Honor 9 test

Is Huawei P10’s slightly cheaper twin brother worth the price? We checked.

Calling the Honor 9 the “brother” of Huawei P10, despite the technical similarity, may seem quite an abuse if we look at the cases of both smartphones. This is because they are radically different. Honor looks much more bold and modern, not only by bright colors. Its housing is made of edge-rounded glass and aluminum frame, which perfectly fits into the prevailing fashion.

Thanks to the strong curves of the back wall, the phone lies more pleasant in the hand than the P10, and its small size is thus an even greater advantage. On the downside, however, is the fact that the smartphone very easily slips from the hand, which often poses a risk of falling.

What’s more, the back panel scratches very easily, so if you want to use your Honor 9 in peace, you should get a rubber case or other cover.

When it comes to build quality, the Honor 9 deserves a six. All the components of the case are exemplary and the casing is rigid and compact. As in the P10, the fingerprint reader has been moved to the front and, as in the aforementioned model, it works extremely fast and effectively. In the Honor 9, additionally, we will also find two touch buttons on the right and left side of the reader, which are illuminated in blue. If someone does not like this layout, the buttons can be turned off at any time.

Screen and multimedia

Honor 9 is equipped with a 5.1-inch IPS screen with Full HD resolution. The panel is very similar to that of the P10, but it seems to have minimally better color saturation. Colors are vivid and nice, and thanks to the high pixel density (432 dots/inch), the image is perfectly sharp. Good visibility in sunlight is guaranteed by the high maximum brightness.

In terms of multimedia, Honor also deserves praise. There are no headphones included, but the Chinese phone should satisfy everyone in terms of sound quality, if you plug in the external ones. Much worse is the speaker, which is relatively powerful, but completely unsuitable for listening to music – low tones are practically non-existent, and at higher volumes you can hear unpleasant noise.

Camera and battery

Honor 9 is equipped with the same camera as the Huawei P10, but without optical image stabilization and the Leica logo on the housing. It consists of two units: a color one with a resolution of 12 megapixels and a black and white one with a resolution of 20 megapixels. The aperture value of both cameras is f/2.2, and with the right treatments, we managed to get a double hybrid zoom.

The quality of photos taken with the phone is great if we talk about photos taken during the day. Sharpness is superb, color reproduction too, and the advanced camera app modes let you play with focus and effects. Honor 9 also not bad for night photography, but you get the impression that it performs weaker than the P10 in this regard. It is mainly about the detail of the frames, which is much worse.

Photo taken with the Honor 9 phone

Savings can also be seen in the front camera, which is obviously not Leica certified and has a larger aperture (f/2.0). Nevertheless, photos taken with the 8-megapixel camera are still nice, even in lower light.

The built-in battery has a capacity of 3200 mAh and supports fast charging technology. In daily use, the Honor 9 easily lasts 1.5 days without charging, and saving, more than 2 days are achievable.

Performance and system

The Honor 9 is based on an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 960 chip (4x 2.4 GHz / 4x 1.8 GHz). It is supported by Mali-G71 MP8 graphics, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. However, it is worth noting that this is a slower type of memory than the Huawei P10 (eMMC 5.1).

Performance in benchmarks: Antutu – 148,067 points, Quadrant Standard – 40,363 points, 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme – 2231 points.

The Honor 9 is incredibly fast in daily use and all apps launch in a flash, while advanced games also run flawlessly. However, as in other models with this chip, a side effect of high performance is the emission of a large amount of heat by the chip, which is felt on the casing already a few minutes of work under heavy load.

Interface of the smartphone is a proprietary overlay EMUI 5.1, which runs on the basis of Android 7.0. This is a specific environment that requires getting used to and may not appeal to everyone. Compared to previous versions, not much has changed in terms of graphics, which should be considered a minus, because in comparison to even the upgraded LG UX, it looks simply outdated.

From the practical side, however, EMUI is a well laid out and thought out interface, which can be personalized to a very large extent. The speed of operation is also impeccable.

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