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Honor 9i – Hits the sweet spot – Review

Honor 9i is the first mobile with four camera system from Huawei Honor. It is also the first bezel-less mobile with 18:9 aspect ratio display from Honor. Honor 9i is branded as Huawei Maimag 6 or Nova 2i in some parts of the world. Honor has Honor 6x, Honor 8, Honor Pro and even the recently launched Honor 8 lite. But Honor 9i is not related to any of these models. It is a product line of its own. It is a unique mobile and it is priced at Rs 17999 in India. Let us check out the details of Honor 9i and see if it is worth the price tag.

honor 9i

Design

Honor 9i has a metal unibody design. It feels solid in the hand and it is a very sturdy mobile. At the bottom, you would find the USB port, 3.5mm audio jack, mic and speaker grill. The top has a noise canceling mic. On the left, you would find the hybrid SIM card slot and on the right are the volume and power keys. The back as a 16 MP + 2 MP dual camera along with a fingerprint sensor. Above the 5.99 inch edge to edge display is the 13 MP + 2 MP camera. It has no physical navigation keys. The mobile is not as stylish as the Honor 8 or Honor 8 Lite, but it is a practically designed mobile like the Honor 8 Pro. I would prefer workhorses to show pieces and Honor 9i is one such workhorse.

Display

Honor 9i has a 5.99-inch edge to edge display with thin bezels. It supports a full HD+ resolution. The display is bright but the color saturation is a bit high. The contrast levels are average. The display is responsive. It has good viewing angles and it has good brightness and contrast under direct sunlight. The downside is that it does not have any branded tough glass protection. Other than that, the display on the Honor 9i is very pleasant to see and to use. The large edge to edge display is great for gaming and any media consumption on this mobile.

honor 9i

Hardware and Performance

The mobile is powered by HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor. It has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. It is a mid-range processor and can be compared with Snapdragon 625. The mobile is fast and efficient in managing the apps. It has good memory management and multi-tasking capability. The gaming experience is also good. The graphics rendering quality is also commendable. It does not overheat. Even after playing games on it for more than 30 minutes, it does not heat up beyond 8 degrees.

honor 9i

It supports USB OTG and VoLTE. It has FM Radio as well. It does not have a gyroscope. There was a lot of confusion about it and I have checked it personally and I can say that it does not support VR content consumption. Audio over the speakers is loud. Overall, Honor 9i is a mobile with satisfying performance and will serve you as a reliable workhorse for all of your day to day smartphone assistance.

Camera

The Honor 9i is the first 4 Camera mobile from an established brand and I don’t think it will the last. I liked the camera UI on this mobile. It has loads of features and all of them can be found easily. It is lag free, fast and feels lightweight. The camera is a 16 MP primary camera with a 2 MP depth sensor. The quality of image output is impressive under bright lighting conditions. Color saturation is a bit high. Exposure is good and the details are rich. The images have good contrast levels and the sharpness is impressive. The secondary 2 MP sensor is only for depth sensing. The edge detection for portrait photos is good when there is ample light. Under low light, the detection algorithm is a hit and miss. The bokeh is rich and natural. Low light photos from the rear camera are just about average. Both photos and videos are good under bright light conditions.

honor 9i

The front camera has a 13 MP sensor and a 2 MP depth sensor. The quality of the image output is good, but not as great as advertised. Don’t get me wrong, the selfies are great. It can click share and detailed selfies when there is ample light. Even the background blur is good under good light. But as light drops, the color is faded and inaccurate. The software processing is a hit or miss. This software issue can be easily solved by Honor. But with what we have, I am impressed with the Honor 9i camera.

Front camera samples
Rear Camera Samples

Software

It runs and Android Nougat with EMUI skin on top. EMUI has lots of features like split screen, gesture control, quick ball, etc… There is an option to customize the icons location of the navigation menu, but there is no option to hide it. I installed over 50 apps on the mobile and the UI showed no signs of stress. It is fast and snappy and you will not notice any lag on regular usage.

Battery

Honor 9i has 3340 mAh battery. With the supplied 5V 2A charger, it can get charged from 0-100% in 2 hours. I get about 5-6 hours of screen time on intensive usage. It lasts for a day of moderate usage.

honor 9i

Verdict

The mobile is priced at Rs 17999. For that price, you get a very practically designed sturdy mobile with a thin bezel around its display. It has a good camera and a feature-rich software. Honor has priced it competitively and for this price, there is very little in the market that comes closes to the quality and performance of the Honor 9i. The Honor 9i climbs straight to the Gadgetdetail recommendation list. Honor 9i cannot be compared to any other mobile right now. It is unique in a niche segment of its own. A dual camera on both side with a bezelless display is something that is unique to Honor 9i as of this moment.

Link to buy – Flipkart 

Honor 9i

Design - 7.8
Display - 7.7
Performance - 7.3
Camera - 7.5
User Interface - 7.4
Battery - 7.7
Value for Money - 7.6

7.6

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About Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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