Honor 9i review: Stands out with camera performance for its price
Full display or one with 18:9 aspect ratio has common on smartphones these days. Now Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has made its way into this segment with Honor 9i which features a 5.9-inch bezel-less display. Another unique feature of the phone is that it sports four cameras – two on the front and two at the back. Priced at Rs 17,999, the Honor 9i offers some impressive features on paper. The smartphone goes up against the likes of Vivo V7+ and LG Q6 in India, though the V7+ bears a slightly higher price tag of Rs 21,990. We used Honor 9i for more than a week and here’s our full review:
Honor 9i specifications: 5.9-inch Full HD+ FullView display | Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 659 processor | 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM (expandable up to 256GB) | 16MP+2MP back camera with flash | 13MP+2MP front camera with flash | Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1
Honor 9i price in India: Rs 17,999
One of the best features for me was the display. It’s a tall 5.9-inch Full Vision display with extremely thin bezels on the sides. The device looks stunning thanks to it’s premium metal unibody design. A single speaker grille along with a 3.5mm headset jack and a USB Type 2.0 has been placed at the bottom. There’s a vertically aligned dual rear camera setup and below it is a circular fingerprint sensor. The camera unit protrudes a little bit though not significantly, which is good.
Overall, the Honor 9i looks stunning in terms of design, a phone that I’d definitely like to flaunt. The device, unlike many others in this price range, offers a Full display packed in a sleek body, which is a big plus in my opinion.
Coming to display, the Honor 9i gets a FHD+ resolution screen, which looks vibrant and sharp. Viewing angles are great and I was able to comfortably look at the screen and take pictures in bright outdoors. A few apps take advantage of the Full display, which makes viewing experience on Honor 9i better.
Honor 9i also stands out for its cameras. Even in low-light conditions, the rear camera is capable of churning out some great shots, though they look a little bit too sharp. I was amazed by the colour reproduction in pictures and the kind of details that they had. Shots taken in bright outdoors are equally good. The camera manage to retain colours and details in photographs without making them look oversaturated.
Honor has added bokeh mode in both the front and the rear cameras, which is an added benefit looking at the current trend. Plus you can shoot moving pictures, which is similar to Live photos on iPhone and pictures with filters.
The front cameras are great for taking picture perfect selfies for posting on social media accounts. You’ll get close to natural colour reproduction, restored details, and crisp selfies in bright outdoors. I really liked the bokeh mode which does a good job of blurring background in photos while keeping subjects in sharp focus. However, selfies taken in low light appeared grainy and tend to have noise, which I disliked.
Honor 9i is fast and offers a zippy performance when it comes to day-to-day tasks. The phone is good at multitasking, and I didn’t experience any lags or stutters while switching between multiple tabs. As long as you’re not playing graphics heavy games or doing some other heavy duty task, the Honor 9i won’t disappoint you. It does start to heat up within 15-20 minutes of playing Asphalt-8. The fingerprint scanner was quick to unlock the device almost each time I tried.
Battery easily lasts for a day on average usage which includes watching a couple of videos, listening to music online, and making 4G calls. I didn’t notice any unexpected battery drain while binge-watching, or playing graphics-heavy games. Honor 9i battery performance is in line with most other mid-range phones in the market.
What’s not good?
Honor 9i would did fit perfectly in my medium sized hand, though I wouldn’t recommend one-handed use as it is not very comfortable. The phone is a bit slippery when used without a cover. I didn’t have problems accessing the fingerprint scanner, but people with smaller hands will probably have this issue.
Honor 9i Verdict
Overall, Honor 9i is an excellent proposition for people looking for a decent mid-budget phone with a great camera. Of course, design is an added benefit. I wasn’t disappointed with its performance or battery either. Infact, I enjoyed using the Honor 9i, thanks to its four cameras and a FullView display. Given this price of Rs 17,999 this is an easy one to recommend.