Honor 9X Pro Review – Strong Chipset Flawed By Software

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By Akhil Kapoor - 
Fri, 12 Jun'20
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Introduction

Honor has recently launched its new mid-range smartphone, the HONOR 9X Pro. It was launched on May 20, 2020. This device is a great all-rounder and performs pretty well in day to day usage. This phone has a great display and a fantastic processor. The triple camera setup on the back is excellent and can take high-quality images, and the front camera has a pop-up mechanism, which is cherry on the cake. With the mid-range smartphone being so competitive, Honor 9X Pro packs some great software and hardware mash-up that makes it stand out from the rest. This phone packs a bit of everything, from a good processor to great camera sensors. As always, this phone will lack Google mobile services and come paired with Huawei mobile services.

honor 9x pro

Honor 9X Pro has the guts to wipe out all of the other smartphones from the market within this price segment. It has a great hardware and software combination which helps in making UI smoother and design software that is specifically built for that hardware. The Honor 9X Pro currently runs on Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9.1 custom skin.

Also read: Vivo V19 Review

With all its capabilities and disabilities, here is our honest and unbiased review about the Huawei Honor 9X Pro.

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

Honor 9X Pro has a single RAM and storage variant, that is 6GB RAM and 256GB of storage. The storage is expandable up to 512GB with a microSD card. Honor 9X Pro is available in two colour variants: – Phantom Purple and Midnight Black. The Midnight black gives you a feeling of class while the Phantom purple gives you a funky look. Both the colour options are fantastic, and it’s all up to you, which variant you want to choose.

Check out: Best Smartphones under 15000

honor 9x pro variants

Honor 9X Pro price in India is Rs.17,999 officially but it is available at a special launch price of Rs.14,999 exclusively on Flipkart. Though currently unavailable on all the online stores, you can find the Honor 9X Pro on Flipkart and order it when it is back in stock. It will soon be available in offline stores all over India.

Box Contents

The unboxing of the Infinix S5 Pro is pretty much the same as any other device in the segment. The box contents of the device include:

  1. Honor 9X Pro device
  2. USB Type-C cable
  3. SIM ejection tool
  4. 10W Charging Adapter
  5. User manual and documentation
  6. Silicone Protective transparent case

Specs at a glance

Before we get into the device and its in-depth review, let’s have a quick look at the key specifications. Here is the list of what Honor 9X Pro is offering in just Rs.14,999: 

  • Display: 6.59-inch Full HD+ Display
  • Chipset: Kirin 810 (7 nm Chipset with NPU)
  • RAM & ROM: 6 GB RAM, 256 GB ROM
  • Software: Android 9 without Google Play services
  • Rear cameras: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
  • Selfie camera: 16MP Pop-up selfie camera
  • Battery: 4000 mAh
  • Weight: 206g
  • Dimensions: 163.10 x 77.20 x 8.80

With key specs discussed, let’s jump right into the review of the all-new Honor 9X Pro. 

Design and Build

Even though the HONOR 9X Pro is a mid-range smartphone, it has a stunning design and ergonomics. It has a 3D glass back and a full view display. As the device is gaming-centric, it is apparent that it will overheat. Honor has also taken care of this concern as they bring the liquid cooling system on its latest smartphone. Based on nine-layer thermal design and liquid cooling pipes fitted in, the Honor 9X Pro improves heat dissipation and causes CPU temperature to reduce, while you binge-use it with cool. The back panel houses a vertical triple camera setup on the top left side and branding on Honor on the bottom. When the light falls on the back panel, it reflects the light in such a way that it shows an X which screams that it is an X series smartphone from Honor. The stunning X design also makes your device look vibrant and therefore, stands out from the rest of the devices.

honor 9x pro looks

 

The fingerprint scanner is capacitive and is mounted on the right side of the device, where your thumb usually rests. The power and volume buttons are also mounted on the right side of the phone, and the left side is pretty clean. On the bottom of the phone, there’s a USB type C charging port, speaker grill and a 3.5mm audio jack.

honor 9x pro build

This phone weighs around 206 grams, which is a bit heavy but the in-hand feel is not much compromised. The dimensions of this device are 163.1 × 77.2 × 8.8mm, which makes it pretty sleek. This device is not IP certified and do not even dare to try testing it underwater if you don’t want a bricked smartphone.

Display

The HONOR 9X Pro has a 6.59″ IPS LCD display with 1080 × 2340 pixels screen resolution. Although it is not an AMOLED panel, it shows colours with great contrast and vibrance. The display has a screen-to-body ratio of 84.48%, which gives you a pretty massive screen size. The display is capable of showing 16M different colours, providing you with a lot more colours options.

honor 9x pro display

The screen has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, which is decent and lies between both the extremes of being too wide or being too tall. The media consumption from this device would be great, and there would be no notch or punch-hole to cover any bit of your view. The pixel density of Honor 9X Pro is 391PPI, and you get terrific viewing angles if you want to consume media with your friends or family. Overall, the display is pretty good, but AMOLED would surely have been better. In addition, the display on the Honor 9x Pro is provided with a blue light filter to prevent the user from eye fatigue even after hours of constant usage of the device.

Read: Smartphones with Best Display 

When you game or consume media, this display will help you a lot as it doesn’t have any obstacles, and you will see a pleasant touch response no matter where you tap. A full-screen display is always better than a notched display or even a small cut-out.

Performance

Honor 9X Pro is powered by top-notch Kirin 810 AI Chipset, the first processor that is built upon Huawei’s brand-new computing architecture that enables deep learning taken by AI. It includes 6GB of RAM, which further helps in running applications in the background for an extended amount of time. This is one of the best mid-range Processors developed by Huawei, and it is based on the ultra-efficient 7nm DaVinci architecture. It can provide you with pretty decent frame rates even after long hours of gaming. Honor 9X Pro is made for high-performance gaming right from the core. Powered by 6GB LPDDR4x RAM and enhanced with GPU Turbo 3.0, you can play even the most demanding games with ease. It is equipped with Mali G-52 MP6 GPU helping gamers take the full advantage of the graphics Provided by the game. It also enhances the graphics for the better gaming experience.
Most of the smartphones start to heat after heavy usage. But the Honor 9X Pro includes its liquid cooling technology. Based on nine-layer thermal design and liquid cooling pipes fitted in, the Honor 9X Pro improves heat dissipation and causes CPU temperature to reduce, while you binge-use it with cool.
Although it won’t give you constant high fps in a game, if you have a tight budget, this is probably the best you can get. It lacks behind just a bit from the phones powered by Helio G90T, but a bit means a bit and there are no significant differences.

Software

When it comes to the software, the things start getting uglier with the Honor 9x Pro. Even though Honor 9X Pro is powered by a powerful chipset, it runs on Android 9 Pie but there is no support for the Google Play services. Anything you wish to do related to a Google app will be compromised here as every time you will have to jump to the browser to use that including check directions, scroll the web, watch youtube videos and the list goes on. Although the Huawei AppGallery fills in for it, there is a lot that a user has to suffer because of the absence of the Google Play services.

Cameras

Honor 9X Pro packs some of the best camera sensors in this price range. On the back, there’s a triple camera setup, with the main sensor being 48MP. The Primary camera is greatly improved to take awesome daylight photos as well as during low light conditions at night. The images from the primary sensor are very detailed and fairly lit. Thanks to the latest 4-in-1 light fusion technology and HONOR’S AIS super night mode. The f/1.8 aperture with a pixel size of 1.6 microns and the 1/2-inch sensor helps you take beautiful photos and significantly increase the image quality while shooting the images that will be close to your heart for a lifetime. The AI detects the images you are about to take and enhances their colour quality to the extent that they look mesmerizing.

honor 9x pro camera

The camera specifications go a long way. The secondary camera sensor is 8MP Super-wide with the pixel size of 2 microns which gives you a 120-degree field of view. You can capture a lot while standing close to an object or you can take amazing photos leaving no one from your group outside the frame. It gives you awesome colour graded shots that are pleasing to the human eye. The third camera is 2MP with an aperture of f/2.4. Being a depth sensor, it helps in taking portrait mode photos and excellent edge detection.

The front camera has a pop-up mechanism and is a 16MP sensor with excellent selfie capabilities and has an aperture of f/2.2. This sensor is also optimized for low light image capturing algorithms and helps you take awesome night mode selfies. The photos taken from this device are posted on the official website of Honor as well. After checking them out, you will seriously start to praise the capabilities of all the sensors in this device.

Battery

Honor 9X Pro houses a massive 4000mAh Li-polymer battery, which can last for a day and the 7nm architecture really comes into play here. The power-efficient architecture helps the battery last longer even when you are doing some hefty usage. Sadly, the Honor 9X Pro is not capable of any kind of fast charging, and the charging speed is pretty standard with the 10W charger. The slow 10w charger is really a pain in the ass, and it is not acceptable with such a good smartphone. Also, the massive battery will take many hours to charge from 0 to 100%.

Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

Honor 9X Pro has a single speaker on the bottom edge. You can easily muffle this with your finger, and the audio quality is subpar even at medium volume. The sound quality is not so great, and it lacks stereo-speakers. The bottom-firing speakers produce decent sound, but there has really been a compromise in the sound quality. Of course, you can plug an earphone/headphone and get a better sound quality as it thankfully includes the port we all love, 3.5 mm audio jack.

As for the security concerns, the side-mounted fingerprint scanner is pretty fast and accurate. It is a much better option than its other competitors who have in-display fingerprint scanners which are a lot inaccurate. Other than that, you can also set-up face unlock, which is not so secure, but if you are that guy who does not care much about security and wants to unlock your phone just by looking at it, face unlock is definitely your way to go.

The Honor 9X Pro is a dual-SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Nano-SIM cards. Connectivity options include Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 LE, GPS + GLONASS, NFC, USB-C 2.0 and the transition of 4G connectivity from one signal to another is so snappy that you won’t even realize the signal fluctuations. The Near Field Communication or say NFC is always appreciated because of its future applications.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Flagship-level Kirin 810 chipset
  • A dedicated liquid cooling system
  • Immersive notch-less display

Cons:

  • No support for fast charging
  • Google play services absent
  • No AMOLED display

Verdict

The HONOR 9X Pro is a great all-rounder phone and comes with a pretty competitive price tag. The HiSilicon Kirin 810 is a great chipset and will help a lot in gaming and multimedia consumption. It runs on Android 9.0, and we can soon expect an update of Android 10, but still, this device will lack all the Google services, and you will have to go through a lot to use them. The Google Play Services does not have a worthy opponent, but Huawei is desperately trying to make one. The app gallery of Huawei is increasing the number of apps in it rapidly, and other services of Huawei will be coming soon. If you are okay with the absence of Google Services in a device, Huawei HONOR 9X Pro can be your first choice. But if your life is incomplete without Google, you can consider other devices in the same price segment. Someday in future, bans on Huawei will get lifted, and those are the days we all are looking forward to. Expectations aside, this device is totally worth every single penny with its great camera, design, screen, performance, battery and a lot more. Still, it only lacks behind when google services are what you are looking for.

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