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Honor X9b Review: A Competent Smartphone At An Affordable Price

Honor is on a launching spree in the local market. Shortly after launching the Honor 90 5G (Review) and Honor Magic5 Pro, the company is now back with the new Honor X9b that comes with an even more affordable launch price of just S$439 in Singapore. Despite it’s low-price, the Honor X9b brings along several neat features such as a fluid 120Hz AMOLED display, capable 108MP triple-camera setup as well as a whopping 5,800mAh battery.

While these features may sound impressive on paper, is it actually the best mid-range phone you can get in market? Check out our full review of the Honor X9b to find out!

Honor X9b: Design

The new Honor X9b is a sleek and stylish handset that comes with an ultra-slim chassis measuring just 8mm in thickness. Like any other Honor smartphones, it comes with rounded edges along it’s side profile which makes it particularly comfortable to hold and use with one hand.

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At the back, the Honor X9b features a distinctive circular camera enclosure which kind of reminds us of the iconic “Eye of the Muse” camera design that we saw on last year’s Honor Magic4 Pro. Despite the expansive camera island, there are only three cameras and a LED flash in there which form what Honor calls, the “Matrix AI Vision Camera”.

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Speaking of the model I have for review, it comes in a classy Midnight Black colorway which has a frosted rear finish that not only feels premium on hand, but also does a remarkable job in handling those unsightly smudges and fingerprints which tend to form up after prolonged usage.

And for those who’re fan of brighter colors, the Honor X9b is also available in both Titanium Silver and Sunset Orange colorways, with the latter sporting a distinctive vegan leather back which adds an extra touch of opulence to it’s overall design and handling experience.

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Over at the front, the Honor X9b greets us with a spacious 6.74” display which flaunts a pair of subtle curves that run along the edge of the screen, offering a near full screen experience with an impressive 92.8% screen-to-body ratio. The display itself is based on a high-end AMOLED panel with FHD+ screen resolution as well as a fast 120Hz refresh rate that makes scrolling and animation feel much smoother on the screen.

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To sweeten up the deal, the display also supports 10-bit color depth and 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage which ensure colors are rendered more accurately for a more realistic and immersive viewing experience when watching your favorite Netflix series. More importantly, the screen is also able to get sufficiently bright whenever the situation calls for it.

Just like many other smartphones in this segment, the Honor X9b has no IP rating to it’s name. However, it does receive have a 5-star rating for overall drop resistance from SGS Switzerland thanks to it’s brand-new three-level protection that provides multiple reinforcements for the screen, frame, and internal compartments.

Honor X9b: Performance & Battery Life

Under the hood, the Honor X9b is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset which backs you with more than sufficient horsepower to handle day-to-day tasks such as text messaging, social media consumption and even mobile gaming (under default game settings).

This will be supplemented by an ample 12GB RAM which supports Honor’s proprietary RAM Turbo technology that further expands it’s existing RAM capacity by an additional 8GB to a total of 20GB. Needless to say, the generous amount of RAM onboard makes multi-tasking felt like a breeze as it’s able to support dozens of background apps simultaneously.

To keep it’s lights on, the Honor X9b also features a respectable 5,800mAh battery which never fails to provide me with at least two day’s usage during my normal working days. In fact, Honor claimed that the battery life is actually able to go up to three days even though the longest I’d experienced was around 2.5 days during the entire review period which is still really impressive in my opinion.

In the event that the battery runs out, the Honor X9b can also be recharged fairly quickly via it’s bundled 35W-rated charging brick which is able to deliver a full charge from 0 to 100% in slightly below two hours. Unfortunately, there’s no wireless charging onboard but that isn’t something we would expect to see on a smartphone of this price range.

Honor X9b: Cameras

As far as photography is concerned, the Honor X9b features a versatile triple-camera system lead by a capable 108 megapixels (f/1.75 aperture) main camera along with a 5 megapixels (f/2.2 aperture) ultra-wide camera and a 2 megapixels (f/2.4 aperture) macro camera.

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Regardless of lighting conditions, the main camera has the ability to capture social media-worthy photos with excellent dynamic range and aplenty details thanks to the adoption of a high-res imaging sensor which uses an advanced 8-in-1 pixel-binning solution to output 12MP photos that look brighter and clearer especially in night scenes.

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Speaking of low-light photography, the Honor X9b also comes with a reliable night mode feature which harnesses computational photography to enhance the overall brightness and details of the photos, making them look more flattering than before. However, the lack of OIS stabilization means you’ll need to keep your hand really stable in order to get the best result.

For landscape photography, it’s 5MP ultra-wide camera is also able to capture some pretty good-looking photos with amicable amount of details and dynamic range despite using a slightly downgraded sensor. The same applies to it’s 2MP macro camera which often come in handy when you need to capture close-up details of plants or insects.

Honor X9b: Verdict

The Honor X9b is a fantastic smartphone that serves well as a daily driver. Not only does the phone features a classing-leading 120Hz AMOLED display, it also beats competition with a high-res 108MP main camera as well as a whopping 5,800mAh battery which makes it a great option under the S$500 mark.

In Singapore, the Honor X9b is priced at just S$439 and is available for purchase via authorized HONOR retailers, as well as select consumer electronics stores such as Best Denki, Challenger, Courts, Gain City.

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