For some unknown reason, the user votes for the largest possible smartphones. Especially strongly the trend for the growth of diagonals touched low-cost devices. But what if for little money you want to get a convenient compact that does not slip out of your hands? That’s right, pay attention to the new HONOR X9a!
- Screen: 6.67 inches, 20:9 aspect ratio, AMOLED, 2400×1080 pixels, 395 PPI, 120Hz.
- Operating system: Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12.
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, 6 nm.
- CPU: Cortex-A78 (2×2.2GHz) + Cortex-A55 (6×1.8GHz).
- GPU: Adreno 619.
- Memory: operational 6+5 GB, built-in 128 GB.
- Rear cameras: main 64 MP (f / 1.8, autofocus) + wide angle 5 MP (f / 2.2, without autofocus) + macro 2 MP (f / 2.4, without autofocus), LED flash.
- Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.45.
- Battery: 5100mAh, 40W charger included, PD and QC compatible.
- Dimensions: 161.6 × 73.9 × 7.9 mm, 175 grams.
- Slots: 2 nanoSIM.
- Connectivity: 5G, 4G, Bluetooth 5.1, Dual Band Wi-Fi 5, GPS (A-GPS), GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, NFC, USB OTG.
- Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, electronic compass, proximity (virtual), ambient light, fingerprint scanner under the screen.
Appearance and ergonomics
Looking at the HONOR X9a, it is difficult to recognize a gadget for 25 thousand rubles in it. Matte plastic with a rough texture looks and feels great. In the shade, the color is uniform, and when light hits the surface, beautiful highlights appear. But in no case are reflections, as on gloss. I got, perhaps, the most successful emerald green version – this is the new corporate color of HONOR. As an alternative, there is a black classic and an even brighter white with a pearly sheen.
The camera lenses are inscribed in a ring that is exactly in the center. An interesting find for several reasons. Firstly, the look turned out to be light and concise, but at the same time noticeable against the background of the same type of devices. Secondly, the ring is located in the center and does not interfere with interacting with a smartphone lying on the table.
The HONOR X9a does not come with a case, and this is even better. Matte plastic with a light rough texture, from which the back cover is made, is as practical as possible and without protection. And spoiling good ergonomics is by no means worth it. After all, the smartphone is insanely comfortable in the hand, as it is not very wide (73.9 mm), thin (7.9 mm) and light (175 grams). Finding a convenient inexpensive smartphone today is difficult, our hero is a pleasant exception.
The front of the HONOR X9a is at the flagship level. Without exaggeration, a 6.67-inch waterfall screen with a frequency of 120 Hz came from the older HONOR 70, but I would be glad to see this in an even more expensive smartphone. The picture quality is chic, the maximum brightness reaches 800 cd / m². The top and bottom are almost equally thin bezels, while other low-cost smartphones always give out wide bezels. Of the important, the system is able to filter false touches along the curved edges of the screen, so the comfort of use does not suffer.
In continuation, there is a permanent display of the Always On time and a fingerprint scanner built into the screen. The fingerprint scanner works instantly and flawlessly – this is the flagship level.
There are three cameras on the back of the HONOR X9a:
- main 64 MP with f/1.8 optics;
- 5MP ultra wide-angle with f/2.2 optics and 120° field of view;
- 2 MP macro with f/2.4 aperture.
The 64 megapixel main module produces a sharp, rich picture that most users will definitely like. The strong side is the work of proprietary algorithms: the smartphone tightens the sharpness, and also improves the dynamic range with the help of HDR. What I definitely did not expect was a good night shot. In fact, HONOR X9a takes decent pictures on the machine. Night mode is available, but you do not have to activate it.
The wide-angle camera is guaranteed to do its job during the day. Shooting something large with it is not a problem. But in the evening and at night you should not particularly count on a wide angle. The 64 MP main camera gives hybrid 2x zoom without quality loss.
The third eye for macro helps to remove some details close up. But I would not take the result seriously, since 2 megapixels is not enough even for publication on social networks.
The front camera is 16 MP with f/2.45 optics. She takes clear shots with natural colors during the day and does not give up at night. I note the support of branded HONOR face enhancers and a portrait mode that will help diversify selfies.
Software and performance
The novelty runs on Android 12 with the Magic UI shell and a full set of Google applications. The interface is friendly, all functions are in place. There are less than a dozen pre-installed applications, which is unusual for modern smartphones, even from major brands.
Inside is a Snapdragon 695 with 5G support. Despite belonging to the 6 series, the performance of the chip is somewhere between Snapdragon 765G and Snapdragon 768G, which at one time found a place in the so-called flagship killers. Still, 2 Cortex-A78 cores at 2.2 GHz and 6 Cortex-A55 cores at 1.8 GHz paired with Adreno 619 is a good combination. You definitely won’t have to complain about the lack of power if you don’t have the task of playing voracious 3D projects at maximum graphics. In fact, in everyday work, I did not notice any slowdowns, the device justifies the declared refresh rate of 120 Hz.
There are no variations of memory modifications, HONOR X9a has uncontested 6 GB of RAM (+ 5 GB of swap file) and 128 GB of internal memory. There is no memory card, so expanding the available volume will not work. And from the connectors only USB-C. That is, in this sense, our hero is also similar to the flagships, which have long abandoned the microSD and audio jack.
The novelty pleased me with the presence of two microphones, good sound from one multimedia speaker and quiet vibration. You can use NFC to pay in stores. The set of sensors is complete and includes an electronic compass with a gyroscope. But there is still a nuance, a virtual proximity sensor from Elliptic Labs. Compared to the first generations of the sensor a few years ago, HONOR X9a more than adequately recognizes the proximity of the smartphone to the ear, the algorithms are clearly improved. I did not notice any problems either with calls or while listening to voice messages. Therefore, I will not attribute the virtual proximity sensor to minuses.
Autonomy and charging
Inside a lightweight smartphone, it was surprising to find a 5100 mAh battery. In the Threshbox autonomy test, it demonstrates 14 hours of operation at a fixed brightness of 200 cd / m². In ordinary life, by the evening there is always a couple of tens of percent of the charge in reserve. If you use HONOR X9a less actively, you can count on 2 days. The 40W charger fully charges the battery in 1 hour and 20 minutes exactly. The advantage is fast charging compatibility with Power Delivery and Qualcomm Quick Charge.
Trashbox.ru battery test results:
All battery test results and test methodology description
Feedback after 10 days of use
A lot of smartphones pass through my hands, and to be honest, a lot. And not every one of them wants to keep. Sympathy immediately arose for the HONOR X9a, as it is simply cool and, importantly, quite inexpensive. The bet on the flagship screen, proven software and the overall quality of workmanship is done correctly. The device has every chance of becoming popular. For the review, I used it for 10 days and will leave it with me for as long as possible.
The remaining characteristics fully correspond to the price of less than 25 thousand rubles. Firstly, this is a regular 64 MP camera with a width of only 5 MP. Secondly, I note the Snapdragon 695, which rather pleased with its performance. Is it worth it to swear for a virtual proximity sensor? I don’t want to because it’s a general trend. And the algorithms have stepped far ahead and adequately cope with their task.
- compact convenient format;
- waterfall screen;
- support 120Hz;
- smart chip for its segment;
- convenient shell and GMS support;
- nice vibration and loud sound.
May not like:
- virtual proximity sensor.
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