Honor 9i is the latest sub-Rs. 20,000 entrant to hit the Indian market, relying on features such as its four cameras, and bezel-less FullVision display. The company has been expanding aggressively in India, launching a handset for each key price point, such as the Honor 8 Pro in the sub-Rs. 30,000 segment. So, with the Honor 9i in its portfolio, will the Huawei-owned brand have enough firepower to make a last mark in the segment, which is dominated by the likes of Vivo, Oppo and Samsung? Find out in our Honor 9i first impressions.
With the 9i, Honor has a lot of firsts. For starters, this is the first device from the company to sport an 18:9 FullView display. It is also the first to launch with dual cameras at the back as well as the front. So how good is it in the real world? We got to spend some time with the Honor 9i at the company's launch event and here are our first impressions.
The device looks quite premium. It also feels solid and has a good heft to it. There's a 13-megapixel primary camera along with a 2-megapixel secondary one on the front, while the pair on the rear consist of a 16-megapixel sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The camera bump on the back is positioned in the centre of the phone and protrude slightly. While it does seem to have a raised metal trim around it, we are curious to see how it holds up with regular use.
Power the device on and the big 5.9-inch display fires up giving you the first indication of how thin the borders around it are. Honor has followed the current market trend and opted for an 18:9 aspect ratio for its display. The different aspect ratio results in what's called FHD+ resolution which is 1080x2160 pixels. At the bottom of the phone, you'll find an old-style Micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack along with the loudspeaker. Powering the Honor 9i is Huawei'sown Kirin 659 which is an octa-core processor. There is also 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which seems to be in line with similarly priced devices like the Xiaomi Mi A1 and the Moto G5S Plus. You do get the option to expand storage using the hybrid dual-SIM slot, at the cost of a second SIM.
Honor has managed to cram in a 3340mAh battery which is good considering its thickness. In our brief time with the Honor 9i, it didn't exhibit any abnormal drain or heating issues. However, we'll hold our comments on battery life till we run it through our full review process.
Once powered on, you are treated to EMUI 5.1 running on top of Android 7.0 Nougat. While the basic functionality of the OS is the same, Honor has added a few features.
There are multiple gestures and shortcuts that can be used to get things done. Also, the higher resolution means that most apps will need to be stretched to make use of the entire screen.
There is no doubt that the cameras are the highlight of this smartphone. With dual cameras on both sides, Honor is claiming that it is using hardware to create bokeh effects rather than software, which most other manufacturers use. We will test how much of a difference this makes when we conduct our full review.
Priced at Rs. 17,999, it does seem that this phone offers good hardware. With an 18:9 display and four cameras, the Honor 9i could tempt a lot of buyers looking for new features to play with. Stay tuned for our review to see how well it performs in the real world.
Disclosure: Honor sponsored the correspondent's flights and hotel for the event in Goa.