The brand-new Honor X9b is the gold standard when it comes to mid-range smartphones. It builds on a strong legacy left behind by its predecessor with improvements to user experience in the form of expansive photography, enhanced performance and impressive display characteristics. A first for Honor – and the industry – the panel on the X9b debuts technology that makes it unbreakable, protecting the smartphone from both minor and major bumps.
When you first pick up Honor X9b, you’re immediately struck by its premium feel and intricate design. The smartphone features expert-level micro-detailing and is inspired by how luxury goods are designed. For example, the Iconic Classical Dual Ring Design has indents like a high-end watch bezel and the circles on the camera module shine to give you an extra touch of elegance.
At 185g and 7.98mm, Honor X9b’s design lays a great emphasis on comfort. And in true Honor fashion, attention to detail is meticulous. On the front, the smartphone’s bezels are equal, and the sides are curved, meaning the device is easy to grip. Moreover, you get a range of colour options with the device to suit your fashion sense. A new vegan-leather orange is available, which is a personal favourite of ours just because of how striking it looks and the extra grip it provides, alongside other variants in green, silver and black.
Unbreakable AMOLED display
We often come across mid-range smartphones that sacrifice build quality and display technology. But Honor X9b stands out in this regard, featuring a 6.78-inch edgeless AMOLED display that has a 1.5K resolution, 120Hz refresh rate and a 1,200-nit peak brightness. The latter comes in handy for outdoor visibility and even under the bright sun we get here, the display is easy to view. The higher resolution helps with detail and combines well with the 100 per cent DCI-P3 colour gamut when watching movies or documentaries. As for gaming, you will have no problems with fluid visuals across the board thanks to the higher refresh rate.
But how is the display unbreakable? With X9b, Honor has delivered what is of utmost importance to the end user – durability. The IP53 rating is one thing, allowing for water and dust resistance, but the panel on the device is a result of hundreds of experiments. Honor calls it the Ultra-Bounce Anti-Drop Display, and it is a first. Essentially, the display features a new generation of protection with a three-layer structure alongside a cushioning material with micron-level gaps. This means that if you drop Honor X9b from up to 1.5 metres in height, the material absorbs up to 1.2x the impact of the fall. This is not just limited to flat falls, but also when X9b is dropped on its edges, meaning the technology gives you 360-degree protection. To test this, we have dropped the smartphone on tiled flooring, our table and even on tarmac and quite incredibly, the display is still unscathed.
In focusing on innovation, we like that Honor has retained its core display technologies for X9b. That means that you still benefit from hardware-level low blue light, auto adjustment of display colours and flagship-grade 1,920Hz Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), all of which help in reducing eye fatigue.
All-day battery and expert photography
Despite the slim and lightweight chassis, Honor X9b manages to pack an industry-leading 5,800mAh battery that can easily power the device for an entire day. In fact, with moderate usage, you can go up to three days without charging the smartphone, making it extremely convenient. In the long run, battery durability is not a problem either with Honor claiming that X9b will retain 80 per cent of its capacity even after 1,000 charge cycles.
As for optics, there is a 108MP primary camera on the device, alongside an ultra-wide and macro set-up. The high resolution 1/1.67-inch sensor gives you good detail and works well even in low-light conditions. On the front, you find a 16MP camera for selfies, which is also great for video calling and social media sharing.
Pricing and availability
Honor X9b is currently available on pre-order for Dh1,299. Pre-order customers from its official website also get a gift alongside the purchase. As a mid-range device, Honor X9b is incredibly impressive, not only because of its specifications but also the additional features it brings that are typically reserved for higher-end devices. If you are in the market and don’t want to spend a lot, Honor’s unbreakable smartphone might just be your best option.