Honor 9X review: Triple cameras and notch-less screen for less

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 20 2019 12:03 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2019 12:39 PM

The Honor 9X smartphone has 3 rear cameras. It also sports the brand's first pop-up front camera.

MANILA – Honor is touting the photo capabilities of its midrange offering, the 9X, packing 3 rear cameras and a selfie shooter that pops up from the top of the device.

The 3 lenses on the back of the 9X include a main 48 megapixel with f/1.8 aperture, 2MP depth-assist camera for that bokeh effect and an 8MP 120° super-wide camera.

The 16MP f/2.2 pop-up selfie camera is a first for the Huawei sub-brand and eliminates the need for a notch on the front.

The device is powered by Huawei's Kirin 710F. It runs on Android 9 OS with 6GB RAM.

Honor 9X has a 48 MP main camera, a 2MP depth-assist camera and an 8MP wide angle camera. ABS-CBN News
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Honor 9X takes images with vivid colors during the day and can capture moving photos of a street-dancing competition, even without a tripod for stabilization. Take note that AI setting was turned off for the duration of the review. 

Vivid colors of a festival display captured by the Honor 9X. AI setting was turned off. ABS-CBN News
A student with hand-painted details of the Philippine flag on his face. Dec. 11, 2019. ABS-CBN News
A photo of moving subjects taken with Honor 9X. Dec. 11, 2019. ABS-CBN News

Taking Instagram-worthy photos was easy using with the built-in 2MP depth-assist camera. 

Ripe cherry tomatoes with blurred background photographed during sunset. ABS-CBN News
The depth of field feature also works at night. A photograph of a star display with a blurred foreground. ABS-CBN News

The 8MP wide angle camera allows the smartphone to capture more of the surroundings compared to regular shots. 

A comparison between a regular shot (78° angle) and wide angle shot (120° angle) taken with Honor 9X. ABS-CBN News

The smartphone also has a decent night camera that can capture Christmas displays in full detail with minimal noise, thanks to its "AIS super night mode."

Photo of a commercial center's Christmas tree and display in Tagaytay City. ABS-CBN News
Christmas tree details captured using the night setting. ABS-CBN News

The 9X can also take decent close-up shots even at night using its 6X digital zoom.

Details of the tree's star shot using 9X's 6x digital zoom. ABS-CBN News


A gradient "X" pattern glimmers on the back of the 9X depending on the light. It is available in jewel toned "midnight black" and "sapphire blue."

The handset was easy to hold whether for texting, social media, gaming or binge watching Korean Dramas on Viu, HOOQ, iFlix and YouTube. The display has a 2340x1080 resolution. 

Details of the 9X's back cover. ABS-CBN News

The only downside, I wasn't able to download Netflix on the device, even though Honor said the app could work on the 9X. I tried updating the software to no avail. I'm not sure it this was just a temporary glitch in the demo unit or due to other compatibility issues. 

The device is also a great for reading due to its built-in blue light filter.

It’s 4,000 mAh battery lasts a day with heavy data and social media use as well as capturing a street dancing festival with at least 20 percent to spare by night time.

Honor said the battery could last for up to 8 hours of gaming and 13 hours of video playback. 

For heavy video users, it has a a storage expandable up to 512GB or as much as a small laptop to save your favorite videos on the device. 

One surprising addition to the already packed Honor 9X is its "AI Signal Enhancer." This proved to be effective in the province where I only get intermittent mobile signal near the windows. Surprisingly, text messages were received even at the living room where I usually don't have reception. 

All in all, the Honor 9X is a packed mid-range smartphone for millennials and millennial-minded alike who are looking for triple camera capabilities at an affordable price. 

It retails for P12,490 and is already available in the Philippines since Dec. 7.