HONOR X9 Review: Almost Great All-Around Smartphone

This year, HONOR returned to the Philippines as they partnered with Iridium Technologies to make HONOR products available in the country. They have already launched many smartphones since then like the HONOR Magic 4 Pro, HONOR 70, and much more. And today, we will be reviewing the HONOR X9, their device to compete in the midrange smartphones that are under Php 15,000. Will it strive in this segment? Let’s find out!

HONOR X9 Specifications

OS:MAGIC UI 4.2 - Android 11
Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
Display: 6.81-inch 90HZ IPS LCD Display
Wireless Connections:4G, Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi, GPS. GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
Memory:8GB RAM + 128 GB Internal Storage
Connectors:USB Type-C, OTG
Cameras:Rear Camera
Main - 64MP, f/1.8
Ultrawide - 8MP, f/2.2
Macro - 2MP, f/2.4
Depth - 2MP, f/2.4

Front Camera
16MP, f/2.2
SIM Card Slots:Dual SIM (Nano-Sim)
Battery:4,700mAh with 66W charging
SRP:8GB + 128GB: Php 14,990

The Unboxing

Honor X9 Box

The HONOR X9 comes in a white box with an image of the smartphone in front. In addition to the model name which is underneath it and on both sides of the box. Opening the box, we got the HONOR X9 smartphone, clear silicone case, SIM tray ejector, 66W charging brick, USB type A to type C charging cable, and its quick start guide. 

The Design

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Our HONOR X9 comes in a Titanium Silver variant that changes color when the light shines on it. But if you want a lesser flashy version of it, they also have a Midnight Black variant. Both versions have a seam plastic backplate with a frosted finish to lessen the fingerprint magnets when used. The body has a curved back creating a good grip when being handled.

On its rear camera, it is placed on a big spherical-shaped platform located on the top center of its back plate which is having the same design as its flagship smartphone the HONOR Magic4 Pro. But rather than having the main camera in the center, the HONOR X9 main camera is at the top right corner. They also replaced the center space with a MATRIX AI Vision Camera text on it.

For the buttons and ports, we have a power button that works as well as a fingerprint scanner and a volume rocker on the right side. Then for its bottom part, we have a SIM card tray that accommodates two nano SIM cards only. We didn’t get a MicroSD card slot with it. Also found in this area are the microphone hole, a USB type-C port, and a speaker grill. Sadly, we didn’t get an audio jack.

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The Display and Speaker

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HONOR X9 has a huge 6.81-inch 90Hz IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1080×2388 pixels. The bezels are in thin size and for its front camera, there is only a tiny hole in the center top of the screen.

The display produces decent color but not having the same black color as with an AMOLED display. For the settings of our display, it is set to Vivid setting while for its Colour Mode with a Default Colour Temperature. However,  you can change it to Warm, Cool, or you can choose what color your display temperature is. As for the refresh rate settings, it is on the dynamic setting for its default but you can change it to High which will run only 90Hz, and to Standard which will limit your display refresh rate to 60Hz.

With regards to its speaker, it is only a down-firing speaker that is loud but sometimes can be tiny when you max the volume of it. In addition to this, you will notice the speaker holes on the top of the X9 but, unfortunately, it is just for earpieces. It would be great if it was used for a stereo speaker setup.

The Performance

Equipped with the HONOR X9 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset paired with an 8GB of RAM that also has a feature that extends its RAM called HONOR RAM Turbo that is 2GB virtual RAM if there is enough available space on its 128GB internal storage. Let us check the benchmark scores of the HONOR X9:

The HONOR X9 is running a MAGIC UI 4.2 on top of Android 11 which is a year-old android version but they are actively updating its security patch level.  As of the moment, while writing this review, we have received a November 2022 security patch update. Our experience with its interface was smooth and fast. Regarding the pre-installed apps, we have quite a few HONOR apps, two games, and some other apps like Netflix, and Tiktok.

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As for its gaming performance, HONOR doesn’t have a gaming app that enhances the gaming capability or experience of its smartphone. But the HONOR X9 performs adequately in the games we have thrown to it.

You can easily play low-demanding games without pushing its thermals as we played Mobile Legends on Ultra with a High refresh rate, it ran smoothly. The same goes with Asphalt 9 which is a graphic-intensive game but when running Genshin Impact we are only able to play it on the lowest setting with minimal hiccups along the playthrough.

Lastly, for the security feature, we do have a fingerprint scanner on its power button which performs fairly, and the Face Unlock response is quite slow as expected. 

The Camera

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The HONOR X9 has a quid configuration setup on its rear, which is a 64MP main camera, 8MP wide camera, 2MP macro and depth camera. On the other side, the front camera has a 16MP sensor.

It shoots in the default 16MP camera, but if you want to fully shoot in 64MP, you need to navigate to more settings and select the HIGH-RES option. We are not satisfied with the output of the camera as the contrast in our pictures is hit or miss. The details are acceptable but sometimes it produces blurred images. As for the poorly lit environment, it somehow carries out decently bright and bearable details of the images. We also want to point out also how slow it is to capture another shot after you took a shot.

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On its ultrawide camera, the 8MP as expected has downgraded quality compared to its main shooter. It has lesser details on it than its main camera and we didn’t notice any distortion on the image. Same also with the main camera it shoots blurry images if you have shaky hands. 

Then for its front camera, we got fine selfie shots. The color of our skin is decent and with satisfactory details regardless of the beauty feature turned on. The background separation is good as it capable of properly separating the subject from the background.

For its video quality, it can only capture up to 1080p 30fps on both its main and front camera, which is a letdown as it is unable to take slow-mo on it. Our video recording is not that good also as our videos tend to be shaky and our exposure is all over the place.

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The Battery

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The battery of the HONOR X9 is a 4,800mAh battery. It is slightly smaller compared to other smartphones that are armed with a 5000mAh battery capacity in its price range. Nevertheless, it is capable of delivering us an all-day use. We also did a benchmark and we got a result of 13 hours and 35 minutes on a 50% brightness.

It supports 66W fast charging, as they advertise, it can allow you to fill out its battery up to 81% within 30 minutes. But based on our experience we were able to charge from 0% to 50% in under 25 minutes and able to fully charge the phone for around more than an hour.

HONOR X9 Verdict

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The HONOR X9 is almost great for an all-around smartphone for its price point. All the things that are good are its big screen, long battery life with supported 66W fast charging, and in general, its great day-to-day and gaming performance.

But unfortunately, the rear camera is a disappointment. Although it is a downside, it can still be a good smartphone to compromise if you are not particularly into taking pictures. It still provides a great experience in your day-to-day or gaming use.

The HONOR X9 is priced at Php 14,990 and you can purchase it at Shopee and Lazada.

8.5 Total Score
HONOR X9 Review

The HONOR X9 is almost great for an all-around smartphone for its price point. All the things that are good are its big screen, long battery life with supported 66W fast charging, and in general, its great day-to-day and gaming performance. But unfortunately, the rear camera is a disappointment. Although it is a downside, it can still be a good smartphone to compromise if you are not particularly into taking pictures. It still provides a great experience in your day-to-day or gaming use.

Design
8.5
Performance
9
Display
8.5
Software
8
Battery Life
8.5
Price
8.5
PROS
  • Good Performance
  • Decent Display
  • Great Battery life
CONS
  • Underwhelming Camera App
  • Still using Android 11
  • Not 5G
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