Honor 9i/Mate 10 Lite hands-on review

GSMArena team, 20 October 2017.

Software and benchmarks

The Honor 9i/Mate 10 Lite runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1. EMUI here is mostly identical to what we have seen on other recent Huawei phones, but it's not the latest EMUI 8, which comes along Android Oreo on the Mate 10 and 10 Pro.

Over the years, Huawei's software has made some positive changes towards a cleaner, more minimal design than the chrome-heavy looks of Chinese UIs.

EMUI 5.1 on the Honor 9i/Mate 10 Lite - Honor 9i / Huawei Mate 10 Lite hands-on review EMUI 5.1 on the Honor 9i/Mate 10 Lite - Honor 9i / Huawei Mate 10 Lite hands-on review EMUI 5.1 on the Honor 9i/Mate 10 Lite - Honor 9i / Huawei Mate 10 Lite hands-on review
EMUI 5.1 on the Honor 9i/Mate 10 Lite

In its latest avatar, EMUI is perfectly functional as well as reasonably well designed to the point you wouldn't run to install a theme at startup. It's also not as feature-heavy as some other custom interfaces, which is a good thing as most of those features rarely get used and just add to the clutter. Everything you need is here and it all works reasonably well.

In terms of performance, the Honor 9i does quite well for itself. The Kirin 659 chipset has enough juice to chug along all day without really ever slowing down.

Not that the experience is butter smooth throughout, but the few stumbles here and there are easy to forgive when the rest of the experience is quite satisfactory.

Where it drops the ball is in GPU performance. The Mali-T830 MP2 is just not powerful enough for an FHD display, let alone a FHD+ display. The benchmark scores are some of the lowest we have seen this year and even in actual games, performance isn't great unless you are playing 2D or basic 3D games.

We also noticed some minor stuttering while playing back YouTube videos. The phone also gets a bit warm during gameplay.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
    6783
  • Honor 9
    6457
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    4695
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    4292
  • Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro
    4037
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3807
  • Huawei P10 lite
    3344
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    3251

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
    1902
  • Honor 9
    1876
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    1438
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    916
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    897
  • Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro
    891
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    877
  • Huawei P10 lite
    834

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
    178510
  • Honor 9
    143583
  • Honor 8 Pro
    128755
  • Huawei Mate 9
    122826
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    91458
  • Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro
    67540
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    64983
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    61762
  • Huawei P10 lite
    60895
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    58068

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
    55
  • Honor 9
    33
  • Huawei Mate 9
    23
  • Honor 8 Pro
    15
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    11
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    6.7
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    6.3
  • Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro
    6.1
  • Huawei P10 lite
    5
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    3.6

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Huawei Mate 9
    36519
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
    32871
  • Honor 8 Pro
    30853
  • Honor 9
    29398
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    16695
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    10472
  • Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro
    10394
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    9598
  • Huawei P10 lite
    7588
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    7004

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
    3425
  • Honor 9
    3072
  • Honor 8 Pro
    2865
  • Huawei Mate 9
    2637
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    1890
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite / Honor 9i
    1309
  • Huawei P10 lite
    1284
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    1262
  • Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro
    1228
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    1163