Review of the smartphone Honor 9X: on the bandwagon

With on world market of smartphones of “budget-youth” units of the Huawei Honor, there is always one and the same situation — gadget for a couple of months as sold in China, and then with the pump held the European premiere of “completely new” camera. Honor 9X is no exception, the model was introduced in China in July/August, but we reached only at the end of October.

Why in July/August? Then the second snag is already unusual. The fact that there are two versions of Honor 9X – regular and Pro. They differ in the number of chambers (two and three respectively), the presence of NFC (the younger version is, my older — no; why — don’t ask, there is no logic), with the available colors. And in the Russian retail they will be presented both… under the same name. 9X Honor – but with two cameras or three. At least, at the time of writing on the same version, known in China as Honor 9X Pro, the situation was as follows. Perhaps in the time of the official presentation of the device that will change — for example, two-part version do not appear here. Or she will come up with some kind of a index, like Lite. View.

Same here — about Honor 9X. To mention that this is the Pro version, I won’t. This smartphone lower middle class (the price of 20 000 rubles) — the most popular in Russia, if not to take ultrabudgetary devices — with very distinctive characteristics: proprietary platform HiSilicon Kirin 710, 6 GB RAM, 6,59-inch display, three rear camera, retractable (!) frontalka, glass-metal body, full Android without Google Services such. We are dealing with one of the main contenders for the title of best seller in this to the limit of the saturated segment of the smartphone market.

Where his main rival will be, apparently, already sold a couple of months Huawei Smart Z for which the new Honor is very similar — and stuffing, and external execution; but there are differences — triple camera and more memory.


  Honor 9X 8X Honor Huawei Smart P Z Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro realme 3 Pro
Display 6.59 inch, IPS, 2340 × 1080 pixels, 391 ppi, capacitive multitouch 6.5 inch, IPS, 2340 × 1080 pixels, 396 ppi, capacitive multitouch 6.59 inch, IPS, 2340 × 1080 pixels (19,5:9), 391 ppi, capacitive multitouch 6.53 inch, IPS, 2340 × 1080 pixels, 395 ppi capacitive, multi-touch 6.3 inch, IPS, 1080 × 2340, 409 ppi; capacitive multi-touch
Safety glass No information No information No information Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Processor HiSilicon Kirin 710F: eight cores (4 × ARM Cortex-A73 processor 2.2 GHz + 4 × ARM Cortex A53, frequency of 1.7 GHz) HiSilicon Kirin 710: eight cores (4 x Cortex A73 2.2 GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 at 1.7 GHz) HiSilicon Kirin 710F: eight cores (4 × ARM Cortex-A73 processor 2.2 GHz + 4 × ARM Cortex A53, frequency of 1.7 GHz) Mediatek Helio G90T: eight cores (2 × Cortex A76, 2,05 GHz + 6 × Cortex A55, 2.0 GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 710: eight cores (2 × Kryo 360 Gold 2.2 GHz and 6 × Kryo 360 Silver, 1.7 GHz)
Graphics controller ARM Mali-G51 MP4 ARM Mali-G51 MP4, 650 MHz Mali-G51 MP4 ARM Mali-G56 MC4 Adreno 616
RAM 8 GB 4/6 GB 4 GB 6/8 GB 4/6 GB
Flash memory 128/256 GB 64/128 GB 64 GB 64/128 GB 64/128 GB
Connectors USB Type-C, mini-Jack 3.5 mm MicroUSB, mini-Jack 3.5 mm USB Type-C, 3.5 mm USB Type-C, mini-Jack 3.5 mm MicroUSB, 3.5 mm
Slot for memory card There Has a (separate slot for microSD) There There Has a (separate slot for microSD)
SIM card 2 x nano-SIM 2 x nano-SIM 2 x nano-SIM 2 x nano-SIM 2 × nanoSIM
Cell 2G connection GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
3G cellular communications HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 MHz HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100 MHz HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100 UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA 850/900/2100 MHz
Cellular 4G LTE Cat. 12 (600 Mbps), bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20 LTE Cat. 4 (150 Mbps), range 1, 3, 7, 8, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41 LTE Cat. 12 (600/50 Mbps), bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20 LTE Cat. 6 (300/50 Mbit/s): 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40 LTE Cat. 6 (300/75 Mbit/s), ranges 1, 3, 5, 8, 38, 40, 41
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2.4 GHz/5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2.4 GHz/5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 a/b/g/n; 2.4/5 GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2.4 GHz/5GHz
Bluetooth 5.0 4.2 (aptX) 5.0 5.0 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4/5 GHz
NFC No There There There No
Navigation GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou GPS (dual band), A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
Sensors Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass) Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass) Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass) Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass) Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass)
Fingerprint scanner There There There There There
The main camera Triple module: 48 + 8 + 2 MP, ƒ/1,8 + ƒ/2.4 GHz + ƒ/2,4, phase detection autofocus, led flash Double module: 20 ƒ/1,8 + 2 MP, phase detection autofocus, led flash Double module, 16 megapixels ƒ/1,8 + 2 MP ƒ/2,4, phase detection autofocus, led flash The fourth module: 64 + 8 + 2 + 2 MP, ƒ/1,9 + ƒ/2,2 + ƒ/2.4 GHz + ƒ/2,4, phase detection autofocus, dual-led flash Double module: 16 MP, ƒ/1,7 + 5 MP, ƒ/2.4 GHz, phase detection autofocus, led flash
Front camera Retractable, 16 MP, ƒ/2.2, and without autofocus, no flash 16 MP, ƒ/2.0, autofocus, no flash Retractable, 16 MP, ƒ/2.0, no autofocus, no flash 20 MP, ƒ/2.0, no auto focus, with flash 25 MP, ƒ/2.0, no autofocus, no flash
Food Removable battery: 15,2 WH (4000 mAh, 3.8 V) Removable battery: 14,25 WH (3750 mAh, 3.8 V) Removable battery: 15,2 WH (4000 mAh, 3.8 V) Removable battery: 17,1 W·h (4500 mAh, 3.8 V) Removable battery: of 15.39 W⋅h (4045 mA⋅h, 3.8 V)
Size 163,1 × 77,2 × 8.8 mm Of 160.4 × 76,6 × 7.8 mm 163,5 × 77,3 × 8.8 mm 161.4 m × 76,4 × 8.8 mm 156,8 × 74,2 × 8.3 mm
Weight 206 g 175 g 197 g 200 g 172 g
Protection from water and dust No No No No No
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie shell Magic UI Android 8.1 Oreo, shell EMUI Android 9.0 Pie shell EMUI Android 9.0 Pie shell MIUI 10 Android 9.0 Pie shell ColorOS 6
Current price 18 990 rubles 14 990 rubles for the version 4/64 GB 16 990 rubles 16 450 rubles for the version 6/64 GB, 17 490 rubles for the version 6/128 GB 21 490 rubles for the version 8/128 GB 12 990 rubles for the version 4/64 GB, 15 990 rubles for the version 6/128 GB

Honor 9X – information about stuffing according to CPU-Z

Appearance, ergonomics and software

9X Honor is the most inexpensive to date smartphone with retractable front camera along with Huawei Smart Z. to P Meet in the segment of “up to 20 thousand rubles,” the gadget such a bizarre form factor is amazing — even after vivo V15 Pro “shot bar” in 30 thousand. This decision really could be a major asset in the struggle for consumer attention, 9X great Honor stands out from the competition, which one and all got pretty ugly, albeit familiar, cuts a wide variety of configurations.

The sliding module is implemented with the controversial. To get out of the housing, it takes about two seconds — and as much to hide back. It is still a very slow mechanism I’ve seen — it is logical that the system user identification in the face bypassed Honor 9X side, few would endure such delays. Another point concerns the question of physical security of the module when falling smartphone. Most likely the press release will mention that, following the signal of the gyroscope, it is timely hide, but in practice this is not confirmed — I dropped the smartphone on a soft surface, the module remained in its place.

To fully get rid of the part of the developers are unable or, more likely, did not want — after all we are talking about a mainstream device. Of 6.59-inch screen is 84,6% of the area of the front panel. Especially outstanding happened, as it often happens, the chin. But due to the absence of any inclusions in the surface of the display we get the opportunity to watch a fullscreen video with full comfort in the age of the winning Youtube is a serious plus.

Honor 9X front panel: large screen with a small part above it you can see the slot of speaker

9X Honor, back panel: in the top left corner — block triple-camera and single led flash; in the centre — the fingerprint scanner

Another sign of more expensive smartphones, which moved slowly in the budget segment — glass case with metal frame. Here Honor 9X are no longer pioneers, such devices can be found a lot. To stand out from the crowd a smartphone is trying an unusual texture rear panel and bright colors. The latter, however, is more about “younger” Honor 9X, available in four colors. The senior who came to us for test, offers a choice between black and blue versions — the second looks very cool. Well, notice the obvious continuity with the older Honor View Honor 20, Honor Honor 20 and 20 Pro. The roots of design Honor 9X are visible without any problems — and this is probably a plus for tend to build a zoo of the Chinese.

9X Honor, the left side is devoid of functional elements

9X Honor, right side: the power key/lock and the volume/shutter release

The back cover is made of glass, but, according to the latest fashion, slightly curved smartphone even beautiful, but very slippery and able to go with insufficiently smooth surfaces. Be careful and it is better to put the gadget in the supplied silicone case. It is relatively subtle, too many to heavier (206 g) and large (unavoidable for the apparatus from 6.59-inch display) smart phone it will not add.

Honor 9X, top face: pull-out front camera module slot carrier card/memory card, microphone

9X Honor, the bottom line: mini-Jack, microphone, USB Type-C, main speaker

Good news — despite the presence of sliding elements in the design, it saved the analog audio Jack of standard 3.5 mm. Pass it on Samsung, which is the technical impossibility of justifying the lack of a mini-Jack in case your A80. And then without any even far-fetched reasons got rid of it in the Galaxy Note10+.


Linked 9X Honor traditionally, but with the progress relative to its predecessor Honor 8X – appeared here, in contrast to last year’s device, the USB Type-C MicroUSB more rapidly sails away towards eternity. But the fingerprint scanner was not located under the screen and on the back panel — something has to point to the relative low cost of the gadget is? This capacitive sensor, it is located in a convenient location, triggered instantly and without error. To be honest, and the type of sensor and its location suits me more than the brood of the optical/ultrasonic sensors podkladnye. The only drawback is you can’t unlock your smartphone without taking it off the table.

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In its programmatic content does not repeat 9X Honor for Honor 20 and 20 Pro — Yes, it also works on Android 9 Pie, but not created specifically for vehicles that Honor the Magic shell UI, and with “obsequiously” EMUI 9.1. However, signs of a sub-brand on the spot: and its own, specific selection of the screen, and the app store Honor (it’s the online shop gadgets, not apps library). Serious advertising integration into the operating system, as is the case with smartphones Honor, I didn’t notice is unexpectedly distinguished by 9X in a positive way from the flagship smartphones of the brand. Running the shell is smooth, quick and pleases the ordinary for an Android smartphone use cases.

Display and sound

9X Honor got the same display as the Huawei Smart P Z, – we about it already wrote. This is a large IPS-matrix resolution 2340 × 1080 pixels (format: 19,5:9), with an average pixel density of 391 ppi. This is enough to look good without noticeable graininess. The difference can be noticed only when put next to much more “dense” smartphone.

The viewing angles are normal, even with a strong deviation of gaze from the perpendicular contrast ratio almost does not drop — the matrix is good enough. The oleophobic coating is, the prints rubbed from the screen without any problems. The touch cover responds to 10 simultaneous touches.

The measured maximum brightness level is 450 CD/m2 – LCD display indicator is average at best, though not the worst in its class. Thanks a polarizing layer using a smartphone on a Sunny day, though not too comfortable.

The contrast level in run mode by default – 1159:1. Again, mediocre. Deep black Honor from 9X you will not wait.


In the settings screen you can enable protection of view (the mode of maximum warm colors), adjust resolution (HD or Full HD) or size of fonts, and customize color – choose between two profiles, “normal” and “bright”. By default, the smartphone is proposed to use a screen in bright mode. I measured the color in both with the dim artificial lighting.

9X Honor, in gamma mode, vivid color. Yellow – indicators Honor 9X, dotted – reference gamma

Honor 9X, color temperature mode, vivid color. Blue line – performance Honor 9X for determining the reference temperature

Honor 9X, color gamut mode vivid color. Gray triangle – coverage of the sRGB, the white triangle – the coverage of Honor 9X

Color gamut in the “bright” mode is slightly superior to the sRGB standard, but before the DCI-P3 does not even close. Gamma below the norm (of 1.94 with the reference boundaries of 2.2-2.3), and the curves fall much in bright colours. The color temperature is “dancing” in the range of 8 000 to 10 500 K, a stable median is not here. In any case, the tone is cold, far from the reference temperature. The average deviation of Delta E on the scale of the Color Checker includes a wide range of colors and several shades of grey, is 7.50. It is also very far from the norm (3,00).

9X Honor, gamma normal mode color. Yellow – indicators Honor 9X, dotted – reference gamma

Honor 9X, color temperature normal color. Blue line – performance Honor 9X for determining the reference temperature

9X Honor, the color gamut of the standard color. Gray triangle – coverage of the sRGB, the white triangle – the coverage of Honor 9X

In “normal” mode, rendering the overall situation is improving. Yes, the gamma curves are also not very good, but the average is about the same of 1.96, but otherwise the color reproduction is much closer to the norm. Curve color temperature is lower, at 7 000-7 300 K with a small leap to 8 500 K. the Colors a little chilly, but not critical. The average deviation for the extended palette Color Checker – 3.69 in. Color gamut is close to sRGB.


Honor 9X doesn’t offer any revelations as a device for music playback, but at least can offer a mini-Jack that will have acinipo fans wired headphones. The sound quality is normal. There is Bluetooth 5.0 with all the necessary for the transmission of data with high quality profiles: aptX, aptX HD LDAC. Speaker — monaural, located on the bottom face. It is not very loud, and some epithets about its possibilities I have.

Hardware and performance

C hardware platform from 9X Honor strange story — despite statements by Chinese models fresh Kirin 810, inside information about the smartphone indicates that it uses the familiar on the same P Z Smart Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 710F – 12-nanometer system-on-chip with four 2,2-gigagertsevyj cores ARM Cortex-A73 and four ARM Cortex-A53 1.7 GHz. Graphics ARM Mali-G51 MP4.

This is a good essentially the platform but to match the performance with direct competitors of authorship Xiaomi and even Realme she can’t. Moreover, there is no progress compared to the precursor Honor 8X (it comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660). Alas, by the power of Honor 9X far from the top. It will run almost any game from Google Play, and the vast majority with normal graphic settings, but to rely on high frame rate in the same PUBG Mobile impossible. It’s a smartphone with very limited gaming capabilities.

The basic functions it performs confident the system works smoothly, apps open quickly enough, but, for example, the camera app needs some time to process the photo — especially with the software blur the background.

Special abilities in the neural network calculations Kirin 710F is no different. Despite the fact that it is a real horse of smartphones Huawei, benchmark Ludashi AI Mark gave a result of only 4529 points is approximately four times less than even the Mediatek Helio G90T installed in Redmi Note 8 Pro.

But with the throttle at Honor 9X there are no serious problems. Throttling the CPU benchmark Test shows a frequency decrease of up to 87% of the maximum. Average performance is about the level of Honor 20 Pro – 136 to 127.6 vs GIPS GIPS the flagship of the brand. It is also worth to add about a software extension GPU Turbo 3.0, which cuts off the ropes of the “extra” applications and intelligently distributes the tasks in the games that allows still to what extent to rely on the Honor 9X as a gaming device.

9X Honor got 6 GB of RAM and the drive is UFS 2.1 to 128 GB with the option to expand the memory using a microSD card (capacity up to 512 GB). Slot for it, however, hybrid — will have to sacrifice one of simok.

Communications and wireless communications

Honor 9X equipped with LTE modem, which works with LTE 12 category, with the maximum available download speed of 600 Mbps. It is far from the record, but in real terms it is more than sufficient. With LTE, you can interact with both slots for carrier-card standard nano-SIM. There are all necessary for the correct operation of LTE in Russia ranges.

9X Honor, the hybrid slot for two cards nano-SIM and microSD memory cards

Another oddity Honor 9X — it has no NFC module. It is common for vehicles intended for the national market and international Redmi, but this year the ice was broken and Redmi K20 (known to us as Xiaomi Mi 9T) and Redmi Note 8 Pro has received the necessary contactless payment chips, and Honor the middle class somehow lost it. Strange story. Everything else works: dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS (A-GPS)/GLONASS/BeiDou.


9X Honor received a triple camera system that consists of a main module with a 48-megapixel sensor physical dimensions 1/2’ (the size of a single pixel – 0.8 µm) and optics with an equivalent focal length of 26 mm and a maximum aperture of ƒ/1.8 or a wide angle module with 8-megapixel sensor and optics with EGF 13 mm and aperture of ƒ/2.4 GHz. The third camera, with a resolution of 2 MP, need for information on the background to create an artificial blur effect.

Phase detection autofocus works only with the main camera, the system is missing optical image stabilization, led flash — single.


To the left is an example of shooting with the advanced angle to the right with the standard

Above you can see examples of shooting on the main and wide-angle module — no “hybrid” system is not used, the image made with a resolution of 12 megapixels with a standard angle of view (by default, in the settings you can set and 48-megapixel mode) and 8 megapixels, with advanced. The quality of shooting on a wide angle module is poor even in good lighting conditions — a picture soap, poorly detailed, with very strong spatial distortion; and in the dark he is incapacitated. The only good really wide angle. The main camera works with a habitually high for the sensor level. A little surprising that Arsenal Honor 9X is not added twice “hybrid” zoom is available on all smartphones with Quad Bayer sensor other than the vagaries of marketing, to explain such a decision impossible.


The left – shooting without the use of “artificial intelligence”, on the right with its use

There is a proprietary “artificial intelligence” — with the help of machine learning technologies, the smartphone recognizes a variety of scenes and adjusts the picture based on these knowledge. Usually produced by the same operation – boosts contrast and saturation.


Portrait mode in Honor 9X works well — the division plans occurs with minimal artifacts, there are numerous side effects (from circles to hearts), switchable and customizable beutification. The focal length of the camera leads to a noticeable distortion of the proportions of the face when shooting close-up; camera is more suitable for General plans, even waist-length portraits look “flattened”.


On the left, the normally, right – in the night

There are the usual not only for older cameras, the company night mode — multi exposure with subsequent gluing in one frame by expanding the dynamic range, lower noise level and taut detail. In this case, to talk about some transcendent level is not necessary — even ungreased frame make is not always. Yes, and there is a night-only mode with the main camera with a standard viewing angle. But sometimes the system “pulls” the photo in hopeless darkness — please note in the lower example. In this case, Honor 9X put conditional exposure for 20 seconds and took a picture with no blurring. In other cases, even 4-5 seconds shooting finished images with blurry details.


The camera application is common for smartphones with EMUI: horizontal navigation, a set of familiar settings. Available in “professional” mode with manual settings, but without the ability to shoot in RAW. There are HDR (enable force in the basic format it is disabled, but when activated AI assistant smartphone in any case will be to glue pictures of several frames with extended dynamic range), panorama stitching.


Left — pictures made to Honor 9X, right — made for Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro

The set of cameras is quite good and for his class interesting — especially given the skills of Huawei in terms of software processing. But the usual top of the “best photo quality in its class,” another smartphone Honor is not. I tested Honor 9X simultaneously with Redmi Note 8 Pro and had the opportunity to compare these gadgets head-on. The examples above — a slight advantage at 9X there is only Honor in night mode, where it pulls better shadows and picks up the detail. In all other scenarios, the creation Xiaomi manifests itself better — not to mention the possibility of two-fold zoom and a special camera for macro photography. By the way, a detailed review of Redmi Note 8 Pro will have soon.

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In the movies Honor 9X does not Shine. Maximum resolution — Full HD at up to 60 frames per second. Digital stabilization is missing. It is possible to shoot with normal angle of view and extended. The video quality is average.


Sliding the front camera has a 16 megapixel sensor and optics aperture of ƒ/2,2. If you do not try to include artificial blur the background, portraits are decent, but once you activate a specialized “portrait” mode, as everything turns to dust — separating the object from the background properly Honor 9X does not know how, alas. You can see it for themselves. It should also be said that the fixed focus (normal distance), the flash (besides the screen) is missing.

Work offline

9X Honor got a battery capacity of 15.2 W·h (4000 mAh, 3.8 V). A typical choice for a modern smartphone, but still just enough for your machine from 6.59-inch LCD display. Under standard usage scenarios, if you do not stick to the screen (especially set at maximum brightness) continuously, the mobile will live the daylight without any problems. But under extreme load, the charge can dissipate and for 7-8 hours, forcing to look for an outlet or use an external battery.

In our traditional test playing HD-video on maximum brightness with the included Wi-Fi and auto-update the smartphone lasted for a little less than six hours – the result is frankly weak.


For charging current USB Type-C (USB 2.0), comes with a 10-watt charger that allows you to completely fill the battery in about two hours.


Honor 9X is probably one of the latest smartphones of the brand with a full-fledged Android with all related Google services on Board. This circumstance alone is already able to attract enough attention. But it is also the successor of a long and very successful kind of “honorof” price categories 15-20 thousand rubles, where for several years they are equal and valiant battle with the current Redmi Note.

This year, despite the usual scenarios, it may be for this kind of very difficult: the smartphone is full of compromises. On the one hand, almost bermocoll and original form factor with retractable front-facing camera, and a decent quality of shooting at least one of the three rear cameras. On the other — not impressive performance (Honor 9X, like Huawei Smart P Z, not here surpasses even last year’s Honor 8X), no 4K video recording, mediocre autonomy and suddenly disappeared NFC-module.

Of course, compromises are inevitable when you’re talking about a relatively cheap smartphone, but it seems that this time Honor with them are a bit overdone. It’s still competitive gadget that deserves attention when choosing a smartphone with a budget of less than 20 thousand rubles, but this is not the number one favorite, as was, for example, his predecessor.

The main restrictive point — Honor 9X is a little different from Huawei Smart P Z, for several months successfully sold in Russia. In fact, to attract customers to the side of the fresh gadget can only be improved camera Yes glass, not plastic case. Would that be enough, given that Honor is worth more than 9X — 18 990 rubles (for the older model, young with NFC — 16 990 rubles)?


  • interesting design, no cutout;
  • retractable front camera (with good image quality);
  • triple rear camera which gives good quality picture on the main module;
  • large, but not perfectly tuned display;
  • high-capacity storage with expandable memory.


  • mediocre battery life;
  • not sealed;
  • poor quality of shooting on a wide angle module + no zoom;
  • terribly implemented portrait mode on the front camera;
  • no 4K video;
  • there is no NFC.


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