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Honor 9 Lite Quick Review: Another Budget Powerhouse

Honor is back and ready to rock

The Honor sub-brand is back in the Philippines. Or should we say the Honor brand – executives of the company were quick to correct the impression that they were not an independent company under Huawei (they are) and they were still operating under the auspices of Huawei Philippines (they’re not). Honor is very much their own entity in the places they operate in, which as of today includes the Philippines. As a sample of the products they’re bringing in, the company will be selling the Honor 9 Lite with their online partner Shopee for just Php 7,990.

Honor 9 Lite Specs

  • 2.36GHz octa-core Kirin 659 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.65-inch full HD+ IPS display, 2160 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with 2-megapixel secondary cam
  • 13-megapixel front camera with 2-megapixel secondary cam
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint sensor
  • Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI 8.0
  • 3000mAh battery

Initial impressions: Skinny, shiny budget quad-camera phone

The Honor brand was initially created by Huawei to combat Xiaomi’s online-only efforts in China, which it did by doing what Xiaomi did: offer extremely affordable devices at prices that people can’t resist. It’s still the core mantra of the company all these years later, and it’s not surprising that the Honor 9 Lite has all the hallmarks of a premium device at a price that severely undercuts the competition.

We were first drawn to the Honor 9 Lite’s shiny blue glass back. Holding the phone in our hands, the phone felt more expensive than it actually is, and felt extremely premium despite its budget roots.

The phone has an 18:9 display as is the norm for Honor phones moving forward, though without that dreaded notch that everyone seems to hate. The phone has a quad-camera setup, with two cameras in the rear and two in the front, each consisting of a 13-megapixel shooter and a 2-megapixel secondary lens.

The 5.65-inch 18:9 panel looks pretty good, and the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner means that the bezels on the front are kept to a minimum, at least to the extent that a budget phone can.

The 3.5mm jack, single speaker grille and USB port (sorry, no Type C boys) adorn the bottom of the phone, while the power button and volume rocker are all located on the right.

The Honor 9 Lite uses the same Kirin 659 processor as the main offerings of its sister brand, paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. EMUI 8 is also present, along with Android Oreo and a 3000mAh battery.

It might not have hit readers yet, but the Honor 9 Lite is extremely competitive considering its price in other regions. In fact, its Php Php 7,990 pricing is lower than the initial China sticker price of RMB 1,199 (around Php 9.9K) that the phone debuted for in China.

The phone will be made available on May 5 during a flash sale in Shopee.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

3 Comments

  1. EMUI is heavy
    Glass back is a fingerprint magnet
    Poor low-light camera performance
    Full of bloatware
    That’s according to one of the reviews I read

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