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I have recently gravitated towards Huawei Honor smartphones quite much and they never fail to impress me. Today we have with us the Honor 9 Lite, a budget offering from Huawei and Dude! What a device! Exactly why I’ll take you through different points where I find the Honor 9 Lite amazing and as well as a bit disheartening.
Design and Overview-
Hah, Do I really need to tell you how gorgeous the Honor 9 Lite is? The one parameter where the Honor 9 Lite is simply excellent is the design. The novel color choice in blue-ish green, coupled with a reflective glass back and metal rim, is simply jaw-dropping to look at. One glance and you’re impressed — as simple as that. It actually inherits the design language of 2016’s flagship Honor 8 which was my favourite device for last 8months but currently Honor’s another flagship Honor 9 changed my mind.(cough).. :p
Sure, the Honor 9 Lite is very prone to damage from falls just like its brothers because of the glass back, so unless that’s a concern for you, the device is just too good to resist as far as aesthetics go. A full ten-on-ten in our books. The looks apart, the placement of the volume rocker and power button on the right, fingerprint sensor at the back which also houses the Honor logo (near-bottom) and dual camera lens (top right), is just right. Anybody trying to pick up flaw here is simply wasting his time. Believe me, I tried alot too!
Performance and Software-
Coming to the hardware and performance, The 9 Lite features a HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core processor, a Mali-T830 MP2 GPU, and runs on Android 8.0 topped with Huawei’s very own, EMUI 8.0. What that combo of hardware and software gives you is an experience that’s pretty solid, and smooth, even though not the fastest which is okay for a device in this range. That Honor 9 Lite does everything asked for in the day-to-day use effortlessly, which is in itself a great compliment. It scored near to 90,000 in Antutu Benchmark which I really think is a great number for a Budget Device! It handles most of the things with ease and I’ve always liked the way Honor optimises its software with the hardware. Anyway, kudos to the Huawei’s Honor team for achieving such a good performance on the Honor 9 Lite.
Huawei EMUI 8.0 offers a ton of features, too, and they are quite impressive. Just hop into settings and try out each and every option of the device. You would be amazed to find a plethora of options here. After I owned my first Honor which was the Honor 8, I have liked the EMUI ever since and Android 8.0 just adds more flavour to the existing goodness! Its more faster and more optimised.
Coming to the Display, Truth be told — the IPS LCD display on the Honor 9 Lite exceeds our expectations. For under $200, you get a cool bezel-less 18:9 panel that measures 5.65-inches diagonally, features an FHD+ res (2160 x 1080 pixels), and also produces just the right colors. So, it’s a great display, indeed. That said, if you are a fan of AMOLED panel, you just won’t find that saturated-color-taste here. It’s more like a real-world feel here than the punchier one, and I am liking it a lot, just like I have always loved it on the HTC and Nexus devices of the past.
You can also tune the color production of the Honor 9 Lite’s display to some effect under Settings, by adjusting the color temperature, but while that changes the display’s hue a bit, it’s a far cry from display saturation you can achieve on AMOLED panels. It’s worth noting here then, that for now, if you want an AMOLED bezel-less display on your phone you would have to cough up about $499 for that, as you get that only with Galaxy A8 Plus and OnePlus 5T. Again, Good Job Honor!
Camera and Battery-
Well, there are four cameras on the Honor 9 Lite. So, what gives? Well, first of all, please know that the no. of cameras doesn’t have to do anything with the quality of the pics. Also, it’s the sensor’s quality — than the count — that matters the most, and here, you have an average sensor at the rear which means you get decent ordinary imaging out of the Honor 9 Lite. The front cameras are pretty well, though, if not great.
Overall, the rear camera on the Honor 9 Lite is good enough. It’s not excellent, but it’s not bad either. Compared to the competition, both the Redmi 5 Plus and Honor 7X produced slightly better pics. In the daylight, the 9 Lite’s camera is impressive, but when shooting indoors, it produces slightly whitish images. Same for the low-light imaging. I did try the bokeh effect. The dual cameras on the front did the job alright, but not very impressive, which is exactly what I anticipated too. But yes, unless you want your selfies to be perfect, which can cost a lot, it’s surely better having the bokeh effect than not.
The Honor 9 Lite packs in a 3,000 mAh battery, which is good enough to easily last you a day without needing to juice it up during the day. It lasted a full day for me in moderate usage and the charging also takes short time. Honor has always done a good job with batteries and optimisation.
Wrapping the Honor 9 lite review, all I can say this is an excellent phone without a doubt. Simply put, until the price is mentioned, people would only think of it as a premium phone — in fact, it can give a run for money to even the costliest of smartphones on the planet in design(Which had blown me since the time I saw Honor 8 for the first time). The Honor 9 Lite is an able device that runs smoothly, features kind-of latest Android OS in 8.0 Oreo, and even though its camera isn’t that great, it’s good enough to keep you happy. What else you need for the price you pay?