With 188 per cent growth, Honor was one of the fastest growing brand in India in the second quarter of 2018 — registering a three per cent market share and grabbing fifth spot. Sensing the right momentum, the Chinese smartphone maker has brought notch “Honor 9N” with “Full View” display and 19:9 aspect ratio in the sub-Rs 15,000 category to the country.
The smartphone with 3GB RAM+32GB storage variant is priced at Rs 11,999, 4GB RAM+64GB at Rs 13,999 and 4GB RAM+128GB variant at Rs 17,999. Let’s see if “Honor 9N” (we reviewed 4GB RAM+64GB variant) can help the brand further cement its position.
The 5.84-inch Full HD+ device has 79 per cent screen-to-body ratio. There’s a speaker grille and the front camera on the notch. You can also enable or disable the notch as per wish. At this affordable range, the display quality was great with good amount of saturation, deep blacks and sunlight legibility. A 2.5D curved glass design with 12 layers of glass with nano-coating finish gave mirror-like effect.
The device is perfect in size as navigating it with a single hand hardly posed any obstacle. Powered by the Kirin 659 processor and equipped with a dedicated i5 Co-processor, the device comes with hybrid-dual SIM support. We did not find any major lag. However, it stammered a few times while using heavy-duty apps and playing games.
On the software front, the smartphone runs latest Android 8.0 (Oreo) operating system (OS) topped with Honor’s custom EMUI 8.0. The UI also comes with a gaming mode that will let you play games without much distraction. The device that houses 3,000mAh battery performed reasonably. On a single charge, it lasted for around 12 hours with moderate use, including surfing and video data consumption.
“Honor 9N” is powered by 3MP+2MP dual lens cameras with LED flash and phase detection auto-focus (PDAF) technology that increases the focusing speed using planar image phase detection. The camera department did a decent job, delivering sharp images with a nice amount of saturation and contrast along with ample details in the bright light conditions.
The device also comes with “AR Lens” along with quirky background to add fun element to the pictures. A 16MP selfie shooter that is equipped with the “Portrait” mode captured sharp images with enough detailing. The fingerprint sensor worked well. Also, a single speaker on the bottom gave nice output.
Both the cameras gave us good output in the bright-light conditions. However, they failed to deliver the same in low-light conditions as we found images to be grainy at times. The company’s so called “Smart Face Unlock” feature at times did not work properly. A fast-charging technology could have made the device more impactful.
Conclusion: “Honor 9N” offers decent look and feel with satisfactory battery and performance. At this price point, the device looks set to give some competition to the segment leader Xiaomi.