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Honor 9i Review – A Premium Selfie Phone Priced Right

Huawei recently launched an interesting mid-range phone, the Honor 9i, one that markets trends like 18:9 full view display and dual cameras on both front and rear – all for an aggressive price.

Posing with a lustrous spec-sheet, the Honor 9i has every reason to turn heads. That is to say, that if you have a budget of Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000, this is a phone that you just can’t ignore. But is the practical Honor 9i experience as good as it’s promising on paper? Let’s find out in our Honor 9i review.

Key Specifications of Huawei Honor 9i:

Model Huawei Honor 9i
Display 5.9-inch full HD+ 18:9 display with 2.5D Curved glass
Processor Octa Core Kirin 659 processor
Camera 16MP + 2 MP rear and 13 MP + 2 MP front cameras
Battery 3340mAh
Software Android Nougat with EMUI 5.1 OS
Dimensions and Weight 156.2 × 75.2 × 7.5 mm and 164 grams
Dual SIM Yes, Hybrid dual SIM
Price 17,999 INR

Design and Build

The Honor 9i looks gorgeous. It has a good quality full metal back and a 2.5D glass laden fascia complimented by an 18:9 screen. Thanks to the choice of aspect ratio, it’s still comfortable to wield in hands in spite of the near 6-inch display size. The fact that it’s just 7.5mm thick helps too.

There are no flexes or creaks in the body. The fingerprint sensor on the rear is readily accessible and so are the power button and volume rocker on the right edge.  The mono speaker, micro USB port, and audio jack are all present on the bottom edge.

There is no Huawei branding on the front to come in the way of an immersive experience. All said and done, the Honor 9i looks extremely premium and might even pass as a phone that costs twice as much.


Huawei is using a full HD+ resolution display on Honor 9i. The display type is IPS LCD, but Huawei is using a good quality panel. The display brightness is above average, if not outright impressive and we didn’t face any difficulty using it outdoors.

The color temperature and saturation are similar to what we usually see on Huawei phones. The whites feel a tad cold, but the software gives you the option to tweak color temperature and saturation in line with your taste.

Camera Performance

Huawei is using two cameras on both front and rear, but these extra shooters are only for depth sensing. Huawei still reserves its much-publicized monochrome and color sensor combination for its high-end phones.

On the rear, you will find a 16MP+ 2MP camera combination with PDAF, F/2.2 aperture optics and LED flash. On the front, the Honor 9i employs 13MP+2MP sensors with f/2.0 aperture lens on the primary selfie sensor.

The rear camera can capture a good amount of detail in broad daylight and the performance in this regards doesn’t deteriorate much indoors either. The colors accuracy and dynamic range, however, isn’t much to be excited about. At the same time, If you are not very fastidious about camera accuracy, you will surely enjoy shots clicked from the Honor 9i.

The bokeh shots that you can capture from the front and rear camera are fairly accurate. The selfie camera does a better job in comparison. You can shoot detailed selfies and the beautify mode works fine too. The selfie camera performance in low light is quite good too.

Performance and Software

The Honor 9i is powered by Kirin 659 octa-core chip that can carry you through demanding tasks without slowing down. The chipset is aided with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and thus we don’t mind the Hybrid nature of the SIM tray. If you are content with one SIM, you can use the second slot for up to 256GB of secondary storage as well.

The EMUI 5 software running on Honor 9i is based on Android 7.0 Nougat. It’s a feature rich UI which has shown incremental improvements over the last couple of years. It doesn’t feel particularly overwhelming anymore but we did notice some minor lag in the interface here and there. Huawei will hopefully fix and enhance performance in future version updates.

Battery, Price, and Verdict

The 3340mAh battery on the Honor 9i can easily last for one day of moderate to heavy usage with two SIM cards plugged in. Fast charging isn’t supported though and the charging port is still regular micro USB port.

Huawei has pried the phone right. At 17,999 INR, there is a lot we can appreciate about the Honor 9i including its design, display, and overall performance. Inculcating the current trend gives it enough arsenal to compete with the fresh set of selfie phones like Vivo V7, Oppo F5 and Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro.  If you are looking for an 18:9 display phone or a good selfie phone, Honor 9i is a good option for under 18K.

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Pooja is passionate about blogging and Tech which makes life easier and interesting. While she is not exploring tech trends, you can find her devouring epic fantasy adventure literature and movies from across the globe.