HONOR X9b review: Sturdy smartphone with good battery, beautiful design | Tech Reviews

HTech recently launched in India its second smartphone offering, the HONOR X9b. Priced competitively at Rs 25,999, the HONOR X9b promises to cater to the diverse needs of consumers. Boasting a 1.5k resolution display and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset, it grabs attention on paper. Moreover, with features like Ultra-Bounce Anti-drop display technology and a partially reinforced chassis, it promises to be the Nokia of the 2024 smartphone era. Do these claims stand true in real world scenarios? Let us find out:


Dressed in the midnight black colour (review unit), the HONOR X9b boasts a frosted glass back panel with a matte finish. Keeping up with contemporary trends, the smartphone features a circular rear camera module adorned with two concentric rings finished in gold. The three camera sensors and the flash are arranged equidistantly between the rings which adds a bit of uniqueness to the smartphone. The centre of the camera module has “Matrix-AI vision camera” text embedded within its glass panel that might look odd to some users.

The front view is dominated by a two-sided curved display that covers nearly the entire surface area. Uniform bezels surround the display on all sides, contributing to its seamless appearance. The noticeable bezels on the side of the display might not appeal to everyone but it does prevent accidental touches on the curved screen.

The glossy metallic frame encircling the smartphone houses the SIM tray, primary microphone, USB-C port, and speaker grill at the bottom. On the right side are the power button and volume adjustment buttons, while the left side maintains a minimalist, clutter-free look. Similarly, the top of the device hosts only a secondary microphone and maintains a clean appearance.

The HONOR X9b impresses with its lightweight design, tipping the scales at a mere 185g, which lends it an exceptionally light feel. Its sleek profile, measuring just 7.98mm in thickness, enhances its ergonomic appeal, ensuring comfortable usage even during extended periods.

Overall, the smartphone exudes a premium vibe, particularly with its matte black panel contrasting the shiny gold-finished camera rings at the rear. The back panel effectively resists smudges and fingerprint marks, although it may feel somewhat slippery. Despite the generous size of the camera module, its slim form factor ensures a secure grip without compromise.


The HONOR X9b has an “Ultra-Bounce Anti-Drop Display” technology alongside a partially reinforced chassis. Claiming to withstand drops from heights of up to 1.5m, these features promise enhanced durability. While it was not possible to test these capabilities to their limits, the smartphone demonstrated resilience against everyday knocks and bumps. Even when dropped from approximately one metre onto its display side, the HONOR X9b emerged unharmed, showing no noticeable damage to either the display. It is important to note though, it is the display carrying the anti-drop mechanism and not the rear. Still, it is safe to say that this smartphone is well-equipped to handle rough usage with ease.

Display and Audio

The HONOR X9b boasts a 6.78-inch 1.5K curved AMOLED display, delivering an impressive visual experience with vibrant and sharp display output. Colours are accurately represented, maintaining their tones effectively. While the display brightness may not reach high levels, it provides ample illumination even under the brightest outdoor conditions. The 120Hz refresh rate ensures smooth scrolling across social media platforms, enhancing the overall user experience.

For content consumption, the HONOR X9b offers a Video Enhancer mode, which improves the colour and contrast of video content. However, it is worth noting that this feature is limited to select streaming platforms such as YouTube and Netflix, excluding others like Disney+ Hotstar. Additionally, the device lacks support for HDR and Dolby Vision. Despite these limitations, the HONOR X9b still delivers sharp visuals for watching videos and movies.

In the audio department, the HONOR X9b features a mono speaker system with the speaker grill positioned at the bottom of the smartphone. While it achieves a satisfactory volume level without compromising audio clarity, the output does fall short in bass reproduction. Nonetheless, it provides an acceptable audio experience for everyday use.


The HONOR X9b sports a triple-camera rear setup, featuring a 108-megapixel 1/1.67-inch primary sensor, a 5MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 2MP macro camera. However, the overall imaging experience is a hit-and-miss

In natural light, the primary camera captures decent images with accurate colours and sharpness. However, under artificial lighting, photos may appear slightly grainy, with occasional misinterpretations of saturation levels leading to overexposed areas. Similarly, ultra-wide-angle shots deliver acceptable quality but may exhibit graininess in low-light conditions. Macro shots often lack fine details, with extreme close-up shots from the primary lens surpassing the quality of macro mode photos.

Portrait shots stand out as an exception, with the smartphone consistently delivering good results, including precise depth adjustment and edge detection, even in indoor lighting. Additionally, users can customise the beauty level to their preference. Besides, the front camera performs admirably too, capturing balanced, detailed photos even in challenging lighting conditions without oversaturation.

In terms of videography, the HONOR X9b can record 4K resolution videos at 30fps, while 1080p and 720p recording gets the option for 60fps. Users can also opt for different aspect ratios, including 21:9, in addition to the standard 16:9 aspect ratio for both 1080p and 720p recordings. However, the front camera is limited to 30fps recording at 1080p and 720p, with the option for a 21:9 aspect ratio in the latter.

While the rear camera excels in capturing detailed videos in daylight, it may struggle in low-light conditions. Despite the absence of a dedicated stability mode, the HONOR X9b manages to deliver relatively stable videos with minimal jerk, ensuring smoother footage.

Notably, the device offers features to enhance video content such as the Instant Movie feature that adds background music and frames to recorded videos with a single tap. Additionally, the Multi-Video recording mode is a standout feature, allowing users to split the screen into two parts and simultaneously record from the front and rear cameras. This functionality caters to the needs of content creators and vloggers, offering a versatile tool for capturing dynamic content.

Performance and software

The HONOR X9b is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset, which although not the latest or fastest processor available, proves more than capable of handling everyday tasks with ease. From launching applications to multitasking, scrolling through social media feeds, or enjoying video content, the device performs smoothly and efficiently. Casual gaming is also a breeze on the HONOR X9b, effortlessly handling popular titles like Angry Bird and Traffic Rider. Moreover, the smartphone performs impressively even with graphic-intensive games like Genshin Impact, running them smoothly on high settings, although it’s advisable to switch to medium graphic settings for longer gaming sessions.

Whether it is recording videos, multitasking, or playing games, the phone maintains its cool and effectively manages thermals in nearly every situation, ensuring consistent performance without overheating concerns.

On the software front, the HONOR X9b operates on MagicOS 7.2, layered atop the Android 13 operating system. The user interface maintains a relatively clean appearance, with minimal pre-installed apps and negligible third-party notifications. HONOR’s productivity apps, pre-installed on the device, are neatly organised into collections on the home screen, ensuring a clutter-free experience. Among these apps, some stand out for their usefulness, such as the Dropzone function within the System Manager app, enabling users to seamlessly multitask by dropping other apps onto the screen while one is already running. Despite these intuitive functionalities, navigating around the smartphone may initially feel somewhat challenging.


HONOR asserts that the 5800 mAh battery on the X9b can extend usage up to three days. While it may not quite reach the full three-day mark, it impresses by lasting nearly two complete days under moderate usage. Even when subjected to heavier tasks, the smartphone efficiently manages its energy consumption, ensuring sustained performance. Engaging in prolonged gaming sessions and intensive multitasking may accelerate battery drainage slightly, yet the device still easily endures a day and a half.

Although the company does not include a charger in the box, they are offering a 30W adaptor as part of the introductory offer. Using this provided charger, the HONOR X9b took approximately two hours and forty-five minutes to charge from two percent battery to full capacity.


With its commendable performance, enhanced durability, and impressive battery life, the HONOR X9b emerges as an excellent choice for users seeking a smartphone capable of withstanding rugged usage while delivering a satisfying user experience. Priced at Rs 25,999, it presents a compelling option for customers in the mid-range segment, offering a combination of a quality display and reliable performance.

While the device excels at capturing social media-friendly photos and facilitating content creation, individuals prioritising camera-centric features may find better alternatives elsewhere. Nonetheless, for those prioritising durability and overall performance, the HONOR X9b proves to be a solid contender in its price range.

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz