Huawei Honor 9i first impressions: More than just good cameras

Honor 9i display

Chinese Smartphone maker Huawei has launched another smartphone under their Honor sub-brand, the Honor 9i, featuring a 5.9-inch display, dual rear cameras, dual front cameras, 4GB RAM & 64GB internal memory.

The Huawei Honor 9i is similar to the Honor Nova 2i that was launched in China as the Maimang 6 back in September. The same smartphone has been launched in India as the Honor 9i, featuring a Kirin 659 processor. We got our hands on the device and here are our quick insights.

Physical overview

Honor 9i front camera

The Honor 9i sports a metal unibody design that feels sturdy and premium in hand. The front of the phone sports a 5.9-inch display with minimal bezels and an 18:9 aspect ratio. The dual-camera setup with the earpiece and sensor array are present right above the display.

Honor 9i back

The back of the Honor 9i features antenna bands running horizontally across the top and bottom. A dual camera setup is vertically aligned on the top-centre, with a fingerprint sensor right below it.

Honor 9i right

You will find the volume rockers and the lock button on the right side of the Honor 9i. On the left side, there is a SIM and microSD card tray. You can also notice the antenna bands running all the way to the sides as well, giving it a more sleek and uniform look.

Honor 9i bottom

While the top of the phone is bare, you will find the 3.5mm earphone jack, inbuilt microphone, a micro USB port, and the speaker grille on the bottom. Sadly, there’s no USB Type-C on the Honor 9i, like we’ve seen on its Chinese counterpart.


Honor 9i display

The new Honor 9i features a 5.9 inch FullView display with 18:9 aspect ratio. The display comes with 2160 x 1080 resolution and is crisp and sharp to look at. The display looks great and the colour reproduction is good too. In the image, you can see the crisp blacks delivered by the display. It is easily readable even in direct sunlight.


Honor 9i rear camera

In the optics department, the Honor 9i is sporting 4 cameras, with dual cameras on the back as well as the front. The rear cameras comprise of a 16MP + 2MP lens with LED flash. On the front also, you get a dual camera setup with 13MP + 2MP lens along with flash.

Camera Samples

We took the Honor 9i out for testing the camera and you can take a look at the results below. The camera fared well in all lighting conditions and is quick to focus as well. Here are the camera samples we took using our Honor 9i. Have a look.

Daylight Sample

Honor 9i daylight sample

In bright daylight the cameras on the Honor 9i performed well. The bokeh effect, however, looked somewhat artificial as it blurred out the subject as well. On the upside, the image wasn’t grainy and the camera managed the direct glare from the subject very well.

Artificial light sample

Honor 9i artificial light sample

The cameras seem to be having difficulties in focussing in artificial light conditions. There were minor grains but the results are above average and acceptable.

Low light sample

Honor 9i low light sample

After facing a slight disappointment in artificial light, the cameras on the Honor 9i performed pretty well in low light conditions. Complete depth was captured without any shutter lag or artificial blurring. The low light sample from the Honor 9i was really good.

Front camera samples

The rear camera setup performed well and the front cameras are no less. You can actually notice the depth and colour accuracy retention because of the dual camera setup.


The Honor 9i has been launched as a mid-range contender from Huawei’s sub-brand Honor. The smartphone is backed by Huawei’s homebrewed Kirin 659 octa-core processor and is coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. There is also a microSD card expansion option up to 128GB.

Software and Performance

Honor smartphones come with Huawei’s optimized EMUI. This time also, the Honor 9i runs on the latest EMUI 5.1 based on Android 7.0 Nougat. There is no word about Android Oreo update as of now.

With these specifications and optimized UI, the Honor 9i performs smoothly and feels good to use. The full performance of this smartphone will be given in our full review of the Honor 9i.

Battery and Connectivity

In terms of battery, the Honor 9i is powered by a 3,340 mAh battery which is adequately decent in terms of capacity. The phone can easily last a full day of moderate usage with that much juice. In the connectivity department, we have the essentials like a 3.5mm earphone jack, Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi, and a Micro USB port.

Honor could have added a USB Type-C port to this smartphone to make it more future-ready. The Chinese variant of the Honor 9i is featuring a USB Type-C port so we cannot say why Honor did not offer it here.

Pricing and Availability

The Honor 9i is a mid-range smartphone priced at Rs. 17,999. It will be available in Prestige Gold, Aurora Blue, and Graphite Black colours and will be available as a Flipkart exclusive.

In this price range, the Honor 9i offers a premium build, good cameras, efficient battery and all the essential connectivity options. This phone is surely a value for money smartphone under the mid-range segment.