Honor 9 review: Light catcher

Light catcher

GSMArena Team, 07 July 2017.

The Honor 9 retail box

Honor 9 comes inside a Huawei box, tucked in sideways. The accessory box contains an 18W charger, a regular USB Type-C cable, and a transparent plastic case. There are no headphones inside, but we sure appreciate the protective case.

The retail box of Honor 9 - Honor 9 review the contents - Honor 9 review the plastic case - Honor 9 review
The retail box of Honor 9 • the contents • the plastic case

Design

Though beautiful, the Honor 9's glass-sandwich design is hardly innovative. Two pieces of glass and a metal frame were very cool seven years ago on the iPhone 4, but those are just not enough for a premium feel or look nowadays. Luckily the Honor 9 puts a twist on the familiar shape for a unique design once again.

Honor 9 review

Glacier Grey, Sapphire Blue, or Midnight Black - the Honor 9 is seamlessly painted in the respective hue, with the paint layer sitting under the glass panels.

Honor 9 next to the Huawei P10 - Honor 9 review Honor 9 next to the Huawei P10 - Honor 9 review Honor 9 next to the Huawei P10 - Honor 9 review Honor 9 next to the Huawei P10 - Honor 9 review
Honor 9 next to the Huawei P10

The front glass is business as usual - a 2.5D-shaped piece, reportedly Gorilla Glass 3, shielding the 5.15" display from scratches.

The metal frame is sandblasted and has a matte finish. It ends with a chamfer on both the front and back where it meets the glass. The chamfers are glossy and serve as a great visual transition from the metal frame to the glass panels.

Honor 9 review

The 3D curved glass on the back is one of the Honor 9's key design features and perhaps even the highlight here. The fingerprint-like texture carved into the glass via a photo etching process is what makes the Honor 9 a standout from the rest of the glass-sandwich group of phones.

Honor 9 review

The frame sort of helps the grip, but it's not enough. The Honor 9 is slippery in hand, and you have to be careful. Sure, it's feels premium, high-end, well-crafted, and with a solid build - props for those. But the Honor 9 is one of the most slippery devices we have ever handled - it will slide and fall from any surface that's not perfectly flat (this has happened twice already). We suggest snapping the provided case to avoid falls from places (yes, even desks!) where any other phone would stay still.

Handling the Honor 9 - Honor 9 review Handling the Honor 9 - Honor 9 review
Handling the Honor 9

Device overview

The earpiece, the 8MP selfie snapper and a couple of sensors are all above the 5.15" IPS display. There is a tiny notification light underneath the earpiece's grille.

What's above the screen - Honor 9 review What's above the screen - Honor 9 review
What's above the screen

The touch-sensitive Home key is below the screen and it doubles as an always-on fingerprint scanner. The sensor is one of the fastest and most accurate we've worked with, and that's what we have always liked in Huawei's smartphones.

The keys below the display - Honor 9 review
The keys below the display

There are two unmarked capacitive keys flanking the Home one - they light up only when touched. You can assign the Back and Tasks function to those however you see fit, or you can disable them for a multi-function Home key - tap for Back, hold for Home, and swipe for tasks.

The only thing of interest on the left is the hybrid SIM slot, while the volume rocker and the power key are on the right.

The right side - Honor 9 review the SIM bed - Honor 9 review the left side - Honor 9 review the hardware keys - Honor 9 review
The right side • the SIM bed • the left side • the hardware keys

The secondary mic and the IR blaster are on the top of the Honor 9. The bottom side has the USB port, the audio jack, and a grille covering the loudspeaker and the mouthpiece.

The top of the Honor 9 - Honor 9 review another look at the top - Honor 9 review the bottom - Honor 9 review the grille - Honor 9 review
The top of the Honor 9 • another look at the top • the bottom • the grille

The dual-camera is on the back - each lens highlighted by a tiny glossy rim. The dual-tone flash is there, too.

The dual-camera on the back of the Honor 9 - Honor 9 review The dual-camera on the back of the Honor 9 - Honor 9 review
The dual-camera on the back of the Honor 9

Reader comments

  • Aizik

It is really amazing, battery life is way better compare to other phones with similar capacity.

  • Aizik

I truly salute the Huawei Honor for this phone..., aside all the superb features for an affordable phone like this; the 5.15 screen display is my most referneced feature. Camera is Super, Kirin 960 chipset, 6GB RAM... i just love this phone. i own on...

  • Zyasin

Is it cat 6 or cat 12? Because some other websites say that it has cat6