Honor 90 hands-on review

GSMArena Team, 07 July 2023.


The Honor 90 runs on Magic OS 7.1. This is the latest iteration of Honor's UI, which no longer carries the "UI" branding and has gone with the "OS" notations for some time now, partially in an effort to differentiate from Huawei's EMUI.

Honor 90 hands-on review

Naturally, there are still plenty of similarities between Huawei's EMUI and Magic OS, but crucially, unlike Huawei's, Honor's OS builds come with Google Play Services and a standard set of Google apps. Magic OS 7.1 is also based on the latest Android 13, so you get a modern overall experience.

Going from Magic UI 6 to OS 7, we see subtle changes here or there, but the overall look and feel of the Magic overlay remain the same. Iconography is largely unchanged, the task switcher and notification/quick settings are the same, too (and that's one area where the latest EMUI and its Control center differs), and the Settings menu doesn't look one bit different either.

Honor 90 hands-on review

Also available here is previously introduced functionality like large folders and the card bar that sits under app icons to indicate that the app supports cards (another name for the in-house widgets). Speaking of widgets, though, some EMUI features like widget stacking and combined widgets are notably absent.

There are plenty of customization options to explore. You've got a wide selection of themes, Always-on display styles, the lot. You can also enable an app drawer if you like.

Honor 90 hands-on review

Honor provides a bunch of proprietary apps, too. There is Gallery, Honor Health, Notes, Files, System Manager, Weather.


The Honor 90 is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset. It is a modern part introduced in 2022 and based on an efficient Samsung 4nm manufacturing process. The Honor 90 uses a slightly overclocked version of the chipset called the "Accelerated Edition". Its prime Cortex-A710 CPU core is clocked at up to 2.5 GHz instead of the standard 2.4 GHz. The rest of the CPU configuration consists of three more Cortex-A710 cores (Kryo Gold), clocked at up to 3.36 GHz and finally, an additional four Cortex-A510 cores, working at up to 1.8 GHz.

Honor 90 hands-on review

The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 has an Adreno 644 GPU. There is an integrated X62 5G and LTE combo modem for connectivity. Also, a FastConnect 6700 modem provides Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (ax). The Honor 90 supports GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS, BDS and QZSS for positioning. By the way, there is also NFC on board.

We haven't put the Honor 90 through its paces yet, but we did manage to get a Quick AnTuTu run in. It should be noted that AnTuTu has a pretty robust and well-rounded set of benchmark runs within it, including GPU tests and tests for memory and storage. As such, it provides a pretty good overall performance picture. Also, while looking at the results, do keep in mind that the Honor 90 has a pretty high native display resolution, which does put more strain on the GPU.

AnTuTu 10

Asus Zenfone 10 Asus Zenfone 10
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 512GB, 16GB RAM 1080 x 2400 px
OnePlus Nord 3 OnePlus Nord 3
Dimensity 9000 256GB, 16GB RAM 1240 x 2772 px
Tecno Camon 20 Premier Tecno Camon 20 Premier
Dimensity 8050 512GB, 8GB RAM 1080 x 2400 px
Honor 90 Honor 90
Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 Accelerated Edition 256GB, 8GB RAM 1200 x 2664 px
Realme 11 Pro+ Realme 11 Pro+
Dimensity 7050 512GB, 12GB RAM 1080 x 2412 px
Realme 11 Pro Realme 11 Pro
Dimensity 7050 256GB, 8GB RAM 1080 x 2412 px
Redmi 12 Redmi 12
Helio G88 128GB, 4GB RAM 1080 x 2460 px

The Honor 90 is pretty serious about cooling the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1. The phone has a 4483 mm2 vapor chamber handling the heat. Also, 1270 copper wires in a dense woven mesh.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 06 Sep 2023
  • DxW

Only has 2 years of Android update and 3 years of security updates??? even samsung supports 4 years and 5 years respectively.

  • Anonymous
  • 03 Sep 2023
  • Dk7

PWM dimming and floating display is sufficient to buy this beauty

  • Stellxr
  • 22 Aug 2023
  • PBG

Reminds me of the vivo v27 but slightly better