Honor 9X Pro (From Huawei) recently launched with triple camera setup and fast charging support approximately 10W. In 2019 we’ve seen a lot of cool tech from Fold-able displays to 5g and even Cameras which disappear below a phone screen.
We’ve pretty much seen it all. This phone here the Huawei Honor 9X Pro may not have all that glitz and glamour but what it represents could be even more significant for the smartphone market. Android and even Google going into 2020.
Basic Specifications – Honor 9x Pro
Let’s start things off with the basics what you’re looking at here Honor 9x Pro is a decently powerful smartphone with HiSilicon Kirin 810 (7 nm) with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage. It even has a Triple Camera System on the back highlighted by a main 48 megapixel camera and then a pop-up 16 megapixel selfie camera which allows for a 6.59″ edge-to-edge display with no interruptions for a hole punch or even a cutout for the selfie camera.
But let’s be clear the only reason this phone is really significant is because it’s among a growing number of devices and will always line up which are available in international markets without the Google Play Store.
Honor 9x has a Google Play Store or not?
You may have heard that the US government placed Huawei on its entity’s list and the first half of the year due to concerns of the company’s close ties to the Chinese government since then Huawei has not been able to certify its devices through Google.
So it’s newer Android devices have been forced to launch without access to the Play Store and the millions of apps that come along with that the end result is a device which offers pretty good hardware and yet it’s crippled by its limited software support.
Huawei’s own applications store called the app Gallery (Huawei’s own applications store) comes pre-installed on the device but the selection is extremely limited not only are all of Google’s applications like Gmail Google Maps and Facebook noticeably missing.
But you also not find Facebook, Instagram, whatsapp, telegram, Spotify, Netflix and a whole lot more to be fair not all of these applications are relevant to everybody, but it’s safe to say that most people will have a hard time getting all of the applications that they use on a regular basis installed on this phone.
Now you can’t side load applications if you know where to find them and there is a tedious work around which does allow the Google Play Store to be installed on the phone as well, but needing these work around just to get the phone up and running as it typically would on any other device is extremely off playing and may keep quite a few people from buying this phone in the first place.
But while many predicted doom and gloom for huawei once the company was placed on the US entities list the company has proven that its loyal customers are still willing to stick around while ways growth has been slowed a little bit but the company is still posting its best.
Year-to-date outperforming everyone’s expectations most of the growth has still come from China where the Play store restriction isn’t even a factor but honor and huawei phones are still extremely popular over in Europe and other emerging markets.
When I first unboxed the Honor 9x Pro pearl I wanted to dismiss it immediately the first couple days were extremely painful but once I got all of my applications up and running on the device.
Honor 9x Pro (OS, Chipset, CPU, GPU)
I honestly started to appreciate the hardware and how good the phone actually is the HiSilicon Kirin 810 (7 nm) is a mid-range chip but it’s still pretty powerful and most importantly it’s extremely power efficient. If you manage to get a graphic intensive game installed on this phone you’ll notice almost no difference in game play on this device when compared to a flagship smartphone costing $1,000 or more and a 8 gigabytes of RAM is more than enough to keep even heavy multitaskers.
Happy the phone’s lower resolution LCD display isn’t spectacular but it’s bright enough to be used in direct sunlight and the bezels around the display are fairly thick but that’s honestly a fair trade-off for not having any unsightly cutouts or notches to deal with like the oneplus 7 pro.
Honor 9x Pro Camera
The Honor 9x Pro uses a pop-up mechanism for its front-facing camera while the mechanical component may sound like it would be prone to failure on ER as built in drop detection which retract the camera. If it detects that it’s fallen it will also pull the camera back. If it detects an obstruction or if too much pressure is applied to it as for the images on the videos captured by the front-facing camera.
I really have no big complaints here especially for a device in this price range the results aren’t extremely sharp and low light performance could be better but they’re definitely usable for social media when it comes to the triple camera setup.
On the back honor actually uses a high-end 48 megapixel sensor from Sony for its main camera like most other implementations using this same sensor. The default shooting mode is pixel binning for 12 megapixel shots which actually turn out pretty good colors are usually accurate with white balance being on point.
But the results can be a little bit dull if you’re stamping pictures in door or once the Sun has gone down the 8 megapixel camera that’s paired with the wide-angle lens manages to capture some pretty stunning shots like most other wide-angle cameras. It performs best and well at scenarios but it’s still quite usable in low-light conditions as well for the third camera honor chose to go with a 2 megapixel depth sensor.
Now this choice is a little bit perplexing since the depth information needed for portrait shots could have been captured with the wide-angle camera portrait style shots captured with a phone can turn out pretty good, but I found that it misses it just as much as other devices do that don’t have a dedicated depth sensor where the Honor 9x Pro truly shines.
There are a lot of devices out there with 4,000 milliamp hour batteries or even larger but most of those devices have an extremely powerful processor HiSilicon Kirin 810 (7 nm) processor though sacrifices performance for extreme power efficiency allowing it to last up to two days on a single charge and if you’re not a power user you could even actually get three days without needing to charge it up.
The only downside here though is that honor has only given this phone 10 watt charging which means you’ll need at least 2 hours to fully charge the phone from 0 all the way to 100. Now this may not sound like a particularly positive review for the Honor 9x pro.
But overall it’s still a great device offering incredible battery life decent performance and a good camera as well and this is why honor and Huawei keep having customers come back time and time again and purchase their devices not having access to the Google Play Store.
Honor App Gallery VS Google Play Store
Maybe a small price to pay for those who are looking for a high quality device which doesn’t break the bank for Google this could turn into a much bigger issue in 2020 even if sales of wall-e phones outside of China remained flat Google will start losing a big chunk of revenue that it makes from licensing and from app sales through the Play Store.
In order to beef up the selection of apps offered through the Huawei app gallery the company is actually throwing 1 billion dollars at app developers to get their applications on to their platform with an added bonus of an 85 percent revenue split in their favor which is much better than the 70 percent offered through the Play Store.
It’ll take some time but the app situation on an honor and huawei phones will get much better as we make our way through 2020. If while we can prove that it can make it without official support from Google other Chinese manufacturers may actually do the same leading to a split in the ecosystem which until now has been united under the Play store.
What I recommend buying the Honor 9x Pro
Well that depends the main reason to buy this device is for its price even if it doesn’t make it easy to get all of the applications that you typically need there’s still a lot of value in the hardware. If you want something on the cheap and you don’t mind playing around to get the Play Store up and running this may actually be the phone for you that being said the phone doesn’t have great network support in the US which means you will be stuck on 2g and 3G connections most of the time though the phone does have support for 4G connectivity over in Europe.
So if you live in a plan on using the phone over there that shouldn’t be an issue at all but if you’re willing to pay just a little bit more there are plenty of other Android options out there which won’t make you work quite as hard to get that same experience that we’ve come to love from Android phones over the years.
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Honor 9x Pro Specifications
We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct
GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
CDMA 800 & TD-SCDMA
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100 – China
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 – Global
LTE (unspecified) – Global
LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 5(850), 8(900), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) – China
HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (2CA) Cat12 600/50 Mbps
163.1 x 77.2 x 8.8 mm (6.42 x 3.04 x 0.35 in)
206 g (7.27 oz)
Glass front, glass back, aluminum frame
Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
6.59 inches, 106.6 cm2 (~84.7% screen-to-body ratio)
1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~391 ppi density)
Android 9.0 (Pie); EMUI 9.1
HiSilicon Kirin 810 (7 nm)
Octa-core (2×2.27 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×1.88 GHz Cortex-A55)
microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)
128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM
48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
LED flash, HDR, panorama
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
4.2 (Global), 5.0 (China)
Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery
Battery charging 10W
Midnight Black, Phantom Purple
About 250 EUR