Honor 's response to the launch of Huawei P40 Lite è Honor 9X Pro, a review of the previous one Honor 9X which this time comes with memory cuts from 8 / 256 GB at a price of only 249 €! Will this and other small changes be enough to make him a good smartphone? We just have to find out in our full review.
Honor 9X Pro review
Unboxing - Honor 9X Pro
Inside the sales package we find the following equipment:
- Honor 9X Pro;
- silicone cover;
- USB cable - USB Type-C;
- wall power supply with 10W output;
- pin for the SIM slot.
Design and construction
From an aesthetic point of view theHonor 9X Pro does not differ much from the standard version, except for the fingerprint sensor place on the side profile and for new colors. In fact, the device we have under test is in the variant Phantom Purple and thanks to the glass back cover with one X plot you have beautiful light effects and an excellent performance. Brava Honor who confirmed the good things shown previously.
The movement of the fingerprint sensor on the right side has made it a bit more modern and in line with current styles since a good part of the mid-range now mounts it there (e.g. Huawei P40 Lite or the series Notes redmi 9 Pro).
Other than that, the smartphone maintains its generous dimensions, that is 163.1 x 77.2 x 8.8 mm with a weight of 208 grams. Measures that will frighten compact lovers and that are actually noticeable in everyday use. In fact, one-handed use it is not very simple, but on the other hand it could be perfect for those who want a device with a large display for the use of content or for gaming.
Below we find the 3.5 mm jack input, the USB Type-C port, the main microphone and the system speaker, while at the top you can see the pop-up camera, the second microphone and the dual SIM slot (or SIM + microSD ).
If the left side is completely smooth, the right side has the volume rocker and the fingerprint sensor. Finally, space is left at the front to the brightness and proximity sensor and the ear capsule, unlike the opposite profile on which the triple camera and the single LED flash are located.
It doesn't change much here either, as theHonor 9X Pro has a display IPS FullView from 6.59 inches diagonal with resolution Full HD + (2340 x 1080 pixels), density of PPI 391 e screen-to-body ratio of 92% thanks also to the elimination of the notch in favor of pop-up room.
The panel returns one sufficient color fidelity with not too intense colors, but never excessively "dull". However, there is always the possibility to calibrate them at your convenience through the settings.
The viewing angles they are good and there are no particular distortions, while whites and blacks are in line with the standards of the mid-range IPS.
Il automatic brightness sensor sometimes it does not respond with high reactivity, but the maximum brightness under sunlight is more than enough to guarantee easy reading.
Hardware and Performance
The substantial change instead occurred from the hardware point of view, perhaps in light of the fact that its predecessor had shown some critical issues. In fact, under the shell we find a Kirin HiSilicon 810AI chipset made at 7 nm with Cortex-A76 CPU at 2.2 GHz, supported by a GPU Mali-G52 with Turbo 3.0 GPU, 6 GB di RAM LPDDR4X e 256 GB di internal memory UFS 2.1 expandable via microSD.
I immediately point out that the basic animations are a bit slow and it will seem that the apps do not open instantly, but just go to the opzioni sviluppatore and set the speed of animations at 0.5x (or remove them) and the situation will change immediately, making the smartphone more snappy and slender.
In fact, in daily use I have never encountered any criticality or slowdown, things that instead were partially shown on theHonor 9X. The transition from one app to another happens immediately and the management of the apps in the background is optimal. The only aspect that I would like to point out is actually software, why should we block (with padlock) some apps in the background to ensure that we get all the notifications, as we do not have continuous synchronization due to the absence of Google services.
For the rest, the smartphone behaved admirably and the benchmark tests have reported good results, especially in the speed of reading and writing of memories. I leave you some screenshots later.
Excellent performances also for the Gaming, as theHonor 9X Pro manages to reproduce even the heaviest titles like Asphalt 9. The gaming experience is fluid and decidedly engaging thanks to the large display.
Finally, let's not forget that all this is due also to the optimization carried out by Turbo 3.0 GPU that deals with the management of background processes and from Kirin Gaming + which allows you to take advantage of the liquid cooling system to dissipate excess heat.
From the photographic point of view nothing changes, in fact, Honor 9X Pro has a triple module with main sensor da 48 mega-pixels with opening f / 1.8, an wide-angle lens da 8 mega-pixels with 120 ° vision and an additional smaller sensor, from 2 mega-pixels, exploited only for the calculation of depth of field.
The impressions on the shots remain more or less the same, as the smartphone offers enough photographs for the segment in which it is located e like other competitors like the ones in the series Redmi Note.
Indeed, of day we can get shots with a good color balance and a discreet management of lights, which are also accompanied by good bokeh, although the level of detail is not very high.
L'HDR it continues to be hidden within the settings and you do not have an icon that allows you to activate it immediately, but the result obtained is practically identical to that of the AI mode which is activated from the main camera screen. This will allow us to recognize the scene, improve the parameters and emphasize the subjects.
La wide-angle camera flaw in detail level and in lighting management which sometimes turns out to lack a little clarity. To these we also add a bit of distortion on the sides, but mainly it is only noticeable if we zoom in a lot on the photo once taken.
In night the situation worsens because digital noise is more noticeable, but fortunately the night mode dell 'EMUI it helps us by greatly improving the shots, although the level always remains on sufficiency. However, we point out that in low light situations, the focus is a bit slow, while the wide angle gives us poor quality results.
In short, making a summary so far I noticed a photographic sector in line with other smartphones of its reference range, however it is important to also note that a 249 € we find more expensive smartphones that have seen a cut in the price and presenting one top camera.
From the frontinstead, we find a sensor from 16 mega-pixels with opening f / 2.2. In this case I would like to repeat what was said previously, as in conditions of good brightness the shots are good and show a sufficient level of detail although there would be a bit to review the management of the lights which sometimes leads to altering the other colors as well. As for selfies in night the quality deteriorates and the level of detail decreases, even in these cases the management of the lights is a bit ballerina.
I video up to a maximum of 1080p a 60 fps. It will be possible to switch from one sensor to another, during shooting, only using i 720p a 30 fps. As far as quality and colors are concerned, the foregoing applies, while the focus is fairly quick and stabilization è aided by artificial intelligence which guarantees a better result than the classic medium-low digital stabilization.
Audio and connectivity
L'audio out of the single speaker of theHonor 9X Pro has a good volume, but tends to favor high frequencies more than low and medium frequencies. On headphones, however (both Bluetooth and cable) the situation improves considerably.
In capsule, the audio is crystal clear and we have not noticed any distortion, on the contrary, even our interlocutor hears us clearly and cleanly thanks to the integrated microphones.
From the point of view of connectivity, on this Honor 9X Pro abbiamo Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac Dual Band, the Bluetooth 5.0 and the GPS Compass (L1 + L5 dual band)/ AGPS / Glonass / Beidou. Obviously, connectivity support is not missing LTE 4G which will allow it to be double SIM slot (single if you are using a microSD) which has never given me any problems, although I have had the opportunity to test the data network only from home given the difficult period in quarantine. This seemed correct to mention this, because I have not had the opportunity to test the smartphone in the city, with several cell changes and so on.
Unlike its predecessor, on board we finally have theNFC! So do not despair, fortunately this upgrade has been made that will bring a good portion of users closer. Finally there is the FM radio.
Il fingerprint sensor placed on the right profile is very quick e accurate, just rest your finger slightly that the smartphone will already be unlocked.
On board theHonor 9X Pro we have theEMUI 9.1.1 based on Android 9 Pie with updated security patches a November 2019. Also, just like on Huawei P40 Lite, there are no i Google services but only i Huawei Mobile Services con l 'AppGallery as an app store.
Let's go in order and talk before the interface, in fact, theEMUI we already know it very well and there is one on board long series of customizations such as those relating to the calibration of the display colors, themes, energy saving modes, eye protection, Phone Clone and much more.
However, I have encountered several shortcomings that made my nose turn up a bit, starting fromabsence of facial recognition which nowadays is present on any smartphone, or fromabsence of dark mode or double tap to wake up the display. We hope that with a short-term update we can correct the shot.
As regards the Huawei Mobile Services I will do the same premise made for the P40 Lite. After an unsettling first approach, we begin to get used to it. At the beginning we have to get carried away and keep in mind that we will not be able to use the Mountain View apps, or third-party apps and services in which we are used to logging in directly through Google. For example, I had a bit of a headache at first because of the address book: the numbers are saved on the Google account and then switching to a smartphone without its services is equivalent to having to enter the numbers manually or make a backup to be removed. However just use it Phone Clone, the Huawei / Honor app that automatically copies them from the previous device.
L'AppGallery Huawei - or its proprietary store - is provided, but various known names are currently missing. To name a few, if you want to install Facebook, WhatsApp, PUBG, Brawl Stars, Spotify o Waze you will need to download the respective APK. In the case of Facebook and WA, looking for them in the store you will be redirected directly to the APK download page. Various benchmark apps are also missing, while software such as Telegram, TikTok and Call Of Duty Mobile can be downloaded from the store without problems. However you can "carry" your apps on board Honor 9X Pro thanks to Phone Clone.
Il tutorial which allowed us to install i Google services through Chat Partner it is no longer valid because the latter was banned. An alternative method of installing the desired apps is through ApkPure o ApkMirror even if the apps Google they will not be functional. Unfortunately here it is not found in theAppGallery the very comfortable TrovaApp view up P40 Lite, or a sort of search engine that automatically found the apk of the desired app by referring us to the address from which to download it.
Autonomy - Honor 9X Pro
L'absence of Google services can only do benefit autonomy, as there will be no continuous synchronizations. Under the shell of Honor 9X Pro we find one battery da 4000 mAh which gives us anmind-boggling autonomy.
Indeed, with average use (Social, messaging apps, videos, Spotify, ebook readers, web browsing, all mostly from Wi-Fi) it is not difficult to get to about 9 hours di active display with a day and a half of use. So if you usually use your smartphone sporadically you can also get to two days without problems.
Charging times are not very fast, because with the power supply alone 10W supplied is reached on 100% in just over 2 hours.
Conclusions - Honor 9X Pro
Compared to its predecessor, theHonor 9X Pro he has made progress both from the point of view hardware that from the point of view ofautonomy. However, something has changed on board we no longer have Google services never Huawei Mobile Services, but as we have also said in other reviews, despite a startling impact, over time it will only be a matter of habit.
The rest of the sectors seemed to me in line with its competitors, but what makes your nose a little twisty are some absences from the postural software like the lack of unlock with the face, dark mode (which does not affect an IPS display, but which can also please from an aesthetic point of view or can strain the eyes less) and some other little gem.
In short, Honor 9X Pro will be sold to 249 € that with his memory cuts from 6 / 256 GB è a lot of stuff and above all it is unique in its kind, but otherwise it is found in the media.