Huawei Honor 9 Lite
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About the Phone
- It sports a premium design with a 5.6-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen.
- It has a good screen-to-body ratio and excellent display quality.
- Unlike the earlier Honor phones, it is equipped with NFC.
- The processor is powerful and offers a lag-free experience.
- The cameras perform decently.
- It has a Fingerprint Sensor.
- The battery capacity isn’t enough to support a phone of this size.
- The cameras fail to perform in low-light.
- Despite having a glass body, it doesn’t support wireless charging.
- It does not have fast-charging support.
- The UI has some bloatware issues.
While it’s true that the phone lags in a select few areas (for instance, the camera, battery, and UI), it also cannot be denied that the Honor 9 Lite is one of the cheapest phones in the market to offer a big screen and a gorgeous design. The base variant that is the 3GB variant In the 10k segment provides excellent value for money, but being in the sub-15k bracket, the 4GB variant faces fierce competition.
Although the name Honor 9 Lite seems like it’s the successor of the Honor 9, Honor 9 Lite has many similarities with the Honor 7X and Huawei P Smart. Unlike Honor 9, which is on the pricier side, the Honor 9 Lite packs fantastic features at a fraction of its predecessor’s price. For instance, it is powered by an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659 SoC, which is the same SoC used in the Honor 7X.
The Honor 9 Lite runs on Android 8.0 Oreo and sports a 5.65-inch IPS full-HD+ display with a screen resolution of 1080×2160 pixels and an 18:9 aspect ratio. It has an octa-core Huawei HiSilicon Kiri 659 SoC. When it comes to the camera, the Honor 9 Lite is unique – it flaunts dual-cam setups both on the back and the front! On both sides, the phone has a 13MP primary shooter and a 2MP secondary sensor. It also has an LED flash on the rear.
As for storage, you get two variants – 3GB RAM/32GB internal storage and 4GB RAM/64GB internal memory. You can expand it up to 256GB via microSD card. It supports dual-SIM. Between the two storage variants, there is a significant price gap. While the 3GB variant retails at Rs. 10,999, the 4GB variant costs Rs. 14,999.
It is available in three colour variants – Sapphire Blue, Midnight Black, and Glacier Grey.
Featuring a metal and glass body, the Honor 9 Lite one of the most good looking phones under the 15k segment. The design of the Honor 9 Lite is similar to that of the Honor 9 – glass and metal design with curved corners. The glossy back looks incredibly stylish (but, mind you, it is a fingerprint magnet). The great thing about the body is that it has 2.5D curved glass both on the front and back. The rounded corners allow for a comfortable grip and usage. On the rear, you can see a dual camera module with an LED flash aligned horizontally on the top left corner. The Fingerprint Sensor is placed on the top middle portion of the back panel. The front display has minimal side bezels, but they get quite thick at the bottom and the top. The top bezel houses the selfie cameras and an earpiece.
The volume rockers and power buttons lie on the right side of the frame, and the dual-SIM tray rests on the left side. At the bottom, you can find a 3.5mm headphone jack, a micro USB port, and a speaker grille.
Going by the design and build quality, the Honor 9 Lite feels like a reliable flagship phone. If you want a phone with a premium look-and-feel without spending a ton of money, Honor 9 Lite is the perfect option.
The 5.6-inch IPS LCD capacitive multitouch display not only looks gorgeous but it also offers an expansive viewing space. The screen has a pixel density of 428 PPI, so the display is pretty sharp and crisp. The texts, images, and colours pop beautifully, and also the viewing angles are great. Unlike most Honor phones, the Honor 9 Lite accurately depicts the whites, albeit with a slightly bluish tint. However, the colour balance and accuracy might be somewhat problematic since the display often tends to oversaturate certain colour tones. You can always tweak the display controls to combat this issue. The screen comes with 570nits of luminescence, and hence, outdoor legibility is great.
The Honor 9 Lite uses an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659 SoC to power its core It is paired with 3GB/4GB RAM variants, which promises a smooth and lag-free performance. However, the real world scenario shows otherwise.
Although Honor 9 Lite matched the standards of Honor 7X and Moto G5S in Geekbench 4 and GFXBench tests, its performance still lags behind the Honor 9. Overall, the phone does not deliver exceptional performance, but it’s not all bad. The phone handles routine tasks very well, without showing any signs of lagging. You will not face any problem while navigating between the apps and multitasking. However, the phone is certainly no gaming beast. If you’re into extensive gaming, this phone will not be your best fit. While it can handle light games like Temple Run, and Candy Crush, it cannot handle heavyweight games like PUBG, Asphalt, and Tekken. There is a significant amount of lag and stutter while playing games like these. Also, the phone tends to get heated up during multitasking and gaming sessions.
Although Huawei proudly flaunts the Honor 9 Lite for having four cameras, it’s really more of a marketing tactic than for practical usage. While the cameras do work decently, they could have been better. Both the front display and back panel feature a 13MP primary shooter and one 2MP secondary depth sensor. While the rear camera module can deliver good results in daylight, the blur effect (courtesy the 2MP depth sensor) seems almost unreal and artificial. However, the wide aperture mode does allow you to tweak and adjust the blur effect. Once you get the hang of it, you can get some impressive results. Also, the Beauty Effect isn’t commendable, especially if you are a fan of all things natural. The beauty effect looks artificial. In good lighting, however, the cameras can capture some impressive shots, thanks to the Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) that is quick to lock focus. The HDR mode also works decently to capture scenes having multiple colours, light, and shades. In low-light conditions, the dual-camera seems to be insufficient.
As far as the front camera is concerned, the selfies look sharp and have a good amount of detail. But that’s true only of shots taken in the daylight. In low-light settings, the camera cannot perform well – most of the captured images end up looking blurry, details are missing, and the colours hardly pop.
For a phone with a big display (5.6-inch), the 3000mAh battery does not suffice. The battery lasts half a day for extensive usage. With heavy usage, the battery starts dropping fast. Since fast charging isn’t supported, it takes nearly two hours for the battery to get fully charged.
As for connectivity options, the phone has all the necessary options including Wi-Fi 802.11, b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Mobile Hotspot, Bluetooth v4.2, micro USB port, dual-SIM, FM Radio, GPS with A-GPS, and 2G/3G/4G support.
The Honor 9 Lite’s sleek design and street-smart features make it an ideal buy in the under-15k segment. It may be a little shaky in some aspects, but the phone (especially the base version) can make for a good daily driver if you aren’t into gaming and photography.