[REVIEW] HONOR 9X – Solid All-rounder Without Breaking Your Bank

HONOR X-series has always been the most affordable mid-range smartphone with decent performance and camera. Most question asked whether the HONOR 9X will have Google Mobile Services (GMS) pre-installed, and the answer is YES! This could be the last HONOR that supports GMS as there is uncertainty with the US ban and HUAWEI is expanding their HMS (Huawei Mobile Services)

The HONOR 9X is a huge step-up upgrade from its successor HONOR 8X. It has much-improved performance, better display and modest camera array.

Firstly, do check out our unboxing and first impression video of the HONOR 9X

Design & Display

For an affordable smartphone, the HONOR offered more than any other smartphones out there. It has a huge 6.59-inch Full HD+ resolution IPS display without any notch or hole punch. You will get a full viewing experience display with over 91% screen to body ratio. It has a pop-up camera and feature drop detection system where the pop-up camera will automatically retract when the phone is falling. This lower down the risk of damaging the camera.

The display is protected with Corning Gorilla glass and the rear is high-quality glossy laminated plastic that gives an impression it’s made out of glass. The dual side curved back gives good hand grip.

There’s a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on the rear and next to it is the triple-rear-camera array.

The volume rocker and power buttons are located on the right side. The HONOR 9X get USB Type-C for charging and there’s also a 3.5mm audio jack.

HONOR 9X comes with two colour options; Midnight Black which we have review and Sapphire Blue that has a 3D gradient “X” pattern that looks pretty nice. The glossy rear does pick up fingerprints smudge easily, thus HONOR does provide a transparent TPU case in the box.

Camera

The HONOR 9X has triple rear camera setup that consists of a 48-megapixels main sensor, an 8-megapixels ultra-wide-angle and a 2-megapixels depth sensor for better portrait shots.

First, the HONOR 9X doesn’t shoot 48-megapixels photo out of the box. It would only shoot 12-megapixels photo until you switch the camera resolution to 48-megapixels. After you switched to 48-megapixels camera resolution, the switch to ultra-wide will be disabled. This is quite frustrating when I would like to switch to wide-angle and I need to go to the setting to amend it.

The photos quality taken by the HONOR 9X were pretty good in a well-lit environment with great details and sharpness. However, we did find some photos look washed out when shooting in a low light environment. The wide-angle photos quality dropped a lot compared it to the main camera, the image tends to look less vibrant and weird white balance. This probably due to the software which will be fixed with a new update.

The front 16-megapixels camera was pretty decent and it comes with a range of effect that fun to play around.

Here are some camera samples

Performance

Under the hood is HiSilicon Kirin 710F which is the same chipset with Kirin 710 with a different package (FCCSP – Flip Chip Chip Scale Package) there the performance offered are pretty much the same with Kirin 710 powered device.

Here are some benchmark result

  • AnTuTu Benchmark – 180,272
  • Geekbench 5 – 321 (Single-core), 1,305 (Multi-core)
  • AndroBench – 829.16 MB/s (Read), 448.03 MB/s (Write)

The HONOR 9X is boasted with GPU Turbo 3.0 which is useful for mobile gamers and able to deliver quite a good performance. Bear in mind, this is just a mid-range SoC where you can’t compare it with flagship processor. The graphic demanding mobile titles like Call of Duty Mobile still playable with the mid graphics setting.

If you don’t play games, the HONOR 9X works snappy and didn’t encounter any lag or hiccup on common social media apps and phone operation. This is thanks to the generous 6GB of Ram and speedy 128GB UFS 2.1 storage.

Battery Life

It packed with 4,000 mAh battery which is pretty decent for 2019 smartphone. The battery management is good and could last a full day of heavy use with ease. Sometimes we could even get through two days with just a single charge.

Unfortunately, the HONOR 9X only supports 10W charge and it would take over two hours to fully charge the device from empty.

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HONOR 9X
  • Design
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Value
4.2

Verdict

If you are looking for a mid-range smartphone that has a decent price tag, the HONOR 9X will be worth your money. It has an updated design that doesn’t look old and reliable design and robust built. I wish that HONOR would use Kirin 810 instead of the old Kirin 710F that ousted the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G.

The HONOR 9X is going for RM 999 and available for pre-order now via HONOR store nationwide or via online HiHonor.com and HONOR Malaysia Lazada Flagship Store. Early bird will get HONOR Band 5 (Sport) + HONOR Premium Bundle and if you are purchasing it from HONOR Store you are entitled to Purchase with Purchase HONOR Sport (Pro) for RM 199 or HiHONOR.com/Lazada PWP HONOR Sport (Pro) of RM 0.99

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