The Honor 9 Lite is not a bad product with a price tag of over 4 million. Its SoC Kirin 659 is also present in more expensive devices like the Honor 7X or Mate 10 Lite. Other specs are also promising. In addition, the phone has up to four cameras along with a distinctive and attractive design. The competition is so high in this price range that the Honor 9 Lite will have to go up against Samsung Galaxy J5, Nokia 6, Moto G5s, BQ Aquaris X, Blade V8 and P10 Lite. This review gives you the best overview of this Honor 9 Lite phone!
Design of Honor 9 Lite
Honor 9 Lite is announced by the manufacturer as 7.6 mm. However, in fact the machine is even thinner when the thickness is only 7.45 mm. The camera on the back is just 0.6 mm raised, so the phone is not channeled when placed on a table. The front and back of the case are made of flat glass, which is different from the majority of machines that follow today’s curved design. Metal-imitation plastic frame with 2 lines running in parallel to create accents as well as increase hand grip.
The back of the Honor 9 Lite is really impressive, especially in the blue version. It reflects light to the extent that it can be used as a real mirror, sisters can easily adjust the hair and lipstick without turning on the front camera. The surface is susceptible to fingerprints, but also very easy to clean.
The machine has a good finish, does not warp, does not crack when I try to bend, twist. However, the screen ripples when trying to press with strong pressure. The slots on the machine are very small and uniform. The Honor 9 Lite does not have an IP certification for dust or water resistance. The physical keys have good bounce.
The factory-based Honor 9 Lite comes with Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 installed, which is based on Android 8.0.
Honor has a few apps pre-installed, though. These include six games, Facebook, Instagram, Booking.com and the eBay app, but all of them can be easily removed. Unnecessary Google apps can only be disabled, not completely deleted.
The rear camera is a dual camera with a 13MP and 2MP lens duo, providing background blur, wide aperture effects, PDAF focus, multi-layered noise reduction with HDR capture.
The main camera takes good pictures in daylight and has an acceptable shutter lag (timeout between shots). Especially when taking photos with the backlight, the lens has a good dynamic range and allows for much better photos than other competitors like the Galaxy J5. Quality drops significantly in low-light, and the photo appears pale, not sharp, and grainy.
On the front, the Honor 9 Lite also supports dual cameras with 13 MP and 2 MP sensors. In fact, there is a difference between the cameras as the front camera can only use fixed focus, but faster with f / 2.0 aperture, while the rear camera has an aperture of f / 2.2.
The photos taken with the front camera are very nice and are quite suitable for taking selfies. Even without the Bokeh effect, I would love to take selfies taken with Honor 9 Lite. Colors and illumination are on the same level as the Huawei P smart camera, but the sharpness is a bit better. Portrait mode also works nicely and recognizes the subject well; even better than more expensive smartphones.
The capacitive touchscreen of Honor 9 Lite supports gestures up to 10 points, smooth, fast and accurate operations. The manufacturer has chosen SwiftKey as the keyboard app, but this can be replaced with any of the apps available on the Google Play store.
The familiar one-handed mode is also available on the 9 Lite. To turn on this mode, just slide your finger on the navigation bar to minimize the screen. The Android navigation bar can also be adjusted according to the needs of each person.
The fingerprint sensor on the back also works quickly and reliably, with just a touch to access the home screen instantly.
Honor 9 Lite is equipped with HiSilicon Kirin 659 chip, consisting of two Cortex A53 clusters, each cluster consists of 4 cores. While a cluster speeds up to 2.36 GHz, the energy-saving cluster can only reach 1.7 GHz. ARM Mali-T830 MP2 responsible for the graphics of the machine. This SoC is used in many other mid-range models from Honor and Huawei such as Honor 7X, Huawei Mate 10 Lite, Nova 2 and Huawei P smart.
While the CPU performed as expected and system performance was the highest among these SoC-equipped competitors, the GPU performance was similarly disappointing with the Huawei P smart. While this cannot be seen in GFXBench or in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, the weaker GPU is shown in the more demanding 3DMark Sling Shot benchmarks. The more expensive devices were 30 to 186% faster.