What’s the price can you get for the latest mid-range performance device nowadays? Probably above your budget, right? But what if there’s a new budget friendly kid in town that not only is friendly to your wallet, but also able to perform well in multitasking and gaming.
Well, that new kid is the HONOR X9 and from what I’ve been experiencing, it has shown true capabilities with whatever I throw at it. And I’m pretty amazed.
First Look and Design
In the box, you will get pretty much the standard stuff such as the 66w charger brick, USB-C charging + data cable, some documentation for warranty and user manuals, a clear silicone casing and the SIM tray ejection tool. I do appreciate having the silicone case in the box. All makers should include this next time, please.
The new HONOR X9 comes with a large display, at 6.81” to be exact and it supports up to 120Hz refresh rate. That is one of the main perks with the HONOR X9 – you get a large screen plus 120Hz smooth scrolling. You will also get a good 1080×2388 resolution about 385 dpi too. Which to me looks really good on the IPS LCD display.
There’s the 16MP selfie camera that sits near the top of the display, right in the center. I do prefer it to be in this spot so that everything looks symmetrical. Turning around the back, you can see the large round camera module which I think looks good in its own way. We know that Huawei has some very good looking phones that come with a similar camera module and HONOR is also adopting the same design. It does look good.
Inside the round camera bump, there are 3 cameras in total along with an LED flash taking up the even fourth spot. There’s the main 48MP shooter, a macro camera and a depth sensor. I was quite disappointed that it doesn’t come with an ultrawide angle camera but the main shooter is able to perform well above my expectation. So I’ll give credit to that.
Looking further at the design, the volume rocker and power button, which also doubles up as a fingerprint sensor, is located on the right side while there’s nothing much on the left side. Around the top, you can see the earpiece speaker grille along with a tiny mic hole nearby. And looking at the bottom, there’s the SIM card tray, USB-C port and the bottom firing speaker, and another tiny mic hole.
There are three different colour variants for the HONOR X9 and the one I am using for this review is called the Titanium Silver. The other two colours are Ocean Blue and Midnight Black. Between all three colours, I kinda like the Ocean Blue as it is vibrant and fresh but the Titanium Silver looks a bit premium.
Daily Usage and User Experience
The HONOR X9 is powered by Android 11 out-of-the-box and customised by HONOR’s Magic launcher. The UI looks simple with large icons, making it easy to start with from the moment you turn on the phone. If you don’t like the UI design, you can simply head over to the HONOR theme store and download the ones that you like. Many options to customise the interface to your own liking.
And the best thing about the new HONOR X9, it comes with Google Mobile Services. That’s right, you can use all Google’s services on this device. This is another plus point for me.
In terms of multitasking, I do enjoy using the HONOR X9 because of the large screen. Browsing websites and social media accounts are a lot of fun. The smooth 120Hz scrolling is very pleasing to the eyes. You can set the HONOR X9 to run the 120Hz refresh rate dynamically or set it to high all the time. But doing this will reduce the battery life.
Speaking of battery, the HONOR X9 comes with a large 4800mAh Li-Po battery that lasts ages before I have to charge it up again. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. One full 100% charge, the battery can last me close to 3 days before I plug the charging cable in again. That is when I’m only using the HONOR X9 for simple tasks and light chatting.
But when I start doing some heavy multitasking or watching videos/movies on it, the battery holds up quite well. With all that heavy use, I can still push up to two days of use. This includes gaming as well. And when the battery is down low, I can charge it back up quickly with the provided 66W charging brick. It goes up from 5% to 70% in just over 20 minutes. Not bad.
Now, the HONOR X9 is powered by the new Snapdragon 695, a much improvement to the SD680 before this. It is based on a 6nm process which is better at power consumption and battery life. It is supported by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space. The RAM is supported and upscaled by HONOR RAM Turbo, a feature developed by HONOR to increase the RAM performance and upscale the total memory by an additional 2GB. So technically, the HONOR X9 comes with 10GB of RAM.
With all that power and memory, it’s no wonder why I’m enjoying most of my gaming sessions with this device. Since multitasking can be handled in a breeze, gaming becomes better. My usual PUBG Mobile sessions are so much fun with the HONOR X9. Let me tell you why.
The graphics are handled nicely and the FPS is smooth. I never expected to get this kind of smoothness. The screen is very responsive and because of the large screen, I have more real estate to play around with. Sure, my usual device is a tablet but the HONOR X9 performs just as good. I guess the RAM Turbo function really works while gaming and I am experiencing exactly that. I am very pleased with the gaming abilities.
As for the Antutu 3D benchmark, the HONOR X9 scored 391339 points on the review device. It missed the 400k mark just a little bit but the overall gaming performance is really good. With all the results that you see, you would think that the HONOR X9 does not come cheap. Well, you’d be surprised. Read until the end to know more.
Camera and Photography
To recap, the HONOR X9 comes with 3 cameras, all sitting inside the round camera ring or bump thing. The main 48MP shooter has a big potential. I am able to get good shots 95% of the time and rarely disappointed with the result. The photos turned up vibrant, full of details and the post processing rendering is just nice – not too sharp and fake looking.
As for the 16MP front selfie camera, it works great too. I love the portrait mode and use it often to shoot some cool bokeh effects. There’s also the beauty function but I usually keep it low to make it look more natural and not too smooth. Nevertheless, the beauty function works well and doesn’t make your face look too unnatural.
Looking closely at the macro lens, pardon the pun, it manages to capture some close up shots with above average quality. This is a little bit of a hit and miss. First, you have to keep the camera at least 4cm away from your subject, and try not to move too much. You must also have good lighting to capture a decent quality macro photo. And photos tend to be a little washed out or over exposed when it’s out of focus.
For video shooting, the HONOR X9 only supports up to 1080p HD at 30fps. It doesn’t come with OIS or EIS so you better have steady hands while shooting videos. At least, have it on a mobile gimbal for those super steady shots.
To check out the results, have a look at the photos below:
The new HONOR X9 is one of those devices that you will love to play around with. It is good with gaming, good with multitasking, has a large screen and a good battery life. It also comes with GMS which is really nice. With the UI and UX, it is very easy for newbies to start with and for hardcore users to fully customise the interface.
It is one of those devices that you might be sceptical with at first glance. You would assume that a nicely crafted phone like this may cost a bomb but in actual fact, it’s the opposite. I have friends who saw me using the HONOR X9 and asked how many thousands I spent on it. I just told them that they will be surprised at the actual price.
Now let’s take this in. Powered by a performance capable Snapdragon 695, supported by 8GB of RAM with an additional 2GB of Turbo RAM and with 128GB of storage. It is good at gaming and has superb battery life. With all that specifications, you wouldn’t think that it cost only RM1,299.00… right?
At an affordable price like that, what is there not to love about the new HONOR X9. Now head over to HONOR’s official HiHonor website to check it out and make the purchase. Lots of offers going on now and you can stand a chance to win some freebies too. So don’t miss it out.