We have seen a slew of smartphones from Chinese companies in the budget and mid-budget segments in India. Huawei’s sub-brand Honor is one such player, with its latest offering being the Honor 9 Lite. The phone is essentially a stripped down version of the Honor 9i, which was announced in October. Featuring dual rear and front cameras, along with a Full View display, the Honor 9 Lite caters to the budget audience with a price tag of Rs 10,999 onwards. It sports a dual 2.5D glass design, and runs Android 8.0 Oreo. Another highlight of the Honor 9 Lite is it ships with EMUI 8.0, the company’s latest OS. We spent some time with the Honor 9 Lite, and here is our full review.
What is good?
For those looking for a budget phone with a design other than full metal body, Honor 9 Lite comes as a refreshing change. It looks far more glamorous than most phones in this price range, thanks to its stunning double-sided 2.5D glass design and bezel-less screen. It features a Full HD+ resolution display, hard to find in the Rs 11,000 price range. The screen looks vibrant, crisp and I did not face any issues while using it in bright sunlight.
Honor 9 Lite offers a nifty performance when it comes to daily usage. I could open multiple tabs and switch between them seamlessly on the 4 GB RAM variant of the Honor 9 Lite. During my review period, graphics-heavy games like Asphalt-8 worked well with a very little lag. The fingerprint sensor is fast, as it unlocked the phone almost instantly each time I tried. The camera on Honor 9 Lite won’t let you down. The rear dual sensors are capable of clicking some detailed shots, especially in bright outdoors. It is at par with most other devices in this price-range that I’ve reviewed. There’s a bokeh mode for photos along with a Portrait mode for clicking portrait shots. Except in cases where pinks and reds tend to look a little too bright, I was satisfied with the colour reproduction in most cases. The camera is quick to focus, but it takes an extra second or two in low-light conditions. The front also houses dual rear camera setup, a combination of 13 MP+2 MP. The pictures taken using the front shooter should please most selfie buffs as shots look detailed and sharp. The colour reproduction is close to natural, which I liked. Though don’t expect much in low-light.
What is not good?
The battery on Honor 9 Lite disappoints, especially when there’s competition like Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. It gives you a day’s worth of life on light to moderate usage and takes a long time (almost two and a half hours) to charge fully from 6%.
Honor 9 Lite is a good buy if you want a stylish phone that offers a decent overall performance and a good camera. However, battery is a crucial factor for me. While Honor 9 Lite seems like a good deal at Rs 10,999, remember this price is for the 3GB RAM variant and you only get 32GB space, which is low when compared to devices in this price-bracket. You can also look at options like Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, M1 A1, or Moto G5s Plus.
• Estimated street price: Rs 10,999 (3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage)