Honor 9X: The Good, Bad, And The X Factor


Honor 9X has finally gone official in the Indian market following all the hype. The latest offering comes as a successor to the company's last year's popular budget smartphone - the Honor 8X. It comes with some noticeable upgrades over its precursor and one of the key highlights if this handset is its motorized selfie camera module.

Honor 9X First Impressions

Besides, the company is betting high on photography with the triple-rear camera module equipped with a 48MP primary sensor.

At the launch event, the Chinese manufacturer also unveiled its smart wearable lineup comprising the Honor Band 5i and the Honor Magic Watch 2. While the former is a fitness tracker, the latter is launched as a smartwatch identical to the Huawei Watch GT 2.

The Honor 9X is announced in two different configurations - 4GB RAM+ 128GB storage and 6GB RAM+ 128GB storage. Prices are Rs. 13,999 and Rs. 16,999 respectively.

We were present at the launch event and got some time to fiddle around with the unit. In this article, we are listing down the good, bad, and the X factor of the Honor 9X.

Honor 9X: The Good

Honor 9X: The Good

Tall Display With No Notch

The display is one of the prime factors besides the camera which a user considers while buying a smartphone. And Honor has kept that in mind while launching the 9X. The device flaunts a tall 6.59-inch Full View display that offers an FHD+ resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.

Thanks to the pop-up selfie camera module, there is no notch on the top. Also, the bezels surrounding the display are slim. So, you get a maximum of the surface to watch your content.

The display is vivid and is suitable for high-res media consumption. The brightness levels also seem optimum. But, we still need the sunlight legibility under direct sunlight.

Capable Mid-Range Kirin 710 Processor

Capable Mid-Range Kirin 710 Processor

The Honor 9X carries the same processor as its predecessor, i.e, an octa-core Kirin 710 chipset. The chipset is combined with 4GB/6GB RAM and 128GB storage.

The device comes with GPU Turbo 3.0 technology which is to enhance the gaming experience. The Honor 8X did a pretty good job in terms of multitasking. And with the Honor 9X launching with the same processor, we can expect a similar user experience.

We tried launching multiple apps together and didn't experience any lags. The processor is sufficient to run graphic-hungry games like PUBG, Fortnite, Asphalt 9 and others without any frame drops or hiccups. We will be giving feedback on its performance following thorough testing in the coming days.

Beefy Battery With Fast Charging

Beefy Battery With Fast Charging

The device makes use of a 4,000 mAh battery for processing. This setup is backed by 10W fast charging. While we can't yet comment on the charging speeds, the quick charging support is something that we appreciate.

Also, this size of the battery is likely to keep the device running for more than half-a-day with moderate use and a single charge. We will test the battery to its full potential and will share the feedback on charging speeds and backup.

Honor 9X: The Bad

Honor 9X: The Bad

Smudge Magnet

The smartphone ships with a gradient rear panel which can be found easily on most of the smartphones nowadays. What gives it an edge over the others is the alphabet ‘X' which appears when light falls on the rear panel. But, the rear panel getting dirty is something which you will have to work with.

The device picks up fingerprints the moment you pick it up. Keeping it clean is going to be a task. But, you can always use a case to keep the surface clean and also protect it against accidental scratches and falls.

Not Super Comfy With Single Hand Usage

Not Super Comfy With Single Hand Usage

The handset is launched with a big 6.59-inches display and has a big form factor. While it is a sleek device, its big size could prove as a hindrance for comfortable one-hand usage.

Using it for basic tasks like scrolling through the content and making calls is still fine. But, anything extensive like gaming or reaching the nooks and corners will need both hands.

Dated Android OS

The Honor 9X is launched with a dated Android OS, i.e, the Android Pie. It offers an EMUI 9.0 skin on the top. Considering this is a new offering, we would have appreciated the latest Android 10 onboard.

The UI is nothing different from what we have seen in the last year. And with a whole lot of third-party apps pre-installed, the UI seems a bit cluttered. Though, you can always install any unwanted app manually from the PlayStore.

Honor 9X: The X Factor

Honor 9X: The X Factor

AI Triple-Rear Cameras

The Honor 9X is equipped with three cameras at the back panel and the company is betting high on its imaging capabilities. The setup is positioned vertically on the top-left housing a 48MP primary sensor with an f/1.8 aperture.

This is the same sensor that the company has used on its premium smartphones like the Honor View 20 series. 

The primary lens is accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor that has 120-degree FoV and another 2MP sensor for depth mapping. In our brief testing, the cameras appear to capture a good amount of detail.

While we are yet to test the camera to its full potential, the 48MP primary sensor backed by AI is expected to do justice to images captured in ample lighting.

There is a dedicated Night mode as well for the low light shots. You also get the option to capture 480fps slow-motion videos. At the front, the pop-up camera packs a 16MP sensor to capture selfies and for video calling.

The front camera is also packed with AI and offers features like Ai light detection, AI handheld detection, and AI video stabilization. The selfie camera has a fall detection feature which retracts the camera upon detecting any drop. 

Honor 9X: Is It Hit Or A Miss?

Honor 9X: Is It Hit Or A Miss?

The Honor 9X comes as yet another capable mid-range offering by the Huawei's sub-brand. Besides, Xiaomi and Realme; Honor has been able to grab a huge chunk of Indian audience looking for budget smartphones.

Speaking of which, the Honor 9X comes to a solid offering starting at Rs. 13,999. But, the device has some tough rivals like the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Realme 5 Pro both of which offer a quad-rear camera setup under Rs. 15,000. What Honor 9X misses here is an additional camera sensor on the back panel. If you are more into flaunting a pop-up camera smartphone, then the 9X seems fit for you.

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