Honor 90 hands-on review
The Honor 90 is an exquisitely-crafted device. Clearly, a luxurious exterior was pretty high up on the design priorities list. As per Honor, the phone's design was inspired by jewelry and gem pieces in particular. We can definitely see the inspiration, particularly in what appears to be the halo Diamond Silver variant of the phone. It is the one we have for this hands-on, and we have to say that it looks really striking in person.
Color-wise, the back of the phone is shiny and reflective, with a silver base that catches and reflects light in all sorts of color hues. Pretty reminiscent of a diamond surface, indeed. In terms of texture, the back panel is divided into two parts - the top one is smooth and glossy, but surprisingly doesn't really attract too much dirt and fingerprints. The bottom part has a distinct dot pattern that is reminiscent of a crystalline structure. This area has a slight texture to it and was clearly meant to convey the impression that the phone is diamond studded. It does so quite successfully.
The Emerald Green color option also features a frosted texture finish and is a single uniform color. The Honor 90 can also be had in a Midnight Black color option. This variant features a glossy ceramic texture on the back and is the most "traditional" and classic out of the bunch.
Despite its pretty large 6.7-inch display, the Honor 90 is a pretty slick and surprisingly slim device, measuring 161.9 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm. It is also surprisingly light, especially given that it has a 5,000 mAh battery as it tips the scale at 183 grams.
The phone's body is curved on almost every side with no sharp edges, which makes for a really comfortable in-hand feel. The excellent weight distribution and balance help in this regard as well. The Honor 90 is a really comfortable phone to hold and use.
We would also be remiss, not to mention the distinctive camera accent rings the Honor 90 has going on. These are clearly part of the overall memorable design of the phone and are color-matched with the rest of the colors on the phone. Honor calls these "Moon Phase Rings", which is admittedly a bit pretentious, but we can't deny that the aesthetics work well as a whole.
There is nothing particularly noteworthy about the controls and I/O on the Honor 90. Everything is pretty standard. The power button and volume rocker are well-positioned height-wise on the phone's right side. Both are nice and clicky, with plenty of tactile feedback.
The phone's left side has an uninterrupted frame with no controls on it. Speaking of the middle frame of the phone - it is plastic but feels very sturdy. In fact, the whole phone is well-built with practically no flex to it.
The top of the Honor 90 is practically empty as well. There is just a tiny hole here for the secondary noise-canceling microphone.
The bottom of the phone is a lot busier. It houses the single bottom-firing speaker on the Honor 90. That's right. Unfortunately, the Honor 90 does not have a stereo speaker setup.
Also on the bottom is the dual Nano-SIM card tray. The Honor 90 also lacks expandable storage, in case you were wondering. The main microphone is on the bottom side, and so is the USB Type-C port. Some markets won't be getting a charger in the box, whereas others will get both a charger and a protective case.
The Honor 90 uses an under-display optical fingerprint reader. It is snappy and reliable, which we have come to expect from current mature iterations of this technology.
Speaking of the front of the phone, we do have to note the quad-curved edge design. Honor calls it an "all-new suspended quad-curved fitting process". The odd naming aside, it looks modern and stylish.
The display is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Honor 90. The phone is rocking a pretty parge 6.7-inch curved AMOLED panel. It has a pretty high resolution of 1200 x 2664 pixels, which Honor calls 1.5K. On a 6.7-inch diagonal, the math works out the right around 435 ppi of pixel density. That is incredibly sharp, and the Honor 90 looks the part in person.
We haven't had a chance to test the Honor 90 in our lab yet, but Honor claims that the panel is capable of 1600 nits of peak brightness. That's a really impressive number. In practice, we had no issues using the phone outdoors in sunlight, which is great to see.
The display on the Honor 90 can also do 120Hz refresh rate, which makes for extra smooth animations and motion on the screen.
The display impresses in terms of colors as well. It managed a DXOMARK GOLD certification. The panel is 10-bit, which means that it can reproduce about 1.07 billion colors. This is particularly important for reducing color banding in gradients. On top of that, the display supports HDR 10+.
Honor is also taking eye strain and comfort quite seriously. The panel in the Honor 90 supports 3840 Hz PWM dimming, which should ensure no flicker and eye fatigue. The phone can also do automatic dimming with a whopping 400-grade adjustment. And there is also hardware-level blue light filtering in place.
Battery life and charging
The Honor 90 has a pretty large 5,000 mAh battery on board. Unfortunately, we haven't had enough time with the phone to test its battery life for ourselves, but Honor promises whole-day battery life. The company claims that a full charge on the Honor 90 should be good for about 20 hours of continuous local video playback. Not too shabby at all.
The Honor 90 also has an intelligent power management system that can recognize what you are using your phone for and adjust the power profile accordingly.
For charging, the Honor 90 support 66W HONOR SuperCharge - as we said, some markets get a charger in the box, while others don't. Officially Honor claims that the Honor 90 can charge from 0% to 20% in 5 just minutes.
The Honor 90 also supports wired reverse charging, albeit at just 5W. Unfortunately, there is no wireless charging here.
One area that Honor skimped on with the 90 seems to be the audio hardware. The phone has no 3.5mm jack, and there is Hi-Res audio support. What is kind of surprising is that there is just a single bottom-firing loudspeaker on the Honor 90.
That's kind of disappointing, considering that plenty of mid-rangers nowadays do offer stereo speakers. From our limited time with the Honor 90, we have to say that the speaker is nothing to phone home about, either. It gets the job done, and that's about it.
- 06 Sep 2023
Only has 2 years of Android update and 3 years of security updates??? even samsung supports 4 years and 5 years respectively.
- 03 Sep 2023
PWM dimming and floating display is sufficient to buy this beauty
- 22 Aug 2023
Reminds me of the vivo v27 but slightly better