Honor X9b Review | Strikes a balance between features and value

Honor X9b delivers a very well-rounded experience for its price point. It offers a slim and lightweight yet durable design with a vibrant display

February 29, 2024 01:10 pm | Updated 03:01 pm IST

Honor X9b Review | Strikes a balance between features and value

Honor X9b Review | Strikes a balance between features and value | Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

After a brief gap, Honor has returned to the Indian smartphone market launching its second phone - the Honor X9b. Priced at ₹25,999, the smartphone aims to cater to mid-segment consumers.

Design

The Honor X9b boasts a design similar to the Realme 12 series. Available in two finishes - Sunrise Orange with a vegan leather rear panel and Midnight Black, the phone offers a sleek and lightweight build. Its curved edge front and rear panels not only enhance its slim profile but also contribute to a comfortable grip. Additionally, Honor has equipped the X9b with an official IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, adding to its durability and reliability.

Honor X9b

Honor X9b | Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

The power button and the volume rockers are placed on the right side of the phone. The top side is plain with just a secondary mic whereas at the bottom lies the SIM tray, USB Type-C Port and a speaker grille. We feel the addition of a 3.5 mm headphone jack would have been nice too.

Display

The Honor X9b features a 6.78-inch vibrant AMOLED display with a resolution of 1220x2652 pixels. The company has also used its patented ultra-bounce technology to act as a shock-absorbant at the back of the display. The display supports a wide range of colours, boasting 1 billion options, and offers a peak brightness of 1,200 nits, ensuring clarity even in bright outdoor conditions. Moreover, the 120Hz refresh rate enhances smoothness, making interactions fluid and responsive.

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OS

On the software front, the Honor X9b runs MagicOS 7.2 layered on top of Android 13. The user interface is clean. The software experience is smooth and light on system resources, allowing the user to enjoy the performance of the device.

Performance

Under the hood, the Honor X9b is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset, built on a 4nm process. While it may not feature the latest or fastest processor in the market, the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 proves more than capable of handling everyday tasks with ease.

The octa-core CPU, comprising four high-performance Cortex-A78 cores and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores, strikes a balance between performance and efficiency. Paired with the Adreno 710 GPU, the device delivers smooth performance across various tasks, including app launch times, multitasking, and media consumption. Casual gaming is a pleasant experience on the Honor X9b, with popular titles running smoothly. For a mid-range phone, the Honor X9b manages to score well in the Geekbench test. It scored 940 and 2816 on single and multi-core scores, respectively.

Camera

For photography, the Honor X9b comes with a triple rear camera setup including a 108MP wide lens, a 5MP ultrawide lens, and a 2MP macro lens. For selfies, there is a 16MP front-facing camera. Photos taken with the main camera in ideal daytime lighting conditions showcase ample details and accurate colours. The high megapixel count also provides the flexibility to crop photos without much loss in quality. The dynamic range captured is also quite decent. The dedicated ultrawide camera lets you capture more expansive landscapes and architecture in a single frame. There is also a 2MP macro camera for close-up shots of small objects like flowers or insects.

Performance does falter somewhat in low-light scenarios, where photos exhibit a lack of sharpness. The absence of optical image stabilization or multi-frame night modes do limit the device’s capabilities after dark. The 16MP selfie shooter captures pleasing social media-ready images.

Battery

The new Honor X9b comes with a 5,800mAh battery. Even with heavier tasks such as gaming and multitasking, the device efficiently manages its energy consumption, ensuring sustained performance throughout the day. The phone does not come with an adapter, but the company is offering a 30W fast charger as a part of the introductory offer. This move to exclude the adapter is something that could unsettle users.

Verdict

The Honor X9b delivers a very well-rounded experience for its price point. It offers a slim and lightweight yet durable design with a vibrant display. For those looking to strike the right balance between important features and value, the Honor X9b proves to be a compelling mid-range contender worth considering.

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