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Honor 9 Lite Review

We review the budget Honor 9 Lite, a stylish smartphone with some of the features found in the Honor 9.

|  Honor 9 Lite in Camera Phones
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Honor 9 Lite (1)

The Honor 9 Lite features an 18:9 5.65inch screen, dual cameras on the rear, plus dual cameras on the front! The stylish smartphone comes with 3GB Ram and 32GB storage, and is available for the wallet-friendly £169, making it particularly impressive value for money. Honor are the budget arm of Huawei, giving great value for money, and high-end features, with the Honor 9 performing well in our review. 

Honor 9 Lite Features

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The Honor 9 Lite features dual cameras on the back, with one 13mp camera, and one 2mp camera. There is a single LED flash on the back, and no LED flash for the front selfie camera (however, there is an option to use the screen as a flash).

Dual cameras – The main camera on the back of the smartphone is a 13mp f/2.2 camera, with a 26mm equivalent lens. The second camera is a 2mp camera, to help with bokeh and background blur. The main camera features Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) for quicker focus. 

The portrait mode is designed to blur the background, and you can apply "Beauty effect" if you want it to. You can shoot using the wide aperture mode, designed to blur the background of your photo, with more control, and you can adjust the (software) aperture from f/0.95 to f/16.

The front also features dual cameras, with a 13mp + 2mp selfie cameras which let you use beauty mode, plus enable and disable background blur. The camera app has gesture control, which means you can take photos by waving at the front camera. There's also smile capture.

The Honor 9 Lite will record FullHD video at 30fps, and there's an option to record slow-motion video (this records VGA video at 120fps).

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The front of the phone features a large 5.65inch 18:9 aspect screen, with a FullHD+ resolution of 2160x1080. The phone has a metal frame, and a glass back with a rear fingerprint sensor so that you can quickly unlock the phone. 

Available in sapphire blue or glacier grey with a mirror-like effect on the back of the phone. Other colours are available but do not feature the same mirror finish. As with most other smartphones with glossy glass backs, the Honor 9 Lite is a fingerprint magnet, and you may want to spend time cleaning the phone if fingerprints upset you, or keep it in a case.

The phone comes with either 3GB / 32GB or 4GB RAM and 64GB Storage, which should be plenty. There's a MicroSD slot if you want to add more, or you can use two Nano SIMs. The phone is running Android v8.0, and EMUI 8.0 (Honor's user interface that runs on top of Android). 

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Key Features

  • Dual rear cameras: 13mp f/2.2 (26mm), and 2mp
  • Phase Detection AF (PDAF), LED flash
  • Dual front cameras: 13mp f/2.0 (28mm), and 2mp
  • 5.65inch 18:9 FullHD+ screen
  • HDR shooting
  • 3GB/32GB or 4GB/64GB, MicroSD slot
  • FullHD video
  • ISO50-ISO1600 (Manually selectable)
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Metal frame, with glass back
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Available in grey, blue, and other colours

Honor 9 Lite Handling

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The screen is large and clear. You can split the screen into two apps. It's bright, and viewing it outdoors in bright light was quite good, although it wasn't as bright as some other smartphones we had to hand.

The fingerprint sensor is in a good place on the back of the phone and is easy to find with your finger. The camera lenses are in the far corner, away from the fingerprint sensor, so it is easy to avoid smudging the lenses with your finger. However, as the protruding camera lenses are the only edge on the back of the smartphone, it’s quite likely you’ll end up using them as a grip at some point. A quick wipe of the lenses with a soft cloth is all you need to keep them clean.

On the side is the usual unlock / power buttons, and volume controls. The phone is solidly built and feels strong thanks to the metal sides. The phone is thin at 7.6mm thick.

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The camera app has a number of different shooting modes including Photo, Pro Photo, Video, Pro Video, HDR, Panorama, Light painting, Time-lapse, Filter, and Watermark.

You can download additional features including Good food, watermark, document scan. Pro mode lets you adjust ISO, Metering, Shutter speed, Exposure compensation, Focus, White Balance, and there's a built-in guide to explain the options and settings.

At the bottom of the phone there is a headphone socket, and a MicroUSB connection, this seems slightly dated considering most Android smartphones have now switched to USB-C connections. You'll also find a speaker at the bottom.

Geekbench 4 gives the smartphone a score of 940 single core and 3620 multi-core. AnTuTu benchmark gives a score of 88684, which is better than the Honor 7X (at 74597), making it slightly quicker than the more expensive Moto X4.

Battery Life – Battery management appeared to be quite good, and the 3000mAh rating is better than some budget smartphones. As the battery can’t be removed, you’ll need to take a USB charger if you think you're going to run out of power

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