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Honor 9X Pro hands-on: great design, better specs

Honor 9X Pro hands-on: great design and better specs
This year is expected to be slightly tougher for Huawei sub-brand Honor because of the ongoing US-China trade war, but that isn’t stopping the company from moving forward. It has just announced two new smartphones that are designed to attract the attention of customers.

Premium design without the high price tag

The most important one for global consumers is the Honor 9X Pro, which is essentially an improved version of the Honor 9X that debuted in October. It features a massive 6.6-inch display with zero interruptions thanks to the included pop-out camera system.

That package is accompanied by impressive thin bezels. These make for an immersive viewing experience – Honor claims a 92% screen-to-body ratio – and create a considerably more premium feel, which is especially surprising considering the low €249 price tag that’s attached to the smartphone in Europe.

As is increasingly common these days, the back of the smartphone is covered in glass. The unit we’ve been handed features a unique gradient finish that shifts from purple on the left to pink on the right. 

Also present is a triple-camera ‘AI Camera’ system and an LED flash. Housed within the former is a 48-megapixel primary sensor that’s backed up by Super Night Mode and AI Video stabilization. It uses pixel binning technology to ensure higher quality photos.

An 8-megapixel super-wide-angle camera is present too and offers a 120º field-of-view. Completing the setup is a 2-megapixel depth sensor for a better bokeh effect on portrait photos.
The front camera, for those of you that are interested, boasts a 16-megapixel resolution and supports 3D portrait lighting, much like the iPhone 11 Pro and other premium flagships.

Triple-camera setup and loads of storage

The inside of Honor’s newest smartphone is equally as impressive considering the price tag. It has included 6GB of RAM and the custom Kirin 810 chipset which should reduce the impact on battery life thanks to the efficient 7-nanometer manufacturing process.

We’ve been using the phone for the past couple of days and it so far seems to provide a pretty snappy experience. There’s sometimes a bit of lag when it comes to more intensive tasks, but certainly nothing major.

Perhaps the best part of the Honor 9X Pro’s setup is the storage, though. A whopping 256GB has been included as standard and there’s even support for microSD cards of up to 512GB, meaning you could end up with 768GB of storage.

Last on the list of hardware features is a 4,000mAh battery. We haven’t been able to extensively test this yet, but charging the phone once per day should be more than enough.

App Gallery replaces Google's Play Store

The Honor 9X Pro arrives with EMUI 9.1 based on Android 9 Pie straight out of the box. But because of the ongoing US trade ban, it hasn’t been certified by Google and, as such, ships without Play Store and any other Google apps or services.

Honor’s replacement app store, App Gallery, does come pre-installed, though. It offers access to an extensive range of popular apps but unfortunately doesn’t include the likes of YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Facebook. 

Honor 9X Pro price and availability

The Honor 9X Pro will be available starting next month for €249 in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. It will be sold in a 6/256GB configuration in either black or purple. Availability details for other markets are yet to be shared.

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