Honor 9N launches in India with 5.84″ notched display and Kirin 659 SoC
Honor, a subsidiary of Huawei, has found increasing success in India over the past year. The brand states that it’s the fastest growing smartphone brand in the country. Last year, the brand launched the Honor 9i in October and the Honor 7X in December. In January, Honor then launched the affordable flagship Honor View 10, which was followed by the budget Honor 9 Lite. The brand’s most recent smartphone launch in India was the Honor 10 in May. At an event in Delhi today, Honor launched the Honor 9N in India.
The Honor 9N is a re-brand of the Honor 9i (2018) which was launched a China last month. The phone is the first Honor budget device with a display notch, which is its selling point. Most of the other specifications of the phone aren’t especially remarkable. This is because the specifications are found in the older Honor 7X and the Honor 9 Lite as well.
The specifications of the Honor 9N are noted below:
Honor 9N – Specifications at a glance
|Dimensions||149.2 x 71.8 x 7.7 mm, 152g|
|Software||Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI 8.0|
|SoC||Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659 (4x 2.36GHz Arm Cortex-A53 cores + 4x 1.7GHz Arm Cortex-A53 cores); Mali-T830MP2 GPU|
|RAM and storage||3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage / 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage / 4GB of RAM with 128GB of storage; microSD card slot (up to 256GB expandable storage)|
|Display||5.84-inch Full HD+ (2280×1080) IPS LCD with 19:9 ratio|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Ports||microUSB port, dual nano SIM slots (nano SIM + nano SIM/microSD), 3.5mm headphone jack|
FDD-LTE: Bands 1/3/5/8
TDD-LTE: Bands 38/39/40/41
|Rear camera||13MP with f/2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus (PDAF)|
2MP depth sensing camera
Video recording up to 1080p
The Honor 9N uses a 12-layer back glass design that has a mirror finish, like the Honor 9 Lite. On the front it has 2.5D glass, a display notch at the top, and a chin that contains the Honor logo at the bottom. The dual rear cameras are placed on the top left, and the fingerprint sensor is in a centered layout below the camera module.
The phone’s display specifications match the Huawei P20 Lite, a phone which is significantly more expensive.
SoC: HiSilicon Kirin 659
In terms of performance, Honor has gone ahead and reused the same HiSilicon Kirin 659 system-on-chip. This is disappointing to see as it means that the phone can’t compete in terms of performance against phones such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, and the Oppo Realme 1. Huawei’s newly launched Huawei Nova 3i itself features the newer Kirin 710 SoC, which promises to be substantially better. The Honor 9N, on the other hand, features the same SoC that powers the Honor 7X and the Honor 9 Lite. The SoC competes roughly with the Snapdragon 625, but it can’t match newer Qualcomm SoCs such as the Snapdragon 636.
The Honor 9N has a primary 13MP rear camera combined with a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, the phone has a 16MP camera that comes with 4-in-1 “Light Fusion” technology that uses pixel binning to convert four small pixels into one large 2.0um pixel to deliver brighter photos in low light. Portrait mode is also supported.
In terms of software, the Honor 9N ships with EMUI 8.0 on top of Android 8.0 Oreo, which means that it’s not running the absolute latest version of Android and nor is it running the latest version of EMUI. The phone’s software features include Wi-Fi Bridge, a feature that enables users to share any Wi-Fi network as a hotspot and connect a maximum of four devices. Smart face unlock comes with closed-eye face unlock prevention and notification privacy (it’s also present in other Huawei/Honor phones).
There is a smart multi-tasking feature that goes into split-screen mode automatically. Continuing with the theme of “smart” features, there is also a smart dual Bluetooth connection feature that lets users connect two devices. Ride mode—which rolled out to the Honor View 10 in an update today—is also included as a mode to cut down distraction for bike riders.
Honor 9N – Pricing and availability
The Honor 9N’s base 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant costs ₹11,999 ($174). The 4GB RAM/64GB storage variant costs ₹13,999 ($203), while the top-end 4GB RAM/128GB storage variant costs ₹17,999 ($261). (In our view, the significant price difference between the variants does not make much sense, and the top-end variant should probably be skipped as the phone does have a microSD card slot for expandable storage.)
The phone comes in Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue, Robin Egg Blue, and Lavender Purple colors. It will go on sale from 12PM IST on July 31 via Flipkart and the HiHonor store. Launch offers include ₹2,200 cashback.