honor Gets an Upgrade
If you didn’t hear much about the honor 9 in Malaysia, there is a reason. It was launched in selected markets mid-2017, and honor isn’t planning on officially bringing it here. Compared to its predecessor, the honor 9 houses a few upgrades, including a larger capacity battery, camera sensors, bigger storage and RAM options.
Even when the honor 8 was launched, its use of the ‘aurora glass’ certainly caught the eyes of many. Aesthetically, the honor 9 receives a curvier back panel, while maintaining its signature glass and metal body combination. On hand, the device looks like it received a facelift, while maintaining the signature honor ‘glass and metal’ body design.
It also comes with an interesting selection of shades, namely Seagull Grey, Charm Sea Blue and Amber Gold. If at all possible, honor has made the glass shinier than before. We’ve not tested the durability of the glass, but it also feels like the brand has learned its lesson from the number of shattered honor 8
Heat Me Baby One More Time?
Having also tested the honor 8 last year, one of the issues we pointed out was how its glass back panel heated up fairly quickly. We were anticipating for it to be a similar case for the honor 9, especially since it features a slightly bigger battery capacity.
We were surprised that this wasn’t the case at all with the honor 9. This leads us to believe that its use of the HiSilicon Kirin 960 and ARM Cortex-A73 CPU cores has helped the smartphone to be have better heat management. In fact, the battery life of the honor 9 is commendable on average, which further demonstrates its power efficiency.
The honor 9 Equivalent, Sort of
Other news outlets have called the honor 9 a “Huawei P10 in a glass and metal body” – and they are not wrong. It is worth noting that the honor 9’s hardware and software are apple to apple to the ever-popular Huawei model. The only discerning difference is the Leica-branded dual lenses on the Huawei rear camera.
Interestingly, if you like the sound of the honor 9, the honor 8 Pro is also comparable specs-wise. The latter houses a bigger display (5.7-inch), battery (4,000mAh) and RAM (6GB), but hardware-wise, it is using the same CPU, GPU and processor as the honor 9. However, you will have to sacrifice some megapixels in its dual rear camera.
For a RM1,700 (more or less after conversion from RMB2,700) smartphone, the camera set-up on the honor 9 is quite impressive. Featuring a 20-megapixel monochrome and 12-megapixel RGB dual rear camera, the honor 9’s image quality and colour reproduction can rival that of the Huawei P10. Images are sharp, vibrant and crisp, with features like the wide aperture mode making it feels more premium for its price. There are also some new and exciting camera modes included. Its 3D Creator mode enables users to turn your friends’ faces into emoticons.
While some may argue why pay more for a Huawei P10, especially if it’s just for the Leica branding, the honor 9’s camera is at a slight disadvantage as it doesn’t come with optical image stabilisation (OIS). If you don’t plan on snapping in low-light or shooting handheld videos, you won’t even notice that it’s missing. It’s quite the bang for your buck.
Sound of Music
Its single speaker driver resides at the bottom edge of the phone. If laid flat, the sound emitted can be loud and clear. However, if you’re planning to watch videos, you may just unconsciously block the speakers with your hand. Don’t despair though, the honor 9 still comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
It’s a pity that you can’t get this flagship officially in Malaysia.