The HONOR 90 has been referred to as one of the best mid-range smartphones of 2023. I sort of agree with that because after more than 2 weeks of using the device, I am still amazed at its awesome performance and equally great camera. With it, I can capture highly detailed images with its 200MP camera.
I have not had any problems with the HONOR 90 and I feel that this will be HONOR’s most sellable mid-range smartphone of 2023. The design feels premium. It feels very slim in my hand and thinner than I had imagined. And best of all, the battery can last me two full days on normal usage.
Okay. Time to delve into the details. Here is my full review of the new HONOR 90 5G.
First Look and Design: HONOR 90
What I like most about the HONOR 90 is how slim it is. It has a nice quad curved floating display, as what it is called and it is using an AMOLED panel, which looks really colourful and vibrant. The screen size stands at 6.7” but it is much taller than it is wide with 2664×1200 screen resolution. It also has up to 120Hz screen refresh rate which makes scrolling through the pages a lot smoother.
What’s best about the display is that it is a Netflix and Amazon Prime Video HDR certified display so you will get much deeper blacks and brighter colours while watching movies on those streaming platforms.
The volume rockers and the power button are located on the right side of the device, which is the norm for HONOR devices. There’s nothing on the right side and nothing much on the top either except for one tiny mic near the right end. At the bottom, you will find the SIM/MicroSD card tray, the second mic, the USB-C charging port and the bottom firing speaker.
Alas, the HONOR 90 does not come with a stereo speaker setup. That would have been a great feature to have since it is HDR certified for Netflix and Amazon Prime. Watching movies with stereo speakers will sound so much better.
Around the back, there’s the two camera decks which protrude about 2mm high, each having its own camera module which adds another millimetre in height. It does look weird at first glance but I have come to like how it is. The main camera features a whopping 200MP sensor that enables you to capture higher details in photos. More about the camera later on. The HONOR 90’s back panel has a matte finish thus making it more grippy. And it’s NOT a fingerprint magnet, which I like.
Having a slimmer design made the HONOR 90 one of my favourite phones at the moment. I simply love how it feels in my hand. But when I slapped on the silicone case that comes in the box, it doesn’t feel unique anymore. Hence I went along without any casing on the HONOR 90. It looks and feels better without any casing.
Performance and Daily Usage
For the performance, I would say that it is just as good as most of the flagship models. I even compared it to HONOR Magic5 Pro which is also in my possession. The HONOR 90 is powered by a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Edition 4nm chipset that is supported by Adreno 644 Turbo GPU for smooth graphic processing. The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Edition feels very snappy. Probably because it also comes with a huge 12GB of RAM with 7GB of additional HONOR RAM Turbo.
To power it all up, the HONOR 90 comes with a 5000mAh battery that can actually last up to 2 days on my watch. It is sort of true because I will usually plug it in for a recharge at the end of the second day. It didn’t go the full 48 hours but at least it lasted more than 35 hours while I was using it. When the juice is low, you can get it all juiced up quickly, all thanks to the 66W HONOR SuperCharge charger.
The new HONOR 90 runs on the latest Android 13 with HONOR’s own MagicOS 7.1. MagicOS is made for user experience and functionality. I find that most of the features are intuitive and easy to use, especially for beginners. You can set up the home screen to have an app drawer or simply use the default layout without an app drawer. I prefer to have a drawer because I’m used to it like that.
When it comes to multitasking, the HONOR 90 does not fail me. I can have multiple apps open at the same time and it is still as snappy as it should be. I do a lot of chatting on WhatsApp on a daily basis. Same goes with work apps such as Microsoft Teams and Google Drive. I can have all these apps open and the HONOR 90 simply went through everything with any hiccups. I do use it for work, therefore I need a device that can cope with my quick swipes and fast typing all day long. No problemo with the HONOR 90.
For gaming, this is where it gets interesting. I wanted to see how the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Edition works when it comes to heavy graphic gaming such as PUBG Mobile. As usual, I would get the game installed and get it ready for testing. When the game starts, it asks whether I want to use the full HD graphics or choose the lower resolution setup. Obviously I went with all max.
Gameplay is a joy. Again, if only it came with a stereo speaker, that would have sealed the deal. Graphics on the HONOR 90 are great. Movements in the game are super smooth and fluid, like it would on a flagship gaming device. The only qualm I have is the slower loading time when starting up the game. Although it is only a mere seconds delay, I can still “feel” that it is slower. But when the game starts, there’s no end to it.
Overall gameplay is highly enjoyable. Since the screen is taller, it also means it’s narrow. Viewing the game in landscape mode feels like I have a lesser top and bottom view, if you know what I mean. Maybe because I am so used to the 4:3 aspect ratio for gaming. The device does not heat up while gaming, which is a good thing. Nor does it heat up during the Antutu 3D benchmark test.
For an overall performance test, I would use my regular Antutu 3D benchmarking app. Keep in mind that I am using the newest version of Antutu, which is version 10. The graphic tests are different than in version 9. The new version 10 will fully test the device’s full potential and it is not easy to score. But the HONOR 90 managed to secure a score of 669708 during my test. I would say that crossing the 600k mark is good enough to be considered as a gaming device.
If you’re looking for a device that can work on everything you throw at it, the HONOR 90 is probably a good choice. Not only can it multitask like a champion, it is also a good gaming device. But when it comes to photography, you can be sure that you will get some stunning shots with the HONOR 90.
Photography and Camera
Photography has been the utmost important aspect for any mobile phone in recent times. We have seen all brands and phone makers racing to produce their own best of the best device to outdo the others in the camera race. HONOR is no exception. Only that this time, HONOR outdid the others.
The two camera bumps at the back houses a total of three cameras and a ring type LED flash. The main camera can shoot up to 200MP resolution while the ultra-wide camera comes with a 12MP sensor that doubles up as a macro camera. And the third camera is just a basic 2MP depth camera to analyse the background for better portrait shots.
The HONOR 90’s camera is really good, at least in my tests. 99% of the photos taken with the HONOR 90 turned out excellent. Photos are vibrant and the colour accuracy is impeccable. It is truly one of the best that I have tested especially when it is shot by a mid-range device.
The main camera on the HONOR 90 is so versatile that I use it all the time for any type of shots in any condition. If I want to get the best photo quality with the highest detail, I would shoot using the high-rest mode. Only in this mode you will get to experience the full 200MP resolution. Else, it would only shoot at about 32MP. Even with that, the image quality went beyond my expectations.
So let’s take a look at some of the sample photos that I have taken with the HONOR 90 in the last 2 weeks.
As you can see, there are hardly any “failed” shots in any of the photos. The focus is right on the mark. While the portrait shots with the bokeh effect look natural. It is even able to distinguish the background and foreground correctly. Truthfully, this is definitely one of the best cameras on a smartphone for a mid-range at the moment.
If you’re thinking that I am getting paid for this review, you are absolutely bonkers. All these positive points that I have written are based on my personal experience with the HONOR 90. And I usually will give my personal honest opinion. If I don’t like it, I will say it’s bad. But if I like it, I have nothing bad to say about it. With that being said, the only qualm I have with the HONOR 90 is the lack of stereo speakers. It would be nice to have dual speakers on this device.
But in terms of overall performance and as a daily driver, the HONOR 90 can do everything that you can think of. The responsiveness for gaming is superb, and the graphics for gaming is great. I love the clarity and deep blacks, all thanks to the AMOLED display. Same goes when I’m watching movies on the device. Superb video quality.
So if you’re thinking of getting the HONOR 90, don’t think twice or three times. Just get it. This phone is my personal recommendation for you all. You will get a powerful device that can be pushed as far as you want and you will get a long battery life to last you a long time. Camera is probably as good as some of the flagships so you will have awesome shots all the time.
You can now purchase your very own HONOR 90 5G phone at HONOR Malaysia’s official website retailing at RM2,099.00