Followed by the launch of Xiaomi Mi Mix last year, many smartphone players have launched their own edge-to-edge screen phones. Huawei also did it by launching the Honor 9i. The company is calling it a bezel-less phone, but it is not. It has an almost bezel-less design when we compare it with other smartphones with large bezels. The main highlight of this smartphone is the double dual camera setup, two camera each on the front and back. This smartphone is available from Flipkart priced at 18,000 rupees.
Honor 9i Overview
This is the handset itself, it has a 5.9-inch screen, but due to the 18:9 aspect ratio, it doesn’t feel that big or heavy. The Honor 9i is a slim smartphone with metal unibody design, which is 7.5mm thick and weighs around 165 grams and the rear looks like the Xiaomi Mi A1 in design. Corners are curved and the metal fluidly merges with the side panels to achieve a uniform look and feel. There is a pre-applied screen guard.
As I said above, we can’t call this smartphone a bezel-less, it is not even close to what the real bezel-less smartphones like Mi Mix 2. Both top and bottom and thicker bezzels. It looks similar to the LG !6 or Micromax Canvas Infinity from the front.
Above the display is the soft LED flash, a notification LED, earpiece, dual front cameras and other sensors. There is nothing below the display as this smartphone has onscreen navigation buttons. The power button and volume rocker are on the right side, on top is the secondary noise cancellation microphone. The SIM tray is on the left edge, which is hybrid, which means you can either use two nano SIM cards on one nano SIM card and one Micro SD card at the same time. The 3.5mm audio jack, primary microphone, micro USB port and the main speaker are at the bottom edge. On the rear is the LED flash, dual camera setup and the fingerprint scanner below it. You can also see the antenna bands at the top and bottom.
The 5.9-inch full HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio is good with good viewing angles and decent brightness levels. The auto-brightness feature seems to be working very well. It has a pixel density of 409 pixels per inch, which is very good.
Lenovo recently decided to ditch their VIBE UI and use stock Android instead, but Honor decided to go with their own custom EMUI 5.1 ROM in the phone, it is based on Android Nougat 7.0. As you can see the Android security patch is 1st September. There are lots of customization options, for example, you can change the homescreen layout and add an app drawer. Honor also offers lots of unique gestures. You can double knock the screen to take a screen shot, or knock with know knuckles to start screen recording. The also has a one handed mode, which shrinks the display down to a more manageable size, you can enable this by swiping across the navigation buttons.
At the back, the Honor 9i has a dual camera setup using one 16-megapixel primary sensor and one 2 megapixel depth sensor, along with LED flash. On the front, the dual camera setup uses a 13 megapixel primary sensor and a 2 megapixel depth sensor, also with soft LED flash. The Honor 9i is able to provide Bokeh effect on both front and back cameras. This smartphone seems to be performing very well in camera department. There is no shutter lag and the front camera is really the best in this price segment.
The camera app has lots of options to play with. There is no 4K video recording. Both the front and rear cameras can record videos on 1080p. The beautification mode can be used on the front camera even while recording videos, but the video output will be reduced to 720p. Apart from HDR, panorama, and video, you get pro modes for both photos and videos, slow-mo, filters, effects and a few others. There is also an option to shoot in RAW format. Both front and rear camera has the blur or bokeh effect. We will publish the detailed result in the full review.
The Honor 9i is powered by Kirin 659 2.36GHz octa-core processor, it has four cores are clocked at 1.7GHz and the other four cores at 2.36GHz. GPU is Mali-T830 MP2. The performance should be equal to the Snapdragon 625 chipset, we will see that in the full review. 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage is also there. Out of the 64G gigabytes of internal storage, you will get around 48 gigabytes free space. The storage can be expanded using a MicroSD card up to 128GB in capacity in the Hybrid SIM slot.
The 3340 milli ampere battery can help Honor 9i to give battery life for a full working day, but if you add gaming this the battery life will get low. There is a power saver mode, but no support for fast charging.
With the launch of Honor 9i, we have three dual camera smartphones in this segment, the Moto G5S plus and Xiaomi Mi A1 are the others. We will post the full review soon, with detailed reports and camera samples.