-wide angle lens, and a 2MP depth assist camera for improved portrait shots.

First thing first, lets talk about front camera:

Picture that we took were good, as they were enough bright and details ware captured fairly well. Auto-focus was pretty quick for close-up pictures however, few pics were over sharpening, soft or washed-up sometimes.

Honor 9X - Expert review
Honor 9X – Expert review

Second, talking about 8MP sensor with an ultra-wide angle lens:

Also are few easily noticeable issues, there was noticeable difference between the color tone of photos captured by the main camera and wide-angle shots to same scene.

Even more there is distortion around the sides of ultra-wide pictures, which is promised to sort out.

They also turned out less sharp. 

Finally, the 2MP depth assist camera:

It helps in portrait shots for creating accurate background blur.

However, there’s no optical zoom, rather limited 6x digital zoom. Even more there is telephoto lens, without these this depth assist camera is not of much use.

Honor 9X - Expert review
Honor 9X – Expert review

Its not that it got all negatives about camera there are also some additional Huawei like features, as:

Improved night mode, with more details and color. Also AI photography which comes as a treat for example if you’re taking a close or long-range photo, a snap of food, or a portrait of your kids, it knows, and can tweak various settings to take the best possible picture.

VIDEO

Opposite to that the video recording options in the Honor 9X are limited:

You’ve got 720p / 30fps, 1080p / 30fps and 1080p / 60fps if you want to record in 16:9 aspect ratio. But if you want to record a 19.5:9 video you’re limited to 1080p / 30fps or 60fps.

Yet again, videos shot by the main camera and the wide-angle one showed a discernible difference in colour profiles.

PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY

Honor 9X - Expert review
Honor 9X – Expert review
  • Body: Front and rear glass, aluminum frame, 206g.
  • Display: 6.59″ LTPS IPS LCD, 1,080 x 2,340px, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 391ppi.
  • Rear camera: Primary – 48MP, 27mm, f/1.8; PDAF; Ultrawide – 8MP, 13mm, f/2.4; Depth sensor – 2MP. Video recording up to 1080p@60fps.
  • Front camera: Motorized pop-up with 16MP, f/2.2; fixed focus lens.
  • OS/Software: Android 9 Pie, EMUI 9.1.
  • Chipset: Kirin 710F: octa-core CPU (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53); Mali-G51 MP4 GPU.
  • Memory: 4/6GB of RAM; 64/128GB storage; microSD card slot (hybrid).
  • Battery: 4,000mAh, 5V/2A charging
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0; USB-C, 3.5mm jack.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (rear-mounted).

PERFORMANCE

Above all Using of the Kirin 710F processor really made it a matter of discussion:

First of all why Kirin 710F processor has been used at the place of Kirin 810F – as similarly used with Honor 8X from 2018. Even more why it have not been upgraded to advance version?

Well, it has been used, but only in China will you find Kirin 810 version.

Because the European model of the 9X has to effectively be a reworked version of the Huawei Smart Phone- Smart Z in order to get past the Google ban hurdles.

Paired here with 6GB RAM, backing up its performance with 128GB storage & a option to microSD expand. Also with the Android 9.0 base on which Huawei’s EMUI 9.1 software runs is as far as the company could offer prior to those US-based sanctions.

Honor 9X - camera
Honor 9X – camera

Honor 9X has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and it’s among the best in terms of speed and accuracy. Face Unlock was not available on our Honor 9X. It can be called a gaming phone due to supplementing software’s to it.

Multitasking is a familiar affair. Holding the Recent key will let you activate the split-screen mode.

It has a single bottom-firing speaker at its disposal and scored a good enough mark in our test. Its output is rather mediocre and lacks in the high and low frequencies. Even more the stereo separation wasn’t ideal, and there was slight shakiness to the bass frequency response. On the upside, the loudness was above average on this occasion.

Clarity deteriorated further with headphones, frequency response getting even shakier and stereo crosstalk increasing notably.

BATTERY

Honor 9X is powered by a beefy 4,000 mAh battery. It also supports 10W charging, and the provided 5V/2A adapter refills about 27% of a depleted battery in half an hour, which is surely not fast, but due its battery size the phone gets nice backup.

Honor 9X - Expert review
Honor 9X – Expert review

It takes over two hours to fully charge the phone, and it stood around 13 hours before the battery discharged completely while continuously playing videos and multitasking.

PROS AND CONS

PROS

  • Eye-catching design
  • Durable pop-up camera
  • Has a headphone jack
  • Long battery life

CONS

  • Big build
  • Poor wide-angle camera quality
  • Slow charging speeds
  • Old processor

PRICE AND RELEASE DATE

Honor rang in 2020 by launching the Honor 9X in India, alongside the Honor Magic Watch 2 smartwatch and the Honor Band 5i.  In the UK, and many parts of Europe, you can pick up the Honor 9X now for £249.99 (roughly $320, AU$470)

Honor 9X - Expert review
Honor 9X – Expert review

Starting at Rs. 13,999, the Honor 9X offers a compelling package in terms of hardware and design. However, it goes up against some well-received rivals from Xiaomi, Realme, Nokia, and Vivo.

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