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Honor X9 5G

Price & Availability

The HONOR X9 5G retails for around €240, or 1,099 RM. It’s also available in other regions, but it’s often sold as the HONOR Magic 4 Lite.

Design

The HONOR X9 5G is reminiscent of the HONOR Magic 4 series and the HUAWEI Mate 40 lineup due to its rear circular camera setup. The device looks premium, and I’m happy to tell you that the device doesn’t wobble on a table with the large camera island on the back.

It’s a large device by all means, but I found it easy to manage and reach the sides without any significant problem, even while I was using the included transparent phone case. Speaking of the case, you’ll likely want to use it as I managed to scratch the slippery back panel in the first few days of using the phone. HONOR shipped us the Midnight Black variant, which is prone to fingerprints, so if you’re like me, and your OCD gets easily triggered, I’d strongly recommend using the provided case. Once I installed the case, I never looked back, and it never wanted to slip out of my hands again.

Display

When it comes to the resolution and refresh rate, the display was spot on and enjoyable to use throughout the day. The 120Hz refresh rate was nice to see at this price point, and although I would’ve preferred an AMOLED panel, the IPS LCD display was acceptable. Given the price, I lowered my expectations, but videos on YouTube and movies on Disney were still more than enjoyable. It’s worth noting that a lot of budget devices in this price category now come with AMOLED panels, and that would’ve been welcome here.

Software

The HONOR X9 is running Magic UI 4.2, based on Android 11. It’s May when publishing this review, and the phone comes with February 1 security patch, which is at least three months outdated. It’s worrying to see a phone launch with Android 11 in 2022, especially since Android 13 is expected to be officially announced sometime in August or September.Android version and support aside, the phone is lightning fast and smooth. I’ve only ever experienced throttling and sluggish behavior when I attempted to update multiple apps on the Google Play Store. It doesn’t handle downloading multiple items well, but once you give it a few minutes to do its thing, it’ll come back and be snappy again.

I used Chrome to browse the web, a few social media apps, and even did some light gaming, and I never once had any interruption by choppy behavior. The device’s gaming and multitasking performance was excellent, and I never once experienced any delay or unresponsiveness. The 120Hz refresh rate dramatically improved the responsiveness, especially when browsing the web, or endlessly scrolling through Twitter and Instagram.

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