In order to use the wide-angle lens, you will need to pinch the viewfinder or drag the zoom scroller on the side. The top left side of the camera app also has the HiVision option that uses AI to identify objects around you for shopping, text for translating and food to offer calorie count. The 16MP front camera tends to over-sharpen selfies in daylight. While colours look natural, facial features can look soft when zooming in. This is one area where a lot of potential Honor 9X buyers will likely be concerned about. The Honor 9X is powered by a mid-range Kirin F chipset.
Honor 9X design and build quality
The processor is slightly dated as it was introduced back in mid Compared to these powerhouses, the Honor 9X does feel sluggish, especially while playing games. The Kirin still works well enough for general browsing and day-to-day usage that involves messaging and social media browsing. Apps open and load fast enough, the scrolling experience was smooth while browsing apps like Instagram and Facebook, and the chipset is also power efficient as it is built on a 12nm process.
My experience while gaming, however, has been underwhelming. Fast-paced racing games like Asphalt 9 would sometimes stutter, while games like PUBG and Call of Duty Mobile would lag quite a bit at high graphics settings. The Honor 9X antennas do a good job at latching on to the Wi-Fi to keep a stable connection, but it is worth noting that the smartphone does not support 5Ghz Wi-Fi, so the bandwidth that you will get to work with is limited.
Honor 9X Android 10-based EMUI 10 update rolling out in India
That being said, you will be happy to know that the phone comes with Google apps and services, as well as access to Google Play Store. Honor has also confirmed that the Honor 9X will get updated to Android 10, but the timeline is still unclear. EMUI 9 feels smooth and responsive. The Huawei-made OS gives you the option to enable the app drawer in Settings.
Lastly, the Honor 9X houses a respectable 4,mAh battery. You can expect a day-long battery life out of the box thanks to the power-efficient Kirin F chipset and an optimised EMUI software with effective battery-saving options. Even with intensive usage which involved watching videos on YouTube, playing a few sessions of PUBG and CoD, and social media browsing through the day, the Honor 9X managed to last a full day with ease. The pop-up selfie camera has megapixels. It also includes an effective night mode and artificial intelligence-driven features.
The Honor 9X Pro has some serious competition when you shop around. Then we come to the software.
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Instead, Honor has the Huawei App Gallery, and of course the option for you to side load stores like the Amazon App Store, or even some Google apps if you know how. Honor is in a predicament. Honor told Gadgets that the display is protected by a material developed by Huawei and used in its phones, but did not reveal the name. The phone comes with a pre-applied screen protector, but it got scratched and picked up smudges all over really quickly. Also, we found it a bit difficult to reach all parts of the screen with one hand.
The Honor 9X suffers from an identity crisis of sorts, which can be attributed to the Huawei-Honor relationship and some confusing marketing decisions.
It also shares hardware similarities with the Huawei P Smart Z sold in China, and even has the exact same dimensions. To complicate things even more, the Honor 9X sold in India is the phone's global variant, and has completely different specifications compared to the device of the same name sold in China. Talking about specifications, the Honor 9X packs a 6. There is also an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with a degree field of view and a 2-megapixel depth sensor for portrait shots. On the front is a megapixel camera housed in a pop-up module.
The juice is provided by a 4,mAh battery, and there's 10W charging support.
It is interesting to note that this phone doesn't report the software name as Magic UI, which is the rebranded version of EMUI that Honor models usually run. The UI is similar to what we came across in our Honor 20 review. To start with, there is no app drawer. Swiping left opens the Google feed, while swiping right shows more pages of app icons. Honor 9X has a triple rear camera setup with a megapixel primary camera. Some of the preinstalled apps such as Ride Mode, Downloads, and Optimiser for file management are useful. However, there is way too much bloatware.
As for the third-party apps, the likes of Opera News, Booking. Thankfully, the third-party apps can be uninstalled, but the in-house ones can't. The navigation gestures worked flawlessly for us, and there's an App Twin feature for creating two instances of an app. Performance is an area in which the Honor 9X proved to be a mixed bag. App-switching was smooth even with applications running in the background.
Apps loaded quickly as well, but some jitter was were noticeable when games were running in the background. The UI was generally lag-free, but the RAM management proved to be a bit too aggressive on a few occasions.
Honor 9X Review | Tom's Guide
The Kirin F feels underpowered in terms of graphics. PUBG Mobile defaulted to the Medium graphics preset, but the visuals looked choppy, and frame drops and stutters were easily noticeable. Call of Duty: Mobile was set to the low graphics settings by default, and even though the experience was better than PUBG Mobile, we have seen better performance from other phones in this price range.
We wish Huawei had gone with a more powerful SoC. This lack of firepower reflects in synthetic benchmarks as well. The Honor 9X scored and 1, in Geekbench 5's single-core and multi-core tests. However, in the graphics-intensive 3DMark Sling Shot and Sling Shot Extreme tests, the Honor 9X could only muster up scores of 1, and respectively, which are significantly lower than those of the two aforementioned chips. Here's a chart to depict the Kirin F's benchmark performance:. As for display quality, Honor 9X's LCD display is among the better ones on phones we have seen in this price bracket.
First impression and design
The full-HD resolution means that this panel is sufficiently sharp. Colour reproduction is on point, and viewing angles are acceptable as well.
The notchless design is great for watching videos and playing games. The only shortcoming is sub-par brightness, which hampers outdoor visibility and makes colours look muted under direct sunlight.
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The Honor 9X comes equipped with a sufficiently long-lasting 4,mAh battery. With our regular usage, which involved intermittent social media usage and messaging all day, a couple of hours of music streaming, and around an hour of gaming, the Honor 9x lasted a day and a half on average. When paired with a smartwatch with Bluetooth and location tracking enabled throughout the day, the phone's battery life went down but it still had around percent left at the end of the day.