Honor 9X Review; another shiny smartphone

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Honor 9X and Huawei Y9s 2019 aren’t much different than each other. It wouldn’t be wrong to call them siblings, which is not wrong technically. Both possess specs that are similar in many ways apart from a significant design difference, which is the fingerprint scanner that is side-mounted in the case of Y9s, whereas Honor 9X displays it on the backside. We reviewed Y9s 2019 a few days ago, which was also one of the contestants in the list of best Android phones of 2019. We are also hoping a similar performance from the 9X, let’s check out what this phone offers in actual. 

Honor 9X specs

  • Display: 6.59 inches, IPS LCD
  • OS: Android 9.0, EMUI 9.1
  • Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 710F (Octacore)
  • RAM/ROM: 6GB/128GB
  • Camera (rear): Triple (48MP + 8MP + 2MP)
  • Camera (front): 16MP (popup)
  • Battery: 4000 mAh
  • Full specs

Design and Display

Honor 9X is a successor to the Honor 8X that landed back in November 2018 with a very tempting design language. The looks amazed us, but it did not come without minor bumps. Nothing significant has changed in the design department ever since. Where a dual camera setup was placed on the left part of the rear panel, Honor has placed a triple camera arrangement exactly there.

Honor 9X Design

The device comes in Sapphire Blue and Midnight Black. Just like the predecessor’s unique shimmer on the back, the latest iteration has a shiny rear side made of glass, which creates a glimmering pearl X effect when light refracts from the surface. Apart from the camera setup, a fingerprint scanner is placed nearby well within reach of the index finger. The back panel is curved from the edges where it meets a middle frame that juts out a little from all four sides. It reminds me of the old days when we would put the removable back covers on the body that exceeded the edges of the panel.

Being a glossy surface, it is a fingerprint magnet that always needs to get wiped. A silicon cover comes out of the box, which is handy here.

9X SIM Tray

In this iteration, Honor has moved the SIM tray from the left side to the top area, where it shares the space with a popup camera and the secondary microphone. The SIM tray is hybrid and can either accommodate an additional nano SIM or a micro SD card. At the bottom, 3.5mm audio jack, speaker grille, the primary mic, and USB type-C are visible.

9X SIM Tray

9X charging port

The motorized front camera has made possible extremely minimum top bezel on the front that is nearly equal to the left and right bezels. In contrast, the bottom chin is a little heavier but does not spoil the experience of the 6.59 inches IPS based Honor FullView display that is bigger and immersive. For us, the good part is a notch-less screen that provides 1080 x 2340 px resolution and 391ppi that result in a screen sharp and vivid enough to please the eyes.

The screen is not as catchy as an OLED or AMOLED; still, it is attractive enough to gather the attention. Icons and text appear easy to comprehend, which can further be spiced up from the Colour mode & temperature menu in the display setting area. You can manually set the resolution of the screen to 720p or 1080p that can also be automated through the smart resolution option, which determines itself which resolution to offer. The default setting helps saves a lot of battery power.

Side viewing angles are acceptable and not severely impacted by the slight dullness of the screen at extreme angles.

9X Display


Performance and Battery

Honor 9X relies on Kirin 710F Chipset that we also found in Huawei Y9s 2019, Huawei Y9 2019, and it goes back to Honor 8X as well. Although the last one didn’t come with an ‘F’ version, as per Huawei, a simple Kirin 710 and 710F are almost identical in processing. The octa-core processor is supported by 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage that run Android 9.0 and EMUI 9.1.0 UI.

The AnTuTu benchmark score reveals that with 181341 points, Honor 9X is ahead of Huawei Y9s 2019 (178183) and much better than Y9 Prime 2019’s score of 116771. Indeed, it hints towards a better optimization of hardware and software, although the chipset is similar. The Geekbench 5 shows the single-core reached 319, and the multi-core scored 1338.

Still, being a process with an old history, we expected an average performance from the device, but our real-life test showed a smooth sail for the day to day tasks. It scored 6.4 out of 10 in our performance test. It can easily run PUBG and Call of Duty at medium settings with minor frame drops intermittently. We also noticed some lag while switching between apps in the mid of gaming sessions, which didn’t feel awkward considering the price segment and chipset category.

Honor 9X comes with a 4000 mAh battery and a 10W charger that can refill it in 2 hrs and 18 mins from 0 to 100 percent. Our back-to-back video in a loop could run the phone for 10 hrs and 56 mins before it drained out completely. In another 4G based test, the phone lost 61% of its battery in four hours while we played with the following apps.

Honor 9X 4 Hours Battery Test


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