Huawei Honor 9 - STF-AL00/10

  • R 5,799.00 ZAR


It's Honor's turn now - time to wave Leica's license fees goodbye and welcome the annual Huawei P flagship at a bargain price. The Honor 9 is shinier, arguably more powerful, and above all - way more affordable. And Honor 9 is not just a P10 for the masses, it's also a OnePlus 5 killer. The bar is high, the expectations big, and this review has just started.

Huawei has never needed any of the Snapdragon chipsets in order for its phones to sell. Or even to achieve a flagship status. That's where HiSilicon, Huawei's subsidiary chip maker, has always helped - and its latest Kirin 960 is already proven to be tough to beat. The Honor 9 not only borrows this chip from the P10, but also pairs it with 6 gigabytes of RAM.

The highlight of the Honor 9 is the dual-camera setup, which is the same tech behind the P10, sans the Leica branding. The 12MP color and 20MP monochrome snappers offer the same modes such as Portrait, Variable Aperture, 2x lossless zoom, and now you can even shoot 4K videos with bokeh effects! The 8MP selfie shooter does bokeh shots, too.

Huawei is all in with the Honor 9. Giving more for less is what a flagship killer used to mean, and what OnePlus once stood for. Could the Honor 9 claim this title? Let's find out!

Honor 9 at a glance:

  • Body: Dual glass body with aluminum frame, 3D Gorilla Glass 3 back
  • Screen: 5.15" LTPS IPS LCD with 1,080 x 1,920 px resolution (428ppi)
  • Camera: Dual Camera: 20MP monochrome/12MP color sensors, f2.2, 27mm equiv. focal length, 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus (phase/laser/contrast/depth sensing); dual-LED, dual-tone flash; 2x hybrid zoom; 2160p and 1080p @ 30/60fps video capture;
  • Selfie cam: 8MP f/1.9; 26mm lens; simulated bokeh effect; 1080p @ 30fps video capture;
  • OS: Android 7.0 Nougat with Huawei EMUI 5.1 overlay;
  • Chipset: Kirin 960 chipset: Octa-core CPU (4xCortex-A73@2.4GHz + 4xCortex-A53@1.8GHz), i6 co-processor, octa-core Mali-G71 GPU
  • Memory: 4/6GB of RAM; 64/128GB storage; microSD slot
  • Sound: Huawei Histen 3D sound
  • Battery: 3,200mAh Li-Po (sealed); Fast charging
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A (Cat. 12 600/150Mbps); USB-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo; Bluetooth 4.2; NFC; IR blaster
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader

Main shortcomings:

  • No Leica branding and filters
  • No dust or water resistance
  • No stereo speakers
  • No FM radio

We demanded ingress protection for the Huawei P10, given its social status and price tag. And while we would have loved water resistance for the Honor 9, we can easily forgive this omission. Even though it is stepping on plenty of flagship toes, the Honor 9 still counts as a top-tier mid-ranger. How can you not love these classes, right?

Honor 9 review

The Honor 9 is keeping it premium with an all-metal frame, 3D curved design, always-on fingerprint sensor, and high-end sound. There is also a fast-charging-enabled battery, latest Android OS with EMUI 5.1 all over it.

 

NETWORK Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
LAUNCH Announced 2017, June
Status Available. Released 2017, July
BODY Dimensions 147.3 x 70.9 x 7.5 mm (5.80 x 2.79 x 0.30 in)
Weight 155 g (5.47 oz)
Build Front/back glass, aluminum frame
SIM Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.15 inches, 73.1 cm2 (~70.0% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~428 ppi density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  - EMUI 5.1
PLATFORM OS Android 7.0 (Nougat)
Chipset HiSilicon Kirin 960
CPU Octa-core (4x2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU Mali-G71 MP8
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
Internal 64/128 GB, 4/6 GB RAM
CAMERA Primary Dual: 12 MP (f/2.2, 27mm) + 20 MP (f/2.2, 27mm), phase detection autofocus, 2x lossless zoom, dual-LED dual-tone flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
Video 2160p@30fps, check quality
Secondary 8 MP, f/2.0
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
  - Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE
GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
NFC Yes
Infrared port Yes
Radio No
USB Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
Browser HTML5
Java No
  - Fast battery charging: 40% in 30 min
- MP4/H.264 player
- MP3/eAAC+/WAV/Flac player
- Document viewer
- Photo/video editor
BATTERY   Non-removable Li-Po 3200 mAh battery
MISC Colors Glacier Grey, Sapphire Blue, Midnight Black, Gold, Blue Bird, Robin Egg Blue
Price About 400 EUR
TESTS Performance Basemark OS II: 3404 / Basemark OS II 2.0: 3072
Basemark X: 29398
Display Contrast ratio: 1479:1 (nominal), 3.289 (sunlight)
Camera Photo / Video
Loudspeaker Voice 68dB / Noise 71dB / Ring 80dB
Audio quality Noise -89.1dB / Crosstalk -86.7dB
Battery life

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