After concluding the HONOR X7 review, the company sent me the HONOR X9 for a review.
This time, I was given more time to use the smartphone which has 4G capabilities and is considered a mid-range smartphone.
Just in case you are curious, the X9 was released in China in March 2022, and also a 5G variant, but this review will be based on the unit I received, which is the non-5G variant.
DESIGN: SCREEN & BODY
Like the X7 I received earlier this year, the X9 I received also came in Titanium Silver with HONOR also retaining Midnight Black and Ocean Blue as other options to the smartphone.
The rear of the HONOR X9 retains that matte finish I liked in the X7, in which it somewhat changes colours under different lighting.
The rear body is also made of plastic but looks super premium and strong.
There’s a huge circular camera bump on the rear, and the words HONOR are printed at the lower end of the phone.
In front, the X9 has a 6.81 inch HONOR FullView Display that support 90Hz refresh rate and 16.7 million colours. The screen-to-body ratio is 94% and it has 180Hz sampling rate.
The screen is also TuV Rheinland Low Blue Light certified, which means it has some protection against those harmful blue rays.
At the side, the phone has a side mounted fingerprint scanner which is located just under the volume buttons.
It took me sometime getting used to the side mounted fingerprint scanner location as I tend to press the volume buttons in effort to unlock the phone biometrically.
Aside from that, I personally think the X9 is perfect in size and weight as it’s not too big, and weighs only 189g.
The sound produced when I tested this HONOR X9 for this review was loud and clear, but it only comes out of the bottom side of the phone. This is due to the single firing speakers employed in this smartphone.
The single sided sound denied me full enjoyment when watching movies and listening to music using the speakers, but the loud audio ensured any voice notes or calls over the microphone were clear.
When gaming, the one sided speaker did prove rather annoying as the palm of my hand would cover the speakers causing the audio to be slightly muffled.
There’s no 3.5mm audio jack available, but I think that’s now common since Bluetooth earbuds are getting cheaper, better and more popular.
One of such earbuds I highly recommend using with this phone would be the HONOR Earbuds 3 Pro. When paired with the X9, the sound just gets awesome.
PROCESSOR & STORAGE
The X9 is using the Qualcomm® Snapdragon® 680 (6nm) Mobile Platform processor which is the same processor used in the X7. I find this rather disappointing given that this is supposed to be a newer variant of the series.
Maybe HONOR thought that this purpose-built processor was enough for another run under the series as it is made well for extended multimedia play and hence offers preferable gaming experience.
Despite using the same processor, I still tested the phone with two games I play, namely FIFA Soccer and Call of Duty (COD).
Both games loaded without much fuss but I did notice loading took a while. Once in game, things were snappy and enjoyable likely since the RAM accompanying the processor now is bigger at 8GB, although it has the same 128GB storage space.
There’s no expansion slot for the X9, so 128GB is pretty much it.
The HONOR X9 also comes with HONOR RAM Turbo which converts 2GB to ROM to RAM if there’s a need to do so. This means that I could expect 10GB of RAM shall the need arises.
The X9 comes with Google Services which is amazing news for those relying heavily on the services like myself.
It runs on Magic UI 4.2 which is based on Android 11, and has little bloatware added to its system. This is good and I have little complaints.
In terms of camera, I tested a few shots for this HONOR X9 review. These shots are taken around Kuching and try to show the capabilities of the phone when needed.
As usual, the shots are done with the phones default settings although I did turn on the AI setting as this would be what everyone would typically do to get the best photos.
Below is a sample of an image taken with the main 64MP lens on a good day.
The image below show the camera using 8X zoom at the same location.
A sample of the 8MP wide camera can be seen below.
Below are two macro shots with the 2MP lens.
The flower was hard to capture as it was windy, but the photo still turned out decent, while the RM100 bill was really nicely captured to the extend you could almost see the numbers 100 in the 100. I tried using the super macro, but it wasn’t as clear as when I used the AI photo option.
For selfies, I personally like what the camera did both indoors and outdoors as you can see below. The bokeh effect is nice, and my selfies just pop out.
I am however not so fond of the ‘beauty’ function which somewhat turns me more feminine.
For night shots, I took the photo below using night mode.
I must admit, I was relatively surprised by the night shot you can see above. It was good with even the sky showing an impression.
I don’t see much issue with the phone’s video recording as its satisfactory with sound also clearly recorded.
The battery of this X9 is one of the highlights of the model. It’s a 4,800 mAh battery which supports 66W HONOR SuperCharge.
This allows me to get 81% in just 30 minutes, which is fast.
During the time I used the phone on my daily routine; texting, surfing the net and watching dramas, the battery stayed well around 50% by night.
I noticed that if I played games, the battery does drain slightly faster than usual, but that’s expected.
Despite that, the battery I would say is awesome, on standby hitting more than two days is easy.
Like the X7 I tested, this smartphone is also made from plastic with the screen using some unknown glass. The sides (frame) seems to be made of metal.
The glass is already protected with a thin screen protector which perhaps gives an indication of its durability.
I tried bending the phone slightly and it does feel sturdy to withstand any accidental bends.
I can’t say much about the durability of this phone, but I can say that it does feel like one of those smartphones which would not get damaged easily.
The SIM tray did have some sort of rubber but the phone itself doesn’t have any official rating.
VERDICT AND AVAILABILITY
I can’t help compare the X7 and the X9 in this HONOR X9 review since I’ve now tested both variant, and to be honest, there doesn’t seem much difference between the two.
The HONOR X9 improves a lot on the battery, screen-to-body ratio and the camera.
However, it the upgrade in the camera isn’t as significant in quality as I’d hoped for although it does capture good photos under good lighting, and the night lighting is better than the X7.
Despite that, the smartphone is perfect for those worried about battery life and it’s RM1,099 price tag makes it budget friendly to most who are keen to play games while not worrying about battery life.
The smartphone is available at the sites below.
Just so you know, the HONOR X9 also has the HONOR X9 5G variant boast of a 5G processor, and a triple camera set-up. It’s largely the same as the X9, except for the two differences mentioned.
You can check the price of the X9 5G in the sites below.
Last but not least, for X9 phone cases, feel free to seek them below.