Honor 9X Pro Hands-on Review: Budget Smartphone On An Island

There’s loads Honor will let you know in regards to the “new” Honor 9X Pro, and a really essential level that it in all probability received’t. It’ll be upfront in regards to the reality the Honor 9X Pro received’t include Google Mobile Services onboard, permitting you to make a correct, knowledgeable resolution while you go to purchase one.

What it received’t let you know is that is virtually the identical telephone launched in China in July 2019, and that makes it previous earlier than it even goes on sale.

Improved design and internals

You could bear in mind the Honor 9X from the top of 2019. It was a bit wheezy in efficiency, and just a bit too low-end in its design and supplies to be a advice. However, it does include Google Play put in, one thing the 9X Pro doesn’t, giving it an enormous profit over the newly launched Honor 9X Pro earlier than it even hits the shops. More on this later, however let’s check out the system.

Happily the physique is made from glass, which is a welcome visible and tactile improve over the plastic physique on the 9X. The easy, cool-to-the-touch rear panel is stylish and pleasing to carry. Honor has retained the flashy X refraction within the physique’s design from the 9X on the 9X Pro, and refined it to look even higher.

The pixel-art fashion is gone, and changed with one thing extra just like the View 20’s deep reflective floor. It’s colourful and attention-grabbing when held up in the suitable mild.

The fingerprint sensor has been moved to the ability button on the aspect of the telephone, and it’s massive sufficient to be simply pressed. This was successful on the Honor 20, so it’s good to see it right here too, because it additionally provides the telephone an honest visible improve over the rear fingerprint scanner on the Honor 9X.

Inside the telephone is Huawei’s Kirin 810 octa-core processor constructed on a 7nm course of. It’s nonetheless a mid-range telephone, however this can be a small-but-necessary improve over the disappointing Kirin 710 within the 9X.

Honor instructed me it’ll be higher for gaming, however I didn’t have the prospect to strive it out throughout my brief time with the telephone. Zipping across the working system and utilizing the digicam for a short time didn’t reveal any irritating stutters or velocity points.

Same camera as the Honor 9X

It’s right here the place the variations between it and the Honor 9X finish. The display on the entrance is identical 6.59-inch IPS LCD with a 2340 x 1080 pixel decision, and the triple-lens digicam on the again is equivalent, as is the pop-up selfie digicam above the display. The Honor 9X Pro’s important digicam lens has 48-megapixels and an f/1.Eight aperture and is joined by an 8-megapixel extremely large lens and a 2-megapixel depth-sensing lens. The pop-up selfie digicam has 16-megapixels.

Based on my expertise with the Honor 9X, the 9X Pro’s digicam might be first rate and take good pictures for the worth. It additionally consists of an efficient night time mode and synthetic intelligence-driven options.

However, contemplating it’s the identical set of sensors as on a telephone launched in mid-2019, it’s at risk of being outclassed by new units launched in 2020. In reality, that is the Honor 9X Pro’s downside all-round. It’s first rate, however it ought to’ve launched in Europe on the time of the common Honor 9X to be severely thought of.

It faces a severe problem from Motorola’s quickly bettering smartphones, such because the Motorola G Power (generally known as the G8 Power within the U.Okay.) which prices $250 or 220 British kilos and has a quad-lens digicam, a 5,000mAh battery, and Google apps

. Others to contemplate embody Xiaomi’s Mi A3, which is 200 kilos and has Google’s Android One software program. The Honor 9X Pro has some severe competitors while you store round.

Then we come to the software program. The model I attempted had Android 9 with EMUI 9.1 onboard, however I used to be instructed an replace to EMUI 10 and Android 10 would come after launch. No actual date was given, however because the software program is already obtainable for different Honor telephones, it shouldn’t be lengthy.

The Honor 9X Pro doesn’t include Google Services loaded, so no Google Play Store or Google apps. Instead, Honor has the Huawei App Gallery, and naturally the choice so that you can aspect load shops just like the Amazon App Store, and even some Google apps if you know the way.


Honor is in a predicament. It’s not going to cease making or promoting smartphones due to the issues with the U.S. authorities and Google’s lack of means to work with Huawei. It’s working to enhance the app catalog contained in the App Gallery, however this takes effort and time.

Like Huawei has carried out with the Mate 30 Pro, Honor makes it clear the 9X Pro will not have Google Services loaded. It’s banking on devoted Honor followers selecting up the telephone after which modifying the software program on their very own. The telephone might be offered solely on-line via Honor’s personal retailer, and prices 250 euros, or about $270.

This makes it good worth, simply be mindful the telephone just isn’t very new, and solely a small improve over the present Honor 9X, which comes with Google Services put in. Honor isn’t making it straightforward to suggest one over the opposite right here.

If you’re a software program whizz and fancy a very good worth, premium-feeling telephone, then the Honor 9X Pro is price your consideration. If the considered not having Google apps readily available fills you with dread, then it isn’t the telephone for you.

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