Oh boi, as though the whole situation of Google/Huawei Mobile Services situation isn’t complicated enough. We now have the HONOR 9X Lite. This is an interesting one because it is considered an entry-level smartphone from HONOR that has Google Mobile Services.
How did it happen? To put it bluntly, it’s more like reusing parts from HONOR’s mid-range smartphone of yesteryear, prior to the orange man’s ban.
Today’s review is going to be a little different, too.
Google apps? How?
The whole Google ban on Huawei/HONOR devices is rather interesting. Before the ban took place, there are a lot of devices that were already certified to “future-proof” some devices in order to circumvent the ban.
The HONOR 9X Lite that we have here is actually called the HONOR 8X Lite. It was never brought to the Malaysian market, and that device was already certified to have Google Mobile Services. The HONOR 8X has now been renamed and repackaged as the HONOR 9X Lite.
And it shows, because the HONOR 9X Lite is still using the micro USB port for charging.
Let’s start off with the specs list of the HONOR 9X Lite:
- 6.5-inch IPS LCD screen
- 1080p resolution
- HiSilicon Kirin 710F chipset
- 4GB RAM
- 128GB internal storage (expandable via microSD)
- 3,750mAh battery
- 10W charger
- Android 9.0 with EMUI 9.1.0
Since the ban happened about a year ago, the phones available that that time was only using the Kirin 710 chipsets. Hence, that is why Huawei and HONOR devices with Google Mobile Services are all using the Kirin 710 chipset.
Like we said earlier, this is a rather old chipset at this point in time. We can still play games like PUBG Mobile and COD Mobile, but at its lowest graphical settings. But hey – I appreciate HONOR for using a 1080p resolution display instead of teeny 720p like its competitor.
New camera upgrades
The one big upgrade is – of course – its cameras. The new HONOR 9X Lite has these:
- Dual rear-facing cameras
- Main: 48MP f/1.8
- Depth sensor
- 8MP f/2.0 selfie camera
HONOR is keeping it modest with this entry-level smartphone by including a single usable camera at the back. To have a look at the camera’s picture sample, watch the video at the top of this review.
It’s… well, not the best. The Kirin 710F chipset has the efficiency of yesteryear chipsets and it shows. The HONOR 9X Lite can only last for about 11 hours in our battery life test. That relatively small 3,750mAh battery isn’t helping, either.
With the maximum 10W charging speed, it takes about 2 hours to charge from 15% to 100%.
Should you buy the HONOR 9X Lite?
Actually, yes. The HONOR 9X Lite should be treated as an entry-level smartphone, and that’s not a problem. It’s a good entry-level smartphone – especially that full HD, 1080p screen. Yet it’s a beautiful phone, too.
Focusing on making the main camera better is much more appreciated than whatever gimmicky macro cameras on entry-level smartphones that take unusable pictures.
HONOR is making a proper entry-level smartphone by having its technologies trickling down from flagships of yesteryear, hence the quality and price.
All these for just RM699 is an interesting deal, honestly.