Honor 9X: review, price and specification – Smartphone


For a few months now, Xiaomi seems to be drowning the entry-level and mid-range smartphone market under a never-ending stream of new references. This does not preclude competition from continuing to offer terminals on disputed slots. The Honor 9X comes to € 249, just in front of the recent Redmi Note 8 Pro. To fight, he puts forward similar weapons, namely its performance in photography and its licked design.

The Honor 9X succeeds one of its paris, that of the design. It has a very large screen that occupies 85% of the face, without holes or notches. To achieve this result, Xiaomi hid the front photo module in a mechanism housed in the body of the smartphone. This module only shows itself when it is in use and requires about 2 seconds to exit completely, just like to return. Forcibly, with a diagonal of 6.6 inches (16.76 cm), the 9X is an imposing smartphone, difficult to handle with one hand. Fortunately, the interface can be easily reduced to occupy an accessible surface with the thumb.

The face side is rather successful and the battery side is not left behind. The back with slightly curved edges allows a good grip of the device. It also has a glossy finish whose reflections show nice patterns. A finish that slightly reduces the perception of fingerprints that accumulate quickly. Still on the back of the smartphone, we find a fingerprint reader that falls without problems under the index of a right hand as a left hand. Unlocking by this means is efficient and fast. Remains the limit imposed when the smartphone is placed on a table and the reader is not accessible.

On its lower edge, the Honor 9X can count on a USB-C port, as well as a 3.5mm mini-jack. It can also accommodate 2 nano-SIM cards, if you agree to do without the microSD port. As almost always at this price level, the 9X does not have any seal certification.


The headphone output is pretty good. The sent signal is devoid of audible distortion and offers a fairly wide dynamic range. The restitution of the stereo image is in the middle of our comparison. Too bad the output level is not higher, because it penalizes some users of hard hats.

Values Average
Output level 85 mVrms 116.3 mVrms
Distortion + Noise 0.006% 0.081%
Dynamic Range 103 dB 91 dB
crosstalk -60 dB -54.7 dB

The only speaker, positioned on the lower edge of the smartphone, is not famous. It struggles to reproduce more than the frequencies of the voices and the sound has an unfortunate tendency to saturation as soon as one exceeds 60% of the maximum volume. Difficult to see other uses that calls for this speaker.

The Oled is still a rare commodity on the entry level and the Honor 9X screen does not come to shake things up. It uses a 6.6-inch LTPS slab with a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 px for a very comfortable resolution of 396 dpi, which will suffice for all uses. The contrast ratio of the screen does not reach peaks and is close to the 1,000: 1. The readability in full sun is not ideal, with a brightness that peaks at 388 cd / m² and a light reflection rate of 50.7%.

By default, it does not benefit from a faithful colorimetry; the colors are too saturated and the hues very cold. You have to go through the settings and choose the "normal" color mode and a warm temperature to make things better. After applying these parameters, we obtain an excellent delta E at 1.4 and a temperature of 6,245 K. The Honor 9X is placed on this point among the very good students of our comparative.

The responsiveness of the screen is average. We measure a touch delay of 96 ms, close to the average usually found. The persistence time is displayed at 17 ms, like most screens of the same type.

The Honor 9X is powered by a Huawei health home-grown SoC, the Kirin 810, with 8 cores (2 x Cortex-A76 and 6 x Cortex-A55) and supported by 4 GB of RAM. Overall, the smartphone delivers satisfactory performance. On our multitasking Review protocol, the 9X gets an index of 86.93. A score that translates into a good fluidity in the execution of most applications and in the transition from one to the other.

It is in video games that the Honor 9X is more limited. According to our dedicated protocol, the terminal only gets an index of 49. This puts it far enough away from a Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro, whose performance index in video games reaches 79. In practice, the Honor 9X has difficulties to maintain a good fluidity in titles a little too demanding. It will often make concessions on the level of graphics, when such an option is available in the game.

The photo has become the nerve of the war of smartphones, even in the lower ranges. The Honor 9X has the following weapons:

  • A main module with 48 Mpx sensor and 26 mm equivalent optics opening at f / 1.6
  • An ultrafast-angle module with 8 Mpx sensor and 17 mm equivalent optics opening at f / 2.4
  • A 2 MP sensor support module for depth measurements

Main module

The Honor 9X does not do photo prowess. Its main module proposes to capture snapshots in 12 Mpx. Like all smartphones using 48 Mpx sensors, it uses the technique of binning pixel, which combines 4 pixels in 1. The intervention of image processing in this technique does not do good to the photos of the Chinese terminal. In daylight, the comparison between 48 and 12 Mpx is rather to the advantage of the first definition. The rendering is softer and less pronounced in 48 Mpx, but the smoothing is still used, which leaves us a little on our hunger in terms of the level of detail.

Honor 9X (48 Mpx, eq 26 mm, f / 1.7, ISO 160, 1/100 s)
Honor 9X (12 Mpx, eq 26 mm, f / 1.7, ISO 160 1/100 s)

In 12 Mpx, the quality drops very strongly. The lack of precision is striking, the colorimetry is in the cabbage and the dynamics very weak. Faced with the Redmi Note 8 Pro, the Honor 9X offers less warm pictures. Xiaomi's mobile offers more colors and a little less detail, but the overall rendering is finally more satisfying.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (25 mm thick, f / 1.9, ISO 192, 1/50)
Honor 9X (12 MP, eq 26 mm, f / 1.7, ISO 160 1/100)

In low light, the photos of the Honor 9X are mediocre. Smoothing fails to totally eliminate the evils of electronic noise and the color fades a little more. Without being a true cador, the Redmi Note 8 Pro achieves a better result thanks to a controlled accentuation.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (25 mm thick, f / 1.9, ISO 12662, 1/15 s)
Honor 9X (12 Mpx, eq 26 mm, f / 1.7, ISO 4000 1/15 s)

Ultra-wide-angle module

The ultragrand-angle module has become a staple on smartphones, even at less than 250 €. The Honor 9X offers one, based on an 8MP sensor. Hard to say that this camera that sees wide saves the furniture in photo. In broad daylight, clichés are both poor and particularly cold. They lack precision compared to Note 8 Pro. The correction of the deformity suffers from strange behavior and does not do its job completely. In the corners of the image, we observe a marked distortion, which is not very beautiful to see.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (16mm, f / 2.2, ISO 148, 1/50 s)
Honor 9X (eq 17 mm, f / 2.4, ISO 64, 1/50 s)

The ultra-wide-angle modules rarely excel in low light. The Honor 9X is particularly bad for the exercise. He can barely reproduce the shape of the elements. The details are embedded in the over-smoothing performed by the image processing.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro (16mm thick, f / 2.2, ISO 6248, 1/15 s)
Honor 9X (eq 17 mm, f / 2.4, ISO 2500, 1/10 s)

Portrait, video and front sensor mode

We will soon forget the portrait mode of the Honor 9X. In addition to the average image quality, the rendering of bokeh is not natural. The cutting of the subject in the foreground is random and elements of the background are regularly forgotten.

The Honor 9X allows video recording up to Full HD definition in 60 fps. Not surprisingly, the quality of the videos is quite low and it will be better to stick to well-lit environments. Focus tracking is not very responsive, but the exposure measurement is satisfactory.

The front camera is not there to raise the level in the photo. The rendering of the faces is denatured by a smoothing too strong, even after having deactivated the software treatments. The colors are not faithfully reproduced and the selfies give us quickly a paler look.

Although the Honor 9X has a battery of 4000 mAh, it can not endure. On our SmartViser Review protocol, it only takes 12 hours 28 minutes. It is therefore very far from the good students that are the Redmi Note 8 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy A50. In practice, moderate use will open the doors to a full day. Users who are more addicted to their smartphone will find it hard not to go through the box before the end of the afternoon.

It takes a little less than 2 hours to fully charge the Honor 9X battery.


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