Honor 9 Review
- Beautiful design
- Everyday performance
- Affordable price
- Satisfying camera experience
- Day-long battery life
- Unimpressive low-light camera performance
- Heavy bezel
- No waterproofing
- Display needs some color calibration
Honor 9 review – Chase the light. Master the night.
The Honor 9 is cradled by 3D curved glass with stunning and distinctive colors. Tantalizing Nano textures precision carved into the glass with photo etching technology. The gorgeous curve crafted through a thermal bending process. Together, they make the Honor 9 shine with an otherworldly glow that leaps off the glass.
The Honor 9’s state-of-the-art dual-lens camera captures the world in incredibly high resolution and vivid detail. It’s the culmination of dual-lens technology, merging the strengths of a 20 MP monochrome lens and a 12 MP RGB lens.
|Disclaimer||If you see any error or incomplete data, please Contact Us.|
|Dimensions||147.3 x 70.9 x 7.5 mm (5.80 x 2.79 x 0.30 in)|
|Weight||155 g (5.47 oz)|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Display||LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|5.15 inches (~70.0% screen-to-body ratio)|
|1080 x 1920 pixels (~428 ppi pixel density)|
|OS||Android 7.0 (Nougat)|
|Chipset||HiSilicon Kirin 960|
|CPU||Octa-core (4x2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)|
|Card slot||microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)|
|Internal Memory||64/128 GB, 4/6 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||Dual 20MP + 12 MP, f/2.2, phase detection autofocus, 2x lossless zoom,, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, check quality|
|Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Video||[email protected], check quality|
|Secondary Camera||8 MP, f/2.0|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||4.2, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS|
|USB||Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 3200 mAh battery|
The Honor 9 is not an innovative handset, and it won’t offer you much you haven’t seen on a smartphone before.
However, Honor has managed to create an all-around great handset that offers everything you’d like in a phone in an attractive, easy-to-use and top-of-the-range package.
But the highlight feature is still that it’s around half the price of some of the major flagship phones, and it’s hard to find a reason not to recommend the Honor 9 if you’d like a cheaper alternative to some of the big names.
The Honor 9 is nice to look at and to hold. The brand has done a solid job with the design, though it doesn’t seem entirely unique: it’s reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy line. The hardware is inherited from the Huawei P10, you can be assured in terms of its performance. EMUI 5.1 and Nougat are already running smoothly on other devices in the family, and the software offers various customization options to suit different tastes.
The price of around £380 (about $495) makes the Honor 9 a really compelling smartphone, which draws comparisons with its cousin, the Huawei P10, as well as the OnePlus 5. I would personally choose to buy the Honor 9. From the multimedia side, the camera is full of features and able to cope with the most demanding user’s needs with the Pro mode for both photos and videos. The only flaw in this smartphone is that it brings together features and designs we’ve already seen before, but this is a problem with almost all the new devices on the market.
After just over a week with the phone, there are only a couple of things about the Honor 9 that give me pause: Firstly, the camera just isn’t that great, particularly in darker conditions — that’s just weird given how prominently low-light photography features in the marketing for this phone.
Second, although EMUI 5.1 is an oasis of usability compared to the mess of earlier versions, many buyers — myself included — will prefer something closer to vanilla Android. (Or at the very least, something less aggressively customized.) I can live with EMUI, and it doesn’t bug me as much as it did a year ago. But I’m a long way off being in love with Huawei’s software.
As for the rest of the experience, Honor has done a fantastic job bringing premium build quality and performance into a highly affordable compact handset. The Honor 9 is speedy, beautiful and long-lasting, and worthy of your consideration if you want a capable smartphone that won’t break the bank.
At the end of the day, the Honor 9 can certainly feel a bit rough around the edges, but that’s strictly figuratively speaking. It’s one of the most slippery phones out there but this is offset by the stunning looks. We noticed some performance throttling, but in real life it will probably go unnoticed thanks to the snappy chipset, which has plenty of reserves. The camera has a few gimmicky sides, but it delivers right where it’s important.
The Honor 9 is probably not a flagship killer, but it’s certainly flagship-grade. So though it may not be getting the attention it deserves, it is a solid recommendation in our books.
The Honor 9 is an interesting case. It takes over from the Honor 8, a phone released in 2016 that sold at the same price and didn’t seem like an amazing buy at the time.
Since then, the outlook has changed. Phones have become more expensive. The £70 gap between the Honor 9 and OnePlus 5 (£449) is the most important comparison, these two being the two obvious choices for those after a high-end phone at a lower price.
The Honor 9 isn’t a world apart from the Honor 8, but is does have a more attractive design, a somewhat-improved camera and double the storage. Changes made to Emotion UI also make it less polarising, as it can now be made to feel a lot more like ‘normal’ Android.
It’s enough to turn this range’s fortunes around. The Honor 8 was a fair buy, the Honor 9 is about the best you’ll find at the price.
The Honor 9 officially starts at €449 in Europe, but there are lots of offers out there and for £379 or €429 where you can get the 64 GB Honor 9 and a Honor Band 3 fitness tracker together. However, no matter what you pay you will be getting a phone packing pretty high-end specs – essentially the same as those found in Huawei’s other 2017 flagship devices but for a lot less money!
The Honor 9 certainly ticks a lot of the right boxes: great performance, dual cameras, sleek design, and an IR blaster! The only downsides are the lack of toughened glass over the display and the slippery nature of the build materials.
The software offers some good extra features and the ability to enable an app drawer should help EMUI find greater acceptance in the West. Overall I would say if you are looking for a high-end device but you can’t quite afford the price of the Huawei P10 or the Mate 9, then you should certainly think seriously about getting an Honor 9.
In almost every aspect, the Honor 9 is a substantial upgrade over the Honor 8. And maybe even more impressive is how favorably it compares to the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus – both much more expensive phones. Just how much you’ll shell out for the Honor 9 varies by market, but we’re often seeing it for between 380 and 430 EUR. Doing a direct-to-dollars comparison won’t make a lot of sense based on how smartphones are often sold, but anywhere from $350 to $500 (though probably not quite that high) would be believable if Honor ever decides to bring the Honor 9 to the States.
The Honor 9 does a whole lot well, and that’s all the more of an accomplishment considering the handset’s sub-flagship pricing. The design, while not departing very far from that of its predecessor, still works well, and even in an age of super-widescreen 18:9 displays, a traditionally-shaped phone like this can still look and feel good when we’re talking about a model this compact.
There are still weak points, and we really don’t love how easy it is for this phone to accidentally slide off a desk – it’s just way too slippy, and much as we docked the Moto Z2 Force because its easy-to-scratch screen had us feeling paranoid about damaging the phone, so too does the feeling that the Honor 9 is one slide away from breaking detract from the ownership experience it presents. To be fair, the phone does come with an included case, but we hate having to use any case if we don’t have to.
We’re not going to get too hung up on our problem with data bands, as this phone isn’t yet targeted at US networks, but we do wish there were anything along the lines of waterproofing present here – that’s increasingly something we take for granted when shopping for new phones.
In the end, the Honor 9 is an attractive option for international smartphone users who want a phone that’s compact, a reasonably strong performer, enjoys solid battery life, and offers a decently nice camera – and all for quite a bit less than your typical flagship. There’s no one stand-out area where the Honor 9 shines, but it does enough right to be worth recommending.
Yes, that’s life with beautiful daughters: sometimes the mother can become jealous. At least, Huawei does not make it easy for its P10 flagship to stand up against the slightly slimmed down Honor 9. For over 100 Euros less (~$118, depending on the price of the day), you really get a lot for your money with the Honor 9. Even the OnePlus 5 has to watch out.
Compared to the Honor 8, the pretty case was improved again, the performance is at the same level as that of the Huawei P10, and the cameras also take pictures that are almost as good. Only in the fast storage, the battery life, and the multitude and speed of the LTE connections, the Honor 9 remains behind Huawei’s flagship. In addition, Huawei offers a 36-month warranty for the P10.
You could blame Huawei for not giving more attention to the call quality, since that is mediocre at most. The high case temperatures and the throttling SoC during longer loads are annoying. However, other than that, we have to pay tribute to the Honor 9. It is a great offering in the mid-range that those interested should not pass.
For those who want to save, the Honor 8, which basically offers the same camera modules and is not far behind in terms of performance, is a great bargain for again about 100 Euros (~$118) less.