Hello. I think I will not greatly exaggerate if I say that Honor 8, at one time became the cult of smartphones in our country. Of course, marketing played a small role in this. But if, initially, the product itself were not successful, no marketing would help him. And it is obvious that Honor 8 was a very successful smartphone. It very well combined the original, at that time, design, again, with a chip not worn out at that time, with a dual camera.
And also, where without it, a cool ratio of top-end features and affordable prices. In the wake of this success, the company expanded its lineup, releasing the Honor 8 Lite, very cool in terms of price and performance, and the much more sophisticated and expensive Honor 8 Pro. Well, today the time has come for a full-fledged heir. And so, meet Honor 9.
What immediately catches your eye when looking at the Honor 9 is the so-called “family” design, that is, a kind of continuity of devices. You look at the smartphone, and you immediately understand, yes, this is the continuation of Honor 8. One of the main features of the eight was a catchy design, namely the back cover, made of glass, using a special layering technology. As a result, it sparkled interestingly in the light.
The smartphone immediately attracted attention and was remembered. And Honor 8, in blue, looked like a real sapphire. And this feature, almost without changes, migrated to Honor 9. Only now, the smartphone looks much more premium and more expensive, with its curved back with faces abutting in a metal frame, its body shape and smooth corners, materials.
Honor 9 is a strong association with the Galaxy S7. Which, considering the cost of the new Honor, is definitely worth considering as a compliment. And, again, it’s cool that the differences between the two models are so significant that they would regard the new product as a full-fledged new device, which, however, is cooler.
In early 2018, Huawei released the Honor 9 Lite, a review can be found here.
Appearance and design
At the top of the back is a dual camera. A flash with laser auto focus and the inscription Dual lens, just in case, you never know, someone will not guess that there is a dual camera.
Below the manufacturer’s logo and that’s it. Just an ode to minimalism. Along the perimeter of the smartphone is the already mentioned metal frame in the color of the case, which is also smoothed and does not bite into the hand at all. On the one hand, it flows smoothly into the curved back cover, and on the other hand, into the 2.5 D glass of the screen.
Above is the infrared port and microphone hole. At the bottom there is a USB speaker grill and a 3.5 jack. The lower end causes associations with S8 and S7, the arrangement of elements is almost one to one. Despite the significant similarities with a very strong competitor to the flagship Samsung. Honor 9, practically does not lag behind and looks almost better, of course, if you forget about the S8 without a frame display.
The modulations and the play of light on the back of the Honor 9 look impressive. But, in order to feel and understand this, you need to at least once see the smartphone live. I also liked the design of Honor 9 more than Honor 6, which tried to copy it. It looks more thoughtful, worked out, more efficiently. Assembly at a high level.
Several colors: gold, black, blue and gray. At the same time, it was officially available at the start, only blue and gray, then black was added. The blue color differs from that in Honor 8, it has become brighter and more saturated. The blue color looks very noticeable and original, but personally I liked the gray much more.
Gray is a novelty, and it looks like a new trend of the season. It looks very unusual, but at the same time many times more attractive than standard white. And very similar to the similar color XZ Premium. If there it is a completely mirror surface, then in Honor 9 its multilayer structure is preserved, and it all looks a bit different.
In matters of ergonomics and usability, the Honor 9 shows itself almost perfectly. Firstly, the optimal diagonal of the display, I recall 5.15 inches, and accordingly the size of the case. And secondly, an ergonomic shape, a curved back and streamline faces. As a result, the smartphone lies perfectly in the hand and does not cause any discomfort, and easily fits in your pocket, and is easily controlled with one hand.
I said that it’s almost perfect, because, along with all the advantages of the Honor 8 design, the novelty has gone too far: the slippery case, due to the selected materials, as well as not practical glasses that are covered with fingerprints, stains, literally from the first second, and in the future it will be covered with scratches.
For example, after the capricious Mi5, I prefer metal cases. But, it is worth recognizing that for the beauty of Honor 9, these nuances will forgive him. Plus, like the S8 cases, the Honor 9 case does not look like it can be damaged.
In the kit, surprisingly, they put a cover and not the worst. Transparent hard bumper, which with a silver color looks very harmonious. But, when used without a case, I guarantee that the back cover, most of the time, will not be as beautiful as new, but covered with a dense layer of prints.
It may seem that I pay too much attention to design and this is true, but in cases with Honor 9, where design and appearance were clearly one of the priorities in the development. I think such attention is fully justified. The bad news is that for everything else, the progress and all the significant difference compared to Honor 8 is not so noticeable.
Take the same display, classic, familiar and already with such outdated frames on top and bottom. Above the screen is the front camera and a set of sensors, under it is the Home button, which combines a fingerprint scanner, and two additional buttons on the sides. Now the fingerprint scanner has been moved forward from the back cover, just like serious guys.
It works very quickly, it feels like it was borrowed from P10, where there was the fastest scanner. But the control buttons can be customized. Change the order of the back buttons and the task list buttons. Or, completely disable and hang all controls on a single Home key. A light touch brings you back, a long one to the home screen, and left to right brings up a list of running applications, I did so right away, because the control scheme was similar in P10, and has long been in smartphones from Meizu. And I find such a scheme really very convenient.
Display diagonal is 5.15 inches, FullHD resolution, 2.5D IPS-matrix. If after the story with P10, you don’t know what to expect, then I’ll calm down, there is an oleophobic coating, the pixel density is enough to not distinguish them, the color rendering is plausible. The colors are generally saturated and vibrant.
The viewing angle is maximum, I did not notice color distortions when cornering. The stock of brightness, comfortable for reading in the dark at a minimum level and normal legibility in the sun. There are color temperature settings, as well as a reading mode, aka eye saving mode.
You can bind activation by time, you can adjust the temperature and customize for yourself. In general, the display is good, but I did not notice any differences from Honor 8. And this display is not at all surprising. Which, in principle, is more than normal for a given price segment.
Features and tests
Under the hood of Honor 9, the currently top Huawei P10 chip is working. Kirin 960, 4 high-performance Cortex A73 cores, with a frequency of 2.4 Hz, 4 energy-efficient Cortex A53, with a frequency of 1.8 Hz, as well as 8 nuclear Mali-G71 in as a graphics accelerator.
There are several versions of the smartphone: the youngest 4Gb of RAM and 64Gb of permanent memory, the average is 664, it seems to me the strangest, but the older is 6128. At the same time, officially, while the only version is 464, the rest will catch up later.
All this works under the controls familiar to EMUI 5.1, based on Android 7.0 with absolutely the same functionality. It works smartly, looks nice, while the shell is customizable, if you wish, you can practically configure each element for yourself.
Not without a couple of interesting functions with dubious benefits. In short, it is very cool that Huawei makes its own chips. However, it should be recognized that they lag behind the leaders in the mobile iron market by six months, a year.
And the top-end, at the moment, Kirin 960 demonstrates performance, at the level of the top-end 2016 820 Darkon. While Qualcomm already “clips” the whole 835. On the other hand, the difference in work between the same 820 and 835 can hardly be called significant.
Honor 9 in games
2D games and heavy applications also show Honor 9 hardware for the better. There are no problems with anything. As for 3D games, most of them, especially those licked out in terms of optimization, will also not cause any problems. Great work at high settings.
For example, the good old “Asphalt” with very heavy and, for example, not optimized fresh games can already meet milling cutters, microlags. A striking example is Injustice 2, which, at the moment, is one of the most technological games on mobile devices.
It starts and works fine, but suspensions and micro cutters slip through. Still, the Mali graphics accelerator is the weak point of this chip. Despite the fact that the same chip in the Samsung S8, S8, however, there were a bit more cores there, but Injustice 2 also lagged the same way.
The sound is normal, rumors flew that an audio chip would be allocated in the smartphone, but in practice it was limited to software settings. But in fact, the template equalizer settings. The very first day, I put on my headphones and went for a walk, testing the sound and absolutely nothing outstanding, I did not find. However, I didn’t find anything bad either, just an ordinary sound. The same applies to the main speaker.
Autonomy is another aspect where everything is just fine, but without revelations. The autonomy of Honor 9 is almost identical to OnePlus3 and Honor 8. But over the year, the user’s appetites have grown. In the smartphone, the battery capacity was increased to 3200mAh, but in the Benchmark test it was discharged from 100% to 20% in 8.5 hours. What, for me, barely exceeds the bar below the bark is no longer comfortable.
The flagships mentioned above showed more than 10 hours in the same test. During the game in Asphalt, the smartphone was discharged by 8% for 1.5, and already by 18% in an hour. And if you try to summarize, then the smartphone is enough for a day. And with active use in the evening already have to look for exercise. It is fast here, but not the most, in half an hour it charges by 30-35%, in an hour it is 65%, and a full charge takes place somewhere in 1: 45-1: 50.
In the end, the criterion for which more and more people are paying attention to a smartphone. Camera. dual 12MP color module and 20MP monochrome. Aperture F 2.2 flash, 8MP front camera, f / 2.0 aperture.
The camera in Honor 9 is quite at the level of the flagship P10. There was a double zoom, portrait mode was preserved, and several fun features were added. The main camera, I repeat, caused associations with P10, it works on the images programmatically, as a result of which they are more contrasting, more detailed, the shadows are pulled, sharping is added and so on.
It is worth noting that I was not able to fully, fully test the camera in different conditions due to weather conditions, recently very strange weather.
The selfie camera is good and bypasses OnePlus3T, the most important thing when using the front camera is to turn off all settings and functions to improve the face, because only true Asians will like the result with them.
Portrait mode, also at the P10 level, jambs happen, it doesn’t always look natural, but in my hierarchy this is third place after the iPhone and Mi6. Regarding funny functions, the camera is very rich in its functionality, here you have the Pro-mode for photos ands, and monochrome, and photos with high shutter speed, slowdowns.
The most interesting thing to me was the 3D panoramas when you slowly walk around the camera with a camera and get such a 3D photo. And also 3D models, when you do the same thing with a person’s face, not on its basis a 3D character is created with this person with whom you can play, change clothes, for example. This is an interesting feature, but I don’t see a practical application for them to play cleanly.
Double Zoom, similar to other manufacturers, the quality of images is better, but why it is, I do not understand. In addition, I did not like that in the shooting mode, the is automatically scaled and the shooting goes, as if with a zoom.
The fact is that the stabilization in the smartphone is electronic, which is why it happens. Want to shoot with normal scaling, turn off stabilization.
If you want the outcome, the updates are more evolutionary than revolutionary, and by and large this year, with almost all of this. Take the same Mi6 or OnePlus 5. The smartphone is better in performance than the previous model, but with everyday use the difference will be difficult to notice.
Autonomy is also at the same level. And now many competitors are already better. The camera is good, but not the flagship level. Although the price of a smartphone is appropriate.
Well, the main difference is the design and ergonomics, and here the differences are really expressive. Honor 9 feels 100% as a flagship product, as a top device that costs much less than the flagship price.
At the same time, from a practical point of view, questions remain. Well, I just like metal cases more. Well, despite the fact that Honor 9 is better than its predecessor in everything. At the start, it costs less than the 8th at the time and it is also quite pleasant.
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