Huawei continues with its salvo of full-view display devices. The latest one on the block is Honor 9 Lite which is also one of the most affordable full-view display phones around. The Honor 9 Lite isn’t vastly different in terms of internal hardware compared to Honor 9i or Honor 7X but it’s relatively compact, is running the latest software, and has a very aggressive starting price.
We briefly examined the Honor 9 Lite to get a better idea of whether it’s worth being excited about. Here’s what we have gathered from our Honor 9 Lite first impression.
Update: We are now done with our Honor 9 Lite full review. To know if it’s worth buying, you can straightaway proceed to our detailed review.
Also Read: Honor 9 Lite Full Review
Honor 9 Lite vs Honor 9i Specs Comparison
|Model||Honor 9 Lite||Honor 9i|
|Display||5.66-inch Full HD+ full vision display||5.9-inch Full HD+ full vision display|
|Processor||Octa-Core Kirin 659 processor||Octa-Core Kirin 659 processor|
|Internal Storage||32GB/64GB, expandable up to 128GB||64GB, expandable up to 256GB|
|Software||Android 8.0 (Oreo) with EMUI 8.0||Android 7.0 (Nougat) with EMUI 5.1|
|Primary Camera||13MP + 2MP sensor with dual-tone LED, CMOS sensor, PDAF, and digital zoom||16MP + 2MP sensor with dual-tone LED, CMOS sensor, PDAF, and digital zoom|
|Secondary Camera||13MP+2MP soft LED flash||13MP+2MP soft LED flash|
|Dimensions||151 × 71.9 × 7.6mm; Weight: 149g||156.2 × 75.2 × 7.5mm; Weight: 164g|
|Battery||3000mAh battery||3340mAh battery|
|Others||4G VoLTE support, dual-sim, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, a 3.5mm audio jack, and other standard features||4G VoLTE support, hybrid dual-sim, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, a 3.5mm audio jack, and other standard features|
|Price||Rs. 10,999/Rs. 14,999||Rs. 17,999|
Honor 9 Lite Design and Build
Honor 9 Lite looks excellent for its price. This time, Huawei sides with a smaller size display but the 9 lite is not extraordinarily compact. It’s still extremely comfortable to hold and operate. Use of glass on front and rear gives it a feel that’s quite rare in this market segment.
The glass on the rear has a polished mirror finish which we liked and the camera sits flush with the device. The side frame is made of plastic. The fascia is dominated by a good quality 18:9 screen with very narrow bezels on all sides.
All said and done, if design ranks top on your priority list, the Honor 9 Lite won’t disappoint. Moreover, its available in some appealing color options – Sapphire Blue, Glacial Gray, and Black.
The fingerprint sensor is readily accessible (on the rear). On the bottom, you will find a regular USB port, speaker grill, and audio jack.
- The Honor 9 Lite looks beautiful and is comfortable to use.
- It’s also available in some interesting color options.
- It feels pretty solidly built. There is no mention of Gorilla Glass being used, though.
Honor 9 Lite Display
Another Honor 9 Lite highlight is its display. The 5.66-inch panel feels just the right size and flaunts full HD+ resolution. Colors are vibrant and viewing angles are wide. The color temperature also felt quite appropriate in our initial time with the handset.
- The display quality felt good. Colors are punchy and the full HD resolution helps too.
- The display is lined with a thin black border
- Measuring 5.66-inches, it’s just the right size.
Honor 9 Lite Performance Expectations and Software
Surprisingly, the Honor 9 Lite has more to offer on performance and software front compared to its two higher-priced siblings – the Honor 7X and Honor 9i. All three phones use the same Kirin 659 chipset paired with up to 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, but it’s the ‘Lite’ variant that gets EMUI 8.0 and Android Oreo out of the box.
However, only the base variant (3GB RAM/ 32GB storage) gets an aggressive price. The SIM tray used is hybrid so you will have to make a choice between dual SIM and microSD expansion.
The new software, according to honor, will result in faster and more durable performance. There EMUI 8.0 offers interesting features like Smart Split Screen (can be used to directly split screen from the notification pop-up itself) and smart gestures. Honor’s India R&D center is also working on a few India centric features like firing Paytm payments using fingerprint sensor gesture.
We did notice some performance hiccups on the EMUI 5.0 but we are inclined to believe Huawei has polished the kinks in the new software. Of course, we can only be sure after an extended period of usage.
Other than that, the Honor 9 Lite has a smaller 3000mAh battery, but with battery optimizations that Android Oreo and EMUI 8.0 will bring to the table, we are optimistic about the practical mileage.
- Honor 9 Lite outshines its elder siblings – honor 9i and Honor 7X – in terms of software.
- The hardware configuration is kind of similar. All phones have the same chipset.
- The SIM tray used is hybrid.
Honor 9 Lite Camera Performance
The Honor 9 lite includes a total of 4 cameras. Two on the rear and two on front. Camera excesses aren’t any assurance of distinguished camera performance but perhaps they do help keep things interesting for consumers.
The extra 2 MP sensors on front and rear are used for depth sensing or adding bokeh mode to the front and rear. Huawei has also thrown some interesting selfie algorithms in the mix. For instance, the enhanced beautify mode can also distinguish between male and female subjects in the frame.
If you are interested in the base variant, the competition hasn’t set the bar very high and camera performance should be fine. The higher 4GB RAM will be directly up against formidable rivals like Mi A1 and Moto G5s Plus. We will need to spend some more time with the Honor 9 Lite to judge it.
- There are 2 cameras on both front and rear. The extra sensors are used for depth sensing.
- Huawei has added some interesting selfie features in the camera app.
Honor 9 Lite Quick Review
The thing about Honor 9 Lite is the wide price gap (of Rs. 4000) between its two variants. This makes the two variant compete in a separate league altogether. And thus, it isn’t possible to pass on a unified verdict on the two.
The base variant, that costs 10,999 INR, has an excellent design advantage. However, this might not be the perfect option for heavy users. The 4GB RAM and 64GB variant, on the other hand, costs 14,999 INR and will face stiffer competition from phones like Mi A1 and others that Xiaomi might unleash in the next couple of months.
The first impression of Honor 9 Lite is largely positive and we are eager to test it further in our full review. We do believe Honor has what it takes to check the Xiaomi’s unbridled march in its stronghold.