HONOR Philippines has recently launched the HONOR X9b, their follow up to their widely successful smartphone, the HONOR X9a. Just like before, the new smartphone packs a tough glass on its display but this time, it’s tougher and it has a better design and hardware as well.
HONOR X9b Review: Design and Hardware
The HONOR X9b might have similar elements from last year’s smartphone but this time, we’re getting a vegan leather back for the sunrise orange variant and then there’s ring camera module design that looks a lot better and has more details which is inspired by a luxury watch.
As for the ergonomics, the HONOR X9b was excellent on this one as the weight is just great and the holding it along with its grip was just perfect. And since I got the Sunrise Orange variant, it really did feel premium to the hand because of the vegan leather back.
As for the frame, the smartphone comes with a solid frame but unlike its solid glass, we’ve noticed that you can get dents from this one and scratches unlike its glass. The power button and also its volume rocker are definitely reachable and ergonomically placed on the side. While below, there’s the USB-C port that supports 35w wired charging and beside it is the SIM card tray and also the volume rocker.
Despite having a large 5800mAh battery inside and a tough body, the HONOR X9b still managed to be light and also ergonomic to the hands.
HONOR X9b Review: Display
The Display of the smartphone is a 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a 1.5K resolution and also a 120hz refresh rate. As expected, the display was fine and it does produce a very good colors and the brightness was fine even when I was using the smartphone outside and under direct sunlight.
As for the glass, HONOR is calling it as the HONOR Ultra-Bounce Anti-Drop Display and not only it does come with a deep seal protection and also a reinforcement, it also comes with a wraparound cushioning which can absorb the impact of the drop.
In our test, we dropped the smartphone up to 50 feet to a wood surface, dropped it at shoulder level on an asphalt, or just threw it away on cement. Well, the smartphone does have a really tough display.
But that doesn’t mean that the smartphone is unbreakable. Somehow at some point, and if you get unlucky and Physics isn’t on your side, you can still break the display of the HONOR X9b. As for me, I can definitely say that the glass of the HONOR X9b is incredibly tough and even compared to other smartphones out there, the HONOR X9b does really shine in the glass toughness department.
HONOR X9b Review: Battery life
The HONOR X9b comes with a large 5800mAh battery inside. It’s larger than the predecessor and it’s a welcome upgrade for the X9b. The HONOR X9b does have a long battery life in our test and with the PCMark Work 3.0 battery test, we’ve got a score of 14 hours and 18 minutes on the smartphone. A pretty long one but it isn’t the longest one that we’ve seen.
HONOR X9b Review: Software and performance
For the software, the HONOR X9b comes with MagicOS 7.2 based on Android 13. It’s fast and very responsive. It does have some similarities to HUAWEI’s UI but the HONOR X9b is definitely fresh to the eyes. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s free from bloatwares but nonetheless, it does come with a pretty hefty 12GB of RAM inside along with 256GB of internal storage. I’m thankful that the 12GB of RAM is definitely real and not a total of an addition of dynamic RAM from its storage.
As for its performance, it comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 Processor which is quite new but in our benchmarks and testing, we saw that the new processor is quite able and it was able to outlast the predecessor’s processor in terms of CPU performance and it’s quite near to the CPU performance of the Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset which is a decent midrange processor. We were also able to see an upgrade in terms of GPU however, it does fell short in terms of that compared to the Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset.
Nonetheless, the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 processor is still a decent performer in terms of most basic apps and games. Even some of the latest games would work on this smartphone however, do set it at the mid settings. We’ve tried Honkai: Star Rail on the smartphone and it was able to run it well on mid settings. It might not be the most powerful chipset in its range but the HONOR X9b will be definitely swift and smooth for most of the basic tasks and apps that you need.
HONOR X9b Review: Camera
For the camera of the smartphone, we got here a 108MP main camera along with 5MP utlra wide-angle camera and also a 2MP macro camera. While for the selfie camera, the HONOR X9b comes with 16MP front-facing camera. It can do 4K video recording but up to 30fps only.
Ultra Wide-Angle Camera:
We’ve tried the HONOR X9b for shooting different variations and objects and I’ve noticed that there are times that the colors are a little bit off for its ultra wide-angle lens but the main camera of the smartphone was decently sharp for a midrange smartphone.
The selfie camera of the smartphone does the job but it’s definitely not the best in its price range.
Overall, HONOR could improve the camera of the smartphone with updates but for now, the HONOR X9b did a pretty much average job on this one.
HONOR X9b Review: Verdict
The HONOR X9b is truly a tough smartphone. It might not look like one, but the glass of the smartphone is really tough and even stronger compared to other smartphones in the market, even the flagship ones. As for the design, we definitely liked it especially the vegan leather on the Sunrise Orange variant.
For the hardware inside it, it’s pretty much average as the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is a leap from the previous smartphone, the X9a, but it is still not on the same level as the Snapdragon 7 chips out there. Nonetheless, basic apps and multi-tasking on the smartphone won’t be a problem as the HONOR X9b can handle that just fine.
The HONOR X9b is now available for Php 16,999.