Huawei's e-brand Honor has unveiled their latest mid-range Android smartphone- Honor 9i in the Indian market. Priced at Rs. 17,999, the smartphone keeps photography at center by offering four cameras on board, two at front and two at rear to create Bokeh effect in the pictures you capture. Besides, Honor 9i is also the company's first handset to flaunt a taller 18:9 aspect ratio display.
Honor 9i is priced aggressively and is quite feature packed. The smartphone will be available exclusively on Flipkart on October 14th in three colour options - Platinum Gold, Midnight Black and Navy Blue. Let's find out how good or bad is Huawei's latest mid-range offering for the Indian market.
Engineered to please shutterbugs
Huawei has been producing dual-lens camera smartphones from quite a while. We have tested Honor 8, Honor 6X, Honor 8 Pro, etc. and the devices never failed to impress us with their camera prowess. With Honor 9i, the Chinese tech giant has made another leap in mobile photography by introducing two dual-lens camera setups on one smartphone.
Honor 9i flaunts a 13MP+2MP dual-lens camera setup at front and a 16MP+2MP camera setup at rear. The front dual-lens camera is also accompanied by a flashlight, which the company is calling- Smart Selfie Toning flash.
The 2MP secondary cameras at rear and front are provided to capture depth information in the images you capture. This is the same functionality we have seen in company's previous devices such as Honor 8 and Honor 8 Pro. As far as picture quality is concerned, Honor 9i's cameras produce good results. The images captured from both the camera setups have plenty of details and show accurate colors.
The bokeh effect is good but not as natural as you get on company's premium handsets; however the results are quite appealing and the secondary cameras get the job done well. The low-light images captured by rear camera show noticeable noise but the detailing is still intact. We will explore more about Honor 9i's camera potential in our detailed review of the handset in the coming week.
18:9 Aspect Ratio Full HD Screen
With Honor 9i, Huawei is also joining the league of smartphhones with taller 18:9 Aspect ratio screens. The new smartphone from Honor flaunts a 5.9-inch Full View FHD+ IPS LCD display, which is very touch responsive and produces crisp content. The screen has minimal bezels on all four sides and you will not feel like carrying a device which packs in a large 5.9-inch display.
The unibody metal handsets retains a 5.5-inch form factor even with a bigger screen. And while the bigger screen will allow you to consume more content in a compact form factor, the sunlight visibility of the panel used by Huawei seemed a bit dull. The screen felt quite reflective in direct sunlight which made it tough to watch videos or consume other media content. I removed the screen guard from the display (included in the pakage) and it did improve some level of visibility, but still the overall results are not very appealing.
Unibody Metal design
Honor 9i is quite sleek and looks premium. The smartphone comes with a unibody metal design and feels very light in hands. The company has taken good care of symmtery in designing the handset as the flashlight, fingerprint sensor, USB socket and dual-lens camera all lie on the central axis of the phone.
On the front, the dual-lens camera sits on the right. The power button and volume rockers are placed on right and the dual-SIM card tray is positioned at left side. A mono speaker unit, 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone sits at bottom along with microUSB charging port.
Hardware and Software
Honor 9i is backed by an 8-core Kirin 659 chipset which is paired with 4GB of RAM to handle multitasking. The smartphone has 64GB internal memory. Sadly, there's no microSD card support.
As far as software is concerned, Honor 9i runs on Android 7-based EMUI 5.1. The handset felt pretty responsive and there were no lags and stutters during my usage. We will stress test the Honor 9i to find out its true potential.
Battery and Connectivity
Honor 9i is powered by a 3,340mAh battery unit which the company claims can deliver up to two days of standby time and a talk time of upto 20 hours. For connectivity, Honor 9i has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, dual-SIM, and GPS. The device also supports Bluetooth aptX for better audio quality and better synchronization between audio and video content.
Honor 9i offers a good package in sub Rs. 20k price-point. The taller 18:9 aspect ratio screen and double dual-lens camera setups are the highlights, which can please multimedia lovers and photography enthusiasts. We will pit it against sub Rs. 18k smartphones from Xiaomi, Motorola, Samsung, Gionee, etc. to find out its real performance. Stay tuned on Gizbot.com for comprehensive review of Honor 9i.