Huawei Honor 9 review
Basically the P10 without the Leica camera
Our Huawei Honor 9 review finds a smartphone that is pretty high-end, yet makes a better choice for those who don’t want to completely blow the budget and buy the Huawei P10, with its Leica branded camera.
3D curved glass design
The Huawei Honor 9 looks the part with a minimalist design ethos, that uses 3D curved glass and aluminium.
The 3D glass is curved through a thermal bending process, making it highly reflective. Nano textures are precision carved into the glass, using photo etching technology. The 3D curved and toughened Corning Gorilla Glass back, flows perfectly into the sandblasted aluminium metallic frame.
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You can purchase the Huawei Honor 9 coloured in Sapphire Blue or Midnight Black. There is however a more exciting option, which is an all new colour, named Glacier Grey.
The 5.15” Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display has a good resolution that breaks down to 428 pixels per inch. More importantly, the Honor 9 has a special sunlight and night eye comfort modes, ensuring that the visual output is always at its best.
The performance of the Huawei Honor 9 is driven by the Kirin 960 octa-core 2.4GHz processor. This brings 18% better CPU performance along with 180% faster GPU (graphics) performance.
|Huawei P10 review|
Actual performance will in part be governed on which variant you choose. The options are to have 4GB of RAM or 6GB of RAM, with the latter bringing the fastest performance and higher purchase price.
Phone Set Up
The Huawei Honor 9 has an always on fingerprint sensor, which means that you can quickly unlock the phone without picking the phone up. After first use, the fingerprint sensor continues to learn, improving speed and security over time.
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More than just unlocking the phone, the fingerprint sensor (built into the Home key) can be used to lock apps, access the PrivateSpace or make secure payments.
At this point you can continue to use the Honor 9 in a standard way with the home key and two other buttons for going back or opening tasks. You can however turn off these other buttons and control all of the action through the multi-function Home key. Here a tap takes you back, a press takes you home and a swipe opens tasks.
Your set up may include transferring content over from an old smartphone and Huawei have made two models to appease those who want a lot or even more memory. The basic model has a generous 64GB memory while the high performance model has a 128GB memory.
During your set up you may also want to adjust the settings for the notification LED. Here you can choose which notifications trigger the LED.
Huawei Histen 3D Audio
Audio is a real treat on the Huawei Honor 9, with its Huawei Histen 3D audio technology. The phone has received award winning tuning by Grammy Award winner Rainer Mailler.
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Along with this, there is ultra wide 3D sound field technology for creating virtual surround sound through your earphones. There are three different modes of listening; near, wide and front.
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The Honor Purity Equaliser, created in partnership with Monster, gives high definition audio with outstanding clarity, high frequencies, a strong base and mid-range warmth.
Operating system & user interface
The Huawei Honor 9 runs Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat OS, which brings split screen windows for running two apps together. This is useful when you may be watching a YouTube video while scanning through your social feed.
The operating system does look distinctly different from others and this is because of Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 user interface. With this UI you can run two versions of Facebook and WhatsApp, enjoy new lock screen wallpapers with Magazine unlock and use Knuckle Gestures.
Huawei’s Health app is pre-loaded along with a one-handed UI. Performance is top notch with automatic memory management and intelligent resource allocation, based on your typical usage patterns. This means that resources are reserved for the apps you use most, which reduces lag and provides smoother gaming.
Camera & Video
Dual lens camera
Although the Huawei Honor 9 doesn’t have the Leica camera found on the P10, it does have an upgraded dual lens camera. This comprises of a 20MP monochrome lens that sits next to a 12MP RGB lens.
The dual lens system has many benefits, from giving fantastic image quality to using the hybrid zoom for getting even greater clarity, at 2x zoom. For speed and picture accuracy there is 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus, consisting of laser, phase detect, contrast and depth sensing technologies.
The camera on the Huawei Honor 9 is hard to fault with superior low-light shooting, short video sharing, two second video capture every time you take a shot, slow motion and time-lapse video recording.
Photo editing is also excellent with features like accentuated colours, where one colour is highlighted while the rest of the colours fade to black and white. You can see an example in our gallery of photos taken on the Huawei Honor 9.
8MP selfie cam
The 8MP selfie camera can be used to simulate a desirable bokeh effect and with Perfect Selfie mode you can get better than real-life results.
Smart Power 5.0 and SuperCharge
The Huawei Honor 9 has a high capacity 3,200mAh battery, which can for example, deliver up to 78 hours of offline music playback. With Smart Power 5.0 you can manage battery performance by closing power intensive apps or by reducing the screen resolution.
When you need to recharge the Honor 9, you can use the 9V2A charger and SuperCharge technology, to take the battery from 0% to 40% in just 30 minutes. In around two hours you can fully charge the battery from flat.
Written by: Michael Brown