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Honor 9 vs Xiaomi Mi 6: Affordable High-End Flagships Knockout Comparison

by Zhen Wan 20

The Huawei’s Honor 9 has arrived fully-spec’d to rival Xiaomi’s Mi 6 in the affordable high-end flagship battle. For all smartphone enthusiasts or consumers who would like a good price for a high-end device, picking the right device is a tricky decision. So, it makes sense to compare the two flagships from China, the Huawei Honor 9 vs Xiaomi Mi 6.

In this article, we will be comparing each phones’ primary features and help determine which option is best for you.

 

Display & Design

In terms of design, both smartphones share very similar characteristics, front and back glass-covered bodies with a metal rim on the sides. Dimensionally, the Xiaomi Mi 6 sizes at 145.17 x 70.49 x 7.45 mm whilst the Honor 9 at 147.3 x 70.9 x 7.5 mm; both devices operate as very slim slates, with the Honor 9 only thicker by a meager 0.05mm in depth, 2.13mm by height and 0.41mm by width. For long period use both phones come in light packages, Mi 6 at 168g and Honor 9 at a superlight 155g. Note: The Mi 6 also comes in a premium ceramic model, weighing at 182g.

Display

Both smartphones come with IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass, both sporting 5.15inch and resolution at 1080p (Full HD) at ~428 PPI pixel density. Mi 6’s screen covers at ~71.4% body to screen ratio, whilst the Honor 9 at ~69.9% body to screen ratio1.

In terms of display quality, we will be acquiring an Honor 9 unit soon for more accurate details; however, from our review on the Xiaomi Mi 6, the device hasn’t disappointed in the balance of vibrancy, sharpness and color reproduction. Xiaomi has also pushed the minimum brightness down to a single nit of brightness, which is very impressive in comparison to other 1080p smartphones panels.

 

Color Options

The Mi 6 is available four body color options: Black, Blue, White, and Ceramic Black; whilst the Honor 9 is available in: Sea Blue, Amber Gold, Black, Seagull Gray.

 

Other Features

The Mi 6 have removed the loved 3.5mm, whilst the Honor 9 has kept the feature.

 

Our Pick: Honor 9.

The Honor 9 provides more choice in color whilst Mi 6 offers more choice in material (glass and ceramic), screens are similar on paper, however, the Mi 6 offers a smaller dimensional package but the Honor 9 weighs 13g less. Still, here the Honor 9 steal the win here as they have provided a 3.5mm headphone jack also.

 

 

 

Hardware Specifications

Processor, RAM, and Storage:

The Mi6 will be powered by Qualcomm’s current fastest Snapdragon 835 processor. It has octa-core chipset which includes four 2.35 GHz Kryo & four 1.9 GHz Kryo processors coupled with Adreno 540 GPU. The Honor 9 is run with an in-house Kirin 960 Octa Core four 2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & four 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53.

In terms of RAM and the storage, the Mi 6 comes with 64 or 128 GB of internal storage options with 6 GB RAM. Whereas the Honor 9 comes in two variants, 64GB + 4 GB RAM and 64 or 128 GB + 6 GB RAM.

The Honor 9 offers external microSD expansion supporting up to 256GB, however, the Mi 6 does not support storage expansion slots. Keeping this in mind, it’s important for you to decide which variant to purchase in consideration to your future storage needs.

Battery:

The Mi 6 comes with 3350 mAh and the Honor 9 with 3200mAh, both of which are non-removable batteries.

 

Our Pick: Tie.

This section is a very close call, both phones are powered with very powerful CPUs, benchmarks will show that the Snapdragon 835 edges higher in integer performance (completing simple tasks, e.g. web browsing). However, Kirin 960 remains close to the 835’s tail, outpacing the 820/821 also. The Honor 9 offers more choice in models with internal storage as well as MicroSD expansion, however, Mi 6 theoretically will last longer with a larger battery size.

 

Honor 9 vs Xiaomi Mi 6: Camera

Rear shooters:

For photo-fanatics, we are spoilt with both smartphones offering with dual-lens. Mi 6 is loaded with 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with f/1.8, and 12-megapixel telephoto lens f/2.6 aperture; the Honor 9 has a 20-megapixel lens (Mono) with f/2.2 and another 12-megapixel lens (RGB) with f/2.2. Note that the dual cameras on the Honor 9 are not Leica branded. Xiaomi has promoted the Mi 6s feature of 4-axis OIS improving steadiness of video capture, whilst featuring a lossless zoom (x2) and providing a (x10) digital zoom.

Front shooters:

Both these smartphone cameras have the common features namely geo-tagging pics, touch focus, face detection, etc.

For the selfie lot, the Honor 9 has a f/2.0 8-megapixel lens and Mi 6 has an 8-megapixel sensor but with unknown aperture.

Honor9 vs Mi6 Smartphone

 

Our Pick: Unsure.

This seems to be too close, I have not had the opportunity to test out each smartphone side by side to provide my honest opinion. On paper, both smartphones show great features and the smartphone will depend on whether you would prefer better contrast pictures from the Honor 9, due to the monochrome sensor, or better zoom and wide aspect photos from the Mi 6.

 

Features & OS

Both flagships are shipped with expected high-end smartphones features such as 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, fingerprint sensor, NFC, etc. The flagships both come with their own custom UIs, Mi 6 with MIUI 8.0 (based on Android v7.1.1) and Honor 9 EMUI 5.1 (based on v7.0).

For more details about MIU8 and EMUI 5.02.

 

Our Pick: Mi 6.

Mi 6 wins due to adapting relatively the latest Android Version currently. Personally, I like MIUI since it provides stable updates on a regular basis. As for Honor 9’s EMUI 5, I haven’t used it yet to judge how good it is. 

 

Availability & Pricing

The Mi 6 has an advantage here, as it has been released since April 2017 in the Chinese market already and available for the global market. The 64 GB and 128 GB versions of the release price for the Mi 6 is at ¥2,499 (~$367) and ¥2,899 (~$425) in China, these prices can be found cheaper on online retailers. Note: The price of the Ceramic version is much higher, priced at ~¥4132.81 ($607.99)3.

The Honor 9 will be on the backfoot here since it will be officially being on sale today. The Honor 9, 4GB RAM model will be priced at ¥2299 (∼$338), the 6GB RAM + 64GB variant will go for ¥2699 (∼$397), and the 6GB RAM + 128GB version will sell for ¥2999 (∼$441).

 

Opinion: Mi 6. Based on the release date prices, I believe the Mi 6 is the most ideal affordable smartphone to purchase on the date of publishing, this is because the Mi 6 is currently available and the directly competing models are more likely to be cheaper than the original release price from third-party retailers, not to forget the release prices for the Mi 6 are already lower. Huawei will need to receive comments from our reviewers and consumers on availability and price before further confirmation.

 

Honor 9 vs Xiaomi Mi 6: Conclusion

If you are already fans of either Xiaomi or Huawei, the choice will be rather simple, as both phone provide very similar specifications. However, if you are an indecisive consumer or looking to switch camps, these two flagships prove to be a very difficult couple to pick.

If you are someone who prefers a smartphone with the smallest footprint, different build material choice, bleeding edge internals, highest capacity battery, wide-angle & closeup photos, smoother videos; regular Android-based MIUI updates, connectivity with other same-branded products (Xiaomi’s smart-home products) and best prices (ex. Ceramic model), the Mi 6 is the best choice.

Whilst, if you prefer lightness, more ‘spec’ choices, 3.5mm headphone jack, powerful in-house CPU and better contrast photos, the Honor 9 is yours. Yes, the 3.5mm headphone jack could be a big advantage for the Honor 9, but we’ll have to see if it’s enough for consumers to pick the Honor 9 over Mi 6. The camera quality would be another big differentiating factor. We have seen that the Mi 6 manages to capture some great shots but we are yet to test Honor 9’s camera prowess.

 

I hope this comparison has helped you determine which phone you would like to purchase so far, and as the Honor 9 matures this comparison should be updated accordingly.

 

For more details please try out our comparison feature here.

 

If you have any burning thoughts or queries about Honor 9 vs Xiaomi Mi 6, please drop a comment down below. I will try my best to reply.

 

1 Screen ratio may differ according to calculation.
2 Based on GearBest price. 16/06/17.
3 We apologize that we do not have a detailed comparison between the MIUI 8 and EMUI 5.1 at this moment.

 

 

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  • I am a Xiaomi fan so it would be a no-brainer for me to pick the Mi 6 except that it is way too heavy for such a small phone. The Honor 9 is too pricey and too tall – 2 mm taller than the Mi 6 isn’t much but the Mi 6 is too tall as well – should have come with more compact top and bottom bezels – ideally not more than 142 mm. I guess I probably wouldn’t buy either one of them for the reasons cited. I had the Mi 5 last year and really loved it. I kept it for 6 months, longer than I usually keep a phone. Now, however, I’m tempted to buy another one as the price has fallen so far and I loved the lightness of it – only 129 grams – hard to believe, but that’s nearly 40 grams lighter than the Mi 6.

    • Cappper

      Bravo: +1

    • Bojan Radovanović

      Too pricey!?
      You don’t have 16$ more for 6/128 version of Honor 9 compared to 6/128 Mi6!?
      And just to remind you that for16$ more you would get audio jack, SD card slot, warranty, service support, full LTE coverage…

      In case of 6/64 GB versions of both phones, price difference is 30$.
      What Honor offers worth more than that to me.

      • You’re right, my mistake, the price difference is not as great as it is for most Huawei phones which tend to be around $200 more than comparable Chinese phones.

      • Masood Khan

        Which is fastest kirin or snapdragon?

        • Bojan Radovanović

          Sd835 is fastest SoC right now…

  • G’n’T

    Would prefer to see a proper side by side comparison. Too much guess work and assumptions made here..

    • Zhen

      At the moment this is article is more of an initial specification comparison. Our team haven’t obtained a Honor 9 review unit at this moment, however after we have given a more thorough and detailed review of the device, we will update according.

      • G’n’T

        ok thanks @ZhenWan:disqus

  • Goshiro12

    I don’t see why the Honor 9 is pricy. It has a headphone jack, expandable Storage, higher camera resolution, high end hardware and is still cheaper than the Mi6. I think that the Honor 9 will be a greatphone, since their Honor 8, wich I have, is a great phone for it’s value. Also, Huawei has experience with dual cam. Thr Mi6 is the first Xiaomi phone with good dual cam. But well, we will see.

    As for myself, I don’t want to support the lack of headphone jacks and SD-Slots. Also, the Honor 9 will be available world wide so I can use the needed LTE frequences, which Xiaomi still doesn’t offer. Official waranty in your own coutry is also a plus.

    • Zhen

      I believe the price of the Honor 9 will end up matching or possibly besting the Mi 6 in the near future; however, I have considered that the phone has been newly released, and the hype and demand for the phone will most likely be very high. I wouldn’t be surprised to see third-party retailers temporarily increase the retail prices until the demand settles, but personally I believe that for the next few weeks the Honor 9 will remain pricey, even though argumentatively the phone does carry more value with the 3.5mm Jack and Expandable storage.

      • Goshiro12

        Well, it’s actually true that Honor Phones don’t have the best price for it’s value compared to many Chinese brands, but still are one of the most cost effective phones compared to mainstream brands. And you can actually count Honor to mainstream brands since they are sold internationally and official.

        There was once a statement from Hugo Barra about SD-Slots on High-End phones. He said, that Xiaomi will never integrate the option for expandable storage since sd-cards slow down the performance and make the system unstable. That’s a really poor excuse I think.

        In Europe for example, the FDD-LTE 800 MHz frequency is very important, especially for rural areas. Most Chinese Mainstream-Brands like Oppo, Vivo, Meizu, Meitu or Xiaomi don’t offer their phones with 800 mhz freq. So I couldn’t use any of those premium phones with LTE, which is pretty sad.

        I hope you can understand what I mean, cause I am aware that my English isn’t that well 😀

        • Zengő Antal

          But Honor 9 can’t handle B20 (800 MHz) too.

          • Goshiro12

            The Honor 9 is going to launch in Europe in the end of June. The Euro-Version will have B20, thats for sure. My Euro-Honor 8 has also B20, while the Chinese Version hasn’t. You don’t have to import it, because it will released world wide.

          • Zengő Antal

            Thank you for your answer! I didn’t know that. In Hungary there are lot of grey market seller and they sell the chineese version. A Xiaomi shop in Hungary promised there will be Mi6 B20 version too. They wrote it at the mid of may, but untill now they not know when it will arrive.

          • Masood Khan

            What is b20?

  • eliHd

    I have honor 7 and its the first smartphone i use for almost 2 years. I think i will wait for until early next year to buy honor 9

  • z1george

    From 2016 experiences (Honor 8 vs Mi5) the Huawei is light years ahead in photography. Better colors better detail in any point and shoot situation.
    That alone makes it the better pick. And the 3,5 mm jack. It’s also lighter to hold.

    • ubaid2317

      I don’t think so. Mi5 has much better camera than honor 8 and it’s easy to judge that this comparison and you both are pro honor. Otherwise mi5, mi6 are much better phones in every aspect excluding only external storage option

  • Bojan Radovanović

    Mi6 doesn’t support full 4g spectrum, and another mistake about it is that it has Bluetooth 5, not “just” 4.2.
    My choice would be Honor. With same RAM/storage ratio it cost 20-30$ more(and that is nothing, if someone thinking that difference is big, he/she should not buy phone in this price class), but it will be world wide available and more important with that device, you are getting warranty and full service support and with Xiaomi you don’t .

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