Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Huawei Honor 9 ★★★☆☆

Huawei’s latest Honor device, the Honor 9, is a special device thanks to its low price. Not something Huawei is usually known for if you’ve seen the P9 & P10. For now, it’s only available in UK and Asia only but there is a chance it’ll show up in USA/Australia later this year. There’s no particular USP on the Honor 9 but the price is what Huawei thinks will make this model click.

In terms of design, it’s one of the best looking phones (at least from the back) in the market ever. Strikingly similar to the S8 and available in 5 shiny variants (HTC U was similar!) that are reflective but don’t mirror. There is a dual camera setup with flash and the Honor logo at the back. It’s currently available in Glacier Grey or Sapphire Blue but there will be a Black, Gold and “Blue Bird” variant internationally. Overall it’s a bold design and feels good in the hands.

The 5.15” screen is full HD (not QHD) but it saves a lot of battery and it’s similar to the OnePlus 5 which is at a similar price point. Huawei has its own Kirin 960 CPU that was also used in the premium P10 device, the Honor 9 has 4/6GB RAM and comes with 64GB/128GB onboard memory (RAM/memory respective) and can be extended with a microSD card which can be used if not using a secondary SIM. The Honor 9 runs on EMUI 5.1 on top of Android 7.0 which isn’t one of my favorite UIs on a phone but there are customisation options aplenty that can suit your needs. Bloatware is a major issue here when you see eBay & Booking.com preloaded! Features like Eye Comfort (similar to Night Light) come built in now.

Thankfully the 3.5mm jack is still there and the bundled headphones are decent. It’s not the best audio you’ll get on an Android phone for sure.Videos play smoothly but you may feel the screen is small if you’ve used a 5.2” or bigger screen device. Games run lag free as well thanks to the powerful GPU that can handle multiple graphic intensive games if you’re a hardcore mobile gamer.
The battery at 3200 mAh is a bit higher than Honor 8 and for a regular user full day usage won’t be a problem. If you’re a heavy user though, who likes the display looking crisp and watches a few hours of video along with gaming you’ll struggle to finish the day and since fast charging isn’t supported you’ll need a couple of hours to completely charge a dead Honor 9.

Finally, the dual camera setup at the back boasts of a 20MP monochrome lens with a 12MP color lens which together produces sharp images after combining them with a powerful software.
Ultimately all your photos will be with the 12MP camera as the black & white 20MP lens only adds depth and details. Low light photos will still be only average and videos might be a bit shaky due to lack of Image Stabilisation. The front camera is 8MP and captures decent selfies. The camera interface has features like 3D panorama, Lens Blur, 3D creator etc. Overall it’s a good attempt but photos still leave a lot to be desired. 

I’d give the Honor 9, a 3/5 purely for good looks and low price. It’s a good choice if you don’t want to spend too much, otherwise you have the OnePlus 5 that’s a much better overall device.


Pritesh Khilnani
Huawei Honor 9 at CeX

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