Honor 9X Professional overview: Fatally improper

Huawei’s US trade ban has loomed massive over each and every recent product launch from the Chinese language large, however its youth-oriented sub-brand, Honor, has up to now controlled to swerve any main penalties due to a clever workaround. That adjustments with the Honor 9X Pro — the primary telephone from Honor to release globally with out Google services and products.

Can the price range X collection conquer its tool struggles? To find out in appmarsh’s Honor 9X Professional overview.

Honor 9X Professional overview: The large image

honor 9x pro review hero

The Honor 9X Professional is an upgraded model of the Honor 9X, which introduced globally in October 2020. This successor arrives in Europe simply five months later and Honor has controlled to cram in some welcome {hardware} and design tweaks in spite of its still-modest €249 (~$273) ticket.

With a triple-camera setup and a pop-up selfie shooter, spectacular internals, and a flashy design, the Honor 9X Professional has the entire hallmarks of some other price range hit for Honor. Alternatively, with rival Chinese language manufacturers like Realme and Xiaomi muscling into Honor’s territory in Europe, the contest is warmer than ever within the sub-€300 sector.

Does the Honor 9X Professional do sufficient to emerge on best?

Honor 9X Professional vs Honor 9X: What’s the variation?

The Honor 9X Professional sports activities a pitcher again relatively than the plastic rear discovered at the common 9X. At this value level, it’d be high quality if Honor had caught with plastic, however it does be certain that the telephone has a extra top rate really feel. The 9X Professional is 10g heavier total, although the delicate curves at the again imply it’s nonetheless at ease to carry. It’s, alternatively, an excessively slippery buyer. There’s a rubber case within the field and I recommend you utilize it.

Despite the shift to glass, the Honor 9X Professional keeps the unique “X” trend at the again for those who go for the Phantom Pink colorway. It’s a bit ostentatious for me, but when you wish to have your telephone to stand proud of the gang it’s possible you’ll adore it.

honor 9x pro logo
honor 9x pro review fingerprint sensor

Any other vital trade applies to the fingerprint sensor. As a substitute of choosing an in-display sensor, the Honor 9X Professional has a right-sided energy button that doubles as a fingerprint reader. I’ve praised Honor’s side-mounted sensors ahead of (see: the Honor 20) and the 9X Professional’s is solely as fast and correct. It’s now not flashy, and for those who’re left-handed it’ll be a ache to succeed in, however it’s way more dependable than the in-display answers used within the low-end phase.

Honor 9X (left) vs Honor 9X Professional (correct)

Honor 9X back full
honor 9x pro review rear 2

For different adjustments you need to glance at the within. Apart from the long-overdue addition of NFC make stronger, probably the most notable trade is the upgraded processor. The unique Honor 9X used to be gimped for its Eu release with Honor swapping out the Kirin 810 SoC that powered the Chinese language fashion for the lesser Kirin 710F chipset. Honor therapies this and provides the Kirin 810, entire with its two Cortex A76 cores and progressed Mali GPU, for all markets.

That is the telephone the Honor 9X must’ve been within the first position.

The result’s a smoother revel in and awesome gaming efficiency. Processor-intensive 3D games like Asphalt 9 run with out hiccups. Plus, for those who’re the type of one that likes evaluating benchmarks, you’ll see a lot better numbers throughout all exams in comparison to the common 9X.

The 9X Professional comes with 256GB garage as same old. Extra garage is at all times welcome, and you have got the technique to increase it via an extra 512GB with a microSD card. The Eu model simplest comes with 6GB RAM in comparison to the Chinese language fashion’s 8GB. Until you’re pushing the telephone to its limits, alternatively, this shouldn’t be a topic.

honor 9x pro review pop up camera

All in all, the Honor 9X Professional is the definition of an iterative replace, however it fixes the entire {hardware} gripes leveled on the Honor 9X. With the fee final the similar because the common fashion the enhancements be certain that there’s no explanation why to imagine in quest of out the older fashion … correct?

Smartly, no.

What’s the Honor 9X Professional like to make use of?

honor 9x pro review app gallery home

Right here’s the rub: the Honor 9X Professional simply isn’t an stress-free day by day motive force.

The Honor 9X Professional runs an AOSP-based model of Android with EMUI on best — in particular EMUI 9.1.1. Because the quantity suggests, that is Android 9 Pie, now not Android 10.

The 9X and 9X Professional collection were pegged for a mid-March update to Android 10 and Magic 3.0 — Honor’s personal tackle EMUI. Alternatively, my unit continues to be caught on a core model of Android that first introduced over a 12 months and a part in the past. To make issues worse, it’s additionally nonetheless at the November 2020 safety patch. That’s four months of lacking safety updates. Yikes.

If ready a couple of additional weeks or months for the newest OS replace used to be my simplest main tool grievance, then this wouldn’t be such a topic; there are many price range telephones operating ageing tool. The issue is, the ones price range telephones have YouTube. And Gmail, Maps, Force. And … you get the image.

Huawei’s investment in its HMS ecosystem is starting to display, however its AppGallery isn’t the Play Retailer. Don’t imagine me? One of the vital best 25 apps (it’s now not transparent how Huawei ranks apps) is Scorching Apps, which has a bit over 8,000 installs and no consumer evaluations.

Learn extra: What is HMS? All you need to know about Huawei’s new mobile ecosystem

Apart from the lacking Google apps, there’s additionally no Fb, Spotify, WhatsApp, PayPal, Netflix, Twitter — the checklist is going on. Of their position are copycat apps and direct obtain hyperlinks that boot you out to APK-hosting web sites.

Despite the fact that you’re tech-savvy — as Honor expects its target audience to be — the app revel in merely isn’t as much as par. May just I live on with out those apps? Sure, however the truth is I don’t need to with virtually every other Android telephone.

Is the digicam any just right?

honor 9x pro review camera

The Honor 9X Professional has the very same triple digicam setup as its predecessor, so for those who’ve learn our Honor 9X review the solution: it’s ok.

The primary shooter is a 48MP sensor that takes pixel-binned 12MP pictures. You’ll shoot in complete answer, although each the common 48MP and the 48MP AI-assisted effects aren’t detailed sufficient to justify the rise in symbol report dimension.

honor 9x pro review camera sample 2
honor 9x pro review camera sample 1
honor 9x pro review camera sample 13

The Honor 9X Professional digicam plays adequately in on a regular basis use or even manages to provide first rate snaps in low mild by way of night time mode. Toggling on AI provides a bit extra punch to pictures, however suffers from competitive oversharpening and muddied element upon nearer inspection.

Night mode No night time mode Evening mode

No night mode

The opposite two lenses are an extremely wide-angle shooter and a intensity sensor. Portrait pictures are helped via the intensity sensor, however the edge detection will also be hit or miss. The ultra-wide, in the meantime, is reasonably deficient. Pictures are cushy and smudgy, and dynamic vary hits all-time low.

ultra-wide-angle Usual ultra-wide-angle


After all, the pop-up selfie digicam has spectacular colour accuracy but additionally has a addiction of washing out pores and skin tones and smoothing any blemishes. This might be noticed as a favorable for those who like beautified selfies, however I individually don’t like taking a look like a model.

honor 9x pro review camera sample 15
honor 9x pro review camera sample 11

At the video aspect, the Honor 9X Professional helps as much as 1080p at 60fps, although the digital symbol stabilization simplest kicks in when taking pictures at 30fps. The seize high quality lacks actual element, however it’s applicable taking into account the cost of the telephone.

You’ll take a look at a host of uncompressed Honor 9X Professional pattern pictures here.

What do I really like concerning the Honor 9X Professional?

Forged reveal: The 6.59-inch Complete HD+ reveal is some other carryover from the usual 9X and it’s nonetheless first rate. It’s an LCD so colours are a bit of muted, however normally it’s crisp and it advantages from the loss of a punch-hole or notch.

All of the correct ports: A USB-C port and a headphone jack? You’re spoiling me, Honor.

All-day battery lifestyles: The Honor 9X Professional’s 4,000mAh battery will simply take you thru an entire day and on occasion a bit bit additional.

What do I dislike about it?

Painfully sluggish charging: Even on this value bracket, 10W charging is easily under same old. It takes round two hours to get the telephone from 0 to 100%.

Tinny speaker: The Honor 9X Professional has a unmarried speaker at the backside edge. You’ll simply muffle this along with your finger, and the audio high quality is subpar even at medium quantity.

Honor 9X Professional specifications

 Honor 9X Professional
Show6.59-inch, 19.5:9, 2340 x 1080p, LCD reveal
ProcessorHiSilicon Kirin 810
MicroSDSure, as much as 512GB
Battery4000mAh with 10W charging
DigicamMajor: 48MP, f/1.8, 0.8µm, PDAF

Extremely-wide-angle: 8MP, f/2.4

Intensity sensor: 2MP, f/2.4

Entrance: 16MP, f/2.2, 1.0µm

Fingerprint sensorSure (side-mounted)
3.5mm headphone portSure
IP RankingNo
InstrumentAndroid 9.0 Pie (EMUI 9.1.1)
ConnectivityTwin 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 LE, GPS + GLONASS, NFC, USB-C 2.0
Dimensions and weight163.1 × 77.2 × 8.8mm, 206g
ColoursMiddle of the night Black, Phantom Pink

Honor 9X Professional overview: Will have to you purchase it?

Honor 9X Professional
The Honor 9X Professional is a compelling total package deal so far as {hardware} is worried. Instrument stays a topic.

  • €249 at Honor

Discounting the middling digicam efficiency, it’s exhausting to whinge an excessive amount of with the Honor 9X Professional as an total {hardware} package deal. It’s the telephone the Honor 9X must’ve been within the first position.

Sadly, identical to the recent batch of Huawei telephones, it’s extremely exhausting to suggest the Honor 9X Professional in its present state.

With such a lot of not unusual apps both lacking or now not formally supported within the AppGallery, it continuously felt like I used to be combating the telephone simply to accomplish the fundamental duties I’d be expecting from any smartphone. Even probably the most positives, such because the the addition of NFC, are hamstrung via the tool problems. What just right is NFC when you’ll be able to’t get Google Pay? (to be honest, some banks do supply their very own cost apps within the AppGallery).

There are many possible choices to the Honor 9X Professional available in the market … they usually all have Google apps.

The loss of Google services and products is a deadly flaw from which the Honor 9X Professional can’t get better. Despite the fact that there have been no first rate possible choices to be had, the Honor 9X Professional nonetheless wouldn’t get a go; the truth that there are masses simply compounds the problem.

To this point the Honor 9X Professional has introduced in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Egypt. In maximum of the ones areas you’ll be able to get the Realme X2 with 30W rapid charging, an outstanding quad digicam, and an AMOLED reveal for simply €50 additional. The similarly thrilling Realme 6 Pro could also be anticipated to drop in Europe quickly, and may hit the similar €249 asking value.

Different contenders come with the Samsung Galaxy A51, which will also be discovered for €299 on sale, and the Xiaomi Mi 9T that also holds up nine months after its Eu debut. Motorola’s lower-end telephones, such because the Moto G8 Plus and Motorola One Vision, also are value a glance for those who price blank tool at the price of processing energy.

The Honor 9X Professional is compelling so far as {hardware} is worried. Alternatively, the loss of Google services and products makes it a difficult promote. And it’s now not like the telephone has distinctive options or high-end functions to make up for the effort, just like the Huawei P40 Pro does.

That’s excited about our Honor 9X Professional overview. What do you recall to mind Honor’s price range telephone? Tell us within the feedback.

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