Honor V9 Review: No Leica Lenses, No Problem

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P10 and P10 Plus Alternative?

The first time we heard of the Honor V9, or the Honor 8 Pro as it’s known in some markets, was way back in February; just before we got our hands on the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus at Mobile World Congress. Armed with the same processor as the flagship devices in the company’s main roster, it’s positioned to be a good alternative for those looking into getting into Huawei’s dual camera game sans the Leica branded lenses. At this point in the game, is the Honor V9 still worth it? Let’s find out.

Honor V9 Specs

  • 2.4GHz HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 5.7-inch QHD display, 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • 64GB of expandable storage (up to 128GB)
  • 4G, LTE, VoLTE
  • Dual SIM (Hybrid Tray)
  • twin 12-megapixel rear cameras, f/2.2 aperture, PDAF, Laser AF, Dual Tone LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • USB Type-C
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat (EMUI 5.0)

Great Build Quality, Mediocre Design

We covered this in our initial review, but the longer we spent time with the device, the more we saw its resemblance to other devices from other brands coming from the Chinese market. It’s a little run of the mill, but at least it’s built well with a metal chassis and 2.5D curved glass to protect its display.

Despite its screen size, it’s quite easy to grip with one-hand; thanks to its thickness of 6.97 mm. It’s a tad bigger than the P10 Plus and just a little smaller than the Mate 9. The edges on the back have a gentle curve that tapers off as you get to the middle of the frame. There’s also a bit of chamfering before the front of the device to make it a little less prone to slip out of your hand.

Gorgeous QHD Display

The Honor V9 has a 5.7-inch display at QHD resolution, which gives the device great pixel density. Whether you’re simply browsing through your social feeds or tend to consume tons of content, you’ll definitely enjoy watching YouTube clips and shows on this device. It’s got great color reproduction and a more than decent contrast ratio.

The lone speaker on the bottom right of the device also pumps out a decent amount of volume with little to no distortion at 100%; to round out the AV experience on the V9.

IR Blaster A Nice Touch

It’s not everyday that you see an IR Blaster on a smartphone anymore, so having one on the Honor V9 definitely gives it plus points. This feature is extremely convenient if you tend to misplace the remote to your TV quite often and it has a ton of pre-loaded brand presets to easily pair it with your appliances. We may or may have not used this a lot during our time with the device.

Snappy Fingerprint Scanner

The fingerprint scanner on the back of the Honor V9 was easy to reach for most of the team, but may require a bit of adjustment if you have smaller hands. As expected from the sub-brand of Huawei, it unlocks the phone quickly and rarely misread our biometrics too.

Flagship Processing Package

As mentioned above, the Honor V9 is packing the same processor as the Mate 9, P10, and P10 Plus. That’s a Hi-Silicon Kirin 960 processor, paired of with an ample 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of expandable storage. This is the best that Huawei has to offer at this point in the game, so you can bet that it handled everyday tasks and multitasking without any problems.

If you like gaming on your mobile device, then you’ll be pretty happy with the experience on the Honor V9. NBA 2K17 had no frame rate drops at the highest settings and we rarely encountered any hiccups on Lineage 2 as well.

No Leica Branding, No Problem

Just like most phones that come from Huawei, the Honor V9 comes equipped with dual cameras. Yes, no Leica branded lenses in sight, but you still have access to the software they use to get you that simulated depth of field up to an f-stop of f/0.95. Like any dual camera equipped device that gives you that software assisted bokeh, you have to learn to tweak it correctly as the effect tends to bleed on to the subject; use it wisely, but you can play around after you’ve take your snap.

The 8-megapixel camera takes decent selfies as well but, as always, the more light the better.

Enough Juice to Get Through the Day

We’ve had a little trouble running synthetic benchmarks on our Honor V9, but we’ve seen it hit the 9 hour mark in other reviews. In real world use, the 4000mAh battery got us through a whole day without having to tether to a wall or plug into a power bank with enough juice to spare when we decided to have dinner with friends.

There are also a couple of power saving options if you ever find yourself in a tight pinch though.

Verdict: A Great Buy If You’re Not Into the Leica Branding

Is the Honor V9 worth its asking price of Php 24,900? We think it is. You’ve got the latest available processor Huawei has to offer, a gorgeous display, dual rear cameras that perform well, and enough battery life to last the day. It’s definitely worth considering. It’s only a couple of thousand pesos less than the ask for the Huawei P10, but we’ll let you decide if you want those Leica branded lenses over the bump up in display size and a tad bit more RAM.

The Honor V9 is available via Widget City.



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