The competition in the affordable price segment has been extremely fierce in the last few months, but we are surely not complaining. Buyers restricted by a budget can now hope for not just specs but fabulous experience – something we didn’t imagine a year ago. 

If you are out in the market looking to buy a phone priced around Rs. 15,000, you must be considering the three popular options – HONOR 9X, Redmi Note 8 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy M30s. Which one of these is a better buy? Let’s stack them together and find out. 

HONOR 9X vs Redmi Note 8 Pro vs Samsung M30s: Specs comparison

Model HONOR 9X Redmi Note 8 Pro Samsung Galaxy M30s
Display 6.59- inch FHD+, full-view 6.53-inch Full HD+, DewDrop Notch 6.4-inch Full HD+, U-Drop Notch
Fingerprint Sensor Rear Side Fingerprint sensor Rear Side Fingerprint sensor Rear Side Fingerprint sensor
Screen To Body Ratio 91.0% 91.4% 91.4%
Chipset Kirin 710 Helio G90T Exynos 9611
RAM 4GB/ 6GB 6GB/ 8GB 4GB/ 6GB
Internal Storage 128GB 64GB/128GB 64GB/128GB
Software Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 Pie
Rear Camera 48MP + 8MP + 2MP 64MP (GM1) + 8MP + 2MP  + 2MP 48MP + 8MP + 5MP
Front Camera 16MP Pop-up 20MP 16MP
Battery 4000mAh, 10W 4500mAh, 18W 6000mAh, 15W
Charging Port Type-C Type-C Type-C
Price Starts At Rs. 13,999 Starts at Rs. 14999 Starts at Rs. 13999

Design and Display 

Both design and display are of supreme importance when it comes to the smartphone buying decision. HONOR acknowledges the times and has crafted a beautiful piece of hardware. While the competition firmly holds to waterdrop notch display, HONOR 9X feels a breath of fresh air with a seemingly bezel-less display. The edge to edge screen surface is thanks to the pop-ular (pun intended) pop-up module siloed up top.

You need not worry about the durability of the module either, the pop-up camera self-retracts when it detects free fall or external pressure and is resistant to dirt and splashes.  

The 9X also benefits from a bigger 6.59-inches its display. A larger canvas makes watching videos and multimedia content more enjoyable. It is followed by Redmi Note 8 Pro’s 6.53-inch panel and Samsung Galaxy M30s’ 6.4-inch display. Although all the displays are FHD+ resolution, HONOR’s true-to-life color science coupled with TÜV Rheinland-certified Blue Light Filter render a pleasing and immersive experience.

Moving on to the back, the Honor 9X and Redmi Note 8 Pro look relatively rad-der of the three. But, if we were to pick one, the choice goes to HONOR’s 3D curved body with elegant curves. Plus, the plastic chassis warrants durability, lighter weight, and peace of mind.

The glossy texture at the back definitely gets a special mention for its vanity. While you can grab the phone in two hues viz. Midnight Black and Sapphire Blue. The latter demands attention as every time light flashes on its rear surface, you get to see an iridescent X pattern. One may call it the X-factor of HONOR 9X’s design DNA.

Performance and software

Let’s now look beyond design and display and compare the performance and software of these three phones. HONOR ships its new X-series phone with homegrown Kirin 710F SoC, which is one of the most powerful chipsets at this price point.

The 2.2GHz octa-core mobile processor with up to 6GB LPDDR4X RAM ensures the swift handling of apps and user interface. The HONOR 9X also benefits from GPU Turbo 3.0 that remarkably enhances gaming performance in supported titles. 

The Redmi Note 8 Pro, on the other hand, houses a 2.05GHz MediaTek Helio G90T chipset which is paired with up to 6GB RAM. While all three phones are available on 128GB UFS 2.1 storage, HONOR 9X delivers the same for the least price.

All three phones boot Android 9.0-based software out of the box. The interface you prefer more will depend on your subjective taste. If you ask us, we find the HONOR’s feature-rich EMUI 9.0 skin a lot more pleasant and intuitive.

Camera quality

The primary cameras on all of these three phones rely on quad-pixel technology. The HONOR 9X and Galaxy M30s have three rear cameras including 48MP primary shooter, 8MP wide-angle camera, and a depth sensor. Redmi Note 8 Pro, on the other hand, has four rear cameras with 64MP primary sensor, 8MP wide-angle shooter, 2MP depth sensor, and 2MP macro camera.

The camera quality, however, is as much a function of hardware as of software. Of the three, the HONOR 9X manages to churn out sharper details and more balanced colors. HONOR, a pioneer in AI on phones, has software smarts to drive modes like AIS super night mode, advanced scene detection, and more that help it effortlessly perform better in less-than-ideal indoor and outdoor lighting conditions.

Working in tandem with the smart software, the 120-degree wide-angle camera can capture amazing landscapes and the 2MP depth sensor helps with stunning portraits.

Conclusion

All things considered, the HONOR 9X impressed us the most of the three. The handset offers a pop-up camera, an immersive display, and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage for a very aggressive price. It’s also driven by an extremely assuring chipset and has surprisingly good cameras. 

You can buy HONOR 9X (4 + 128GB) for Rs 13,999 on Flipkart starting January 19. On the first day sale (i.e. 19th Jan only), the handset will be available for a discount of Rs. 1,000. Additionally, the instant 10% discount on ICICI Bank Credit Card and Kotak Mahindra debit or credit cards from 19th to 22nd Jan drags down the effective price to Rs. 11,699 (on Jan 19).

The HONOR 9X (6 +128GB) has been priced at 16,999. Consumers who buy from 19th to 22nd Jan can avail an additional 10% discount on ICICI Bank Credit Cards and Kotak Mahindra debit or credit cards, making the effective offer price Rs. 15,299.

Further, the consumers will also get a Jio recharge voucher of worth INR 2,200 that can be redeemed in INR 50 per recharge for 44 recharges and 125GB of additional data, redeemable as 5GB per recharge for 25 recharges. This Jio offer will be eligible on INR 249 or INR 349 recharge only, valid on the purchase of HONOR 9X from 19th January 2020 till 3 months.

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