Yesterday Huawei’s sub-brand “Honor” has announced another new mid-ranger device that challenges other manufacturers’ mid-tier flagship devices.
Last year it was the Honor 8, this year it’s the Honor 9. Let’s dig into the specs first and see if it has got any better.
SPECIFICATIONS & HARDWARE
Surprisingly, the Honor 9 packs a high-end processor that is “home-made” by Huawei. It packs the same chipset that can be found in Huawei’s latest flagship the P10/Plus devices. The HiSilicon Kirin 960 chipset paired with 4GB or 6GB of RAM is more than enough to handle graphics intensive games and to multitask simultaneously while it’s also battery friendly.
Storage wise, you will have options to go for either a 64GB or 128GB version that on it’s own is more than enough for most people. Micro SD expansion slot is also included so you are able to expand your storage up to 2Tb. What we know for sure is that the UK will be getting the 4GB RAM/64GB storage option while the rest of Europe will receive the 6GB RAM/*64GB storage configuration. (*unconfirmed)
While, in terms of display it might be a downgrade in terms of size with its own 5.15″, it shouldn’t be a big issue getting used to it.
The new Honor 9 comes with USB Type-C 1.0 on board and as always, it can be found on the bottom of the device. Luckily the NFC can also be found on the device as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The fingerprint sensor this time isn’t on the back, instead following Huawei’s new design languages, it’s placed on the front, underneath the display.
The battery is a large (compared to device’s size) 3200 mAh that should last a good day for power users and a day and a half, or even two for average and casual users. This all seems fine so far, so let’s see if the design has got any better compared to Honor 8 – last year’s mid-ranger.
In terms of design, it looks nearly identical to what Honor has released last with with its own Honor 8 mid-Flagship. The Honor 9 resembles a lot of those design ideas and improves it quite a bit. It’s a looker! – we can clearly tell by the images shown above.
The back of the device has a 3D curved glass panel that offers great handing abilities and more comfort when holding the device.
The back design uses the same reflective 3D effect and some more minor cosmetic changes compared to its predecessor to make it more modern, trendy looking.
There will be 3 colour variants available including the very popular Blue edition, Silver and Gold.
The front of the device will also get the curves as it’s front panel will be equipped with the same 3D glass, curved design giving it even better looks and handling.
As said above, the display is a 5.15″ FHD IPS LCD (1920×1080 ~428 ppi) display that is sure, isn’t top-notch compared to QHD, but it’s still more than enough for everyday use and for a very powerful mid-ranger.
The fingerprint sensor can be found on the front, just underneath the display. This is because of the new design languages that Huawei has introduced with the P10 flagships, they seem to follow this procedure and equip their new devices with the fingerprint sensor placed on the front bottom of their new phones.
A video comparing the OnePlus 5 performance with the Honor 9 is already available, if you are seriously considering it, it might be a good idea to check it out. Keep in mind that the real life performance may differ from the ones shown below.
The Honor 9 comes with Huawei’s latest EMUI 5.1 on top of Android Nougat 7.1.
What’s great about the latest EMUI is that it learns from the users’ habits and optimises the performance based on what a person might use at a certain time on a certain day. This is certainly a good thing as we have seen before, it offers a fast response time and overall user experience and a speedy performance.
What’s also worth mentioning is that the speakers and some accessories are tuned and enhanced by “Monster”. They also offer some new accessories including “Honor Monster Headphones” and new Band fitness trackers as well as a pair of Bluetooth headphones. This is certainly a great offer if you are into music, and make sure to do your research after purchasing one. You might even get some great discounts, you never know.
The camera on the back is a dual camera setup with the primary one being a 12MP RGB sensor while the other one being a 20MP monochrome one (f/2.2). Don’t expect this setup to be a Leica branded camera as it’s nowhere to be found and it seems like the Honor 9 isn’t getting the same treat as the actual flagship devices from Huawei. A dual-LED can also be found right next to the dual shooters.
According to the company, this camera setup will improve low-light performance as well as improved zoom, which is by that way can go up to 2X. Portrait mode can also be found, just like in the P10 flagships offering you some nice bokeh effect in the background.
If that’s not enough, copying the Live Photos from the iPhone, a feature called “Moving Images” can also be found that works the same way as Live Photos.
The selfie shooter is an 8MP camera with f/2.0 aperture. Not much is known about the quality or extra functionalities, features but we’ll be sure to let you know this information in our “full-thoughts” review.
The Honor 9 offers some great minor design improvements over its predeseccor and much improved internals offering a high-end flagship like experience and performance.
We’d suggest, if you have the Honor 8 to pass the Honor 9 as the improvements are great, but your phone should perform perfectly fine even today. Unless you got some money to burn and add a little bit of extra, it might be a really good upgrade decision otherwise.
The Honor 9 is available starting today on Amazon. It will also be available from Three in early July.
The Honor 9 will be available in the UK starting at £380 and in the EU for €430.