Honor has released some pretty good phones in the last year or so. Little by little, it has been establishing a foothold in markets such as India. The company has not refused to adopt, or even start, trends such as dual cameras.
With Honor 9i, the company is now complying with new trends this year. Like most other versions of 2017, the 9i has a higher screen with an aspect ratio of 18: 9. Combine that with dual cameras in the front and rear, an unusual combination that works for enthusiasts as well Photography as for lovers of selfies.
The Honor 9i aims to offer more for less, and the list of features, as well as the spec sheet, is not out of place. But is it successful in doing so and manages to put together an attractive device? You will discover it in our review of Honor 9i.
Honor 9- Design
While Honor prefers to talk more about the configuration of the camera and the Honor 9i screen, I think design is one of the highlights of the smartphone. As has been the case with the latest Honor devices: the exceptional design makes this phone stand out from the crowd.
The Honor 9i’s monocoque metal design looks top-quality and its solid construction inspires confidence in the quality of construction. The quality of the materials is also first class.
The camera module on the back protrudes a bit, but has a metal border around it to protect it from scratches. This is actually an aberration for the Honor / Huawei devices, which have been touted with a ‘double flat camera’ as a marketing launch in the past. However, many of them were in higher-priced segments.
The matte finish of the phone and the curved edges make it very comfortable to hold. The 18: 9 aspect ratio screen and the thinner frames around it mean that the device’s 5.9-inch screen is easy to grip with one hand. It is about the same size as most smartphones on the market with a 5.5-inch screen.
As we have seen in some other devices with higher positions, you may need to stretch your fingers to reach the volume control on the edge or the fingerprint sensor on the back. It really depends on how and where you have the phone. If you have small hands, you may need to change the grip frequently to move, so you may want to consider a case if you are not clumsy.
For me, and for many others, the first look at the phone is more important than the spec sheet and the Honor 9i works well here, with an impressive aluminum chassis and sleek design.
Honor 9- Screen
The Honor 9i is the company’s first smartphone with a Full HD + screen (2,160 x 1,080) with an aspect ratio of 18: 9. The IPS LCD also looks beautiful especially with small bevels around it. There is a high percentage screen percentage of 83 percent on the body – impressive for a smartphone at this price point.
The screen is incredibly clear and the saturation of the color is quite good. It is not perfect because the brightness is a little disappointing outdoors, which affects the visualization of sunlight. But the contrast ratio is impressive and the viewing angles are also great.
The high screen on the Honor 9i is one of the defining features of the device, and the company does a good job here. It looks very good at first glance, but I would have liked a little more vividness.
See also: Google Pixel 2 XL analysis
Honor 9- Performance
The Honor 9i works with the Kirin 659 SoC octa-core and has 4 GB of RAM. The Kirin 659, which opens in India with the Honor 9i, is manufactured using the 16nm manufacturing process of HiSilicon, a Chinese semiconductor company owned by Huawei. The phone has 64 GB of internal storage, which can also be expanded up to 128 GB with a microSD card.
The performance of the Honor 9i is on par with the competition. For daily tasks, the phone works without problems. Once you start playing, cracks in your armor begin to appear though. There is occasional delay and random stuttering. It is not that bad and many casual users will not notice it, but if games are a critical aspect of using your phone, you may want to look elsewhere.
The phone does not heat up in daily activity, although it heats up when playing for a while. However, it is never too hot or uncomfortable.
The Honor 9i’s 3,340 mAh battery provides a one-day battery life. It’s good enough, but nothing special. Battery leakage is quite noticeable during intensive processor tasks, such as games, so you may want to be careful when returning from work at night. However, when you are not pressing the processor, the phone handles the power well.
In general, the performance on the Honor 9i is good enough, but not revolutionary by any measure.
Honor 9- Hardware
The Honor 9i includes a hybrid tray that can take two nano-SIMs, or you can change the second SIM card for a microSD card. Most people do not prefer a hybrid configuration, but 64 GB would be enough storage for most users and this is not a wonder.
Unfortunately, the Honor 9i is not compatible with fast charging, nor does it have a Type-C port. Even for a smartphone in its price segment, microUSB seems outdated.
Honor 9- Camera
The highlight of the Honor 9i is the configuration of the double camera in the back, as well as in the front. There is a 16 MP rear camera and a 13 MP front camera, which are combined with 2 MP secondary cameras to capture depth information. This allows you to take photos with a depth of field effect, or bokeh, as well as portraits. There is a LED flash on the back and a soft selfie flash on the front.
In good lighting conditions, the combination of the rear camera produces good photos. The details are good and the color saturation is perfect. While the aperture f / 2.2 on the main lens does not look good on low light paper, the photos come out well with good color reproduction and without much noise.
That said, the camera on the back of the Honor 9i is inconsistent and often misses the color reproduction and sometimes the photos lack detail.
The front camera comes out better than most smartphones in this price range. The photos come out sharp and with a good amount of detail.
The dual camera configuration allows you to take bokeh images, and in most cases, the background and foreground separation with the secondary 2 MP camera is good, even in low light. However, the erasure by software is quite obvious. The front camera also offers the ability to click on selfies with a bokeh effect and, surprisingly, does a great job on it.
The beautification mode is quite strong and completely erases the skin, but it does not look natural and the photos are not clearly yours.
See also: Huawei Mate 10 Pro analysis
Honor 9- Software
The Honor 9i executes the patented EMUI 5.1 skin of the factory company. Based on Android 7.0 Nougat , EMUI is quite different from Android stock or other Android masks, but it does not take long to get used to it. With EMUI 5 earlier this year, Huawei introduced the ability to choose between the default user interface without an application drawer or choose one with an application drawer.
To make the user experience comfortable on a large screen, EMUI offers a one-hand mode that reduces the screen to one corner of the screen. Many applications are not yet ready for an 18: 9 screen and run with a black bar at the bottom, or you can scale them to fit on the screen. For many applications and games, it works well.
The phone comes with many applications and pre-loaded tools that Huawei could have dispensed with, such as the Mirror or Torch application. Some of these can not be uninstalled, they are only disabled.
EMUI is a very well thought out and functional Android customization layer. Unlike its previous versions, it feels fluid and offers many ingenious functions to improve the user experience. However, as with all software experiences, it is a matter of individual preference.
Honor 9- Specifications
Android 7.0 Nougat
|screen||5.9 inch IPS
Full HD resolution (2160 x 1080)
Aspect ratio 18: 9
|Processor||2.36GHz Octa-Core Kirin 659|
|Internal storage||64 GB
Expandable up to 128 GB with microSD card
|Rear camera||Double camera of 16 MP + 2 MP
Double tone LED Flash
|Frontal camera||Dual camera of 13 MP + 2 MP
Soft LED flash
|Dimensions||156.2 x 75.2 x 7.5 mm|
Honor 9- Gallery
See also: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus analysis
Honor 9- Prices and final thoughts
The Honor 9i achieves a good balance between features and cost while adapting to current trends. It has a full view screen with 18: 9 aspect ratio, dual cameras and a striking chassis.
However, it is not perfect. The performance is good enough for the daily routine, but it could have been better. The same applies for the duration of the battery. The marquee function, its dual cameras, are pretty good, but do not take your breath away.
However, at $ 17,999 ($ 277) in India, the Honor 9i is a good package and a good option on the table for a smartphone under $ 20,000. It offers enough investment for money and is one of the most attractive devices there is.