Honor 9 review: Light catcher

Light catcher

GSMArena Team, 07 July 2017.

Gallery with Quik

EMUI 5.1 comes with an updated Gallery app. GoPro has partnered with Huawei to bring the Quik video editing app into EMUI's Gallery. With EMUI 5.1, Quik is responsible for all Highlights and custom video edits.

The gallery defaults to a timeline, which sorts your images by the date you've taken them. The pinch gesture is available for setting thumbnail size. You can opt for the standard Album view with all of your images sorted in different albums, and you can also have hidden albums, though that's more of an organizational tool than a privacy one - they are there when you hit hidden albums.

Gallery - Honor 9 review Gallery - Honor 9 review Gallery - Honor 9 review Gallery - Honor 9 review
Gallery

Highlights is a new gallery feature. By that we mean it isn't new for Android, but is now making its way to EMUI's default gallery app. While your phone is idle, the gallery will index your photos and sort them by places and people. GoPro's Quik integration generates video highlights from your best moments. It can detect faces and frame the picture accordingly, or it can even sync the whole video with music's beat. All of these new features are available in the new Discovery tab.

Opening a single image lets you quickly delete or rotate it, as well as gives you a host of sharing options. The info icon up top gives some pretty detailed information about the image, including a histogram.

Viewing a single image - Honor 9 review Viewing a single image - Honor 9 review Viewing a single image - Honor 9 review
Viewing a single image

The built-in editor is also pretty capable. It offers nifty light and exposure adjustments, including shadows and highlights. To top off the manual controls, there are also levels. If you prefer a more automated approach, there are quite a few filters (more than Instagram and Prisma combined) and beauty enhancements.

The image editor is quite capable - Honor 9 review The image editor is quite capable - Honor 9 review The image editor is quite capable - Honor 9 review The image editor is quite capable - Honor 9 review
The image editor is quite capable

Video Player

By contrast, the video player is rather basic. It still gets the job done, but the only extra features you really get are playback speed and a hovering windowed mode.

Simple video player - Honor 9 review Simple video player - Honor 9 review Simple video player - Honor 9 review
Simple video player

Music Player

The Honor 9 has quite stylish Music app pre-installed. It offers four default playlists - songs, artists, albums, folders. You can create your playlists, too. The background of the app changes dynamically to match the album art, which is a nice little touch.

The music player - Honor 9 review The music player - Honor 9 review The music player - Honor 9 review
The music player

The Now Playing screen is pretty standard, it offers album art and lyrics. If you're especially into lyrics, you can have them overlaid on top of the homescreen.

Huawei has amped up the audio reputation of the Honor 9 by partnering with Monster, the headphone manufacturer, to make the Honor Purity equalizer. Grammy Award winner Rainer Maillard has prepared custom playback styles for Huawei Histen - an "ultra-wide 3D sound technology". You can enable this effect for any headphones and it will be system-wide, not just for specific apps. There are custom equalizers, too, if you like to tweak the sound output by your liking.

Audio options - Honor 9 review choose your headphones - Honor 9 review Custom equalizer - Honor 9 review Honor Purity by Monster equalizer - Honor 9 review
Audio options • choose your headphones • Custom equalizer • Honor Purity by Monster equalizer

Audio quality is good

The Honor 9 did well when connected to an active external amplifier, producing perfectly accurate tones and posting great scores across the board. Its loudness was just above average so we can't complain about that either .

When headphones come into play the volume drops to below average, the stereo worsens a moderate amount and a tiny bit of intermodulation distortion creeps in. All in all, the readings remain very good to excellent, so it's a decent showing by any standard. Sure, there are better performers out there, but it will take a proper audiophile to be able to tell the difference.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Huawei Honor 9+0.03, -0.02-89.191.70.00210.0099-86.7
Huawei Honor 9 (headphones attached)+0.14, -0.07-89.091.80.00270.110-61.6
OnePlus 5+0.03, -0.01-94.194.10.00100.0070-94.2
OnePlus 5 (headphones attached)+0.15, -0.08-94.094.00.00330.139-59.9
HTC U11+0.05, -0.11-94.194.10.00170.0067-94.5
HTC U11 (headphones attached)+0.05, -0.02-93.793.80.00180.105-53.7
Samsung Galaxy S8+0.04, -0.00-92.592.50.00160.0072-92.8
Samsung Galaxy S8 (headphones attached)+0.03, -0.03-92.392.30.00560.060-77.2
Sony Xperia XZs+0.01, -0.02-93.593.30.00420.0092-92.7
Sony Xperia XZs (headphones attached)+0.12, -0.32-92.693.20.00720.219-67.0
LG G6+0.01, -0.02-93.393.30.00590.0095-94.4
LG G6 (headphones attached)+0.01, -0.02-93.493.40.00670.020-56.3
Huawei P10+0.01, -0.04-93.094.80.00190.0080-93.5
Huawei P10 (headphones attached)+0.25, -0.02-92.793.00.1920.175-59.5

Huawei Honor 9 frequency response
Huawei Honor 9 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

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