And so it happened. The race that Samsung and LG started last year among the flagships was picked up by Chinese brands. And at the end of 2017, the fashion for a widescreen display came close to the middle and ultra budget segment. While the giant Xiaomi only showed its vision of such smartphones, demonstrated Redmi 5 and 5, and Meizu is just preparing to replenish its ranks with similar devices, Huawei in December shows the second state employee in this format Honor 9 Lite followed by Honor 7X. As it turned out, the model turned out to be very interesting and perhaps it will be able to attract your attention.
Design and ergonomics Honor 9 Lite
The most subjective part of the review, as always design. It is very difficult to balance between different tastes. Therefore, I will try objectively. I can’t say that I am a supporter of metal or glass cases, and both materials have their pros and cons. Therefore, we must proceed from the general. If it looks nice, but practical in everyday use, both options have a right to exist.
And when there is a choice, we only benefit from this. Agree, Honor already has a solid metal 7X, it’s not worth repeating. over, you need to maintain the ideology of the line. Despite the Lite prefix, Honor 9 inherited the general features of the case precisely from Honor 8, and not from 9. Since the latter is more similar to Xiaomi M6 or vice versa than to the follower of the eighth model.
Rectangular casing with oval rounded corners, tempered glass panels on both the front and back with a slight bulge effect to give the design an elegance. For a week with a little use, no scratches were found. Both panels received a good olefobic coating, there will be no problems with fatty marks. It is a pity that the company decided to completely abandon metal, the frame is made of plastic. Yes, it feels cheap, especially when you hold it in your hand.
And Honor deserved our reproach in its turn. After all, metal alloys are now not very expensive. But honestly, with daily contact you forget about this plastic part, especially if you use a case.
The dual camera is at the back, and this is an important clarification, since there are four of them, and it almost does not protrude above the case and does not look as ridiculous as it was done in 7X. And the last most important part of the design element is on the front panel, I’m talking about the display and the frames around it. Pay attention to neat identical indents both from above and below, and to the left and to the right. They are not super small, it is not frameless, but it looks, as for me, very aesthetically pleasing.
How good is the display
From a budget smartphone more is not necessary. The display itself received an IPS matrix with a non-standard diagonal of 5.65 inches. Full HD. resolution 2160 by 1080 pixels and with a variable standard aspect ratio of 18 by 9. This is a good quality screen, but not the best for this segment. The picture is smooth, the colors are saturated, though dull and white-dirty. And if you compare head-to-head with the same Redmi5 , then 9 Lite here is noticeably inferior in all respects. Both in color rendering and in the brightness range. In Honor it is not very wide and you especially notice it at night.
However, the screen is still well calibrated and does not go either warm or cold. And if you suddenly need to adjust the color temperature, in the settings there is both a standard preset and a very accurate manual mode. The images are pleasant, the application either supports 2: 1 aspect ratios, or the systems are automatically adjusted, or, when it comes to video, it is scaled and cropped. It’s good? Obviously not, but there are no other options.
The display supports 10-touch multi-touch, dual-tap unlocking, and also has a night mode function for your eyes, it’s large and this option usually has pluses, more information is trivial, as well as cons and larger dimensions and all that. With this minus, the Honor 9L can argue, because it lies perfectly in the hand does not slip and does not stick into your palm, its width allows you to use the smartphone in some situations with one hand and does not even cause much discomfort.
In addition, the system provides a mini-window function, that is, software to reduce the diagonal of the display, which helps to control with one hand. Above the screen, you can see two eyes of the front cameras, a multi-colored notification indicator and I will note a metal grille on the speaker. Even for 200, the user did not deserve USB, on the case is our old familiar micro USB, but you should pay tribute to thoughtful ergonomics, the headphone jack is on the bottom.
Thus, all the necessary inputs and outputs are located here. Also on the rear panel there is a second microphone for noise reduction. If we talk about design, then he came to me personally. a strict, symmetrical such rectangular bar. At the same time, glass panels and multi-colored variants of the case, gray, black, blue, white gave it the youth-oriented effect that the brand is striving for. In general, I think they hit the target audience. Excellent, having figured out the clothes, I proceed to the head part.
Brains migrated straight from the 7X and from a productive point of view, obviously, there are no changes in the nine. The computing part is performed by not too old, but not the latest Kirin 659 processor, consisting of two blocks of 4 Cortex A53 cores. One unit operates at a frequency of 1.7 Hz, and the second produces a maximum value of 2.36 Hz. Depending on the task they perform, they complement each other. There are two versions with three or four gigabytes of operational and thirty-two or 64 GB, respectively, of the built-in drive.
Video: Honor 9 Light How Many Inches Screen
Huawei processors are always equipped with high-speed modems. The main thing to remember is that there is a version for Asia and Europe, buying on AliExpress now, in January 2018, you doom yourself to the fact that the main 4G frequencies will not be supported. Since the Chinese Honor 9 Lite does not have B7 and B20 bands available, only the European model can boast of them, be careful.
By the way, the sound of 9 Lite is quite average, even among similar devices. The external speaker is loud and this parameter is enough to not miss notifications in any situation. Wired sound quality also does not shine, as well as volume, despite the presence of built-in sound sets for different types of headphones, as well as an equalizer. Listening does not leave any emotions, either positive or negative.
Honor 9 Lite synthetic benchmark results
Synthetics shows the expected results. AnTuTu recently updated, got a more advanced graphics benchmark and additional tests for the cores. The rating is formed differently, so for clarity, the results will be shown in comparison with a direct competitor. With Redmi 5, in three consecutive tests, 9 Lite showed slightly better results, second only to the graphic part. Yes, she suffers from Kirin, but more on that later. There is no strong heating and throttling, but synthetics give only a general idea of the stability and speed of the system. How are things in practice?
EMUI 8.0 Software Shell
Honor 9 runs under the control of a proprietary shell from Huawei EMUI 8.0, which is based on the latest Android 8.0. Since the start of use, a small update has been received with minor bugs fixed. In EMUI, on par with MIUA from Xiaomi and Fly from Meizu, you can trace your own recognizable style, with its cute oval interface elements and smooth animation.
A Huawei account is a very important thing, I advise you not to skip setting it up after the smartphone’s initial power-up, because it will make it possible to block or track your device in case of loss or theft. By the way, this account cannot be untied by a simple flashing.
There is a separate desktop where there is a feint for local news and daily activity statistics for phone usage. And also many different functions such as: pay for a purchase using your wallet, call a taxi, see the weather, and all this, unfortunately, works only outside of China. On such a large display, it is convenient to use the split mode, when the workspace is divided into two parts and thus, you can open two, almost any, applications at the same time.
EMUI 8.0 is a great multi-functional shell that I have loved since 7X, it’s nimble, well optimized, but at least on smartphones of the middle and flagship segments it is stable and careful with RAM, after fully loading from my three gigabytes, a little less is available one and a half. At the same time, applications stay in the background for a long time, do not restart and work from the place where they finished. Programs also open quickly, but MIUI will feel faster in this regard.
But things don’t go so smooth with Huawei either. The shell sometimes slows down, there are slight twitches with a strong load. True, this is still the middle segment and minor flaws can be forgiven for this price, the more so the company is releasing updates for its models.
And now, about the weak part of the Kirin 659, yes here is the Mali-T830 graphics, but only for two cores, but 900 MHz. What are the obvious disadvantages from this? Firstly, the graphic component loses a bit to the Adreno 506, Snapdragon 625, according to synthetic tests.
Secondly, with games there is not so simple as it seems at first glance. Toli 830 is not so bad, Toli Honor software developers are not in vain eating their bread. But the situation is as follows, in the 3D shooter New Heritage, the graphics are stable. On the eye 30-35 FPS, without subsidence at all. In this game, Redmi 5 found some strange obstacles for itself and showed a not so smooth picture with frequent drawdowns.
In World of Tanks, everything is sad, at medium low settings depending on the location, it shows only 20-40 FPS with drawdowns of up to 15. It is quite difficult to play, especially when you get into a cloud and you are surrounded by several opponents, the only way out is to worsen the graphics. The smartphone does not heat up, doesn’t warm up, it’s quite suitable for not too demanding games.
Autonomy Honor 9 Lite
No matter how beautiful and powerful the smartphone is, everything fades if it has poor battery life. 3000 mAh, and even without the support of fast charging in 2018, it is not very serious, given the large gluttonous display. However, optimization has played an important role in extending the life of Honor 9 Lite to a perfectly acceptable day of active use at 5. 5.5 hours.
It all depends on how demanding you are, I have a constantly turned on 4G plus Internet that works in the background of a VPN. Well, the standard, Internet calls, social networks, watching videos, reading and listening to music through wireless headphones. In games, the charge melts right before your eyes and for more than three hours the screen is always on, do not count.
In the settings there are energy-saving, as well as super energy-saving mode, when all side functions are turned off. In addition, there is the possibility of reducing the display resolution from Full HD to HD, for most users this is enough, but 9 Lite is clearly inferior to its competitors.
The impression of the cameras
Honor doesn’t lose on the camera, but on the contrary, 4 identical eyes were placed on the body, two on each side. The manufacturer of photosensors, as always, is not disclosed, but the characteristics are as follows: the main one is 13 megapixels with an aperture of 2.2, an additional two megapixels and both are color, so, theoretically, you can take portrait photos with a blurred background, both on the main camera and on the front. True, there is one thing but, for the front sensor in the standard application there is no bokeh mode, so in fact, only one 13 megapixel camera is involved here and there are no blurring for you. What is it? Cheating? Marketing move? Or will they fix it with updates? I myself ask this question. Nevertheless, the quality of the photos suited me, 9 Lite shoots on a level with Redmi Somewhere better, somewhere worse. The detail and sharpness, for example, I liked more, and night shots and macro on the contrary.
An obvious advantage of Honor is the portrait mode, I will say so, for its value, such photographs, provided good lighting, are wonderful. The secondary part of the image is determined quite accurately, the contour of a person is smooth, not cut. In general, the smartphone pleased.
The maximum quality of Full HD video is 30 frames per second, there is no slow motion. The front camera makes excellent detailed selfies, a very rare case when there is a good photo module in a budget smartphone. Just do not forget to turn off the program to hide facial imperfections.
Review results, pros and cons of Honor 9 Lite
Summing up, after 7 days of operating the Honor 9 Lite, for the third time I am convinced how seriously the guys approach the production of smartphones. Think for yourself, a large display, but cool ergonomics, the design is pretty. The balance between premium and budget materials, quality assembly.
We go further, quite powerful hardware, but the most important thing is to optimize the software for it. This implies the stability and smoothness of the system, as well as a good indicator of autonomy, despite the small battery capacity. And for the “snack” we have quality cameras for this segment and the ability to take portrait pictures on a smartphone for little money.
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Home »Review» Smartphones »A detailed review of the Honor 9 Lite. Pros and cons of the budget employee from Huawei