Since the start of the smartphone era, one of their common problems is preventing their displays from getting shattered after an accidental drop. HONOR aims to solve this issue with the HONOR X9a 5G, a smartphone that has reinforced glass which can endure drops and impacts. In addition to the touch screen, we will also be evaluating whether this smartphone is a good mid-range option. Let’s find out in this review.
Here is our video review of the HONOR X9a 5G:
Table of Contents
HONOR X9a 5G Specification
|MagicUI 6 – Android 12
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G
|6.67-inch 120Hz AMOLED Display
|5G, Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi, GPS. GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO,
|8GB + 256GB
|USB Type-C, OTG
Main – 64MP, f/1.8
Ultrawide – 5MP, f/2.2
Macro – 2MP, f/2.4
|SIM Card Slots:
|Dual SIM (Nano-Sim)
|5,100mAh with 40W charging
|8GB + 256GB: Php
The HONOR X9a 5G comes in a box which has a picture of the smartphone and the model name. Inside the box contains the HONOR X9a 5G, silicone clear case, SIM ejector pin, 40W charger brick, USB Type A to Type C cable, user guide, and warranty document.
Initially, you will notice the sexy slim form factor and the prominent feel of the HONOR X9a 5G. Holding the device was sturdy, and the curves of the front screen adds grip to the hands. We have the Emerald Green variant, which has a grainy finish on the back panel. It also has other colors available – Titanium Silver and Midnight Black.
Also, at the back, you will notice the unique camera ring that extrudes from the back panel. It consists of three cameras and an LED flash. The rear camera design might turn some people off, but for us, it brings function as it doesn’t wobble a lot because it is positioned in the center. Conversely, the front camera has a punch-hole design.
The front display design is unique in this generation as many smartphones have shifted to using a flat display and have ditched the old curved display. We think that the curved display adds to the premium look and feel of the HONOR X9a 5G. Moreover, it also uses reinforced glass which enhances the resistance to shattering when dropped or smashed.
On our YouTube video review of the HONOR X9a 5G, you will see how we dropped and smashed the phone. The result was a small scratch on its frame and a puncture on its pre-applied screen protector. We were really impressed with how it endured all the tests we made and remained functional.
Along with this, the power button and volume rocker can be found on the right side of the smartphone. On the bottom, you’ll find the SIM tray, which accommodates two nano SIM cards. Also found in this area are the microphone hole, USB Type-C port, and speaker grills. As you may have noticed, there is no audio jack, so if you want to use headphones, you’ll need to connect them via Bluetooth 5.1. An infrared sensor can be found on the top.
The Display and Speaker
The HONOR X9a 5G display is a 6.67-inch 120Hz AMOLED display that has a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. The screen is bright, allowing it to be used in direct sunlight. They advertise it as having 800 nits brightness.
So far, in our usage, the display performs great and fluidly. The screen refresh rate can be changed to 120Hz only or 60Hz only, but there is also a dynamic option which balances smoothness and battery life with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz.
It has a down-firing speaker, which is a bit disappointing to see as other smartphones in this price range often have stereo speakers. Despite of this, the speaker sounded loud and decent.
The HONOR X9a 5G is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G which is composed of two 2 GHz Kryo 660 Gold and six 1.7 GHz Kryo 660 Silver. For its GPU, it is an Adreno 619. Paired with it is a 8GB RAM that has an additional 5GB. This is all owed to the HONOR RAM Turbo feature. Our unit comes with a 256GB internal storage, though in other countries there is also a 128GB variant.
Here are the benchmark scores we obtained for the HONOR X9a 5G:
The HONOR X9a 5G runs on Magic UI 6, which is based on Android 12. Out of the box, it comes with some HONOR and other pre-installed apps that can easily be uninstalled. Navigating the smartphone is smooth and responsive. We didn’t encounter any issues with using its OS.
We also tried playing some games with the smartphone and it handled all the games we tried from Mobile Legends up to Genshin Impact. But, for the settings with the Genshin Impact, it can handle up to Medium settings with minimal stuttering when playing.
As for the thermal performance of the device, when we are playing with the smartphone. It got warm in touch. On our stress test, it managed to perform 94% of its max performance when we ran a 15-minute stress test.
Pertaining to its security, you can assign your fingerprints for its screen lock using the under-display fingerprint sensor. So far, throughout the review, it has performed quickly and accurately. You can also add a face unlock feature, which also performs well.
The HONOR X9a 5G camera configuration on its rear is a triple camera setup on which it has a 64-megapixel camera for its main camera, a 5-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. On the flip side, the selfie camera is a 16-megapixel camera.
HONOR camera app has tons of features built into it. It can digitally zoom up to 8x and it has an AI Photography feature. There are several modes that you can choose from – Photo, Night, Portrait, Aperture, Pro mode, Panorama, HDR, Super Macro, and more. When you want to capture video with it, you can also have a multi-video on which it simultaneously uses both the rear and front camera.
Taking pictures with the rear main sensor, it defaults to 15.93 megapixels. However, if you want to use the full 64-megapixel sensor, you will be needing to switch to the High-Res mode. In a well-lit environment, the main camera pictures produce somewhat decent pictures but you can see certain things that are lacking. The colors are good but the details are somewhat missing at times. In low-light conditions, you will notice the noise is quite crawling in our images but you can easily turn ON the AI Photography feature that will try to fix some of it. When taking pictures with the night mode, it takes 4 seconds to fully capture the scene and the results are somewhat usable.
As for the ultrawide camera, the pictures we took are really a downgrade from its main camera. The colors are not that vibrant and the details are not that evident. But, you can still somehow use it when posting to your social media. The macro camera is alright when you are taking a picture from a bright area.
The selfie pictures we took with the front camera are fine. When taking pictures with the Beauty Mode enabled, it is not that visible and the skin color is fairly near to natural looking results. The artificial bokeh it produces is not that great as sometimes, the subject is also processed in the bokeh.
On the video capabilities of the HONOR X9a 5G, it can only capture 1080p@30fps both the rear camera and front camera. Therefore, it is incapable of capturing slow-mo videos. However, the added Multi-Video mode is a plus for content creators.
The HONOR X9a 5G has a 5100 mAh battery. In our battery test, it was able to last for up to 12 hours and 27 minutes on the PCMark Work 3.0 endurance test with 50% screen brightness. The company advertises that it can last up to two days, but in our experience, it lasted for one day of use. We think that to achieve two days of battery life with one charge, you would need to be a light user.
The included 40W charger allows the smartphone to recharge from 15% to 58% in 30 minutes and fully charge in 1 hour and 13 minutes.
HONOR X9a 5G Verdict
The HONOR X9a 5G is a unique smartphone in the market, as it provides users with the option to have a highly durable smartphone that also performs well. The AMOLED display is wonderful and great for content consumption. Additionally, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 is powerful for a mid-range smartphone that is easily performing well in multitasking and gaming. Moreover, the long-lasting battery ensures that you won’t have to worry about it dying in a day. If you do need to charge, the included 40W charger allows for quick charging. The only downside we see with the smartphone is the camera performance, which is only mid-of-the-road. However, it is still usable for social media.
If you are in the market for a smartphone, the HONOR X9a 5G is definitely worth considering. Get HONOR X9a 5G for only PHP 16,990 and get a Free HONOR Earbuds X3 Lite worth PHP 3,999 when you pre-order from January 20 to February 3, 2023.
Visit any HONOR Kiosk and Partner Stores near you or check out HONOR’s official stores below:
The HONOR X9a 5G is a unique smartphone in the market, as it provides users with the option to have a highly durable smartphone that also performs well. The AMOLED display is wonderful and great for content consumption. Additionally, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 is powerful for a mid-range smartphone that is easily performing well in multitasking and gaming. Moreover, the long-lasting battery ensures that you won't have to worry about it dying in a day. If you do need to charge, the included 40W charger allows for quick charging. The only downside we see with the smartphone is the camera performance, which is only mid-of-the-road. However, it is still usable for social media.
- Tough screen
- Durable build
- Great performance
- Long-lasting battery
- Underwhelming camera
- Down firing stereo only