Honor 9A review: An affordable all-rounder for €150

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NextPit Honor 9A front
© NextPit

The Honor 9A combines the basic functions of any self-respecting smartphone with a long-lasting battery for only €150 ($180). So if you are looking for an inexpensive smartphone and would like to take advantage of all-day battery life, then go ahead and read our review. We would take our time to reveal more about this smartphone in greater detail and inform you of just how easy it is to obtain your favourite apps on this device despite the trade embargo that Huawei has with the USA. Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei, which is why it is also affected by that. 

Modern functions at a bargain price

Apple caused quite a stir in the world of technology a few months ago with the introduction of the iPhone SE at a price of €479 ($570). Those who are familiar with Android smartphones will probably react with a puzzled look. This is because fully functional smartphones have featured Google's mobile operating system for a long time now for far less money. The Honor 9A, which includes a triple cameras setup, borderless display, and a 5,000 mAh battery, costs a mere €150 ($180).

honor 9a front back
The Honor 9A cuts a fine figure at the front and back / © NextPit

The Honor 9A is powered by a Mediatek MT6762R Helio P22 processor that works perfectly fine with 3 gigabytes of memory. Not only can the pre-installed Android 10 mobile operating system run smoothly, but mobile games do run smoothly - albeit at a lower graphics setting. Apps, data, and photos are stored on 64 gigabytes of internal memory, which can be further expanded via a micro SD card if the need arises.

This makes the Honor 9A different

Many smartphones in the sub-€200 ($240) price range offer these features. However, the built-in triple camera at the back and the large 5,000 mAh battery are a rare sight. The latter makes sure that you can use the Honor 9A for two days without having to recharge if necessary. Alternatively, the battery offers a lot of power for mobile games and video streaming on the likes of Netflix, etc. For watching movies, Honor has a large 6.3-inch display embedded in the 9A. The FullView display works with a resolution of 720 x 1,600 pixels and can display content in HD quality. It is borderless and has only one discreet teardrop notch at the center top of the display, in which the front camera is embedded.

NextPit Honor 9A front camera
The high-resolution display comes with a small teardrop notch for the selfie camera / © NextPit

At the back of the Honor 9A, the inclusion of higher quality equipment continues. Here, you will find a modern triple camera. There will be a main 13 megapixel camera, an ultra-wide angle camera with 5 megapixels, and a depth sensor with a resolution of 2 megapixels that will see action. In practice, the additional cameras ensure that you can zoom out of images quickly, and that the bokeh effect would be done right - although it won't be the cleanest around, but at this price point, it will suffice. 

Since this smartphone reworks the raw data of your pictures using artificial intelligence and algorithms, the results are even more commendable. Honor relies on a camera with 8 megapixels as the front-facing camera. Selfies offer further processing options such as retouching the edges around the eyes or making compensation for red-eye shots.

Further advantages when buying in the Honor Shop

If you decide to pick up the Honor 9A from the Honor Shop, you can expect to pick up additional goodies. On the one hand, the manufacturer throws in a free Bluetooth loudspeaker for each smartphone purchase. In addition, new customers can also make use of online services such as Huawei Cloud, Huawei Music, and Huawei Video free of charge for up to one year. For fans of mobile games, Honor also has something special up their sleeves.

For mobile games such as Lords Mobile, Rise of Kingdoms, and AFK Arena, you can expect numerous bonuses, which comprise of free in-game currency or special items like speed-ups or gems. How exactly you can secure the free bonuses after purchasing Honor 9A is revealed in the linked article.

How to get your essential apps on the Honor 9A

Huawei and Honor are no longer allowed to roll out their smartphones with Google Play services in tow due to an embargo imposed by the USA. This means, among other things, that the Google Play Store that is commonly used by Android devices cannot serve as an app source in this situation. To offer its customers an individual yet attractive alternative, Huawei promptly developed its own App Store known as the Huawei AppGallery. The AppGallery contains countless apps that are very similar to the Apple AppStore or the Google Play Store in its operation.

NextPit Honor 9A camera
The fingerprint sensor of the Honor 9A is located at the back / © NextPit

If you are switching to the Honor 9A while still wanting to remain in the Android ecosystem, you should also use the "PhoneClone" function when setting it up. Applications from your old smartphone will be transferred to the new one in a jiffy. PhoneClone not only transfers applications, but also data, contacts, and settings. If you are missing an app, you can use the clever Petal Search to locate the missing app on the internet and in the AppGallery at the same time. The search engine is pre-installed on the Honor 9A and has its own tab for apps. It is especially clever because you can not only enter app names, but also keywords such as the name of your city in the search.

Can't find what you're looking for either in the AppGallery or through the Petal Search? Then Huawei has made installation of third-party apps safer and easier as well. You install so-called APK files, which are comparable to EXE files on Android and Windows. The Huawei browser will perform a security check of these packages to make sure that these are not malicious files, and guides you step-by-step through the installation process. If you encounter problems, you can contact the active Huawei community for help. Access is also possible via the clearly arranged AppGallery.

All in all, the Honor 9A is a solid entry-level device that offers plenty of bang for your hard earned buck. 

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1 Comment

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  • storm Sep 3, 2020 Link to comment

    No root, no services core, oddball update path, no regular security patches.

    No point to the purchase.