Honor 9X Lite smartphone review – convincing thanks to the new camera and Google
Inexpensive classic. With an older Android 9, but at least with Google Services, the Honor 9X Lite comes to your home. The high-resolution main camera and features such as NFC make the smartphone worth a look.
Honor 9X Lite:
processor: HiSilicon Kirin 710 8 x 2.2 GHz, Cortex-A73 / -A53
Graphic card: ARM Mali-G51MP4 Main memory
Main memory: 4096MB
screen:6.5inch 19.5:9,2340×1080 pixel 396PPI,capacitive touchscreen,IPS,glossy:yes,60 Hz
Mass storage:128GB eMMC Flash,128GB,116GB free
Note: The manufacturer can use different components such as monitors, drives and memory modules with similar specifications under the same model name.
Case,equipment and operation – slow WLAN
Huawei and thus also the subsidiary Honor may no longer be supplied with technology by American companies. Now the manufacturer is following a split path: some smartphones are simply minimally modified predecessors that have received Google certification, others come completely without Google apps and, above all, the Google services that many apps use. The Honor 9X Lite belongs to the first category, still offers Android 9 and looks quite similar to the older Honor 8X.
The Honor 9X Lite is a fairly inexpensive mid-range smartphone for 199 euros and is now much cheaper or available with free accessories. The case is acceptable for this price: stable and simple with a black, reflective back. A green color variant is also available.
With 128 GB, the smartphone offers a generous amount of mass storage for the price range, and there is also NFC, with which you can use wireless payment options. The USB connection is still a micro-USB port and there is only older Bluetooth 4.2, but with aptX for higher sound quality. The memory card reader is independent of the two SIM ports, so that all three can be assigned a card at the same time.
In our test with the Netgear Nighthawk AX12 reference router, the WLAN module can do WiFi 5, but the speeds fluctuate a lot and are generally not particularly high. You shouldn’t expect too many LTE frequencies, so when traveling abroad to other continents, the smartphone may not be able to dial into the local LTE networks.
When it comes to software, there is only an older Android 9, and you shouldn’t expect an update to a more recent version. The security patches are also quite old at the time of testing.
There is a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone that unlocks the Honor 9 Lite quickly and reliably.
Cameras – Now with Pixel Binning
The biggest innovation compared to the Honor 8X is probably the main camera, which now works with pixel binning, i.e. always combines 4 pixels into one large, very light-sensitive image point. The 48 megapixel resolution of the sensor results in images with 12 megapixels, which is completely sufficient for the vast majority of applications.
However, the images look a bit too exposed and offer too little contrast, so that details are quickly lost in light and dark areas. This also creates a slightly pale image impression, and image details often appear pixelated. Even in the test laboratory under defined lighting conditions, the images look pale, but the overall sharpness is on a decent level. In low light, pictures quickly appear pixelated and offer only a few details, but the brightening is at least acceptable.
The front camera with 8 megapixels takes passable selfies in normal light, which look quite pixelated in detail. In low light, the subject cannot be seen without additional brightening.
Comparison of images
Select a scene and navigate in the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. Clicking on the enlarged images opens the original in a new window. The first picture shows the scaled photo that was taken with the test device.
Display – quite true to color
FullHD resolution is no longer completely uncommon in this price range, but it is still a positive aspect. However, the display of the Honor 9X Lite is not particularly bright and the black value is so high that the contrast values are depressed, which means that the image impression is a bit pale overall.
The image display on the screen is actually quite natural and there is at most a slight bluish cast.
In addition, we did not notice any PWM flickering and the response times were not too slow.
Performance, emissions and battery life – good battery life
The company’s own Kirin 710, which is already known from many similarly priced smartphones from Huawei and Honor, is used as the SoC. The processor, which is now 2 years old, has a bit of a problem with peaks in performance, but it is still enough for smooth everyday use with only very rare stuttering.
Simpler games without a lot of demands on the graphics card can be played on the smartphone, with more complex mobile games you may have to reduce the graphics settings.
The storage is a rather slow eMMC Flash, the Samsung Galaxy M31 is again ahead of the game thanks to UFS 2.0. The card reader does a solid job with good speeds in cooperation with our reference microSD card, the Toshiba Exceria Pro M501.
The battery achieves a decent result of 13:13 hours in our WLAN test, but it is about an hour below the Honor 8X. The Samsung Galaxy M31 with its huge battery lasts much longer. The runtime of the Honor 9X Lite is completely sufficient for everyday use; you don’t have to charge it every day with normal use. The charger supports 10 watts of charging power and needs well over 2 hours until the battery is full again.