Honor recently launched a new smartphone, the Honor 9i in China for a starting price of 1399 (Rs 14,500) for the 4 GB and the 64 GB variant. Similarly, the Honor 9i, which is currently available in India (4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage) is also priced at Rs 14,999. So, if you are using the Honor 9 Lite, should you upgrade to the Honor 9 Lite? Let's find out.
Looking from the back of the smartphone, the Honor 9 Lite and the Honor 9i have an almost identical design with a premium 2.5D 2 MP, 1080ptempered glass finish with a dual camera setup (more on this on the camera section) and a rear-facing fingerprint sensor. It is very hard to distinguish these smartphones by looking at the back. However, the display is the one aspect, which broadly classifies the Honor 9 Lite from the 9i moniker. The Honor 9 Lite has a modern 18:9 aspect ratio display with narrow bezels on the top and bottom, whereas the Honor 9i has a 19:9 aspect ratio display with an iPhone X like a notch on the top. In fact, the Honor 9i closely resembles the Huawei P20 Lite
Winner: I am not a fan of a smartphone with a notch. However, it all depends on the user, as a phone with a notch or without a notch has their own pros and cons.
The Honor 9 Lite has a 5.65-inch (18:9 aspect ratio) IPS LCD display with FHD+ (2160 x 1080px) panel with 428 ppi, whereas the Honor 9i has a 5.84 (19:9 aspect ratio) inch IPS LCD display with FHD+ (2280 x 1080px) panel with 432 ppi. On paper, the Honor 9i has more pixels per inch. However, in real-world usage, one will not be able to distinguish between these two displays unless you are looking them under a microscope.
Winner: Both smartphones should do a job offer showcasing crisp content without any hassle, as both phones can reproduce up to 16M colors. Once again, it is difficult to pick between the duo.
Processor and RAM
Most of the Honor or Huawei smartphones launched in the last few months either are either running on the HiSilicon Kirin 970 or the Kirin 659. In this case, both smartphones behold the Kirin 659 Octa-core chipset with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. Yes, there is a more affordable variant of the Honor 9 Lite and a more premium variant of the Honor 9i with different amount of RAM and storage. But, in this instance, we are only considering the 4 GB RAM model.
Winner: The tough fight continues between the dogs and there is no reason to pick the best one, which offers better performance in terms of either RAM management or performance, as both smartphones are running on the same processor with same custom EMUI 8.0 based on Android Oreo OS.
The Honor 9i and the Honor 9 Lite have a dual primary camera setup with a 13 MP RGB primary sensor paired with a 2 MP secondary depth sensor (for bokeh effect). For the selfie camera, these phones have a different set of sensors. The Honor 9i has a single 16 MP front-facing camera, whereas the Honor 9 Lite has a dual camera with a 13 MP RGB sensor and a 2 MP depth sensor. The selfie cameras on both smartphones offer features like bokeh mode, 1080p video recording and Face Unlock.
Battery and charging
Once again, both phones have an identical 3000 mAh Li-ion sealed battery with a micro USB port for charging and data syncing. These phones do not support any sort of fast charging.
The Honor 9i and the Honor 9 Lite are the some of the best affordable smartphones, which offers a plethora of charges without charging much. Now, should you upgrade from the Honor 9 Lite to Honor 9i? The answer is no, as except for the display notch there are no major changes either in terms of design, performance, or power. However, if you are in the market for a smartphone, then the Honor 9i looks like a great option over the Honor 9 Lite for those who are "notch-friendly".