Honor 9N first impressions: With over 1 million units sold, Honor 9 Lite was a huge success in India. Given that the phone has been out in the market for a while now, Honor now needs another hit to stay ahead of the competition. And that’s what the Huawei sub-brand is hoping the Honor 9N will be in the Indian market.
Honor 9N should be seen as an alternative to the Honor 9 Lite, with the same design aesthetics and dual cameras on the back. But the biggest change is the screen size which has been bumped up to 5.84-inches with the controversial notch design. Gone are the dual cameras on the front, instead you will find a 16MP front-facing shooter. We tried the Honor 9N, and here is our impressions of the newly launched Honor 9N.
Honor 9N first impressions: Design, display
Honor 9N sandwiches a polished metal frame between two slabs of glass on each side of the phone. The front of the device is dominated by the display, with minimal bezels all around. The increase in the display size comes at a cost, a notch above the screen. That could be the reason why Huawei went with the notch design to increase the size of the display, like on the iPhone X.
Sure, a 5.84-inch screen size is a welcome move over the Honor 9 Lite’s 5.65-inch display size. Though a dual-camera setup on the front is nowhere to be found, you will get a single 16MP selfie camera. Barring these differences, however, Honor 9N is exactly the same as the Honor 9 Lite.
Taking design cues from the Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9N has a glossy glass back with a mirror finish. Our review unit was clad in blue, though I have myself seen a black colour variant of the device which will also be made available on the market.
The design of the Honor 9N is impressive, to say the least, and will be loved by those who want a compact phone. Honor 9N by far has the most ergonomic design in its class.
The 5.84-inch FHD+ 19:9 screen on the Honor 9N is pin-sharp with rich colours. It has a great range of brightness and the panel is good enough to watch movies or videos on YouTube.
Honor 9N first impressions: Performance, battery
At this price, it is hard to get a Kirin 970 processor as seen on the Honor 10 or Huawei P20 Pro. But the company claims its Kirin 659 should be good enough to handle regular tasks such as emails, playing games, watching movies and so on. I have been using the Honor 9N for the past three days and haven’t faced any performance issues. The version I am currently using comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal memory. The phone will also be made available with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage option. A tad cheaper variant with 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage will be offered for budget shoppers.
Honor 9N uses a 3000mAh battery which should last a day on a single charge. Unfortunately, it neither supports the new USB Type-C connector nor has fast charging support. Android 8.0 Oreo is paired with Huawei’s EMUI interface in the Honor 9N. It takes a little time to get used to, but I have to say the user interface has been much improved over previous versions.
Honor 9N first impressions: Cameras
Around the back, you’ll still find dual rear-facing cameras. The handset combines a 13MP main sensor with a 2MP sensor for capturing depth information. The 13MP primary camera mostly produces detailed and rich photographs, though I am yet to test the Honor 9N’s camera in low-light. Plus, of course, Honor 9N is capable of adding “bokeh” effects for blurred backgrounds in portrait mode. On the front, there’s a 16MP selfie camera which takes natural shots.
Honor 9N first impressions: Early Conclusion
I still believe that the Honor 9 Lite is the best smartphone money can buy in the mid-end segment. Honor 9N, however, complements the Honor 9 Lite and should not be seen replacing the latter device. The screen is bigger and brighter, the phone is fast, has a dual-camera setup on the back, and the design excels. In true sense, Honor 9N challenges the Redmi Note 5 Pro more than any smartphone. As I said before, I am still testing out the Honor 9N — so expect a detailed review in the coming weeks.