Honor is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer that is a member of the Huawei Group. The brand was launched in 2013 to offer a cheaper alternative to Huawei models by focusing on internet sales. Honor also targets a younger audience than Huawei, its design also stands out from Huawei's by offering a round-edged format and a colour gradient on the back. I tested the Honor 8x last year because it was in the price range of the phones I usually test, I must admit I was a bit disappointed but I wanted to see if the Honor 9x would score better than other Chinese smartphones in the same price range like the Redmi Note 8 or the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
I test the phones according to a pre-established structure (see below) to provide you with as much information as possible. Unfortunately, this takes a long time. Some tests like network performance tests take several days and for photo tests I sometimes have to wait until the weather is suitable to take pictures in good conditions. I am therefore obliged to publish the tests step by step, so I invite you to come back if the test is not complete at the time of your visit.
How are my tests different from others on the web?
- I usually buy the devices with my own money, so price is just as important as you are! - I keep the devices for at least a few weeks (sometimes more) to see what they are worth in real conditions. - I answer (when possible) your questions to help you decide before you buy - no one pays me to do these reviews, so I'm completely neutral and independent... - My pages are not filled with ads
The list below shows the prices for the Honor 9x from more than 50 sites around the world. If you are not satisfied with any price, you can subscribe to a price alert to be the first to be notified when the price drops.
Honor 9X Smartphone 4GB+128GB Global Version Mobile Phone 48MP Dual Camera Google Play NFC 6.59'' 40...
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01/02/2020 Order of the Honor 9x on RueDuCommerce.fr for 239€ with take-back guarantee 07/02/2020 Reception of the device 10/02/2020 Unpacking and first tests
Why this phone?
I mainly test Chinese phones sold between 200 and 300€ because this segment is very competitive and sometimes offers very good surprises. I tested the Honor 8x in 2018 and I had a mixed opinion. The phone had qualities but it was more expensive than the competition without offering a decisive advantage. With the release of the Honor 9x, I wanted to see if Honor had progressed by offering a credible alternative to the Redmi range which was at the top of the sales charts.
The box of the Honor 9x is quite classic, it contains the phone, a transparent protection for the back of the phone, a needle to open the SIM drawer, a user manual, earphones and a USB cable and its wall charger. The box is quite complete, Honor still offers earphones where other brands don't do it anymore.
Length : 163.1 Width : 77.2 Thickness : 8.8 Weight : 206 Jack output : Yes USB Type : Type C USB norm : 2.0 Infrared port : Yes
The startup procedure for the Honor 9x is similar to that of other Android phones. First you have to choose your country, language, configure your Google account, configure the Google Assistant and then you arrive in the Honor/Huawei universe which takes over quite quickly. Huawei has developed its own version of Android like most other major manufacturers and like its competitors, Huawei will try to encourage you to subscribe to a whole range of services that you will find most of the time already in the Google universe. All the big manufacturers like Samsung or Xiaomi do the same thing but Huawei is the one that pushes its services the most. Huawei will try to push you its cloud service and a whole bunch of other things over and over again and if you decide to take that step, Huawei will still ask you to confirm your choice, it's really painful.
Between the time I first turned on the phone and when I arrived at the home screen, it took me about 6-7 minutes. Luckily you only have to go through this step once, but when using the phone you will again be confronted with all sorts of messages to encourage you to register with Huawei. Why does Huawei insist so much? If you haven't been following the news, you should know that the American government has banned Huawei for obscure espionage reasons that no one understands. By banning Huawei, the U.S. government has also required Google to remove itself from Huawei phones. Luckily the Honor 9x is not affected by this decision but it is quite understandable why Huawei wants your data at all costs because the day they will have to sell phones without Google, they will have to redouble their efforts to seduce their customers.
The Honor 9x leaves out the gradients on the back of the phone that were present on the previous model, this gives it a more neutral look, the phone looks like most phones in this price range. The surface on the back is smooth and reflects light slightly, the screen occupies 84% of the space and the borders are very thin. The screen is not interrupted by a notch because the Honor 9x has a front camera that comes out of the top of the device. The absence of a camera on the screen allows the screen to be completely free as on the Xiaomi Mi 9T. The screen is covered by a protective film placed by Honor, so it covers the surface well and has no imperfections.
At the top of the phone you will find the SIM drawer which allows you to install 2 SIM cards and a memory card. Next to the SIM drawer you will find the front camera that will come out when you switch on the selfie mode with your photo application.
At the bottom of the phone you will find a jack for earphones, a USB type C port and a mono loudspeaker protected by a grid.
On the sides you will find the usual volume and power buttons. These buttons are ideally placed and easy to recognize by touch.
The back is uniform and smooth, I chose the black version, it has no gradients. The camera composed of 3 sensors and a LED flash is on the top left. The fingerprint sensor is in the usual place. Only the Honor brand interrupts the uniformity of the phone at the back. The phone is supplied with a transparent cover for the back, so it should enable you to protect the phone from scratches with minimal loss of aesthetics. The cover supplied with the device, however, is highly resistant to fingerprints.
The screen occupies 84% of the front surface of the phone, the absence of a notch at the top of the screen allows the screen to be completely free and offers a true full-screen experience. The screen is also quite large, with a diagonal of 6.59 inches, so you will most likely need to use two hands to operate the Honor 9x.
The speaker is very discreetly placed at the top of the screen, it is actually embedded inside the border. This could present a difficulty for listening but I will test this later on this page.
The information below comes from the Device Info HW application. The application provides detailed technical information about the tested phone.
I scored 174,000 points on Antutu with the Honor 9x. That puts him on a par with the Redmi Note 8 but if I look at the details of the score, I see that the performance is not the same on all points. The Honor 9x offers a CPU performance similar to the Redmi Note 8 but on a graphical level the Honor 9x offers 30% less performance than the Redmi Note 8. It is in memory performance that the Honor 9x catches up by offering 40% more performance. On a daily basis, you probably won't see a big difference, the Honor 9x could even be better in multi-tasking but for all applications where graphics power plays a role, the Redmi Note 8 will be a better candidate.
With 3Dmark I find a similar result to what I was able to obtain with Antutu, the Honor 9x gets a lower score than the Redmi Note 8 in terms of graphics. It doesn't seem to support the Vulkan mode.
Antutu score : 174162 Antutu CPU : 63957 Antutu GPU : 22872 Antutu UX : 35214 Antutu Mem : 52119 3D Mark Open GL : 876
Top 10 - performance ranking based on Antutu 1. Poco F2 Pro - 569559 2. Samsung Galaxy S20 - 503905 3. Xiaomi Mi 9t Pro - 430403 4. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5g - 385000 5. Oppo Reno 5g - 375000 6. Meizu 16s - 374190 7. Xiaomi Mi 9 - 372006 8. Sony Xperia 1 - 372000 9. Lg G8s Thinq - 371000 10. Lg V50 Thinq 5g - 370000
Number of smartphones in the ranking:102 Position of this smartphone in the ranking:47/102
Note: this ranking only contains the phones I tested as well as a few others that I added for reference.
Gaming To test the performance in game, I download the mobile PUBG game and evaluate the in-game experience, graphics level and depth of vision. This game is quite demanding and should help you evaluating the performance of a phone.You can play PUBG Mobile with the Honor 9x without any problem, the game will offer you to play in medium graphics mode, this will allow you to have a correct experience with a correct depth of vision.
The Honor 9x supports most 4G frequencies in Europe, however it does not offer the B28 frequency used in some countries such as France with Free and Bouygues.
3G frequencies : B1 (2100), B2 (1900), B5 (850), B8 (900) 4G frequencies : B1 (2100), B3 (1800), B5 (850), B7 (2600), B8 (900), B20 (800) Bluetooth : Bluetooth 5.0 LE Volte : Yes NFC : No Number measurements : 899 Average signal : -99.14 Download speed : 60 Upload speed : 40
Choose your country to check if your phone is compatible:
The frequencies displayed below will allow you to see if this phone is compatible with your operator or if you will be able to use it in the country where you are going on vacation.
Signal 4G The ability to pick up the network correctly is an essential element for a phone but it is only very rarely measured. To measure a phone's ability to pick up the network, I perform a large number of measurements on the same cells to be able to compare phones under similar conditions. The signal is measured in dBm, a value of -90dBm indicates a worse signal than -70dBm. These measurements are therefore taken under real conditions and not in a laboratory, they are not scientific but give a good indication of performance.
Network signal sensitivity rating
Average signal (dBm)
Number of measurements:
Xiaomi Mi 9t Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
Samsung Galaxy A70
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
Xiaomi Mi A3
Huawei Y6 2019
Meizu Note 9
Motorola G8 Power
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
Umidigi S3 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Samsung Galaxy A21s
Ulefone Armor 7e
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s
Poco F2 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5g
I compared the network performance of the Honor 9x with the Redmi Note 8 which is its closest competitor. I isolated the cells they both connected to to measure performance on an equivalent basis. The graph gives the impression that the two devices are equal but if I use the numbers to separate them, the Honor 9x gets an average signal of -99.14 dBM while the Redmi Note 8 gets a score of -97.34 dBm. The Redmi Note 8 therefore offers a better performance than the Honor 9x but both devices are not network champions, I have other devices that score much better.
What seems to differentiate these two devices the most is the minimum and maximum. When the signal is too weak, the phone connects to another cell with a better signal quality, the Honor 9x seems to tolerate a weaker signal before switching to another cell.
Download/Upload speed To test the download speed, I have identified some 4G cells offering good performance where I test all my devices several times to see what download and upload speed they can achieve. Top 10 - speed ranking in download 1. Samsung Galaxy S20 D:351Mbps U: 20Mbps 2. Poco X3 D:232Mbps U: 55Mbps 3. Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5g D:223Mbps U: 52Mbps 4. Poco F2 Pro D:207Mbps U: 53Mbps 5. Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite D:153Mbps U: 68Mbps 6. Xiaomi Mi A3 D:150Mbps U: 60Mbps 7. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s D:150Mbps U: 60Mbps 8. Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite D:149Mbps U: 60Mbps 9. Samsung Galaxy A21s D:147Mbps U: 51Mbps 10. Huawei Y6 2019 D:145Mbps U: 61Mbps
Number of smartphones in the ranking:30 Position of this smartphone in the ranking:27/30
Note: the theoretical maximum speed of a telephone is often limited by the configuration of the mobile network and the congestion of the network at the time of the measurement. So maybe you could get a higher speed on another network
To test the download speed in 4G, I did multiple tests on several different cells where I get the best network performance. I obtained a download score of about 60 Mbps and in upload I went up to 40 Mbps. This is a good score that will be sufficient for all types of usage. When I get a performance that seems to be artificially blocked at 60 Mbps, I have to assume that it is a limitation related to the modem of the device but from what I could find on some sites, the Honor 9x has a category 12 modem, so it should be able to get 10x higher speed but I never managed to get over 60 Mbps while on the same network and at the same place I get higher speeds with other phones.
To test a phone's ability to receive the network properly, I take measurements near my router and then remotely (and always at the same place). This gives me an average in dBm where a value of -90 dBm indicates poorer performance than a value at -30 dBm.
Wifi frequencies : 802.11a, 802.11ac, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11n 5GHz Download speed : 160 Signal / close : -31 Signal / distant : -76
Wifi signal I measured the signal near the router and got -31 dBm. This is not a bad result but it is far from being the best result I got, it often indicates a weakness at the radio level but that can only be verified after doing the network tests. At distance I measured a signal of -76 dBm, here again the result is not bad but it is in the low average of my tests.
Top 10 - wifi sensitivity ranking 1. Poco F2 Pro -11dBm 2. Samsung Galaxy A21s -13dBm 3. Poco X3 -17dBm 4. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s -18dBm 5. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro -19dBm 6. Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite -19dBm 7. Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5g -19dBm 8. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 -19dBm 9. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 -19dBm 10. Redmi 9a -19dBm
Number of smartphones in the ranking:30 Position of this smartphone in the ranking:21/30
Download/Upload speed To test the speed in Wifi, I connect to my router in 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz (if available) and use the Ookla application to measure the speed.I got a download speed of 160Mbps with the Honor 9x. With this speed level you can easily watch streaming movies and download your files quickly. When uploading, the speed is limited by my internet provider.
Top 10 - wifi download speed ranking 1. Samsung Galaxy S20 351Mbps 2. Poco F2 Pro 341Mbps 3. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro 319Mbps 4. Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5g 300Mbps 5. Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite 260Mbps 6. Poco X3 251Mbps 7. Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 250Mbps 8. Umidigi F1 220Mbps 9. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 211Mbps 10. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 207Mbps
Number of smartphones in the ranking:30 Position of this smartphone in the ranking:20/30
Note: I have a 400Mbps line and a modem capable of delivering higher speed, but I can never be sure how much bandwidth is available when doing a test.
To test the quality of the GPS signal I use the Offline Maps application and I make the same train trip in pedestrian mode. Why? In pedestrian mode, the GPS does not artificially correct the signal to stick to the road, it has no markings, so you can see the actual position. I then use an application to measure the accuracy of the signal.
The accuracy test shows that the Honor 9x quickly reaches an accuracy of 4 meters and remains stable at this level of accuracy. This is not the best level of accuracy I have been able to measure but it is within the average and the signal remains stable, this is just as important.
The test course reveals that accuracy improves after a few seconds as revealed in the accuracy test. On the rest of the route, the signal is generally good, the position does not deviate too much from reality. I always go through a small tunnel to see if the GPS stalls and the Honor 9x has managed to maintain the connection. The Honor 9x is not the best device in terms of gps but it will suit the majority of users. I must however point out that the combination of gps with the mobile network seems to be less efficient because when I start a trip indoors, the device seems to have trouble finding the signal where for example my Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro finds the signal much faster.
Number of smartphones in the ranking:5 Position of this smartphone in the ranking:0/5
Note: An accuracy of 3 meters or less can easily be corrected by a good GPS application. Phone performance also plays a role in how fast your display updates, so good accuracy could be compromised by too slow a display.
From March 2020, I replaced my subjective battery test with a technical test to better measure the real behaviour of the battery. Now I test the autonomy and charging time under absolutely identical conditions. I perform several measurements, so this test alone takes several days during which I cannot use the phone for anything else.
Battery life - methodology To test the battery life, I measure the battery consumption every minute in strictly identical conditions to be able to compare phones and also to allow you to evaluate your phone in the same conditions. I rule out any influence of applications that could interfere with the measurement. The autonomy is not linear, the battery sometimes discharges much faster at the end. This is a frustrating phenomenon but with my measurements, you will know if you need to find a charger quickly.
Battery life The battery of the Honor 9x has a capacity of 4000 mAh and has discharged from 100% to 1% in 770.00 minutes with 100% brightness, it has discharged from 100% to 1% in 1333.00 minutes with 50% brightness. I obtain in this way an average discharge speed of 0.13% per minute with 100% luminosity and 0.08% per minute with 50% luminosity, the consumption is therefore 5.19 mA per minute with 100% luminosity and 3.00 with 50% luminosity. To be able to compare the efficiency of the phone and its influence on the battery, you have to compare the 5.19 (or 50%) score with that of other smartphones, the figure should be as low as possible.
Charging time - methodology To test the charging time, I always use the same charger with the same cable. I measure the charging time minute by minute to see the evolution of the charge as well as the charging speed. The charging speed of a battery is not linear, it is often faster at the beginning and slower at the end. The charger is compatible with fast charging.
Charging time The battery of the Honor 9x has a capacity of 4000 mAh and has been charged from 1% to 100% in 151.00 minutes. This gives me an average charging speed of 0.66% per minute and therefore an increase of 26.49 mA per minute. To compare the performance of the Honor 9x compared to other phones, you should use the 26.49 per minute score, this score should be as high as possible.
Important note: the charging speed is not always linear, the graph below gives you an indication of the battery behaviour.
The following table lists the phones tested with the technical battery test, they are ranked in order of efficiency. A higher battery capacity should logically result in a higher battery life but it is not always the case and it does not give any indication of the efficiency of a phone.
Battery life (minutes)
Battery life (minutes) / 50%
Efficiency Score / 50%
Samsung Galaxy S20
Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5g
Poco F2 Pro
Samsung Galaxy A21s
Motorola G8 Power
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
Ulefone Armor 7e
helpHow to read these figures? The battery capacity is an important element in determining the autonomy of a phone but it is not the only factor. A phone with a large battery may have a shorter battery life if it consumes more power. If I had to take an example from everyday life, I would use the universe of the car. If a car has a large fuel tank, it should be able to drive a longer distance unless its average fuel consumption is higher. The battery efficiency score works the same way, it should be as low as possible and represents the energy consumption of the phone. These differences in efficiency are often related to the brightness of the screen, large bright screens will tend to consume more energy and even if they have a large battery, their range will be shorter.
In summary The Honor 9x has a 4000 mAh battery, a capacity that has become quite standard today. With the intensive use of mobile data that I have, I can last two days without any problems. It's an autonomy quite comparable to the Redmi Note 8.
The operating system allows you to identify the most important sources of battery consumption, so you can see the influence of the display or applications on the battery life.
Photo camera test
To test the quality of photos produced by a phone, I do a technical test (resolution, sharpness, chromatic aberration,...) in studio (identical conditions) to evaluate the technical part objectively. From the second half of 2020, I built my own laboratory to take completely objective technical measurements. I then take pictures in real conditions to see how the camera performs. I then evaluate these photos according to my criteria but I publish the photos so that you can evaluate the result according to your criteria.
Selfie / resolution : 16 Resolution : 48 Sensor : Sony IMX582 Exmor RS Video resolution : 2160p mm wide angle : 5.3 mm mm ultra wide angle : 1.78 mm
The Honor 9x is equipped with a Sony IMX 582 sensor at the rear. This sensor can be found in many other phones from Huawei and other brands. Among the other phones I tested, the Xiaomi Mi A3 is the only one that used the same sensor. I had obtained some nice pictures with this sensor, so I have a point of comparison to see if the treatment applied by Honor/Huawei will bring something more.
I hadn't tested an Honor brand phone for a year and at that time I wasn't specifically testing the default application for taking pictures, so I can't compare the Honor 9x with the Honor 8x. The photo application is quite different from the one proposed by Xiaomi. The proposed modes are different and the settings management is totally different.
The photo application has the following modes: - photo (with main sensor and wide angle) - portrait mode (main sensor) - night mode (main sensor) - aperture mode (allows manual adjustment of the aperture) (main sensor) - video mode (main and wide angle sensor)
The choice to put certain modes in this menu seems logical to me because these modes are probably not used as often. On the other hand, it is strange (or even illogical) to put the filters or the HDR in a separate section because these features are directly related to the photo shooting.
Photo test / studio First example: ƒ/1.8 1/285 5.3 mm 50 ISO
Exposure: underexposed Sharpness: good Colours: lack of saturation and presence of yellow areas. Depth of field: good Distortion: none Chromatic aberration: none Vignetting: none Digital noise: none
The Honor 9x uses the same sensor as the Xiaomi Mi A3 and for the latter, I had obtained underexposed pictures in the studio. So I am not surprised to see that the Honor 9x also produces underexposed studio pictures. However, I notice a difference between the two cameras in terms of colors, you can see yellowed areas with the Honor 9x, this was not the case with the Xiaomi.
The main sensor has a focal length of 5.3mm while the same sensor on the Xiaomi has a focal length of 4.71mm, so the Honor captures a narrower angle.
Second example: ƒ/1.8 1/285 5.3 mm 50 ISO
Sharpness: good Colours: lack of saturation and presence of yellowed areas. Depth of field: good Distortion: none Chromatic aberration: none Vignetting: none Digital noise: none
For this photo, I have activated the "AI" mode but I don't see any difference on the picture.
Third example: ƒ/2.4 1/311 1.78 mm 50 ISO
Sharpness: medium Colors: lack of saturation Depth of field: good Distortion: important Chromatic aberration: none Vignetting: none Digital noise: none
The wide-angle lens used on the Honor 9x has the same defects as most wide-angle lenses on a smartphone, the brightness is much poorer. The distortion is very important, it's one of the most important distortions I've seen so far. The picture also loses detail compared to the first picture taken with the main sensor.
Fourth example: ƒ/0.95 1/282 5.3 mm ISO 50
Sharpness: medium Colors: lack of saturation Depth of field: limited Distortion: none Chromatic aberration: none Vignetting: none Digital noise: none
The Honor offers the possibility to choose the opening of the log, I find it quite interesting because it can help to better control the depth of field and the light. On this picture I used the minimum value of the aperture, I hadn't met a smartphone able to go this low yet. Paradoxically it doesn't change anything in the exposure time compared to the first picture when there's twice as much light. Don't be fooled by this kind of promise because changing the aperture on a smartphone is a software processing that will blur a more or less large area of your photo. Offering the possibility to play with the blurred area is a good thing, but don't expect to be able to play with the light like on a real camera.
Fifth example: ƒ/16 1/282 5.3 mm 50 ISO
Sharpness: good Colors: lack of saturation Depth of field: limited Distortion: none Chromatic aberration: none Vignetting: none Digital noise: none
For this picture I took the maximum value for the diaphragm (f/16), this has the effect of enlarging the depth of field but as for the previous picture, it has no influence on the light. If I had had to take a picture at f/16 with a camera, the shutter speed would have been very different.
Photo test / sunny First example: ƒ/1.8 1/699 5.3 mm 50 ISO
Exposure: good Sharpness: very good Colours: correct Depth of field: good Distortion: none Chromatic aberration: none Vignetting: none Digital noise: none
I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the photos in broad daylight. Most of the phones I've tested manipulate the image to make it more flattering and I often see an excess of saturation. With the Honor 9x, I didn't get this impression, the colors look very natural. The sharpness of the photos is really good, the treatment is visible but not too pronounced, you can see quite well the separations between the windows in the background buildings. In this first example, I have a rather important gap between dark and light areas, the main sensor did not fall into the trap of overexposure.
Here are some other examples with the same sensor:
Second example: ƒ/2.4 1/1377 1.78 mm 50 ISO
Exposure: good Sharpness: medium Colours: correct Depth of field: good Distortion: none except nearby Chromatic aberration: none Vignetting: none Digital noise: light
The Honor 9x is equipped with a 1.78mm wide angle sensor, so it offers a very open angle that will be suitable for landscape photos but will cause distortion for all objects/subjects in the vicinity of the sensor. The picture is slightly smoother than the picture taken at the same place with the main sensor, the difference is not very visible when the light conditions are good. As soon as the brightness drops, the smoothing processing becomes too important. There is no distortion on this picture because I don't have any object nearby but if you take pictures in town, you will see that objects/subjects in the periphery are distorted, there are some examples in the night pictures below.
Photo test / cloudy First example: ƒ/1.8 1/262 5.3 mm 50 ISO
Exposure: Slight underexposure Sharpness: good Colours: correct Depth of field: good Distortion: none Chromatic aberration: none Vignetting: none Digital noise: none
When brightness drops, smartphones tend to deliver underexposed photos with certain areas such as the sky being overexposed. The Honor 9x doesn't fare too badly, because even if the photo is slightly underexposed, you can still make out the details. As in the previous example, the sharpness treatment does a good job and the colours are not artificially exaggerated.
Second example: ƒ/2,4 1/377 1,78 mm 50 ISO
Exposure: underexposure Sharpness: good Colours: too dark Depth of field: good Distortion: slight Chromatic aberration: none Vignetting: none Digital noise: none
The wide-angle module does well when the brightness is good, but as soon as the brightness drops, the photos deteriorate. The sensor makes the wrong choice in terms of exposure it could easily increase the exposure time but instead it decreases the light input. The result is not good and I advise against using the wide angle for anything other than open space photography under the sun.
Test photo / night First example: ƒ/1,8 1/14 5,3 mm 3200 ISO
Exposure: ok Sharpness: medium Colours: too warm Depth of field: medium Distortion: Okay. Chromatic aberration: ok Vignetting: Okay. Digital noise: visible
This first example shows that the Honor 9x does not produce good night shots. The image is noisy, the sharpness is not uniform, the colors are too warm. Here are other examples made from the same sensor:
The result is frankly bad, it's probably the worst result I've seen since I've been testing phones.
Second example: ƒ/2.4 1/13 1.78 mm 2500 ISO
Exposure: too dark Sharpness: bad Colors: lack of saturation Depth of field: medium Distortion: Okay. Chromatic aberration: ok Vignetting: Okay. Digital noise: visible
Wide-angle sensors are generally less efficient for night photography but with the Honor 9x it's even worse. The quality of the photo is really bad. I'm used to taking freehand pictures and with a shutter speed of 1/13, I'm normally able to take pictures sharp enough. Here are more examples taken with this wide angle sensor.
The result is really bad, I haven't seen such bad pictures on a camera in this price range yet.
Third example: ƒ/1,8 1/2 5,3 mm 3200 ISO
Exposure: ok Sharpness too pronounced Colors: ok Depth of field: ok Distortion: Okay. Chromatic aberration: ok Vignetting: Okay. Digital noise: highly visible
The Honor 9x features a night mode that takes several photos taken at different exposures and then combines them to get a better picture. Most smartphones offer this kind of possibility today and it is mostly the processing power that will produce a good photo. The Honor 9x displays a counter in seconds that allows you to know how long you have to hold the phone in the same position, the idea is interesting but the process is quite slow. Sometimes it takes more than 3 seconds to take a picture.
The final result is not very good unfortunately. The digital noise is very visible, the processing reinforces too much details and the photo loses its natural sound. Here are some other examples of night mode photos.
I'm having a hard time finding something positive on the night shot part, the Honor 9x is far from the performance of other smartphones in this price range.
Stabilisation Smartphones in the same price range as the Honor 9x are usually not very good at video stabilization and this is also the case for the Honor 9x. In the following video, I put the Honor 9x on my bike and even though you can see that the Honor 9x can't compensate for motion, I'm not even sure if it tries because I haven't seen a stabilization option in the settings of the video application. I have to admit that this test is a bit extreme and that few phones are able to resist such a high level of vibrations but the test has the merit of showing how the smartphone tries to correct the image.
Video normale conditionsNot yet available / tested
Video low light Not yet available / tested
To test the quality of the phone's audio output, I connect the device's audio output to a measuring tool, then play sounds on all frequencies and measure the differences between the original sound and the sound produced by the phone. In this way I measure the phone's ability to correctly reproduce all sounds. When I tested the Honor 9x by ear and with headphones, I found that the sound was good without being exceptional, so I expected to get an average score with the technical test. Unfortunately, the result is not very good, because as soon as you increase the volume, the sound quality decreases significantly. As long as you keep the volume at 50-60%, the sound degradation is not really noticeable but at 100% the sound is really bad.
Frequency Response This test is intended to test the device's ability to correctly reproduce all frequencies. The white line in the middle of the graph is the ideal situation and the other colors come from tests on different phones. A deviation from the reference line indicates a deviation from the ideal situation. To see good sound at all frequencies, it is therefore necessary to get as close as possible to the reference line.
I compared the result of this test to the Redmi Note 8 to stay within an equivalent phone range. You can clearly see that the Honor 9x deviates from the norm in the low frequencies while it matches the Redmi result on higher frequencies.
Dynamic Range This test is designed to test a phone's ability to play sounds at different volume levels. Here too, the phones must be as close as possible to the reference.
As for the previous test, I compared the result with the Redmi Note 8. You can see on this graph that the Honor 9x deviates strongly from the norm on almost all frequencies, this confirms my feeling about the distortion, this distortion is really very important. The Redmi Note 8 is not an exceptional device in terms of sound, the Honor 9x should have been in the same range but it ranks among the worst phones for sound.
Noise Level This test aims to identify if the device under test is able to reproduce sounds without too much noise. A high score indicates a low parasite rate, a lower score indicates a higher presence of parasites.
I get the same result here as for the other two measures. The Honor 9x is not a device for audiophiles, it can produce a correct sound as long as the volume is not too high. If you are not listening to music with your phone, you can ignore this problem.
Concert recording The purpose of this test is to measure the recording quality of the phone when there is a lot of ambient noise. Since I don't have the opportunity to go to a concert every time I test a phone, I simulate the noise of a concert in a closed environment.
To test the screen, I use a colorimetric probe that measures the color accuracy of a screen, as well as other parameters to see if a screen is able to correctly reproduce an image. I also test the brightness level to determine if the screen will be able to display an image in full sunlight.
Screen size : 6.59 Resolution : 1080 x 2340 Ratio : 19.5:9 Type : IPS LCD % occupancy : 85 dE white : 2.2 dE red : 1.0 dE green : 0.3 dE blue : 3.1 dE jaune : 0.9 dE cyan : 1.4 dE magenta : 1.6
When I tested the colorimetry of the Honor 8x, I obtained rather poor results and when I tested the Honor 9x the first time I also obtained rather poor results and the colorimetry problem could be seen with the naked eye. The screen showed a color that was too blue with the basic settings. Fortunately it is possible to correct this problem to a large extent by going to the display settings and choosing the normal color display (the default value is "vivid colors").
I redid the colorimetry test with this setting and the image is much better. I still have a deviation with blue but it is small, the other colors are much more accurate. It's usually the white that causes most of the problems when the colors are too blue but here with the change of setting, I get a dE of 2.2 with the white, it's a very good result.
Top 10 - ranking of the best screens by colorimetry 1. Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5g dE = 0.73 2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 dE = 1.2 3. Samsung Galaxy S20 dE = 1.4 4. Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite dE = 1.46 5. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9s dE = 1.47 6. Honor 9x dE = 1.5 7. Poco F2 Pro dE = 1.73 8. Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite dE = 1.91 9. Samsung Galaxy S10+ dE = 2.01 10. Xiaomi Mi 9t Pro dE = 2.11
Number of smartphones in the ranking:29 Position of this smartphone in the ranking:6/29
Note: the colorimetric difference is measured in dE. After three, the human eye will perceive a colorimetric difference, so the dE should be the lowest. The tests were all carried out with a colorimetric probe.
Brightness / Contrast I measured a maximum brightness of 314 cd/m², it's very little but I think the phone is able to increase this brightness when exposed to the sun. This level of brightness does not allow it to be perfectly readable in direct sunlight.
I also measured the reflectivity of the screen and I got a score of 35%, so the mirror effect is rather limited.
The Honor 9x has an LTPS screen that offers a rather average contrast. In this price range, we find more and more Amoled screens with deep blacks, the Honor 9x cannot compete with this type of screen, the blacks are not totally black, they are rather grey.
Light Absorption/Reflection The smartphone screen reflect light and sometimes turn them into a real mirror. This mirror effect makes it harder to read.
The absorption index below indicates the percentage of light absorbed by the screen. The readability of a screen is better when the absorption index is high.
% light absorption
Samsung Galaxy S10+
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro
Redmi Note 9s
Motorola G8 Power
Poco F2 Pro
Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
Samsung Galaxy S20
Samsung Galaxy A21s
The phones tested have an average absroption rate of54 %
The Honor 9x is equipped with a fingerprint sensor at the rear, the sensor is well positioned and reacts quickly provided that the fingers are not wet. I have not seen any facial recognition, it is probably a choice because the front camera is housed in the camera.
I hadn't tested EMUI for a long time, I had a mixed feeling about it because I found the system interesting but not quite mature. I tested version 9.1 on the Honor 9x and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. EMUI is a bit like what Xiaomi does with IMUI but with some improvements.
The basic screen is similar to what is found on all Android phones. At the top is the notifications screen, here too nothing surprising and I would even say that it's the least successful part of EMUI because the icons are not very readable and they don't adapt to the use. If you slide your finger down slightly, you get to a search engine that allows you to find applications in the device without going through Google, that's a great thing and Xiaomi should do the same because I don't find it logical to have to go through Google to find an application in the phone.
On the left is a custom news feed, Xiaomi has dropped this feature and I think it's a shame because their customization screen is useless. Honor really made the right choice. To the right you can find all the applications installed on the phone with shortcuts to the settings of each application when you leave your finger on an icon. It is also possible to customize the screen by pinching it.
Customization exists on almost every phone but there is something really annoying on the Honor because to be able to download themes, you have to create a Huawei account and accept a whole series of authorizations. I had already mentioned this point earlier in the article, Huawei goes way too far in its data collection policy, I find it really abusive and even annoying.
The menu of parameters is very well filled but the organization of the elements that compose it is quite logical. Don't forget to set the screen to "normal color" for better colorimetry and activate the battery optimizer to monitor your consumption.
I find that EMUI has come to the level of IMUI because apart from a few minor flaws, Huawei's operating system offers a good experience.
The advantage of testing a phone over several weeks is to see how the manufacturer manages updates. I started this test on EMUI 9 and after a few weeks I switched to EMUI 10. The philosophy of EMUI 10 is almost totally similar to EMUI 10 but I still note some improvements.
The notification menu has been completely redesigned, the icons are much more readable and the whole thing is much better designed. The shortcuts, on the other hand, are still not dynamic. EMUI also offers a dark mode, it's a question of preference but I clearly prefer the dark mode, I find that the menus are more readable.
Although this version of EMUI shouldn't have any influence on the GPS signal, I have noticed a degradation of GPS performance under EMUI 10. On the street or when the signal is weaker, positioning is less accurate.
I rather like the keyboard layout and the key spacing, the keyboard seems more ventilated than the one of Xiaomi and Samsung, the correction is less efficient. When you use a word that is not understood by the dictionary, the phone will automatically transform it into what it thinks is the right word. So you have to keep going back and forth to correct the word that was not understood. The configuration should work with a suggestion rather than forcing the use of the correction. If you often write in several languages, the problem will be even more obvious.
All in all I have not encountered any real bugs, there are a few elements that are not always logical to use, such as the spelling correction, but there is also the use of the wifi hotspot which does not seem to want to be disabled automatically. I had the problem with the Honor 8x as well, the hotspot was not deactivated and my pc continued to use my mobile connection all day long. It's the same with the Honor 9x.
What also bothered me was the position of the speakers. The Honor 9x has very thin edges, so there is not much room left to place a speaker and the sound is played through a very thin output. This is the first time I test a phone where I have to constantly look for the ideal position for the ear, the output of the loudspeaker is so thin that you have to position the ear in a very precise place to be able to hear something.
Accessories Honor 9x
To better enjoy your experience with your smartphone, I offer links to all kinds of accessories that you might find useful
I assigned a score of 1 to 10 for each test that determines the strengths and weaknesses of a product. I am using 0 for criteria that have not (yet) been tested. A score of 1 to 3 indicates poor performance (and yes, it does), a score of 4 to 6 indicates average performance, a score of 7 to 8 indicates good performance, and a score of 9 and 10 indicates exceptional performance. . The score is calculated based on my measurements and when there are no measurements, it is a subjective opinion based on my experience.
The scores are not static, they change over time because the performance of new products changes and this must be taken into account.
I tested the Honor 8x when it came out and I was a bit disappointed. The phone was not a bad phone but it was more expensive than its competitors and had some weaknesses. The Honor 9x follows exactly the same trend. The Honor 9x is sold at the same price level as the Redmi Note 8 Pro or the Xiaomi Mi 9T, however it has some of the features of a lower range phone like the Redmi Note 8 which costs almost 75€ less! The only special feature of the Honor 9x is its full screen display and pop-up camera which offers a full screen experience that is not yet widespread.
If the Honor 9x was sold for around 180€, I think that position would be defensible but at 240€, it is facing competitors who exceed it in all areas. If the price doesn't go down and you want a full screen experience, I would recommend the Xiaomi Mi 9T instead.
If I disregard the competition and focus on the strengths and weaknesses of this smartphone, I would say that the screen is well calibrated (after changing the settings) and its size offers a very pleasant experience. I also like the pop-up camera because I'm not a big consumer of selfie, so I prefer the camera not to be visible. The battery also offers a good autonomy, Honor is also more generous than the others by offering 128Gb of storage. The display doesn't have notification LEDs, I don't have a problem with that but I know it's important for a lot of users.
For the photo, I like the result when the light is good but as soon as the light degrades, the quality of the photos is much lower than what the competition can deliver. After two months of using the Honor 9x, I realized that I hadn't taken as many pictures as usual, it's not a scientific indicator but it's the result of my subjective perception of the camera.
Strengths Screen size Colorimetry (after adaptation of the parameters) Battery life Pop-up camera
Weaknesses Low contrast (blacks are gray) Photo quality in poor lighting conditions High volume sound quality No 4k video in the base application
Alternatives to this product
Price Honor 9x
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