Introducing the world’s most rugged phone – HONOR even says that this is the world’s first phone to be certified with 5-start all-angle drop resistance. They’re so confident that HONOR also sent us a few pieces of wood to literally simulate different drops.
Anyway, that is not really a big drop but I specifically want to drop it at its corner for maximum impact. That is because this phone has a curved edge AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate and higher-than-usual 2652×1220 pixels in resolution. The display is very good in terms of color accuracy, clocking in 99% for both sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts and at 1000 nits maximum brightness too.
HONOR told us that they’re so confident with this phone’s toughness that the predecessor, the HONOR X9a, had survived many drop tests, smashing crabs and fruits, bending tests, and many other ridiculous situations. The HONOR X9a also had very low screen replacement rate – only at 0.64% according to HONOR Malaysia.
Now with this HONOR X9b, its toughness has increased thanks to the HONOR Ultra-Bounce Technology which literally means they have some cushions on the inside to dampen the force. They also want to put a guarantee on their confidence by giving 356 days of front & back crack protection to all HONOR X9b customers too. If your screen or back cover is cracked within 365 days after purchase, you can get a free replacement.
The performance is also very good. It’s one of the few phones that come with the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset and while HONOR doesn’t have any FPS meters to see the performance, I can tell that it is definitely more than 30fps when we’re playing Genshin Impact at the lowest graphical settings. We didn’t do a full gaming test for this phone because our schedule was all messed up – but I can guarantee you that this is a very power-efficient chipset.
Because in our battery life test, this phone can manage to last about 14 hours and 44 minutes in our standardized battery life test with its 5,800mAh battery.
As for the charging time, it does come with its own proprietary 30W charger and you guys know I don’t like proprietary charging standards. With its fast charger, it can finish charging at around 77 minutes. If we plug the phone into our USB-PD charger, then it can charge to 100% in about 103 minutes. Not bad, honestly.
Cameras aren’t spectacular in this phone since there’s only two cameras usable to take pics and the camera bump is unnecessarily big and it’s a big waste of space. To have a look at all the pictures taken with the HONOR X9b, watch our video at the top of this review.
As for the software of this phone – it’s pretty basic. It comes with HONOR’s Magic OS 7.2 and it’s pretty much the same software after all these years and I think it’s an okay software. It’s better than MIUI for sure.
We can also talk about the design a little bit. This phone is available in 3 colors – Sunrise Orange, Midnight Black, and Titanium Silver. Only this Sunrise Orange color has this leatherette back and I think it feels really nice to the touch. It’s just the camera bump is unnecessarily huge and I’ll just call it ugly.
Should you buy the HONOR X9b?
So at the end of the day, this phone is for those who consistently drop their phones or worry that it’ll break. Maybe someone clumsy or just wants a secondary phone that’s super rugged while still being affordable – then the HONOR X9b is actually a fantastic choice. At just RM1,499 – there is no other phone that can withstand a fraction of the force that this phone had gone through.