Honor 9N First Impressions: A Game of Spot the Notch
The Honor 9N.
The Honor 9N.(Photo: The Quint)

Honor 9N First Impressions: A Game of Spot the Notch

There was a time when I used to think that the more smartphone-makers come to India the better it will be for the consumers. How I wish I could take back those words!

India’s smartphone population is growing at a geometric rate and brands like Xiaomi and Honor have been relentlessly launching phones one after another that the people don’t even get time to get accustomed to a single device.

Yes, this practice does create a lot of options for the buyers but at the same time it also creates a lot of confusion. To add to this pain Honor has launched yet another mid-range phone in India dubbed the Honor 9N. It’s the same phone as the Honor 9 Lite but now comes with a notch on the display! That’s all folks!

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Specifications

  • Display: 5.8-inch FHD+
  • Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core
  • RAM: 3GB/4GB
  • Storage: 32GB/64GB/128GB (expandable)
  • Rear camera: 13MP+2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Price: Rs 11,999/Rs 13,999/Rs 17,999
  • Availability: 31 July

Design & Display

The Honor 9N comes with a 5.8-inch full HD+ display that pumps out 432 pixels. It’s not as bright compared to its predecessor but the contrast and colours look much more refined on this screen.

The Honor 9N comes with a 5.8-inch FHD+ display.
The Honor 9N comes with a 5.8-inch FHD+ display.
(Photo: The Quint)

I set both the 9i and the 9N on full brightness and checked the same and the 9N was dimmer but with better visible contrast on the screen.

In the hand, the Honor 9N feels more compact thanks to its size. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass on both the sides so I hope it’s capable of taking a few drops. Only a few.

The Honor 9N comes with a 3,000 mAh battery.
The Honor 9N comes with a 3,000 mAh battery.
(Photo: The Quint)

Performance & Hardware

The Honor 9N is running on the same HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core processor as seen on the Honor 7x, 9i and Huawei P20 Lite. All of these are good performers and we can expect the same from the 9N.

It comes with multiple storage options – 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB variants with an option to expand. There is also a 4GB/128GB variant available.

Deja vu people!

Still stuck on USB 2.0.
Still stuck on USB 2.0.
(Photo: The Quint)

It comes with Android 8.0 out-of-the-box on top of Huawei’s Emotion UI. Software has never been a strong suite of Honor and that continues here as well. Though this version of the UI is much lighter as compared to the other Honor phones.

The honor 9N comes with a 16-megapixel front camera.
The honor 9N comes with a 16-megapixel front camera.
(Photo: The Quint)

Standard hardware includes the fingerprint scanner at the back and the 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom besides the speaker grill.

The phone’s stuck on USB 2.0 charging which for me is a deal breaker.

Camera & Battery

I don’t really want to write this section because there IS NOTHING new to write about. The so called new Honor 9N comes with the same 13+2-megapixel rear camera setup though the picture quality is much better from this snapper.

The phone comes with a dual 13+2-megapixel camera.
The phone comes with a dual 13+2-megapixel camera.
(Photo: The Quint)

Selfies also get better with this one thanks to a 16-megapixel camera. One can look forward to a good camera experience with the Honor 9N.

As far as battery goes, the 9N receives the same 3,000 mAh battery. Same old story.

Here are Some Camera Samples:

Initial Verdict

I guess Honor is trying to beat Xiaomi at its own game in launching more phones in a year. I fear that the Honor 9N is going to suffer the same fate as many smartphones have in the past. The company was very clear in saying that this is not an upgrade to the 9 Lite and rather will sell besides it.

So why make another phone? Well, because Honor has the money and the resources to pull off this kind of a stunt. Indians love options and Honor is giving them another one here.

There’s nothing new to look forward to with the 9N rather it’s just another Honor phone at a more affordable price tag of Rs 11,999.

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