ASUS VivoBook 14 A413

HONOR just announced the arrival of this brand new entry-level smartphone and it comes with some noteworthy specs. For an entry-level smartphone, it comes with a humongous 5,000mAh battery – that’s kinda rare.

So for the price of RM549, is the HONOR 9A worth its price and who is it made for?

MSI Creator 17 Mini-LED

I’ll go through my 6 points here instead.

Design

At first glance, this phone is actually pretty sleek. It reminds me of the smartphones of yesteryear, especially the HONOR 8X since it has a rounded midframe sandwiched by two flat pieces of glass.

HONOR 9A

One thing I do miss is the presence of a physical fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone. I’ve gotten used to it – since the Galaxy S9 even incorporated some handy gestures into that fingerprint scanner.

By the way – it’s still using micro USB.

Screen

It’s using a 6.3-inch IPS LCD screen with a 720p resolution. Now, I don’t really think that’s a problem given that this is indeed an entry-level smartphone and for its price, a 720p screen is really not that much of an issue.

HONOR 9A

The overall colors and screen quality itself is not bad – so I don’t really have any complaints or whatsoever.

Performance

Here’s a weird one. We want to provide our own benchmarks but then the HONOR 9A that we have is using beta firmware – so we can’t really give you any benchmarks coming out from this phone specifically.

What we can tell you is the benchmarks from another phone that uses the MediaTek Helio P22 chipset – and that’s the Redmi 6A.

Review – Xiaomi Redmi 6

For day-to-day usages, the phone is good. There are no major lagging issues or stutterings. However, this phone is definitely not suitable for heavy titles like PUBG Mobile, COD Mobile, or any of those games.

As for the specs, here’s the full list:

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD screen
    • 1600×720 pixels in resolution
    • Waterdrop notch
  • MediaTek Helio P22 chipset
  • 3GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
    • Expandable via microSD
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Android 10 with Magic UI 3.1
    • Uses Huawei Mobile Services

Cameras

As for the cameras, we have a total of 3 cameras at the back of the phone and surprisingly – there’s no camera bump. We have:

  • Main: 13MP f/1.8 with PDAF
  • Ultra-wide angle: 5MP f/2.2
  • Depth sensor

The overall picture quality of the main camera is quite good. I like the clarity and colors that come out of it. However, the ultra-wide angle camera is just bad.

To have a look at all the pictures, watch our video at the top of this review.

Software – Magic UI 3.1 with Huawei Mobile Services

We’ve already talked about Huawei Mobile Services last time – and AppGallery is still growing in terms of app selection. We can also backup WhatsApp chats to the cloud via Huawei Cloud.

For power users like you and me, we know where to get the APKs if it’s unavailable in the AppGallery. But then again – it’s a hassle that not everyone wants to deal with.

Furthermore, apps like Grab just flat out don’t work with phones running on Huawei Mobile Services.

Battery

That battery in the HONOR 9A is actually kinda massive. 5,000mAh can last us for quite a long time – maybe about 2 days? We can’t say for sure since our battery testing app don’t work with this beta firmware.

The charging time is going to be slow since it only supports 10W charging. That’s okay since I don’t expect it to come with fast charging anyway, since this is still an entry-level smartphone.

Verdict

For the price of RM549, the HONOR 9A is good enough for those who just want a simple smartphone for texting and some social media. Or maybe even for us who want a secondary phone to use as a dedicated WiFi hotspot device while traveling (when the quarantine is over, of course).

HONOR 9A

But then again, we gotta bring another cable just to charge this phone since it comes with a micro USB port instead of USB-C.

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