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The Honor 9 is Official: 3D Glass Back, Kirin 960, Hi-Fi Audio & Dual Cameras

by Habeeb Onawole 11

Almost  year ago, Huawei released the Honor 8 to worldwide acclaim. It received positive reviews in the West for its combination of an impressive build quality, flagship performance and affordable price tag. Today, the Honor 8 gets a worthy successor in form of the Honor 9

Honor 9

Honor 9 Design

The Honor 9 improves greatly on the design of its predecessor. It still maintains that beautiful mixture of metal and glass but its now curvier. Thanks to the 3D glass back that replaced the 2.5D glass on the Honor 8.

The reflective back makes a comeback on the Honor 9 too. The design became popular with the Honor 8 and has been adopted by Xiaomi fr the Mi 6 and by HTC for the U 11 this year. Though HTC takes it to another level and calls it Liquid Surface.

Honor 9 Specs

The Honor 9 has a 5.15-inch Full HD display. It is powered by the Kirin 960 and comes with 6GB of RAM and either 64B or 128GB of storage. There is also a 4GB RAM + 64GB model.

The rear mounted-fingerprint scanner has been moved to the front, doubling as a home button beneath the display. The Honor 9 also has a Hi-Fi audio chip tuned by Grammy Award winner, Rainer Mailard. Honor says listening to audio files is like listening to a live performance. There is NFC, an audio jack and a 3200mAh battery on board.

The phone runs Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 which is based on Android 7 and features a bunch of intelligent features such as resource allocation management and smart prediction.

Honor 9 Cameras

The Honor 9′  rear cameras are configured the same way as the Huawei P10 but lack the Leica branding. It is a combination of a 20MP monochrome sensor and a 12MP RGB sensor. The cameras have what is called hybrid zoom which lets you zoom in on objects and not lose details. There is a dual LED flash and a laser focus module right beside the cameras.

Honor says night shots will be superb thanks to the monochrome sensor that takes in more light. The Honor 9 will also be able to shoot images in portrait mode but not out of the box. The feature will come as a OTA update. The front camera is an 8MP f/2.0 sensor.

READ MORE: Huawei Unveils Y7 Prime with 4000mAh Battery and Snapdragon 435

Honor 9 Price and Availability

The Honor 9 will come in Sea Blue, Amber Gold, Black and a new Seagull Gray color. The 4GB RAM variant will be priced at ¥2299 (∼$338), the 6GB RAM + 64GB ROM model will go for ¥2699 (∼$397), and the 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM version will sell for ¥2999 (∼$441).

Pre-orders will start tomorrow and close on June 15 while official sale begins on June 16. Honor says the device will be available in sufficient quantities.

The 4GB version is already listed on Vmall and Honor says it will be available on on July 11 and on the official Honor site and Suning on July 12.

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  • G’n’T

    Awesome. Take me money! lol

  • MaxPower

    Just like the MI6, this one falls into a category that doesn’t appeal me. They are both something between a true flagship and a top mid ranger.

    It’s not a true flagship due to lack of many features (big battery, great camera, full network, big and great screen)
    They are something more than a top mid ranger and that reflects the price.
    Let’s see what OnePlus got under the hood

    • Why do you really need a “true flagship” anyway? They don’t offer any more value unless you are into unusually high end games or high end photography. I am perfectly satisfied with mid range phones, much better value for money. You admire “big and great” screens but QHD screens are just battery drains with no real added value except in the eyes of the beholder. And “big” is just a personal preference. Surveys show that most people’s ideal phone size is between 5 and 5.2 inches. Most “true flagships” don’t have “big batteries” either – most of them are not as good on the battery life front as many Xiaomi phones. OnePlus phones have average battery life at best, based on GSMArena’s battery life tests anyway.

      • MaxPower

        I don’t need any true flagship.
        I’ve been on Mid-range for a while now.
        I didn’t mention the processor, so I really don’t understand why you talked about gaming.
        I don’t follow the stream so I always speak for myself, personally I prefer bigger screens.

        I mentioned the camera and since you like surveys try to ask if people would like a better camera that makes good low light pictures.
        I’m not taking about gimmicky 100mpx pics, I’m speaking of real life situation.

        Again, ask your sample if they want bigger batteries.
        The reason behind the size of the battery is the downside of adding bulk and weight.
        People like thinner and lighter phones over functional ones.
        Another reason why I don’t care of surveys.

        Companies do it, in order to make money but that doesn’t mean that their final product is the best that a company can come out with.
        And that’s the reason why you keep saying “most of them don’t”
        Companies normalized over a product that goes with the name of flagship.
        That’s what Apple does, they decide what’s the best for their customers.

        Android should be a different story but it looks like we are going to that direction.

        IMHO A true flagship should have:

        Full network capabilities, in order to use your phone without restrictions anywhere you go. They don’t do it to save money on royalties.

        IP certification… It doesnt have to be ip68 rated, but a nice ip64 that resist to some splashes is a good feature without falling into gimmicks.

        Dual SIM, SD card slot…

        Functional features, no gimmicks

        • G’n’T

          Agree with some of what you are saying here Max but at the same time I like this as an affordable option that almost meets my needs in a phone.

          I do agree I would like a dual SIM phone and a dedicated Micro SD slot although this is becoming harder to find, solid battery life lasting more than a day and a really good camera that performs well in low light. This includes the front camera.

          The thing I am happy about with this phone is at least they are keeping the 3.5mm jack which most of the vendors seem to be doing away with (very disappointing). The camera on this should be a solid performer looking at past Honor performers and the P10 as well.

          The display for me isn’t a huge thing as the 5.15. is similar to the Galaxy S5 I am using now.

          • MaxPower

            Like I said in the first post, like the MI6 this one falls in a category between the flagship and mid-range.
            It’s reductive to call it Mid-range because it’s something more than that and it’s almost a flagship (again, I’m not even mentioning the CPU here) because of some missing features I listed in the second comment.

            I can list few phones from other manufacturers that follow this trend from Huawei or LeEco.
            My actual Le pro 3 came out as flagship and trust me, it’s only on paper,because it doesn’t feel like a flagship at all.

            I understand that the market is going on that direction and you’re right mentioning those surveys.
            People would pick a thin bezel less edge phone with a small battery over a regular one with a big battery.
            But then at the same time they complain about battery life.

            I see iPhones users everywhere with the screen so dim that you can’t even see it just to save some battery or they are always plugged to an outlet at the airport, Starbucks and even on a public restroom. That’s sad this is happening to Android too.

  • Weng

    Price is affordable

  • I am pleased to see that Huawei has been bringing back the physical home button on recent phones. Perhaps that’s the reason why the Honor 9 is147.3 mm in length, which is nearly 2 mm longer than the Honor 8. Still, the Xiaomi Mi 5, with exactly the same size display, was only 144.6 so they could have made the Honor 8 a bit shorter. Not a big issue but undermines the overall compactness and sense of elegance in my eyes. Following the lead of Samsung’s S8 series and the Xiaomi Mix, we should be seeing greater compactness in both dimensions, length and width, for new phones to look really modern.

  • eliHd

    Wtf no SD card slot??

  • Sam Wong

    Will Huawei using the old emmc on this phone too???

  • njren

    I’m curious to know how Rainer Mailard is able to tune an audio chip.