As in any relationship, you have to spend time together to find your companion's faults and strengths. I spent 100 days with the Honor 9, and in this article, I'll share the highlights, pros and cons of the experience to help you decide if it's the right smartphone for you.
Pro: an elegant and ergonomic design
The Honor 9 is distinguished by its elegant design. Beautiful to look at, and ergonomic, it also inspired the design of the recently revealed Mate 10 Pro. Light glistens on the shiny body of the device, and the slight curvature of the edges makes it comfortable to hold. Due to its slender and lightweight form, it's easy to use one-handed or keep in your pocket.
I prefer the Glacier Gray version to the Sapphire Blue version, but I must say that both are beautiful options. Compared to devices equipped with a matte outer shell, the Honor 9 the shine catches the eye more, though the overall design is really compelling regardless. Though, design tastes are subjective.
During my 100 days with the Honor 9, the smartphone fell several times on the floor. From the couch or table, flat surfaces are usually a problem because the smartphone tends to slip. Fortunately, despite countless falls, it is still intact.
It is best to protect the Honor 9 with the clear plastic protector that is provided.
After three months, my Honor 9 showed slight scratches on the body and along the left side. To avoid this, I recommend using the clear plastic protector included with the smartphone. I'm not a fan of the cases, but I must admit that the one supplied with the Honor 9 doesn't hide its wonderful design.
Pro: fingerprint scanner
Like any self-respecting Honor or Huawei smartphone, the Honor 9 incorporates a fast and accurate fingerprint reader. Placed at the front, just like on the Huawei P10, it unlocks the device in an instant, and the physical key allows you to navigate the menus. Its configuration is also fast.
If you are used to a Huawei P9 or another smartphone with a fingerprint reader on the back, it will seem strange at first. However, I assure you, it only takes a few hours to become familiar with this new positioning. And if you are used to leaving your smartphone on the table while you work or study, you will find it even more convenient.
Con: It heats during charging and heavy use
The Honor 9 features a 3,200 mAh battery that can be fully charged in about two hours with Huawei's QuickCharge technology. The battery life is standard. During charging, the device sadly tends to heat up.
I also noticed this overheating when the device is used intensively, or during this summer when it was exposed to sunlight. In some of these situations, the body heats up so much that having the smartphone in your hand is no longer so pleasant.
Pro: Good user experience at a fair price
I can't say that the Honor 9 has the best camera on the market, but for this price range, it does its job, and it does it well. You will not have problems during daily use. The combination of the hardware (the Kirin 960 from the P10 and the Mali G71-MP8 GPU) and the software ensure smooth performance. The software is mature and incorporates interesting features like Phone Clone (to transfer data from one Huawei to another) and App Twin (to use two WhatsApp and Facebook accounts simultaneously).
Honor 9 benchmarks
|Honor 9||OnePlus 5||Huawei P10|
|3DMark SlingShot ES 3.1||2011||3341||2033|
|3DMark SlingShot ES 3.0||
|3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited||29132||39419||28128|
|Geekbench Single Core||1858||1944||1913|
|Geekbench Multi Core||6446||
|PCMark Work Performance||6155||6545||6194|
The camera app is fast and easy to use, but there are no real-time filters or bokeh effects. Photos taken in good lighting conditions are full of details, but when it's dark, the photo quality suffers due to the absence of optical image stabilization.
The verdict after 100 days
After 100 days of using it myself, I would wholeheartedly recommend for you to purchase an Honor 9. For under $500, you will have a stunning smartphone that feels nice to hold in your hand. And, even if it doesn't have a particular stand-out gimmick or feature, it offers a fantastic quality-price ratio. Protect it with a clear plastic protector to keep it intact in all its splendor.
What do you think of the Honor 9? Is it your preferred device of the moment?