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Honor 9 vs Huawei P10: battle of the brothers

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Unveiled in Berlin on June 27, the Honor 9 shares various elements in common with the Huawei P10, which was introduced at the most recent MWC in Barcelona. So, it would make sense to compare the two to find out which offers the best value for the money. We have tried to answer this question by sharing our practical experiences with each of the smartphones: Jessica took the Honor 9, and I took the side of the Huawei P10. Here’s what we thought.

Honor 9 vs Huawei P10: design and build quality 

Honor 9 (Jessica Murgia)

What immediately struck me with the Honor 9 was the smartphone’s curves, which allowed it to create pretty lighting reflections. The finish is sleek, its dual-sensor camera doesn’t take up much room at the back and the design is attractive but also ergonomic. The similarities with the Galaxy S7 are obvious but the fact remains that Honor has done a great job with their new device.

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Glass on one side (Honor 9), metal on the other (Huawei P10). © NextPit

The Honor 9 subtly combines metal and glass. The fingerprint reader is situated at the front of the device, just like the P10. The reverse side, which is made of glass, easily attracts fingerprints. Luckily, there are two possible solutions: clean it from time to time with a cloth or use the plastic transparent cover provided in the box. As for the rest, the Honor 9 is slightly thicker and heavier than the Huawei P10.

Huawei P10 (Pierre Vitré)

While the Honor 9 resembles Samsung’s Galaxy range, the Huawei P10 is more inspired by Apple’s iPhone, particularly the front face. In this case, it’s hard to talk about originality in terms of design. The Huawei P10 doesn’t adopt the new screen formats of the LG G6 and Galaxy S8, but the bezels are thinner than those of the Honor 9. There are no faults to mention in terms of the build quality.

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The Huawei P10 (below) is slightly more compact. © NextPit

One of the Huawei P10’s advantages is its more compact size, which makes it even easier to handle. Its metal back resists fingerprints and makes it less vulnerable to damage from falls. The phone is also more discreet (the black model is the most popular) because it is less shiny. Finally, failing the IP68 certification, the smartphone is splash-resistant thanks to its nano-coating.

Honor 9 vs Huawei P10: display

Honor 9 (Jessica Murgia)

The Honor 9 offers a “compact” screen in spite of the trend of the moment. It has a Full-HD 5.15-inch IPS LCD screen. This display has several advantages, such as brightness, the ability to increase readability in sunlight, the ability to adjust the color temperature in the Settings menu, and even the oleophobic coating which protects the screen from fingerprints. The disadvantages? With this definition, it’s not ideal for VR fans.

Huawei P10 (Pierre Vitré)

Let’s be honest, the differences in terms of the displays are minimal. The P10 also offers a Full-HD 5.15-inch IPS screen. The contrast isn’t as good as on an AMOLED screen. As for the rest, you’ll also find the same settings as on the Honor 9 (with the exception of mode which allows you to read more easily in the sun). The display of the P10 adjusts itself to provide excellent brightness, making it easy to read when outdoors.

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Both screens are very similar. © NextPit

Honor 9 vs Huawei P10: software

Honor 9 (Jessica Murgia)

With regard to the software interface, there’s no real competition between the Huawei P10 and the Honor 9. Both devices run on Android Nougat and EMUI 5.1. The system works well and offers various personalization options, for example, activating navigation buttons. The Honor 9 also offers several small goodies, such as the ability to invert the position of the quick buttons which are also backlit, or the pre-installed Phone Clone application to facilitate the transfer of information from your old device (in Advanced Settings > Data Transfer).

Huawei P10 (Pierre Vitré)

As Jessica explained, the Huawei P10 offers the same interface as the Honor 9. It also has the Quik app from Go Pro for creating a video montage out of photos, videos and music stored on your device in just seconds. You can also use the Home button, which doubles up as the fingerprint scanner, as the navigation button. The interface is fluid and Huawei has made an effort in recent years to improve it.

Honor 9 vs Huawei P10: audio

Honor 9 (Jessica Murgia)

The Honor device has one mono loud-speaker situated at the bottom right of the smartphone. As the President, George Zhao, explained, the brand is inspired by the spirit of youth and decided to work in partnership with Monster to improve the audio experience. The result: the volume has been increased, and when you listen to music or play a game, the sound is clear and crisp.

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Both smartphones have a headphone jack. © NextPit

Huawei P10 (Pierre Vitré)

As usual, the audio experience is very satisfying with the Huawei, despite the presence of only one mono loud-speaker. It’s powerful and its strength shows at the middle volume range especially. Huawei didn’t collaborate with Monster for this phone, but that wouldn’t have made a difference.

Honor 9 vs Huawei P10: performance

Honor 9 (Jessica Murgia)

In terms of performance, the two Chinese smartphones don’t differ much. The reason? They share the same hardware components: a Kirin 960 octa-core processor (four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.4 GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8 GHz), a G71 Mali-MP8 GPU, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. In daily use, you won’t encounter any problems with gaming, multi-tasking or other tasks. It won’t overheat during use or while charging.

Huawei P10 (Pierre Vitré)

It has the same technical specs as the Honor 9. Therefore, it has the same performance and fluidity for daily activities (gaming, surfing, multitasking…). There are no issues with slowing down or lag. The Huawei P10, thanks to its metal finish, doesn’t heat up in your hand as much as the Honor 9 when it’s being used intensively.

Honor 9 vs. Huawei P10 technical specifications

  Honor 9 Huawei P10

Honor 9 vs Huawei P10: camera

Honor 9 (Jessica Murgia)

The camera of the Honor 9 won't disappoint you. With a dual main camera that has 20 and 12 MP and an f / 2.2 aperture, the smartphone is capable of taking excellent photos with accurate colors and rich details. In good lighting conditions, at least.

The brand also provides a night time mode but you’ll need a steady hand to avoid getting blurry results. The camera also allows you to save in RAW format, activate the x2 hybrid zoom (which relies on the use of different frames from two lenses), film videos in 4K or Full-HD to 60 fps and to benefit from the Pro Video mode. The Honor 9 allows you to have fun with your photos and videos by manually editing them. You can also create your own 3D Creator avatar. The camera app is quick, user-friendly and is also adapted to suit the less experienced user.

You can see for yourself in our gallery:

  • Gallery of photos taken with the Honor 9

Huawei P10 (Pierre Vitré)

On the back, you’ll find the same dual camera and as on the Mate 9, with a 20 MP monochrome lens and a 12 MP RGB lens, both by Leica. By default, the Huawei P10 offers to capture in 12 MP. In this case, part of the information comes from the 20 MP lens and the other part comes from the 12 MP lens. The problem is that the more defined of the two has to resample the image that it captured in 12 MP, so that the colors can be applied.

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The Honor 9 and the Huawei P10 both offer a monochrome lens and a RGB lens. © NextPit

In the end, the result is a little disappointing with poor detail quality. In my opinion, it’s a little better than the Honor 9 but I think that Huawei should review their dual camera concept. The advantage is that the monochrome lens allows you to take excellent quality photos in black and white. In any event, we’ll show you a photo comparison later on in a more detailed article.

You can see for yourself in our gallery:

Honor 9 vs Huawei P10: battery

Honor 9 (Jessica Murgia)

The 3,200 mAh battery, rechargeable with Quick Charge by Huawei, allows you to get through the day leaving you with around 15 to 20 percent of battery life left. A result that isn’t particularly surprising, but which isn’t outstanding compared to other flagships. In the benchmark test, the Honor 9 obtained a score of 6 hours and 58 minutes.

Huawei P10 (Pierre Vitré)

The P10 also has a 3,200 mAh battery. While its battery life is quite disappointing (you have to charge it before the end of the day if you use it intensively), the P10 is compatible with Super Charge technology. Thanks to this, the battery can be recharged in a shorter time: 30 minutes of charging allows it to reach 50 percent battery! That’s a huge plus!

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The Honor 9 loves light reflections… and fingerprints. © NextPit

Honor 9 vs Huawei P10: final verdict

Honor 9 (Jessica Murgia)

The Honor 9 seems to be the best option as both smartphones aren’t that different, at least in terms of software and hardware. The look of the new Honor smartphone is even more attractive, but what’s more attractive than its form, is its price tag. While it's not available officially in the US for now, it sells for £380 and €450 in Europe, making it a bargain at around $500. So, why spend more for a smartphone that’s identical but has a shorter battery life?

Huawei P10 (Pierre Vitré)

Despite the release of the Honor 9, the Huawei P10 still remains a good buy at $550 in the US. Since its launch, its price has dropped and is now in the same range as the Honor 9, if only a tiny bit more expensive. With the P10, you’ll have a more elegant and discreet design which is more resistant to the hazards of daily life. In addition, you’ll get a better photo experience, Super Charge compatibility and a well-calibrated screen. You know what my choice would be.

Your turn to decide:

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Pierre Vitré

Pierre Vitré
Head of Content

Pierre has a strong passion for new technologies and mobile since its first StarTac. Android user since 2011, Pierre became totally hooked. He never leaves his smartphone and smartwatch and still believes in the success of Google Glass. That's why he joined to be the head of content.

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