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Honor 9 Lite: A premium smartphone in a budget

January 31, 2018 13:21 IST

The Honor 9 Lite sports a premium glass design, dual-camera set-ups on the front and rear, and a futuristic 18:9 aspect ratio screen at a starting price of Rs 10,999, says Khalid Anzar.

Photograph: Courtesy Honor India

Honor, the online sub-brand of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, is on a roll in India.

After launching the mid-tier flagship, Honor View10, and the budget devices, Honor 9i and Honor 7X, the company has launched the Honor 9 Lite.

It's a heavy contender in the budget smartphone segment, but can it fend off competition?


Let's find out.

Design and display

The device, by far the most premium budget smartphone in the segment, boasts a metallic chassis sandwiched between glass on the front and the back -- similar to premium flagship phones such as the Apple iPhone 8 series and Samsung Galaxy S8 series.

The front is dominated by a 5.65-inch full HD+ screen.

Thanks to its 18:9 aspect ratio, it is compact and light weight.

The back has a fingerprint scanner at the upper centre, with the dual cameras placed at the extreme top left, coupled with an LED flash.

The camera unit does not bulge -- it did in the Honor View10 -- and fits right inside the frame, improving the phone's design.

The display throws punchy colours with ample brightness even in direct sunlight.

The contrast remains sharp and watching multimedia content is a delight.

Photograph: Courtesy Honor India


The Honor 9 Lite is powered by the Kirin 659 system-on chip -- the octa-core processor designed and developed in-house by Huawei and supporting some sort of software-based artificial intelligence wizardry.

The processor is mated with Huawei's EMUI 8.0 operating system, based on the Android Oreo build.

Both the software and the hardware make the phone blazing fast.

Its performance matches that of top-tier smartphones such as the OnePlus 5T and LG G6.

Even the processor-intensive apps and games exert little pressure on the phone.

Multitasking is swift and the phone's performance is smooth for day-to-day tasks.


The Honor 9 Lite sports a 13-megapixel lens mated with a 2MP secondary lens on the back and front.

The camera interface is loaded with features: bokeh mode, portrait mode, beauty mode, night photo mode, live photo mode, etc.

Portrait mode, the most desired camera feature lately, is satisfactory.

In daylight, the focus is swift and the background blurring effect looks natural.

But the focus speed slows down in low-light conditions and the background blurring takes a hit.


The 3,000 mAh battery keeps the show going for more than a day.

Even on heavy usage with multimedia playback, online audio streaming, gaming and camera use, the phone sees you through the day without asking to be recharged.


Starting at Rs 10,999 for the base model, with 32 GB internal storage and 3 GB RAM, the Honor 9 Lite offers all-round performance with almost no areas of weakness.

It has a premium design, compact form factor, dual-camera set-ups on the back and front and a futuristic 18:9 aspect ratio screen.

These make it one of the best smartphones in the budget segment.

It competes with the Xiaomi Mi A1, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Honor 7X and the recently launched Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime.

Khalid Anzar
Source: source image